Omnisphere Review Spectrasonics

Plugin Spotlight: Spectrasonics Release Omnisphere 2.5 Update, With Ground-Breaking Hardware Synth Integration

Now you can use your Moog, DSI, Korg, Roland, Novation or different hardware synth as a totally integrated hands-on controller for Omnisphere, probably turning some of the versatile and feature-rich software synths into your dream software-hardware hybrid manufacturing answer.
Following the initial announcement at Berlin’s Superbooth in Might and public beta part, Omnisphere 2.5 lately officially dropped, so we thought it was the right time to take it via it’s paces and check out the newest improvements and additions.
Take a look at Spectrasonics Founder Eric Persing’s Keynote Presentation above, the place he unveils Omnisphere 2.5 and takes it by way of its paces and new features.

A Little Background On Omnisphere

Omnispherer’s Patch Browser exhibits how quicjkly and simply you’ll be able to hone in on simply the sound you need from it’s vast sound library: on this case, I searched “FM” and refined my decisions by Class “Synth Bass” and Mood “Dark”, arriving on the “FM Bassy Punch” patch.

Omnisphere was already a superb and cutting edge synth, especially widespread with media composers and sound designers owing to the devices unique emphasis on evolving pads and textures good for ambient score parts for movie and recreation soundtracks, but in addition because of the sheer breadth of the library content material and the velocity and ease with which you’ll be able to browse and adapt patches to go well with whatever the current undertaking requires. Omnisphere has also extra regularly been gathering an growing following in the electronic music group, with more preset sounds geared particularly in the direction of EDM production being included because the model replace.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2.5 The Orb pageThe Orb, armed to document the modulation I set in motion with the Dice randomise button.

Whichever types of music you create, Omnisphere features a large sufficient manufacturing unit library for several lifetimes value of sonic exploration, not to mention an built-in rack results section, flexible arpeggiator, oscillator sections that provide for FM, ring modulation and granular synthesis amongst the plethora of sound-shaping choices, and our private favourite function, The Orb: a circular controller that modifies multiple synth parameters concurrently, in an identical option to an X/Y pad with it’s converging axes, but with added momentum/inertia settings so you’ll be able to “throw” the controller positioning icon and have it spin at varying speeds and angles of movement (both programmed or randomised), imbuing your patches with both a delicate sense of movement or more extreme modulation which you could document and select the perfect bits from.

What’s New?

With model 2.5, Spectrasonics have further beefed up the sonic capabilities, doubling the variety of obtainable layers for each patch from 2 to 4, including 1,000 new sounds to the patch library, and making quite a number of more delicate but very welcome tweaks and improvements to the GUI and web page layouts that general contribute to a big streamlining and refining of the workflow.

  • four Layers Per Patch: In previous variations, you would mix and match 2 sources / layers for each patch. In Omnisphere 2.5, each patch now incorporates as much as four layers. The variety of envelopes, LFOs and Modulation Matrix routings have all also been expanded, providing you with virtually more modulation prospects than you’re frankly ever possible to make use of in a real venture!
Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2.5 4 Voice Osc Layer pageHaving 4 layers per patch signifies that more of the hardware synth’s parameters may be engaged. Here, the default Integration patch layers for the Sub 37. These may be swapped out for another waveform or pattern you want, opening up big prospects for hands-on sound manipulation.
  • New State Variable Filter Sort: The filter menu has additions in the form of the State Variable Filter, which has been specifically designed to make use of the OB-6 hardware synth’s unusual filter configuration, which principally supplies you with a single knob that you need to use to comb seamlessly between Low-Move, Notch and Excessive-Cross filter varieties.
  • New Hardware Sound Library: Eric Persing and the Spectrasonics staff used the Hardware Synth Integration function to create over 1,000 new patches that type the Hardware Library section of the Omnisphere patch library. A cool facet of that is that even when you don’t personal any of the hardware synths supported for integration, all Omnisphere users have access to the Hardware Library – probably a great way to audition a few of the greatest hardware synths ever made to find out which you need to purchase and access the original synth engine, for those who’re out there for a hardware synth…
  • New High Res Interface: Scalable, help for Retina shows and 4k screens. Barely cleaner and tidier, more trendy GUI; larger controls. Reside Mode web page redesigned to point out rather more relevant information if you wish to use Omnisphere in a reside/ performance context.
  • New Granular Format: The Granular page now exhibits displays a full waveform of the sound you’re messing with, making it a lot clearer, easier to know what is going on whenever you’re manipulating grains and tearing sounds apart.
Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2.5 Granular waveform pageThe Granular page now exhibits the waveform being effected – rather more intuitive.
  • Help for Windows X Multitouch computers and tablets: “This means that the new Live Mode page can function as a fully functional stage interface when used fullscreen on a Windows computer.” While the help doesn’t prolong to Mac/iPad units, there are many apps e.g. TouchOSC, MIDI Designer and Lemur, that you should use to regulate Omnisphere parameters on an iPad.

Beyond all this though, the headline function addition to Omnisphere 2.5 is Hardware Synth Integration. This is the software program’s capability to map itself to the bodily controls of any certainly one of over 30 (and counting) common hardware synths. This is what we’ll spend the rest of the evaluation taking a look at under, as it might be a little bit of a game-changer.

Ghost In The Shell: Hardware Synth Integration

Going far past what most customers would anticipate from an established software program synth when it comes to integration with third-party hardware, this is not just a complicated MIDI Study template, as Omnisphere is tailored barely in another way to the precise control format and character of each of the hardware synths it will probably integrate with. The 2 templates that we’ve got tested, for the Moog Sub 37 and DSI OB-6, show how thoughtfully and subtly the Spectrasonics staff have aligned Omnisphere’s parameters with the character and idiosyncratic limitations of each synth.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2.5 Default Sub 37 pageThat is the starting page when first connecting your hardware synth, on this case the Moog Sub 37.

Not only do the hardware controls map to the equivalent parameters in Omnisphere, however Omnisphere also adjusts itself with the new Hardware Library preset patches to raised accommodate the physical structure and control format of the particular hardware you’re utilizing. What we found this means in apply is that, when utilizing the Sub 37 to regulate Omnisphere, for example, you’re more likely to find yourself with totally different sonic outcomes than in the event you’re utilizing the OB-6, because the controls at your fingertips are arranged barely in another way and make sure parameters more obtainable and more more likely to be reached for whenever you’re jamming out and shaping your sound.
After some time, you’re not likely positive where Omnisphere ends and the hardware synth begins – but what’s actually superb is that you simply overlook which of them is actually doing the work of producing the sounds, because the integration is so seamless and the sonic results such high-quality (in any case, if any software synth can go toe-to-toe with hardware when it comes to sheer sonic depth and element, it might be this one).
One query that folks have brought up about Hardware Synth Integration is, “If I already own one of the many high-end hardware instruments that can be integrated, why wouldn’t I just use it’s own sound generation capabilities as well, rather than relying on a software-based recreation of sounds and samples?”
The compelling argument for owning a hardware synth that integrates perfectly with a software instrument is straightforward: flexibility. In fact it is sensible to use the actual analogue sound of your hardware for easy patches or where absolute analogue signal integrity is paramount to you, but the potential magic lies in connecting the identical synth to Omnisphere and vastly expanding both the vary of raw sonic materials and preset patches you have got out there underneath your fingertips using the identical acquainted hands-on controls. Sure, you possibly can use your Sub 37 to regulate “Sub 37” sound patches in Omnisphere — which are loaded by default as a starter patch for the hardware you connect — but the fun actually begins whenever you begin switching to patches from a Jupiter-8 or an FM bell sound or any number of other sounds you’d by no means anticipate to create using a Sub 37, however all while maintaining the identical hands-on management on the Sub 37’s keys, knobs and buttons.

Once you transfer each parameter on your Integrated hardware, Omnisphere routinely switches to the corresponding web page. Right here, shifting the Sub 37 Filter Cutoff brought up the Filter Zoom page, the place you possibly can see the cutoff and resonance knobs comply with your hardware actions and make finer adjustments and filter sort choices, for example.

You possibly can add some other mixture of waveforms into Omnisphere’s 4 slots, sticking to the Sub 37 configuration of two primary oscillators plus a sub oscillator and noise, or constructing your personal quad-osc monstrosity. All the whereas, you’re using the Sub 37’s entrance panel controls to tweak the Osc ranges, Filter and Amp Envelopes, Filter Cutoff and Sub 37-specific controls like the Filter Multidrive knob, which is in fact pre-mapped in Omnisphere, in this case to not a Filter section control per se but to a few controls on a pre-configured Vox speaker cab emulator within the Results section that pleasingly recreates the additional chew the Multidrive knob applies to the sound on the hardware Moog.

Under is an inventory of the presently supported hardware synths:
• Sequential Prophet X
• Sequential Prophet 6
• Dave Smith Prophet 12
• Dave Smith OB-6
• Dave Smith REV2
• Moog Sub 37
• Moog Subsequent 37
• Moog Voyager
• Moog Sub Phatty
• Moog Little Phatty
• Moog Slim Phatty
• Korg Minilogue
• Korg Monologue
• Korg Prologue
• Roland System-1
• Roland System-1m
• Roland System-Eight
• Roland SE-02
• Roland SH-01A
• Roland JP-08
• Roland JU-06
• Roland JX-03
• Roland VP-03
• Novation Peak
• Novation Bass Station II
• Novation Circuit Mono Station
• Entry Virus A
• Access Virus B
• Clavia Nord Lead 1
• Clavia Nord Lead 2
• Studiologic Sledge
Spectrasonics are promising so as to add many extra over time, so in case your synth isn’t listed yet, don’t despair – it could be coming soon.
If, then again, you don’t have already got a suitable synth but at the moment are out there for certainly one of these synths and wondering which can play probably the most nicely with Omnisphere 2.5, it is best to take a look at their Hardware Suggestions Video for some pointers and background on some pretty iconic hardware gear:


The malleability of the Omnisphere idea, it’s interface, sounds and workflow, has all the time been it’s biggest power: the consumer could make of it no matter they like, and is provided with a rigorously curated menu of modulation and processing choices that permit you to change and sculpt sounds shortly and dramatically, with detail where needed however without getting too bogged down in minutae. Hardware Synth Integration is a natural extension of this philosophy, treading the deceptively delicate line between optimum flexibility and ease of use.
It’s a wierd sensation to see how easily Omnisphere adapts itself to the hooked up hardware, and vice versa, creating a brand new hybrid that doesn’t feel like the sum of the hardware/software program elements at all, however an entire new instrument. It’s so smoothly carried out that it makes you marvel, “Why don’t all soft synths do this?” Judging by how successfully Omnisphere 2.5 has pulled it off, perhaps earlier than too lengthy they may.
Pricing and Availability
For all registered Omnisphere 2 customers, Omnisphere 2.5 is accessible now as a FREE update. Go to the Omnisphere splash page and click the “Get Updates” function.
For brand spanking new users, you should purchase Omnisphere 2.5 as a download from the Spectrasonics website for US$499.