Author Topic: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer  (Read 3273 times)

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Offline Rhcole

Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« on: May 06, 2015, 02:12:29 AM »
Let me get this out of the way first. Omnisphere is now unchallengeable in the universe of software synthesizers.

IF- you want an instrument that is so large and has so many doorways and options that you will never, ever fully master it;
IF- your idea of quality synthesis is oddball sounds and lots of them;
IF- you are a sound designer or simply like to express your creativity through tones and timbres;

Brother, you have met your match.

Omnisphere One was the gold standard for creating long, evolving, atmospheric synth patches. When Omnisphere first came out it was an immediate classic for creating instant Ambient music. Dial up one of the patches, put a brick on the keyboard, and light up! Within months you began to hear Omnisphere in every Sci-fi, horror, or mystery feature you cared to place yourself in front of.

But in Omnisphere Two, Spectrasonics has upped their game to the level where they are DARING you to say you don't have enough toys to play with. Here's ONE example. Omnisphere One, in addition to its mighty sampled library of ambient, evolving, and just plain weird soundscapes (a real burning piano sound!) offered basic Sawtooth, Pulse, Triangle, Sine, and Noise waveforms to build your own synths from scratch. Fair enough, a useful feature. BUT, in Omnisphere Two, you now have HUNDREDS of waveforms from Moogs, ARPs, Korgs, Yamahas, etc. that you can draw from and you can layer them on top of one another to create a true Megasynth. These are real-time generated waveforms, not sampled recordings. This means that their fidelity and authenticity is superb. Throw in FM and you have the baddest of the bad-boy synths to build impossibly complex synthesizers that would rival a warehouse of analog instruments and modules to replicate. This section of Omnisphere could occupy you full-time for months or even years. BUT THAT IS JUST ONE RELATIVELY MINOR SECTION of Omnisphere Two.

Now let's talk about SAMPLED sounds and waveforms. How about a phrase granular synthesizer where you can load your own phrases in, mangle and extend them, and turn them into completely new sounds and instruments? Go ahead and mix them with any of the TEN THOUSAND included patches if you want to mix it up a bit. Heck, Omnisphere has an entire category section for Kalimba's in their library. KALIMBAS.

But here's the fascinating thing about Omnisphere- it's not a good software synth for that Classic Rock gig you have next weekend. You won't find good breathy sax sounds, a complete library of brass instruments, or any number of other ordinary sounds that you will readily find in Sampletank or any number of other products. You want twisted circuit-bent electronic gizmos? Check. Sounds of bizarre instruments made out of found junk? Check. All the kalimba's you'll ever need? Check. Countless other odd and eccentric sounds? Check. Check. Check. That's what they love to sample over at Spectrasonics. Now, to be fair, you will find choirs and various pianos, string sections, acoustic guitars, and many other more ordinary sounds sprinkled throughout the library. You will also find an incredible sampled array of synthesizer sounds as well. BUT, more traditional sounds are NOT what Spectrasonics brags about or emphasizes in Omnisphere Two. It is a tool for making sounds that nobody has ever heard before. They can be beautiful, dark, frightening, or yes, if you will, even ordinary sounding.

Wait- I forgot to tell you- I HATE software synthesizers. I hate having to debug computers and fight with OS issues, mess with soundcards and latency, chase down noises and also run the risk of the whole thing going down for some stupid reason.

But I love Omnisphere. There's nothing else like it and there may never be. It's a synthesizer paint box with an endless palette of colors. And with the Fishman Triple Play driving it, I can control this universe from the neck of my guitar.

Pretty awesome. Four out of five stars- I deduct one star for them not just gritting their teeth and including all of the mundane sounds that everybody has come to expect. If they had done that, they might have wiped out every other soft synth around.



Offline thebrushwithin

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2015, 05:59:00 AM »
Quote
Let me get this out of the way first. Omnisphere is now unchallengeable in the universe of software synthesizers.

Couldn't agree more! Truly the best  - period! Importing your own wav files, and using the granular synthesis engine is what takes it over the top for me. Just as ainsoph and MOG are programming the GP10 to emulate some traditional instruments, Persing and Co. have provided enough tools to achieve this in spades - IF that is what you want. Omnisphere remains my favorite all time sound creation instrument. Now I wonder if the SY300 is smart money for anything other than live use.

Offline thebrushwithin

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2015, 06:31:52 AM »
Here are examples of traditional instruments in Omnisphere's library( not including the 2.0 sounds added):


Offline aliensporebomb

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2015, 06:48:12 AM »
Don't get me wrong, I love Omnisphere.  But I'd probably need a new computer to run the new one. 
The original patch library was 60 gigs or so.
Running out of room!

And honestly, since the VG-99 came along I find it's just as expansive.
It's the Omnisphere/Synclavier II of guitar products.
"this is aliensporebomb" - my instrumental debut with the vg99 now on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/this-is-aliensporebomb/id391880218
More online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

My VG-99 based music projects:
http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

Offline SuperNiCd

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2015, 07:01:48 AM »
Thanks for the reviews!  Omnisphere does look very cool!

Quote
Now I wonder if the SY300 is smart money for anything other than live use.

I have been having this debate a bit in my own mind.  Predicated on the assumption that I need to buy anything at all (which I surely don't :) ), is the SY-300 a better buy than the FTP?

SY-300
 + no computers/tablets required
 + no wart, use with any guitar
 - locked into the synth that Boss created
 + some built in control options

FTP
 - guitar wart, and tied to the guitar you put it on
 + requires external tablet/computer, but synth/sampler options are virtually unlimited
 + cheaper (if you already own computers/tablets and synth software)
 - probably also need some external MIDI controller to really get the most out of it

Then of course there's the question of how well each tracks, which might make the answer more clear.

Quote
And honestly, since the VG-99 came along I find it's just as expansive.
It's the Omnisphere/Synclavier II of guitar products.

You've proven that time and again, aliensporebomb!  Though I'd say for me, getting the synth results I want from the VG-99 has proven challenging.  I'm not sure why, but it just seems to be a whole different paradigm from any other synth I've worked with.
Strat w/ GK-3, Godin LGXT
VG-99, GR-55, GP-10
---------------------------------------------------------------

Offline Elantric

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2015, 07:22:11 AM »



NAMM 2015: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Demo - Eric Persing gives Sonicstate a look
Category



Here's a little walkthrough of Omnisphere 2 and some of its new sound scultping features, via the power of showing you some of the factory patches I designed for it.



In this special edition of sound design saturday we take a look at a very special synth Omnisphere 2. This is probably the most anticipated soft synth of all time. I decided to jump right in and do some 808 design to test out the new syth. Enjoy!




In today's episode we look at the Amp Sims that come with the brand new Omnisphere 2. Pull up a Chair and get cozy as we take a good look at the pros and cons of the update.
thathousecat.com
facebook.com/thathousecat
https://soundcloud.com/schizophrenichousecat
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 07:33:59 AM by Elantric »

Offline thebrushwithin

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2015, 09:56:41 AM »
This is a very nice video about Omnisphere power tips.


Offline szilard

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2015, 11:01:54 AM »
I haven't had a chance yet to try loading any wave files, it may be a while before I to do any "resynthesis" or try the granular synth on a wav file. That should be fun. One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the production quality of the patches. I've found I need to do very little when mixing with Omnisphere tracks.

I'm an amateur, but I think the quality of Omnisphere is still obvious in some home recording.

Both Passage and Can't Shake This Feeling have a lot of Omnisphere in them.

https://sites.google.com/site/phoenixtaiji/music
 


Offline Rhcole

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2015, 11:06:34 AM »
Thus far Omnisphere runs fine on my substantially underpowered i3 2.2 with 4G of RAM. I have a high-end soundcard that allows me to get away with it-just. However, a brand new i7 is on its way that will replace my other laptop. Omnisphere Two adds about 18G to the program, although it appears that it overwrites older portions.

thebrushwithin is quite right that you could probably get within spitting distance of almost any instrument by using all of the programming tools and "rolling your own". Six or more overlapping waverforms can mimic almost any instrument you could name, especially if you throw in FM. Or for that matter, you can add a few samples in yourself. I don't begrudge the fact that they didn't include a large library of standard instruments along the lines of Sampletank. They clearly target the sound designer crowd and that's me! However, it does mean that as-needed I would rather use another program or box instead of taking the time to program in (for example) an optimal soprano sax sound. It's just simpler and faster.

Offline szilard

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2015, 11:24:39 AM »
I don't begrudge the fact that they didn't include a large library of standard instruments along the lines of Sampletank.

It really isn't a sampler and even with the ability to add a wav file, it doesn't do key mapping or have the capability for muliple velocities. From what I can tell for a patch you can add a single wav file. In the documentation they are pretty clear that Omnisphere is a synthesizer and not a sampler. I'm sure I'll use it for "resynthesis" and will be adding my own wav files, but I won't be trying to use it as a sampler. I use Alchemy if I need a sampler, too bad Camel Audio closed up shop ...

Offline Elantric

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2015, 11:35:06 AM »
Quote
I use Alchemy if I need a sampler, too bad Camel Audio closed up shop ...

http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/02/camel-audio-almost-certainly-acquired-apple/

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2015/02/24/camel-audio-reportedly-acquired-by-apple/


I expect an Alchemy experience to be rolled into Logic Pro 11
https://www.apple.com/logic-pro/whats-new/
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 11:37:16 AM by Elantric »

Offline thebrushwithin

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2015, 11:44:10 AM »
Quote
SY-300
 + no computers/tablets required
 + no wart, use with any guitar
 - locked into the synth that Boss created
 + some built in control options

Use with ANY 1/4" input, is the key for me. Anything that can be done with an SY300, can be done better with Omnisphere, synth-wise, - EXCEPT the 1/4" input, and for live use, the SY300 is still quite compelling, for this one feature alone. I have been using FTP for Omnisphere, and it is wonderful, but I can't sing into Omnisphere, and that could be the reason, if it responds well, that I purchase the SY.


Offline szilard

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2015, 12:46:26 PM »
This would be great to see Alchemy live on.

I agree and if Logic Pro is pushing EDM tools that is a good acquisition.


Offline SuperNiCd

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2015, 03:25:55 PM »
Use with ANY 1/4" input, is the key for me. Anything that can be done with an SY300, can be done better with Omnisphere, synth-wise, - EXCEPT the 1/4" input, and for live use, the SY300 is still quite compelling, for this one feature alone. I have been using FTP for Omnisphere, and it is wonderful, but I can't sing into Omnisphere, and that could be the reason, if it responds well, that I purchase the SY.

Good point.  Voice as an input didn't even occur to me.  Wouldn't that be something if it tracked flawlessly!
Strat w/ GK-3, Godin LGXT
VG-99, GR-55, GP-10
---------------------------------------------------------------

Offline thebrushwithin

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2015, 04:11:57 PM »
Quote
Good point.  Voice as an input didn't even occur to me.  Wouldn't that be something if it tracked flawlessly!

Yes, and I don't know why it couldn't be made to work, cause it mostly seems like it would need to be some sort of level equal to guitar. I have already programmed a VoiceLive for harmonies as well, so, I should be able to "sing" synth chords, as well as soloing , all while playing guitar. The VoiceLive also has a hold foot switch, which will let me "freeze" chords, and either solo on guitar over it, or continue to solo with voice, or both. It is my main reason for interest.

Offline Elantric

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2015, 04:24:03 PM »
Quote
Voice as an input didn't even occur to me.

Watch first 15 seconds here - SY-300 can even convert 50/60Hz Hum into 3 OSC Synth tones



http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=14460.msg104639#msg104639
Time will tell - but I see the Boss SY-300 like this: Liberated from the requirement for a properly setup GK Hex PU and 13 pin cable,the SY-300 will surely translate into greater access to new sonic exploration for a wider population of musicians: Guitars, Bass,  ( add a Mic Pre =Vocals), all genres  and far more attractive to many pros who have always shunned Hex PU technology.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 04:31:40 PM by Elantric »

Offline Mrchevy

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Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2015, 04:48:21 PM »
This would be great to see Alchemy live on.

i have had the free version Alchemy player w/200 presets for some time now. This concept/format I really like because I prefer to be able to do basic manipulations or ad some effects and Alchemy fit the bill perfectly. I'm not interested in creating synthesis from scratch because it would take me years to get to the level of samples already in Alchemy, but I can, and have, created some really nice stuff on the fly using the GR55, Alchemy, and a boomerang III looper. I only hope if I change to a different computer some day that I can get my Alchemy Player switched over to it. I had the authorization for use on the 2 computers I put it on but not to sure if I'll be able to move them with the whole Camel Audio being gone now. It's a shame it got sucked up by what ever it was that happened to them.
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Offline szilard

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2015, 11:05:11 PM »
There are a number of things I like about Alchemy; as a guitarist I like being able to setup snapshots of modulation sources (performance controls) and morphing between four of them using a midi expression pedal. It's like the motion control on Roland's JP 8080.

Offline montyrivers

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2015, 04:37:34 AM »
The most modern records almost all make use of NI Massive and Spec Omnisphere.  Running even a single instance of both demands serious resources.  I'm not up for shelling out for a new system yet so the Korg Legacy collection and Cakewalk Z3ta+2 are my workhorses. 

Offline thebrushwithin

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2015, 06:33:57 AM »
Here is the Sonic State video, with first impressions of Omnisphere 2. It begins at 36:36.


Online Vaultnaemsae

Re: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Software Synthesizer
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2018, 11:13:42 AM »
Just updated. Now includes standalone apps!