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NAMM 2008Spectrasonics

NAMM 2008: Spectrasonics announces Omnisphere

Spectrasonics has announced Omnisphere at Winter NAMM 2008.

Omnisphere breaks new sonic ground by combining a wide variety of hybrid realtime synthesis techniques, an epic library of 'Psychoacoustic' sounds, and many innovative features that have never been seen before in any hardware or software synthesizer.

The new instrument is the first to be based on Spectrasonics' STEAM Engine, the company's newly developed core technology. Omnisphere is set to be released September 15th, 2008 with an MSRP of $499 / €399.

Starting at NAMM and leading up to the release, the Omnisphere development team will be revealing the new instrument to the public through a series of video episodes from the Spectrasonics website showing features and behind the scenes details on how the instrument and its unique sounds have been created.

"This is truly an Epic project," said Eric Persing, Founder and Creative Director of Spectrasonics. "We have been working for many, many years; sampling unique sounds, experimenting, specifying the synthesis features and building the STEAM Engine to run it all. It's been a very exciting process involving our team of software engineers, sound designers, musicians, and graphic artists from all over the world. We've been very deliberate in making it easy to use, and yet extremely powerful. Omnisphere is our new flagship synthesizer, and points the way to all our future virtual instruments. We are thrilled to offer a new product that will new have a host of expansion capabilities in the future."

Although the new synth is extremely powerful, Omnisphere is designed with a unique user interface containing progressive layers of 'zooming' to accommodate the complete range of users - from musicians who just want to be inspired by the sounds and customize them in an easy way, to expert synthesists and the most advanced sound designers. Users can go deeper and deeper into the software and progress in their synthesis knowledge by simply exploring additional levels of sound manipulation options. To make sure that all users get the most out of the new capabilities, Omnisphere will ship with an extensive set of video tutorials and synthesis lessons taught by the renown Spectrasonics sound design team.

Omnisphere offers a host of hybrid synthesis and new control capabilities including Variable Waveshaping DSP synthesis, Granular synthesis, Timbre Shifting, FM, polyphonic Ring Modulation, high-resolution streaming Sample Playback, Harmonia, Dual Multimode Filter structure, Chaos Envelopes, an advanced Unison mode, and the innovative Flex-Mod modulation routing system - to name a few.

The huge core library of Omnisphere is filled with years of creative sampling experiments and thousands of inspiring patches. Spectrasonics has pioneered several brand-new types of sampling for the core library of this instrument, including unique "Psychoacoustic" sounds and sound sources created with a new Composite Morphing Technique (CMT) - which morphs the harmonic characteristics of one instrument to another. As a bonus, a section of the core library is also devoted to representing the best of Spectrasonics sample libraries. When all of these organic core library sound sources are combined with the synthesis power of the STEAM engine, the sounds become "alive" in a truly dynamic and expressive way.

Among the many unique features this new multi-timbral synth offers are its flexible arpeggiators with the innovative Groove Lock integration with Stylus RMX - allowing the arpeggiator's pattern to instantly groove with the feel of the RMX drum loop; Live Mode for transitionless patch switching and layering, Stack Mode for powerful performance mapping; and integrated modulatable FX Racks.

Omnisphere is also the successor to Spectrasonics' popular Atmosphere instrument, and contains enhanced versions of all the classic Atmosphere sounds. However, the brand new core library in Omnisphere is 10-times the size of Atmosphere and features thousands of completely new and different sounds. There will be an upgrade path for all Atmosphere customers, details to be announced in September.

Omnisphere is cross-platform compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 and higher as a native Universal Binary and also with Microsoft Windows XP/Vista.

Audio Units, VST, and RTAS plug-in formats are supported for compatibility with all major host software.

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