Is Omnisphere 2 still worth it?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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bmanic
KVRAF
9240 posts since 3 Feb, 2003 from Finland, Espoo

Post Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:32 am

BBFG# wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:04 am
bmanic wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 6:37 am
I'm always surprised how few people seem to realize the depth of it's synthesis capabilities and simply scoff it off as a glorified sample player. It's actually quite a deep synthesizer that just happens to have tons of sample material included.
Much has to do with the final outcome of these synth sounds sounding "canned". Heavy-handed more than powerful, with an almost formed sound... Like a chicken nugget compared to a tender. Good for layering, but lacking something on its own.

Many of these threads often state that while it can do it, the users prefer something they feel does a better job at it. And quite often by its most devoted cult members.
I can definitely agree that Omnisphere "has a sound" of it's own, when using only the synthesis parts. I suspect it's mainly down to the filters and effects which sound.. well, how should I put it kindly, a bit uninspiring.

They are slightly strange behaving and sounding. Sort of seemingly good but still not. Same with the oscillators. Many of the harmonically rich oscillators sound a bit buzzy in a strange way. Not entirely unpleasant but not what I'd call good either (where the definition of "good" for me is Diva/Repro/Reaktor6 latest osc modules etc).

However, with the sum of it's parts you can actually create some absolutely wonderful sounds. Now combine this with some sampled content that you mangle and layer through the various waveshapers or granular stuff and you have a true "workhorse" of a synth, very much like a souped up Roland JV/XV/Fantom type of synth (and I don't think it's a coincidence that they are sort of going for that layout/workflow).
"Wisdom is wisdom, regardless of the idiot who said it." -an idiot

User avatar
bmanic
KVRAF
9240 posts since 3 Feb, 2003 from Finland, Espoo

Post Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:35 am

Brittlestem wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:03 pm
TS-12 wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:47 am
Omnisphere has good sounds but the browser patch switching gets very very slow in larger projects. Which makes it almost useless for me
This. It's so sluggish, from opening each instance to browsing, I rarely use it nowerdays.
I haven't used it in larger projects yet but so far the latest Mac M1 version update has been extremely snappy and responsive when changing sounds.

I think the most instances I have in a project at the moment is 7, so that probably isn't enough to represent how it behaves when I get closer to the RAM limit.. which I should hit pretty quickly as I have the very base model of the Mac M1 Mini with only 8Gb of RAM.
"Wisdom is wisdom, regardless of the idiot who said it." -an idiot

BBFG#
KVRAF
6636 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Post Wed Aug 25, 2021 9:30 am

bmanic wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:32 am
BBFG# wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:04 am
bmanic wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 6:37 am
I'm always surprised how few people seem to realize the depth of it's synthesis capabilities and simply scoff it off as a glorified sample player. It's actually quite a deep synthesizer that just happens to have tons of sample material included.
Much has to do with the final outcome of these synth sounds sounding "canned". Heavy-handed more than powerful, with an almost formed sound... Like a chicken nugget compared to a tender. Good for layering, but lacking something on its own.

Many of these threads often state that while it can do it, the users prefer something they feel does a better job at it. And quite often by its most devoted cult members.
I can definitely agree that Omnisphere "has a sound" of it's own, when using only the synthesis parts. I suspect it's mainly down to the filters and effects which sound.. well, how should I put it kindly, a bit uninspiring.

They are slightly strange behaving and sounding. Sort of seemingly good but still not. Same with the oscillators. Many of the harmonically rich oscillators sound a bit buzzy in a strange way. Not entirely unpleasant but not what I'd call good either (where the definition of "good" for me is Diva/Repro/Reaktor6 latest osc modules etc).

However, with the sum of it's parts you can actually create some absolutely wonderful sounds. Now combine this with some sampled content that you mangle and layer through the various waveshapers or granular stuff and you have a true "workhorse" of a synth, very much like a souped up Roland JV/XV/Fantom type of synth (and I don't think it's a coincidence that they are sort of going for that layout/workflow).
"Souped up Roland"
That is exactly how I feel about it.
And in comparison to Roland's residual income/subscription scheme, Spectrasonics can be seen as the better deal. Very much gives the Roland sound and leaves it behind at the same time.
The other thing about Spectrasonics' products are that their already "processed" sound works well for mixing dummies and quickly translates to multiple speaker systems without infinitely tweaking for it. Whether it be studio/sound bar or car speakers.
I do believe it's one of the major reasons we hear it in so many TV/movie/media productions.
The other being Zebra and as of late Hive. People talk down about the "rompler" section of Omni, but this is where the true R&D costs reveal themselves. And in that, I'll say it's more instantly gratifying than something like Kontakt.

legendCNCD
KVRian
1226 posts since 23 Sep, 2004 from Kocmoc

Post Wed Aug 25, 2021 10:27 am

bmanic wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:35 am
Brittlestem wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:03 pm
TS-12 wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:47 am
Omnisphere has good sounds but the browser patch switching gets very very slow in larger projects. Which makes it almost useless for me
This. It's so sluggish, from opening each instance to browsing, I rarely use it nowerdays.
I haven't used it in larger projects yet but so far the latest Mac M1 version update has been extremely snappy and responsive when changing sounds.

I think the most instances I have in a project at the moment is 7, so that probably isn't enough to represent how it behaves when I get closer to the RAM limit.. which I should hit pretty quickly as I have the very base model of the Mac M1 Mini with only 8Gb of RAM.
Have used it in very large projects, with ~20 Omnis and few Divas etc...
I havent seen any sluggishness on my old Win7 with Ableton Live 10. More like this SATA SSD is slower to load than my friends nvme :)
Soft Knees - Demoscene - Live 10 - Diva - Omnisphere - Slate Digital VSX - TDR - Kush Audio - Fabfilter - PA - Valhalla - Fuse - Pulsar - NI - OekSound etc...

Liero
KVRian
1092 posts since 6 Mar, 2004

Post Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:19 pm

It's quite clear from all the bugs and updates throughout the years that Omnisphere suffers from bad coders / bad coding practices and to exaggerate the point it often feels like the software is being held together by gaffer tape and chewing gum. It's a great creative tool and I'm not regretting spending a lot of money on it since it's paid itself back in work but ... Nowadays, with mission critical stuff I'm choosing more stable, more reliable and easier reinstallable tools.

Btw the preset browser still totally chokes on any system once you start having tons of extra presets (and sample material). The indexing/caching system is clearly just badly written...

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syntonica
KVRian
1258 posts since 25 Sep, 2014 from Specific Northwest

Post Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:47 pm

Liero wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:19 pm
Btw the preset browser still totally chokes on any system once you start having tons of extra presets (and sample material). The indexing/caching system is clearly just badly written...
The problem with the preset browser is that some of the presets use upwards of 500Mb in samples and they are loaded when selected. I haven't checked, but I don't think there's a delay to keep the process from trying to happen when you step through them, thereby making it seem like you're slogging through molasses in wintertime when auditioning patches.

If you stick with, say, the hardware controller patches, they load very quickly because the waveform multi-samples used come in under 1Mb.

TS-12
KVRian
574 posts since 24 Apr, 2008 from USA

Post Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:31 pm

Liero wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:19 pm
It's quite clear from all the bugs and updates throughout the years that Omnisphere suffers from bad coders / bad coding practices and to exaggerate the point it often feels like the software is being held together by gaffer tape and chewing gum.

That’s exactly what I was thinking.
They probably keep adding more and more code and bandages to existing code because In omnisphere version 1 or some early version 2 there were no issues of slow browser
win10 x64. cubase 10 x64.
gigabyte z390 gaming x, i7-8700k, 32GB,
2x 2TB m.2 nvme SSD, 1x 2TB sata ssd.

TS-12
KVRian
574 posts since 24 Apr, 2008 from USA

Post Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:34 pm

syntonica wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:47 pm
Liero wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:19 pm
Btw the preset browser still totally chokes on any system once you start having tons of extra presets (and sample material). The indexing/caching system is clearly just badly written...
The problem with the preset browser is that some of the presets use upwards of 500Mb in samples and they are loaded when selected. I haven't checked, but I don't think there's a delay to keep the process from trying to happen when you step through them, thereby making it seem like you're slogging through molasses in wintertime when auditioning patches.

If you stick with, say, the hardware controller patches, they load very quickly because the waveform multi-samples used come in under 1Mb.

I don’t think sample size is the issue. Keyscape has large sample size patches, browser and patch switching is very snappy.

To prove this further, selecting Keyscape patches in omnisphere has slow / sluggish / laggy behavior
win10 x64. cubase 10 x64.
gigabyte z390 gaming x, i7-8700k, 32GB,
2x 2TB m.2 nvme SSD, 1x 2TB sata ssd.

User avatar
syntonica
KVRian
1258 posts since 25 Sep, 2014 from Specific Northwest

Post Wed Aug 25, 2021 7:13 pm

TS-12 wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:34 pm
syntonica wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:47 pm
Liero wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:19 pm
Btw the preset browser still totally chokes on any system once you start having tons of extra presets (and sample material). The indexing/caching system is clearly just badly written...
The problem with the preset browser is that some of the presets use upwards of 500Mb in samples and they are loaded when selected. I haven't checked, but I don't think there's a delay to keep the process from trying to happen when you step through them, thereby making it seem like you're slogging through molasses in wintertime when auditioning patches.

If you stick with, say, the hardware controller patches, they load very quickly because the waveform multi-samples used come in under 1Mb.

I don’t think sample size is the issue. Keyscape has large sample size patches, browser and patch switching is very snappy.

To prove this further, selecting Keyscape patches in omnisphere has slow / sluggish / laggy behavior
I've not experienced Keyscape, but my guess is that it streams samples from the hard disk and only initially loads a few megabytes. I have to sit and watch while Omni loads the entirety of its samples.

Either way, patch selection on Omni is a chore and a bore.

User avatar
LoveEnigma18
KVRAF

Topic Starter

4555 posts since 12 Jan, 2018

Post Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:16 pm

I agree. While the browser "looks" good, it is slow and boring indeed. Sound Match is the only saving grace. I also wish there was a preset "favoriting" system (like in Komplete Kontrol software, for example) rather than "ranking" system - not a major issue though.

legendCNCD
KVRian
1226 posts since 23 Sep, 2004 from Kocmoc

Post Thu Aug 26, 2021 8:40 am

I have quite a lot of expansions, and no chocking here... as said, only the large samples take loads of time to load when I click the preset. Neither on my friends hackintosh, so yeah maybe there are parts that should be recoded :)
Soft Knees - Demoscene - Live 10 - Diva - Omnisphere - Slate Digital VSX - TDR - Kush Audio - Fabfilter - PA - Valhalla - Fuse - Pulsar - NI - OekSound etc...

TS-12
KVRian
574 posts since 24 Apr, 2008 from USA

Post Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:22 am

legendCNCD wrote:
Thu Aug 26, 2021 8:40 am
I have quite a lot of expansions, and no chocking here... as said, only the large samples take loads of time to load when I click the preset. Neither on my friends hackintosh, so yeah maybe there are parts that should be recoded :)
can you record a quick video of selecting categories and presets in browser demonstrating how your omnisphere behaves ?
win10 x64. cubase 10 x64.
gigabyte z390 gaming x, i7-8700k, 32GB,
2x 2TB m.2 nvme SSD, 1x 2TB sata ssd.

noiseboyuk
KVRAF
3591 posts since 25 Jan, 2007

Post Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:57 am

I tend to find the browser is snappy right after a plugin update, but gets slower and slower over time afterwards.
http://www.guyrowland.co.uk
http://www.sound-on-screen.com
W10, i7 7820X, 64gb RAM, RME Babyface, 1050ti, PT 2019 Ultimate, Cubase Pro 10.5
MBP 2015 OSX 10.13.3 2.8ghz 16gb 1TB SSD

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
9470 posts since 12 May, 2008

Post Thu Aug 26, 2021 11:13 am

syntonica wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:47 pm
Liero wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:19 pm
Btw the preset browser still totally chokes on any system once you start having tons of extra presets (and sample material). The indexing/caching system is clearly just badly written...
The problem with the preset browser is that some of the presets use upwards of 500Mb in samples and they are loaded when selected. I haven't checked, but I don't think there's a delay to keep the process from trying to happen when you step through them, thereby making it seem like you're slogging through molasses in wintertime when auditioning patches.

If you stick with, say, the hardware controller patches, they load very quickly because the waveform multi-samples used come in under 1Mb.
This was not my experience. Sampled patches were snappy, but the patches using wavetables, like the hardware patches, were changing very slowly for me.

Liero
KVRian
1092 posts since 6 Mar, 2004

Post Fri Aug 27, 2021 4:05 am

There seems to be a lot of confusion around this.

To clarify: There's absolutely no reason a well-coded sampler/synth shouldn't maintain total UI-responsiveness while changing a patch or preset no matter how many petabytes of samples are actually called by the preset. The actual parameter data required for the switch of any virtual instrument is negligible by todays standards. You can load a preset near-instantly, which then can load samples in the background without causing any further lag if the code is for all that is written in a smart way. This just doesn't reliably happen with Omnisphere, and it has shown many signs of really bad coding practices throughout its lifecycle of which this is one clear example.

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