Spectrasonics today debuted a new app called Omni TR - which turns an iPad into a multi-touch control surface for Omnisphere, the company's flagship synthesizer.
'Touch Remote' Concept
The new iPad app introduces Spectrasonics 'TR' (Touch Remote) concept - combining the tactile advantages of the iPad as a performance-oriented touch surface, with the company's powerful computer-based virtual instruments – creating a true hands-on experience for musicians.
"One of the big differences between software and hardware synths is the feeling of hardware that's so wonderful," says Eric Persing, Founder and Creative Director of Spectrasonics. "With the iPad and our new Omni TR app, we are excited to bridge that gap and bring the sense of touch to state-of-the-art virtual instruments like Omnisphere."
Omni TR brings Omnisphere's interactive features closer to the music creation process with the ability to create setups and sound modifications very quickly. The user's fingers can activate patches, tweak filters, re-mix, bend and spin amazing performance possibilities from the innovative new 'Orb' circular controller.
With its high contrast interface, 'Omni TR' is perfect onstage for live performance or even in the studio where the iPad sits at the controller keyboard located away from the studio computer. Best of all, the Omni TR app is extremely easy to use, offering full two-way communication with Omnisphere with just a simple wireless connection to the computer running the plug-in.
Omni TR has 4 pages for different types of real-time control:
The Main page mirrors Omnisphere's unique Live Mode offering 8 patch slots with latching and trigger modes, individual mute and solo, and mixer faders. In this page alone, Omnisphere becomes a new performance instrument with the iPad sitting at the user's controller keyboard. Patch names can be simply touched to be enabled, one or more at a time for layers and stacks. Users can also browse and select Multis and Patches directly from the iPad to instantly change sounds for a new song or live set.
The Orb Page
Omni TR was designed to make the iPad the ideal control surface for Omnisphere's innovative new 'Orb' feature. The 'Orb' is both a remarkable sound manipulation tool and an intuitive performance interface - it can be thought of as a 'circular controller.' Now with a single gesture, the user can instantly customize the sound in Omnisphere. Best of all, the Orb automatically works with every patch a user has, there's no setup necessary.
As the Orb moves and orbits around the concentric circles, it morphs between automatically generated parameter scenes in Omnisphere's STEAM engine in a highly intelligent and musical manner, all patch dependent - manipulating the sound in subtle or radical ways appropriate to that particular patch.
If the user doesn't like what the Orb has created, a complete new set of manipulations can be chosen by simply rolling the "Dice" button, which instantly creates a brand new group of intelligent sonic modifications and effects to try. There's no limit to how many serendipitous sonic variations the Orb can create – opening up the vast power of the STEAM engine to every user, regardless of synthesis knowledge.
The tactile experience of moving the cursor around the Orb space on the iPad with a finger to create variations in the sound is remarkably musical. Where standard controllers might change one or two simple parameters in a linear manner, the Orb morphs a host of parameters that are patch specific, and easily changed on-the-fly.
The Inertia slider of the Orb allows the user to create a 'movement trail' after letting go of the Orb, just like a ball might roll and bounce off the walls of a circular enclosure, adding a musical symmetry to the "performance" of an Orb interaction.
Users can also record their performance movements directly into the Orb and play the performance back in sync with their controller or host. The Orb's movements and sonic results are saved within the patch, multi or the host's session for later recall. The movement of the Orb can also be automated in the user's host.
The Controls page features a touch-based pitch ribbon performance controller and 8 touch sliders assigned to groups of the most useful performance/editing parameters for each Omnisphere layer.
The Jumbo page shows large patch names on all 8 parts, easily seen in a live stage performance situation.
The new "Omni TR" iPad app is compatible with both Mac and Windows systems running Spectrasonics Omnisphere v1.5 or higher and will be available free from the App Store on February 15th, 2011 (pending Apple's review).