Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere 2.5
Control the plugin synth with your favourite hardware, and access new ‘analogue’ oscillators
Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere 2 is already one of the most powerful synthesisers in the software realm; now the version 2.5 update is set to see it integrate with your favourite hardware synths.
Designed to ‘bridge the gap’ between software and hardware, the idea is that synthesists can use their hardware to control Omnisphere, but this isn’t just basic MIDI Learn we’re talking about. There are dedicated profiles for each supported synth – models from Roland, Korg, Behringer, Novation and Sequential are already supported – with the theory being that MIDI messages from the hardware are then translated into ‘satisfying sonic results’ in Omnisphere.
We’re promised sophisticated interactions from a single knob touch – you can recall entire FX racks, assign multiple scaled parameters and create complex modulation matrix routings on-the-fly. Just select your synth of choice from the drop-down menu. Omnisphere 2.5 also includes a range of new synthesis capabilities. The voice architecture has been doubled to four layers per patch, and each of those patches can now call on 12 envelopes and eight LFOs. There are now 48 routings in the modulation matrix, and new state-variable filters are included. These were specially created for the OB-6 hardware profile and can seamlessly blend between low-pass, notch and high-pass modes. Further to that, more than 50 new ‘analogue’ Oscillator Wavetables are included and featured in the new hardware profiles.
The sound library has been updated, too, with hundreds of new patches, created using the hardware integration feature. For each hardware profile, you’ll find a corresponding set of sounds, designed using that particular synth as an Omnisphere controller – you can access these whether you own the ‘real’ synth or not.
“Since the beginning of computer-based music, the biggest limitation of software synthesisers has been the lack of physical interaction,” explains Eric Persing, creative director of Spectrasonics. “It’s hard to beat the immediacy of a physical synthesiser that you can actually touch!
“We are very excited to be able to finally eliminate that problem by utilising the world’s finest hardware synthesisers to fully control Omnisphere. We’ve never felt that the worlds of software and hardware synths should be segregated into different ‘camps’. Our virtual instrument users can now experience the joy of the hardware synth workflow and hardware synth users can now fully expand their capabilities into the vast sonic world of Omnisphere!”
Omnisphere 2.5 will be a free update for all of its existing users. It's set to be released in the summer, with a public beta due to begin this month.