Omnisphere2

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
KVRAF
9013 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:40 am

I'm not a big fan of Omnisphere 2. That's a purchase I'd take back. Why?

1. There are too many presets and the browser and tagging system are contrived. Why do we need 10,001 tags? That's what it feels like. And the presets themselves (you know, the important thing in a preset browser) are given the smallest amount of real estate on the browser screen. Why? Because the 100,001 different tags are given the full priority. And the tags themselves are sh*t. I'm sorry, I give the browsing experience a failing grade. I might forgive that if not for that my feelings that...

2. ...Programming Omnisphere is a completely joyless experience. You're constantly having to go into the "Zoom" views to edit parameters then back out of them, then switch between tabs to different layers. The layer approach is fine, other synths do it well, but it's not enjoyable to work with in Omni. I also don't feel like the filters sound particularly good and assigning modulations isn't as straightforward or fast as modern VSTi's (e.g. Hive, Pigments, Massive).

3. Even the FX rack is cumbersome. You've got part FX, aux FX at the part level, then global FX for the various parts...ugh...stop trying to be a multi-timbral everything synth when you don't do anything else very well.

It's like they got way into smelling their own farts when it came to Omnisphere being a super-synth with AMAZING presets and focused on all the wrong things IMO.

I do like their HW integration, if you happen to own one of those synths, that's a fun concept. Like having an alternate version of your synth ITB. And there are some great sounds in Omnisphere. I just really don't enjoy using it. It feels bloated and slow IMO. And clearly lots of others will disagree with me. That's completely fine. Just my own take on it.

Note: I really LOVE Keyscape. Much cleaner and enjoyable to work with - but that's because it's focused on doing one thing well and most of the time I'm just loading a Rhodes/Wurli/Piano sound then editing to taste. Not trying to program a synth patch, or browse for the sound I hear in my head (that's where Omni sucks for me).

KVRist
72 posts since 5 Sep, 2019

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:46 am

It´s expensive
But if you make money with it it's worth it
You got 14.000 Presets
lot of Sample sounds
full Paraphonie (every synth got its own filter selection)

so if you took Kontakt (399€ with 55 GB) ,Sampletank (€199 with 100GB) or Magix independence (299€ 70GB) they all cost 200$-400$ + without the synth

If you took a good synth with (Semi)-Paraphonie 200-300$ (Zebra, MSoundFactory,)

So yes it's too expensive if you think this way (specially since there is freeware like Surge )

KVRAF
6545 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:10 am

TBF in price comparisons, Komplete standard would be the NI equivalent. And Omni is not really omni without adding at least two more of their products to the cart to compare to that. So then the equivalent for NI would put it in the "Ultimate" realm when considering the complete Omni.
It still comes down to personal subjective tastes in sound and work flow for each of us.
The major thing that gets us all to balk at the price for Spectrasonics products has and continues to be the lack of the ability for first person demonstration.
Even the so-called online tutorials are 90% fluffery and most of us see right through that which counter-intuitively negates the sell rather than closes it.

Granted, either one of these choices lead down rabbit holes of bloat and unnecessary expense for what ultimately is reduced to a handful of sounds that the individual uses.
Being an "industry standard" or even a celebrity favorite is absolutely the first thing to dismiss in consideration of these products.

It's an unfortunate fact that to buy Omnisphere by being well informed of it requires many trips and hours to a B&M without the sales hype fluffers and cult testamonials trying to make the sell a faith-based pig-in-a-poke decision.

Until Spectrasonics addresses that, these threads will always be about that and equally will have the very same debates arising from them.

And the questions for either is first, what are your needs/wants from them, and not really if it's expensive, but if you can afford it to justify those wants/needs.

Of course, researching the best price and some cost-averaging from what you can eliminate and time-use deprecation can help that justification as well.

User avatar
KVRAF
20419 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:24 am

I think 'is it worth the cost' is a less useful question. First thing, set the money question aside, (and also peoples opinions) and look at the synth itself. For me, the sound is good quality, but the sounds I gravitate towards are not what Omni is particularly good at. I don't consider the workflow a positive feature. It is a bit clumsy for sound design. Over time I have moved more towards simpler synths with fast workflows and that is not Omni.

Omnisphere is something of an industry standard, but that does not mean it meets everyones needs or that there aren't other synths that suit someone better. Omni is not on my radar so whether $500 or $200, I'm not gonna buy it cause there are various other synths that suit my needs/interests better. So first look at the synth itself and what it offers that you will really use, then consider the price.

User avatar
KVRAF
16418 posts since 16 Sep, 2001 from Las Vegas,USA

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:39 am

Wait a minute this:
pdxindy wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:24 am
For me, the sound is good quality, but the sounds I gravitate towards are not what Omni is particularly good at. I don't consider the workflow a positive feature. It is a bit clumsy for sound design. Over time I have moved more towards simpler synths with fast workflows and that is not Omni.

Kind of conflicts with this:
pdxindy wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:24 am
Omni is not on my radar so whether $500 or $200, I'm not gonna buy it cause there are various other synths that suit my needs/interests better. So first look at the synth itself and what it offers that you will really use, then consider the price.
For example without a demo how could you deduce that the workflow is "clumsy" ?

Are you just basing everything on videos or ?
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

User avatar
KVRAF
20419 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:42 am

Teksonik wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:39 am

For example without a demo how could you deduce that the workflow is "clumsy" ?

Are you just basing everything on videos or ?
I've demo'ed it in the store... you know, stuff that used to happen before Covid :hihi:

User avatar
KVRAF
16418 posts since 16 Sep, 2001 from Las Vegas,USA

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 10:01 am

Ahh I see that explains it. I had forgotten all about actually leaving the house. :?
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

User avatar
KVRian
1336 posts since 6 May, 2005 from Michigan, USA

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 4:03 pm

LOL! Covid didn't really change things much for me in that regard, though...I would've had to drive at least 3 hours to find a store that might have had it to demo (not sure even then). I pretty much figured Omnisphere would be up my alley when it was announced, though, since I'd bought many of the Spectrasonics sample libraries back in the '90s (probably over $2K worth, a decent chunk of which content was incorporated into Omnisphere's core library) and had used Stylus RMX. When it comes to sample-based sound design, I just kinda like their style.
http://www.davidvector.com
New album, Chasing Fire, out now on Amazon, iTunes, etc.
Bandcamp: https://davidvector.bandcamp.com/releases

Banned
393 posts since 13 Jul, 2021

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 8:32 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:42 am
Teksonik wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:39 am

For example without a demo how could you deduce that the workflow is "clumsy" ?

Are you just basing everything on videos or ?
I've demo'ed it in the store... you know, stuff that used to happen before Covid :hihi:
What store?

User avatar
KVRAF
11369 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:25 pm

Funkybot's Evil Twin wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:40 am
2. ...Programming Omnisphere is a completely joyless experience. You're constantly having to go into the "Zoom" views to edit parameters then back out of them, then switch between tabs to different layers. The layer approach is fine, other synths do it well, but it's not enjoyable to work with in Omni. I also don't feel like the filters sound particularly good and assigning modulations isn't as straightforward or fast as modern VSTi's (e.g. Hive, Pigments, Massive).
Really? Right click and choose an assignment and then you get a pane to customize the settings of that assignment. I can’t imagine what could be more clear and simple. I find Omnisphere a joy to work with. Is the preset browser bad? I wouldn’t know. I used it a long time ago to check out a few dozen of their presets and then I never used it again. I just make a patch for the track I’m working on and it’s so fast to go from an initialized patch to something great that I’m frankly surprised anyone would care about the presets. (The one’s I’ve auditioned do sound really good, I must say.)
3. Even the FX rack is cumbersome. You've got part FX, aux FX at the part level, then global FX for the various parts...ugh...stop trying to be a multi-timbral everything synth when you don't do anything else very well.
You don’t have to use it that way if you choose not to, but frankly, being able to assign effects per voice, per part and per layer is fantastic. The synths you mention don’t have anything nearly as flexible. Hive and Pigments have their effects just tacked on as an afterthought and you might as well just run U-He or Arturia’s other effects plugins because they’re better.
I do like their HW integration, if you happen to own one of those synths, that's a fun concept. Like having an alternate version of your synth ITB. And there are some great sounds in Omnisphere. I just really don't enjoy using it. It feels bloated and slow IMO. And clearly lots of others will disagree with me. That's completely fine. Just my own take on it.

Note: I really LOVE Keyscape. Much cleaner and enjoyable to work with - but that's because it's focused on doing one thing well and most of the time I'm just loading a Rhodes/Wurli/Piano sound then editing to taste. Not trying to program a synth patch, or browse for the sound I hear in my head (that's where Omni sucks for me).
I wonder if you’re really programming Omnisphere 2 in the best way. If you’re not using the right-click-assign method, I could imagine it being cumbersome, but to me I can just fly around it very quickly. Probably doesn’t hurt that I’ve been using it since it was Atmosphere. Just forget the presets. They make them because the vast amount of people who buy software couldn’t program a sound to save their lives, and it’s really because they just aren’t interested. It’s actually a smart move, though maybe the browser could be better. I don’t really use it so I can’t say. I just love starting a patch and randomly clicking on the included sample library until I hear something that’s fascinating and then I’ll layer it with a wavetable, start modulating stuff (I do agree it could use some ZDF analog modeled filters) and toss in an effect or two, and I’m never disappointed.

The actual one thing I don’t like is how they implemented the hardware controller deal. It’s cool, until you decide you’d like your Prophet 6 patch to have a different wavetable and as soon as you try and change the wave index it switches back to the “Prophet 6” wavetable (which does not sound like a Prophet 6 at all.)
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

KVRAF
6545 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 10:32 pm

1&2 were the same MSRP.
(And the same price in the last two presidencies.)
Atmosphere was cheaper.
But I feel anyone who says it's worth $500 needs to confirm that they actually paid that. Or state what price really got them to buy it.

User avatar
KVRAF
9180 posts since 3 Feb, 2003 from Finland, Espoo

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:56 pm

zerocrossing wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:25 pm
3. Even the FX rack is cumbersome. You've got part FX, aux FX at the part level, then global FX for the various parts...ugh...stop trying to be a multi-timbral everything synth when you don't do anything else very well.
You don’t have to use it that way if you choose not to, but frankly, being able to assign effects per voice, per part and per layer is fantastic. The synths you mention don’t have anything nearly as flexible. Hive and Pigments have their effects just tacked on as an afterthought and you might as well just run U-He or Arturia’s other effects plugins because they’re better.
Totally agree with this.

I wish many more synths would integrate EFFECTS into the actual synth architecture itself, even per polyphonic voice! Especially Distortion/BitCrushing/EQ/notches/ring modulation etc.. stuff like this that usually gets put into the main filters, should be separate and would be awesome if they have full modulation capabilities without taking up the main filters. This would vastly increase the sound design potential of a synthesizer.

I'm really surprised that so few synthesizers over all these decades has done this. Camel Audio/Apple Alchemy is one of my favorites for this one reason alone. It has extreme flexibility when it comes to adding polyphonic basic "effects" within each voice. So awesome!
"Wisdom is wisdom, regardless of the idiot who said it." -an idiot

KVRist
81 posts since 10 Sep, 2015

Post Sun Oct 24, 2021 12:58 am

Giving advise to buy or not buy a softsynth is an almost impossible task. The reason is that specific needs and taste differs for every individual, and without knowing what that person really wants it's very hard to give advise.

I can only give my reasons to buy Omnisphere an example. First of all - I'm an old-timer that has grown up in a time a lot of music was highly experimental. Most time I was attracted to the style that's called KrautRock. Bands like Tangerine Dream, Guru Guru, Amon Duul, Nektar, but also bands like Gentle Giant where my heroes. Coming from that background you will understand that I like highly experimental and dreamlike sounds and patches.

Did I buy Omnisphere completlely blind? Of course not. I have watched many YouTube demonstrations (and also highly critical stuff) before I made a final decision. I can only recommend others to do the same. When one supplier in my country offered Omnisphere for € 333 I finally took the risk and bought it. And thanks to all the stuff I watched I knew exactly what I was getting, and was not disappointed in any way. That's not a "church" thing, but a result of a well-informed and weighted process that resulted in a final buy. Oh - And I also own HaLion 6 and Absynth, but that's another story.

In fact - Omnisphere was meeting my expectations on such a level, that I also bought Trilian and Stylus RMX (also, after watching and reading enough to make sure I would not be disappointed).

So - The only advise I can give for buying any softsynth (and especially expensive ones), is to take a good look around for (as objective as possible) reviews and things like YouTube demonstrations. Only the potential buyer can make the final decision if the package is worth the buy. For me it was, but for someone with other needs it could be a entirely different story.

KVRAF
5130 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Post Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:02 am

bmanic wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:56 pm
zerocrossing wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:25 pm
3. Even the FX rack is cumbersome. You've got part FX, aux FX at the part level, then global FX for the various parts...ugh...stop trying to be a multi-timbral everything synth when you don't do anything else very well.
You don’t have to use it that way if you choose not to, but frankly, being able to assign effects per voice, per part and per layer is fantastic. The synths you mention don’t have anything nearly as flexible. Hive and Pigments have their effects just tacked on as an afterthought and you might as well just run U-He or Arturia’s other effects plugins because they’re better.
Totally agree with this.

I wish many more synths would integrate EFFECTS into the actual synth architecture itself, even per polyphonic voice! Especially Distortion/BitCrushing/EQ/notches/ring modulation etc.. stuff like this that usually gets put into the main filters, should be separate and would be awesome if they have full modulation capabilities without taking up the main filters. This would vastly increase the sound design potential of a synthesizer.

I'm really surprised that so few synthesizers over all these decades has done this. Camel Audio/Apple Alchemy is one of my favorites for this one reason alone. It has extreme flexibility when it comes to adding polyphonic basic "effects" within each voice. So awesome!
It is not only this. As they said in the latest Q and A. All members of Spectrasonic are also musicians and not only programmers.
Omnisphere has it flaws (for me at least) but it is made for performance and with lots of musical thoughts behind. F.e.example there are not much synths where you right click and have also things like sustain, sostenuto and most of the performance parameters etc. as modulation source.
Even as a "bad" musician I see all the benefits here compared to a lot other synths.
Omnisphere was and is still simple to use and to tweak for performing and live tweaking sounds. But you also can go deep inside sound design if you like.
I mean I personally prefer some other synths over Omnisphere but I see why it has such a large market and is a success story and it will be in the future.
The folks at KVR might not be the right market anyway, maybe more the kind of people on V.I.Control which have no time to bitch about missing features but making money with such tools and time is money :)

User avatar
KVRAF
11369 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Sun Oct 24, 2021 7:00 am

Teksonik wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:39 am
Wait a minute this:
pdxindy wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:24 am
For me, the sound is good quality, but the sounds I gravitate towards are not what Omni is particularly good at. I don't consider the workflow a positive feature. It is a bit clumsy for sound design. Over time I have moved more towards simpler synths with fast workflows and that is not Omni.

Kind of conflicts with this:
pdxindy wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:24 am
Omni is not on my radar so whether $500 or $200, I'm not gonna buy it cause there are various other synths that suit my needs/interests better. So first look at the synth itself and what it offers that you will really use, then consider the price.
For example without a demo how could you deduce that the workflow is "clumsy" ?

Are you just basing everything on videos or ?
If you think Omnisphere is clumsy, you should spend some time in Falcon. :lol:

Think about it this way, you’re going to sit in your 1960 sports car and it’s going to fit you like a glove and everything is going to be familiar and intuitive. That’s Legend or RePro, which are awesome and if that’s the type of thing you gravitate to, then good for you. I more often than not gravitate to those as well.

But sometime you want a lot more than tooling around the English countryside. Maybe you want a vehicle that’ll be able to put satellites in orbit and repair the ISS. That’s going to be a different interface. Could some of it be intuitive? Sure, but because the options and capabilities are so much more vast than wheel angle, throttle, break, gearbox and steering, a lot of it is going to take time and training to learn.

Luckily, in this case, it’s not really as complex as all that, and Spectrasonics has lots of tutorial videos. I know I sound like a broken record, but the right-click-assign paradigm is very clean and efficient. Maybe it’s still not for you, but when I read that people find it hard to work with… I can’t believe they’re doing it right.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

Return to “Instruments”