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Omnisphere 1

 My KVR
Synth (Hybrid) Plugin by Spectrasonics
No Longer Available

Omnisphere 1 has an average user rating of 4.40 from 5 reviews

Rate & Review Omnisphere 1

User Reviews by KVR Members for Omnisphere 1

Reviewed By Introspective [read all by] on 20th June 2012
Version reviewed: 1.5.6d on Mac.
Last edited by Introspective on 27th June 2012.
12 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I'm giving this a 10. Not because I'm a fanboy, but because it honestly deserves it. Read the bloody review before you say "not helpful" just because I gave it a 10.

Omnisphere is, in my opinion, one of the five best synthesizers ever created. Ever. Hard or soft. It's that good. I have owned it for about five years now, if memory serves, and I use it on pretty much every track I write (and, for the record, I tend to write Berlin School and IDM).

...Now, having said that, do you need it? It depends on what kind of music you write, really. It tends to have a very particular sound that, honestly, can get a little redundant. More accurately, it has a few sounds, and it definitely gravitates toward those sounds.

Hmmmn, this is actually a little hard to express. Obviously, Omnisphere is a very flexible synth! The collection of sounds Is decidedly diverse, and of extremely high quality. Of course, some sounds are "better" than others and some are certainly one-trick ponies... and the presets make use of those one tricks well enough, so you'll never use them yourself. And the modulation matrix is probably the best mod matrix you'll ever use: everything connects to everything (including, VERY usefully, the effects), and you get an incredible number of slots to work with (I have never run out), AND it's usefully visual, allowing you to alter param values right from the matrix: great touch

There are a few gravity wells of sound that you'll find yourself falling into with Omnisphere. ...Or, more accurately, that I find myself falling into: YMMV. One is a Virus-like arpy sound, created by modulating the start-time of a ROM setting. Omnisphere has a lot of superlative synth sounds, and they lend themselves to arps. ...And of course the built-in arpeggiator is (again) the best you'll ever have used. Omnisphere handles trance and Berlin School with finesse and style: if you write this type of music, you'll want to buy it, period. However, when you start applying delays and autofilters and built-in reverb to them, they will start to "sound like Omnisphere". The ability to modulate the attack to add noisy perks also ends up steering you toward a very Omnisphere-sounding noisy attack. There's something about it that is unique. It's great! Don't get me wrong... but it's identifiable and you may get sick of it (a little) eventually.

A word on these sounds, though: I own and use ElectraX, Largo, and Diva: they sound better at the sounds they make. Omnisphere has some great old synths, but Diva sounds fuller and richer because of it's exceptional filter. Omnisphere has GREAT digital bells and attack sounds, but ElextraX is edgier and more versatile with them. If Omnisphere has a comb filter (off the top of my head, I don't think it does), it can't compare to Largo's ability to sound metalic or plastic (which, sometimes, you want). I find that Omnisphere supersedes the other synths when you want something--bear with me, here--either milder or harsher than the other synths. For example, if I want a gentle arp sitting in the background, I'll reach for Omnisphere and dial up, say, a Farfisa sound and turn it into a pluck (which I highly recommend, BTW). Sounds great, doesn't hit the CPU too hard, easy to modulate with the Orb for variation over time. ...Or if I need a sound that's going to tear open the mix and rip it to shreds, I'll reach for Omnisphere again. Yes, the other three can do this, but IMO Omnisphere has a more compelling, rich capability of noise. There's just something that sits right about it. [shrug]

The second type of sound is, obviously, evolving pads. It's full of them, having grown out of Atmosphere. They're all incredibly usable, and--honestly--with all of the mod routings, you'll never run out of variations if you're a bold programmer. When I need a pad, the first synth I reach for is Omnisphere. Period. If you write pad-heavy ambient or the like, buy Omnisphere. You'll love it.

That said... :D ...I own and use both Absynth and Massive. I don't understand WHY (because of Omni's great mods, this shouldn't be the case), but Absynth is STILL better at "weird shit" that evolves dramatically over long periods of time. That said, Absynth lacks the ability to make you say "whoa" at the width and power of the sound being played. THAT said, the two of them stack very very well. ...And Massive has better real-time control, period. Being able to set real-time knobs to MULTIPLE destinations with custom depths makes it a keeper. It sounds very digital to my ear, but in a good way. The pads from massive are still some of my favorite pads ever, particularly when performed with the knobs.

Also, the IN-ability for Omnisphere to layer (easily) more than two oscs for a pad is a mark against it. Yes, you can set up a multi to get four or six or sixteen oscs... but that's a PITA and will devour CPU. I prefer Absynth and Massive's three (plus) oscs for layering up some complex pads.

The third kind of sound Omnisphere gravitates toward is those LUSCIOUS bells. You'll hear them all over the place, once you own Omnisphere, because THEY ARE AWESOME, and it's very, very hard not to use them. :) I'm addicted.

The fourth kind of sound is harder to pin down... but it's those "weird samples" that are characteristic of the synth, like the burning piano or the choirs or Tesla Coil or...or... well, when/if you own it, you'll see: they stand out. And like the bells, they are very cool... but also they are VERY characteristic. Painfully so... so much that I'm disinclined to use them, because they're the kind of sound really stands out, and everyone will be either saying "Whoa! Cool!" or "Totally copied from _this other song they heard that used the same sound_." [shrug] They're nice to have, but I feel like I would never actually use them, so it's a bit wasted. ...Does this make sense?

...Anyway, I stick by my original statement: Omnisphere is a top-five, all-time synth. If you're jazzed about synths for the sake of synths, you really need to own this. But if you're looking for a particular type of sound... listen to the demos. Repeatedly. ...Because you're going to end up sounding a lot like them. ...Don't get me wrong! These are world-class, top-notch sounds. Some of the best ever. ...but they are very... Omnisphere. I think "Omnisphere" is likely to be an adjective that sees more and more use over the years. :D ...Or perhaps "Spectrasonic", since Trilian tends to sound quite similar, too. ...Which leads me to believe (I don't own Trilian and haven't tried it) that it must have a lot to do with the effects. [shrug] ...The effects, BTW, are very, very good. It's like having Guitar Rig attached to your synth.

A few additional specific notes...

The filters on Omnisphere are really, really excellent. Lots (!) of variety and very good sound. "Juicy" in particular is wonderful (I think this is the impOSCar filter, honestly). They are not as good as the filter on Diva... but that's not saying much; nothing comes close. :D

The envelopes on Omnisphere are... good, but a little frustrating. I wish I could get a snappier attack, sometimes, and they seem to jump quickly from short to VERY VERY long... wish there were a little more control on the sliders, there. That said, the complex envelopes are better than (easier to use than) Absynth. Also, as I'm sure others have noted, many sounds come with slow attacks in the sample. This is, of course, easy enough to fix by moving the start time along the sample. Do it.

The "granular" aspect of Omnisphere is weak. I mean, it's useful! And it sounds nice... but it's not *really* granular and it's not very flexible. Ignore this as a feature, really: it's just a way to add a little motion to a pad, mostly.

The "Orb" feature of Omnisphere is INCREDIBLY AWESOME. Watch a video to see what I mean. This really is very, very useful; they cannot oversell it. ;)

Patch-management in Omnisphere is the best I have ever seen, hands-down. No contest. You will grow increasingly frustrated trying to use other synths because they can't handle patches this well. (Native Instruments, are you listening, you bastards?) It's insanely good. Don't underestimate the awesomeness of this feature.

The multi feature of Omnisphere is one of my favorite things about it. I load up one Omnisphere in a song and just patch the channels to other MIDI inputs... I actually don't think I've ever had two instances of Omnisphere in a single song, now that I think of it.

And, of course, Omnisphere is... heavy. It loads slowly, it changes patches slowly, and it has such a HUGE collection that it will take you a while to find what you want (and you will waste at least a week of your life simply going through the patches and rating them, I promise you).


In summary, Omnisphere would be my desert-island synth: I wound't hesitate to choose it. ...But if I were writing music on a desert island (inexplicably wired), my music would definitely smell of Omnisphere. That's probably not a bad thing, but depending on your situation and attitude, it may be something to consider. It is well worth the price tag: no three other VSTs are better-sounding or more capable, over-all.

Reviewed By Bladerunner1962 [read all by] on 28th November 2011
Version reviewed: 1.5 on Windows.
Last edited by Bladerunner1962 on 28th November 2011.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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This is for me the best, outstanding VSTi in comparison to all the other VSTi I have.
It comes very near to my expectations only loading a VSTi and directly playing/improvise live.
Also I'm very thankful for the presets switch midi learning.
Around 20% of the soundsets/patches are really great. What I'm missing are Piano/E-Piano/Strings/Orchestra/BrassGuitar sounds in the quality compared to the great Choir/Voice soundsets of Omnisphere. I don't need all this atmosphere/scene sounds for live playing.

The handling is in general very easy and intuitive.
In comparison to all the other VSTi the explorer functions are the very best. Here you have a lot of opportunities to select and sort your favourite sounds.
Improvement wishes to that: It's not possible to store in a DAW a specific soundset with a project. If you reopen a project Omnisphere starts with the start screen. You have always click each time manually through the explorer. This should be solved with the next update.

Absolutly great is the addtional Ipad App. The idea with the automatic circling arp/sound modification is outstanding!

The Multi Presets (incl. i.e. Arp, Voice) are very easy handling.
You can very easy experiment with the soundsets and genereate new Multis.
But: cause I'm a live player (improvising) I wish more Multis in the future from Spectrasonics according to Soul, Funk, Soul-Jazz, Jazz-Rock.
All these Techno-/Atmosphere Multis I don't need.

Omnisphere is a lot of fun for playing!
But, you have invest also more money in it in comparison to other VSTi.
I bought until now only Omnisphere. I know, the full fun and wishes I only receive, if I would buy also Stylus and Trilian. Then the package is complete. But that would causes another 600€ investment. So if you have invested for all 3 packages your very near to a hardware/synthesizer investment. In the future I'm sure, that I would do further invests in Spectrasonics, cause the principle/concept for me is great!
Reviewed By muLperi [read all by] on 17th December 2008
Version reviewed: newest on Mac.
Last edited by muLperi on 8th September 2014.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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Edit 8.9.2014.

Omnisphere is still one of my favourite synths (maybe favourite). Having used almost all the synths out there. Omnisphere hasn't aged single bit. It doesn't use CPU as much as many other synths out there now. Great 3rd party libraries. I have also started to appreciate more and more the easiness of building your own sounds. Very stable and good work horse.

EDIT 16.3.2011
Spectrasonics has released several updates that include hundreds of new presets and has dramativally improved Omnisphere. Also they offer control apps for iPhone and iPad for free! Really great service in my opinion.
And who knows what's still to come.

------------------------------

PROS
+ Lots of new and unique sounds
Well yes it does have 50 gigabytes of samples.
From that alone you should find many usable sounds.
Include very capable manipulation tools and you will definately have unique sounds.

+ Rich in features
Multi has 1-8 Parts
Multi has it's own "global" effects.
You can play Multi in several different ways.
Stack mode (split and layer parts), Live mode or just normal Multi
where every Part is assigned to it's own MIDI channel and you play one part at a time.

Part has 1-2 Layers
Every Part has it's own arpeggiator, effects, portamento control etc.

Layer has a Soundsource
Every Layer has 6 LFOs, envelopes, filters and stuff like that.
Soundsource can either be a sample file or virtual analog waveform.
So it has analog modelling synth also.

You can save your own Multis and Patches and share them easily.

+ Simple
Very simple to use and makes you want to craft your own sounds and really
get into the synthesis world also.



CONS
- Sample library almost too big (but not)
Installation took literally hours, about 6 of them. So be prepared. Hope I don't need to do that often.
Some ppl using laptops have to use external drives.
But nowadays I don't think it's such a big deal. Better lots than few.
Dunno if it could have been possible to fit them all in a smaller package.

- CPU intensive, long loading times
I have a Acer TravelMate 5720G laptop running Windows XP. Core2Duo at 2GHz and 2GB RAM.
I have been using Omni about month now, I think it has never crashed.
Many people have complained about it being unstable but not to me.
Only sometimes there has been strange peaks in sound.
Takes about 8 seconds to load the plugin. A bit slow startup and
loading big Multis can take up to about 10 seconds or so.
But I think this is acceptable considering the size of the samples and the whole plugin.

- It may be hard to find something really specific sound
I would love to have some kind of favourite-feature for sounds.
I think the browser is a bit over hyped, I almost never use those descriptive search parameters.
If I want to find kick drum, I will search "kick" and for some reason I don't find any.
Because ppl who made the search tags, were thinking differently.
Luckily you can also add your own tags and edit existing.

- No sample import
You cannot import your own samples at the time.
But Spectrasonics has said that they will not "rule that feature out" in the future updates.
And with all this content, it's not the first thing you'll probably miss.

- Bread and butter sounds
Doesn't have that many "normal" sounds like basic dry piano sound.
Some good guitars but then again, it's for new and unique sounds...



CONCLUSION
It's my "go-to-synth" at the time.
Omnisphere is definately not all-around, and not here to replace every other synths.
It's to get new and inspirational sounds, good making atmospheres
and ambient sounds. It does have good guitar samples and classic synth sounds also
and good analog modelling synth inside.
It's very simple and easy to use and good for live performances.
It has great amount of potential and with those tools and features,
I think factory Multis doesn't even show all what it can do.
I recommend if you have money to spend, if not, check also Camelaudio Alchemy.

Reviewed By erstwhile [read all by] on 28th October 2008
Version reviewed: 1.0.2 on Mac.
Last edited by erstwhile on 28th October 2008.
7 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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HISTORY: Omnisphere is developed by Spectrasonics, which is owned by Eric Persing, who produced Trilogy, Atmosphere, and Stylus RMX. The software is by the same guy that did the Crystal free synth. Omnisphere replaces Atmosphere, and is supported on Mac and Windows (VST, AU, RTAS, etc).

SOUND: The sound quality is outstanding. The company is owned by sound designers, not software geeks. They tried to cover virtually every kind of sound, so it includes pads, dance, noises, textures, cinematic, classic synth sounds, voices, etc. You cannot put your own sampled sounds into the instrument, but patches can be freely shared and added.

GUI: The Omnisphere GUI supports novice, intermediate, and advanced users. Users that are not too familiar with the instrument use the Main window. The Edit window reveals lots of detail for tweaking LFOs, Filters, and Envelopes. Finally, there are Zoom windows which go into super-detail about each audio component (Envelopes, Filters, Modulation Matrix).

LIVE PERFORMANCE: Before performing, you can load up to 8 patches, then while you are performing live you can instantly switch between the 8 parts with key switching. The Stack window is also unique: you can load 8 patches and gradually fade from one to another or to many at once.

SYNTHESIZER FEATURES: Ominsphere has all the standard features of a quality soft synth: LFOs, envelopes, modulation-routing, filters, arpeggiator. Tremendous care went into the GUI layout for these features. The modulation could be a very confusing feature, but in Omnisphere it is presented in a user-friendly way, with dynamic indication of the values. The envelope GUI lets the user choose between the traditional ADSR or a modern curve-segment based approach.0 And there is a Chaos feature, obviously inspired by RMX, to randomly modify the envelope in real time.

SEARCHING: Omnisphere solves the problem of: "How do I find one sound from thousands of sounds"? by using multiple-keyword searches, which are a quick way to find sounds with queries like "classic retro analog synth" or "human voice female gospel".

PHOTOGRAPHS: The photographs that illustrate each of the soundsources are very cool, and it fun to see what pictures will pop up for when you select sounds like "Pensive" or "Static Rainbow".

DOCS: The DVDs come with only a small pamphlet that focuses on the installation process. After you buy Omnisphere you can download an HTML manual. Most useful is the dozen video tutorials which are great (a picture is worth 1,000 words).

PATCHES and PRESETS: There are patches and multis. The multis are simply 8 patches or parts, just like in RMX. Each patch contains two layers. In each layer you can put a synth waveform (sine, saw, etc) or a sampled soundsource. Each layer has its own individual filters, oscilators, envelopes, effects. The number of patches are around 2,000 now, and Spectrasonics is building more continually. You must download from their website to get all the newest ones. if you take the combination of 2,000 patches times 2,000 soundsources, that is a total of 4,000,000 sounds you can quickly generate without touching a knob. Plus, every individual audio component (Osc, Filters, Arpegiators, Envelopes) has their own individual presets.

DEMOS: Spectrasonics does not have any demos for download, so you have to hunt around for user demos.

VALUE-FOR-MONEY: Omnisphere retails for $499, although if you already own Trilogy, Atmosphere, and RMX, then they discount the price to $149.

INSTALLATION: It comes on 6 DVDs, and installation took me about 2 hours total. It was a simple installation. It takes about 48 GB of disk space.

STABILITY: The software is very, very robust. I have not seen a single crash, and even finding small aesthetic glitches is very hard to do (I cannot think of one I have yet seen). It has clearly been through a lot of beta testing before sale.

STARTUP TIME: The initial version of Omnisphere (on the DVD) had some issues with startup times (ranging from 10 to 15 seconds) seconds, but that has been fixed in the latest software update (downloadable from the Spectrasonics website) reduced my load time to 4 seconds.

CPU REQUIREMENT: Some features in Omnisphere are CPU hogs: harmonics, unison, heavy effects (by the way, Omnisphere has the full complement of Effects that RMX had, plus a couple of new ones). This CPU usage issue is no different than other soft synths. If your CPU is substandard, you may have to avoid certain advanced features. The bottom line is that Omnisphere is state-of-the-art, and it demands a state-of-the-art computer.

CONCLUSION: A very powerful, high-quality instrument that combines the best of additive synths with sampled sounds. Easy to use for novices. The variety of sounds is nearly infinite. A good value.
Reviewed By Novata [read all by] on 17th October 2008
Version reviewed: 1.0.1e on Windows.
Last edited by Novata on 17th October 2008.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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Ok, so I get the privelage to review this synth first.

I will break this down into it's various components and then give my opinion on the whole synth.

1. Installation - When you get to install this beast, you will probably need to set aside a good four hours, depending on your DAW. It has a near 50GB library. It is easy to install, though I would recommend using internal storage preferably on a SATA drive. Once installed I recommend getting the update from Spectrasonics. There is an update button on the GUI. There are also the Atmosphere patches to install too.

2. Start up - This is quite a CPU intensive plugin, so it takes longer than your average synth to launch. Depending on your CPU, this could take up to 20 seconds, not good IMO. Hopefully this will be fixed. First launch requires the challenge/response licensing method.

3. Patches - There are 1000+ patches for instant use. These do not include the whole 50GB library either. So there are still a whole load of sounds that aren't used but are there for your own use. The patches are hugely diverse and range from a single layer synth to a dual layer sample based sound source. The categories are set into a perculiar hierarchy and not all patches are avaliable through this method. Not the most friendly function for patch searching even though you can do a manual search by typing in what you want. Though, this doesn't always get you the sounds you may be after. This could be better.

4. Sound quality - Overall, this is where Omnisphere wins. The sound that this synth can generate is very good indeed. Just load up the 'Tear your head off' patch (the first one) and play, then as you hold down the key, turn the Mod-wheel. Even without loading a sample into a layer, you can use the onboard oscillators to generate some fantastic analogue sounding patches.

5. Edit page - Beyond the simple view page and the visualiser there is the main edit page. This is the nuts and bolts of your patch creation. It has two layers, A and B. You can load a sample from the sound source library or you can use the synth mode whereby your sound is generated with the onboard oscillators. You can manipulate both in the same way and there are many ways to manipulate the sound. The modulation capabilities are extensive and can be assigned in many ways, up to 48 assignable mod settings per patch. For example, you can assign up to six LFO's to modulate the amp, filter, samplestart etc.. you can assign an LFO to another LFO if you want to vary it's speed or depth. You can change the velocity curve, the filter type and curve. Two filters per patch, HPF/LPF/BPF at different resolutions.
You then have the envelope section for which you can zoom into. This goes into the ADSR, Filter and four modulation envelopes for which you can draw your own curves or use the onboard selections. This is very easy to edit and very useful to change the whole shape of your sound. These are also assignable from the Modulation window.
There is graintable synthesis for sample sounds only, plus FM synthesis ring modulator wave shaping and multi. The multi has a unison mode or a fantastic harmonia mode whereby you can have an extra four oscillators per layer. Overall, the edit page is huge, deep and very user friendly. Amazing. 10/10.

6. Arpeggiator - This is very easy to use and has up to 32 steps for which the length, velocity, on/off on each can be set. The arpeggiator affects the entire patch, not just a layer. The speed can be set to only whole depths, for instance, 1/8 or 1/16th, you cannot set the speed to 1/8t or 1/16 .dot . The really amazing thing about the arp on this synth is the groove lock mode. Basically, if you have a midi file that runs over a bar or two, the arp will trigger on each note within that midi file, therefore it will change the style and feel of the arp to suit the rhythm of your song. This has been designed to work well with Stylus RMX. 9/10.

7. Multi mode - So, all the above can be applied to one patch for which you can have up to 8 in one Omnisphere instrument. This is where you realise the incredible power this synth has. You can have a basic stack mode whereby you play a note and 1 to 8 patches play at the same time. You can assign each patch to a different midi channel which is not stack mode.
In stack mode you can split the patches over the keyboard, or use a velocity crossfade or the modwheel crossfade. So, you can change the sound completely through the turn of your modwheel. Then you have live mode for which you can assign program changes to midi and then flick between patches on the fly or select multiple patches. 10/10

8. Effects - Each layer 1-4 fx, so each patch can have 1 to 12 fx. Plus multi has 4 aux*4fx and master out x 4fx. The effects are brilliant, ranging from chorus, delay, reverb, compressors distortion etc. Options are limitless. 10

Overall, this synth is incredible and takes a lifetime to explore. You won't be disappointed.

User Reviews of older versions

Reviewed By danbroad [read all by] on 10th June 2006
Version reviewed: 1.2 on Windows.
Last edited by danbroad on 18th June 2006.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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I reviewed Atmosphere on Patcharena after owning it for about six months, and gave it 4/5. I have now owned it for a few years and I'm going to give it top marks. Here's why I feel compelled to amend my initial thoughts.

Initially, my only complaint was that it was too professional, too polished, and stood out too much in my mix. Now computers, software and interfaces have come a long way, and I realise Atmosphere was just four years ahead of its time.

My Access Virus has taken over most of my VA duties, and with such a powerful synth I have taken to weeding my VST arsenal to those that can compete. Interestingly, my default setup is now all Spectrasonics.

I love its clean interface, and for me seeing this blue monster on the screen reassures me of its quality. The LFO sync 1.2 update really helped, too.

Sound quality is still second to none, and the presets are still amazing. Take any lead sound, add your choice of effect, and just play away. Eric Persing is a world class sound designer, and this synth shows that quality input results in quality output. The pads are especially good, and using the computer's power results in some sounds no waveform-based synth could produce. The strings and the ambience drones are still called upon weekly!

Features? Gets 9/10. The basis is still ROM, and as such you cannot alter basic waveforms or deviate too much from the base sound except using filters and simple LFO functions. It's more than compensation that the supplied sounds are so diverse and so impressive. The reason for 9/10 is the hope that any upcoming Atmosphere "2" will add RMX style 'chaos' and 'FX bus' sections.

Documentation has always been good, and this VSTi requires little in the way of manual page-turning once installed. Load a sound, play, eventually remember you're supposed to be recording something! Another issue is the Challenge/Response protection. The website is 24/7, and reinstalls are allowed indefinitely with a minimum of fuss. You feel that the whole setup is geared towards the jobbing professional, where downtime could mean lost revenue. If only all Challenge/Response setups were this simple.

Arguably expensive at £225, but three years of usefulness and more to come, with much lesser ROM based and synth based plugins in the same price range. I can think of a number of 'big name' plugs I feel are overpriced. This is underpriced [but don't tell Spectrum!] With even the benefit of hindsight, I'd pay as much or more for this as I did. And I'm sure Spectrasonics would be as reasonable with upgrade pricing as they were with RMX.

Reliable? This was the first VSTi I bought. I have, like us all, bought many since. Some I still use,but a lot I don't. And this synth has never, repeat never, crashed, blue screened, failed to load, lost registry keys or stalled my host; despite computer changes, hard drive formats, sequencer changovers. That's a 10/10 in my eyes.

No definite word on an update yet, but here's what I'd like to see: RMX style FX busses, more incredible presets, the ability to name your own presets, and the ability to layer more than two sounds. Perhaps even some tempo linked 'variphrase' style sounds from the 'Symphony of Voices' library, if that's at all possible!

Apart from that, this synth keeps getting more relevant to my musical needs. A thankyou to the Spectrasonics team!
Reviewed By CadeBryant [read all by] on 11th May 2005
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Atmosphere is an extremely useful and inspiring tool for just about any electronic composer/arranger......not only for new age and soundtracks and special effects (which Atmosphere is obviously well suited for), but also for pop, dance, and even classical.

Most of the sounds fall into the categories of evolving soundscapes, lush pads, bell tones, and complex unusual timbres that can be dreamy, spooky, trance-like, and eerie.

But one of the big surprises for me was the string patches: they are simply gorgeous, and they instantly inspire all kinds of melodic/harmonic ideas. you can get lost for hours sitting at your keyboard with the Cathedral Strings or Adagio Expressivo patches. Unlike most ROMpler/workstation generic string pads, these strings are actually good enough for classical arrangements! It's true that a "dedicated" orchestral library like GPO or EWQLSO Silver will give you more "realistic" sounds and a greater range of articulations........but those sounds, in all their pristine purity, don't "inspire" me to make music the way the Atmosphere strings do. You can really fatten up your orchestral arrangements by layering these sounds behind your "real" string parts.

My only real gripe is that, just as with Trilogy, some of the patches don't come with enough velocity sensitivity for my taste, and you have to manually adjust this to get it just right.
Reviewed By CynicalSmile [read all by] on 15th June 2004
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I've owned this for quite some time, and it's long overdue for the review it deserves.

In short, this is some of the best money I've ever spent. I don't understand when people say that this is overpriced...thousands of sounds and over 3 gig of info and presets for roughly $360.00...fantastic!! I paid over $600 for my Roland XV-5050 which has far less waveform content, and lacks the overall quality of the sounds in Atmosphere.

It's GUI is very elegant and just looking at it tells me I'm using something cool. Some may consider it a bit large, but I think it's perfect. When I have a GUI up I want to be able to see it. You can always minimize or close the window. I think it's far more annoying to have a GUI that is too small (Imposcar for example is a little too small for me).

The sounds are really, really, REALLY, good. Although it is a rompler, you do get to adjust some basic "synth" paramaters. Also, the ability to combine sounds to make your own patches is cool. It covers Atmospheric sounds really well "duh!" but surprisingly, it's not a one trick pony. It also features quite a selection of synth sounds sampled from your favorite big name hardware synths as well. Some basses are included as well, but are the most limited of the bunch. Pads, some fantastic strings, sweeps, and drones are the main focus of this product, and I couldn't think of anything Spectrasonics missed.

The presets are fantastic, and inspiring, which is what I look for in a rompler.

Now, my only couple of quibbles are....

1) No syncable LFOs yet. This was promised, and apparently still is, but instead of with the current engine (from my understanding it came to light that they can't achieve it with the current one) it is likely we'll receive it with a most likely "paid" upgrade to a newer version/engine.

2) Loads into RAM. I know, obvious right. BUT, if you are at all lacking in RAM keep in mind some of the larger patches can EASILY consume over 100 meg of your memory, and we're not even talking multiple instances yet. I don't particularly care that it doesn't stream from disk or anything, just something one of you guys may have a problem with. On the note of multiple instances though, Atmosphere has EXTREMELY LOW cpu usage...so load them up if you've got the RAM.

Basically, if I was forced (and I mean FORCED!) to whittle down my collection of VSTs, there's no way I would even consider putting this one on the chopping block. I think that says it all.
Reviewed By AnotherBob [read all by] on 27th March 2004
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Atmosphere is a collection of wonderful pads created by synthesizers and effects I could never afford. The number of patches is overwhelming but arranged logically into subfolders with names that give hint to their sound and source. The variety is great but tweaking of patches is limited. The UVI engine cannot perform a fraction of the synthesis functions used to create the sounds. Thus, Atmosphere is more like a simple Rompler than a synthesizer. In exchange for the limited editing of patches you gain CPU efficiency. Other VSTi’s can create patches that compete with the sound of Atmosphere but they do so at many times the CPU overload. The one thing that Atmosphere does need is lots of memory. Some of the samples are very large and Atmosphere does not use streaming. If you use many instances of Atmosphere then you will need in excess of 1 gig of memory. This should not present too much of a problem as you most likely will not be using many pads in one song.

User Interface - Looks nice but too large.
Sound - Absolutely wonderful.
Features - Not many to speak of unless you count all the synthesizers and effects units used to create the sounds.
Documentation - Just enough, supplemented by a Yahoo group and interaction with the developer.
Presets - More than you can keep up with, and they are great.
Customer Support - Hard to say without customer problems.
Value For The Money - Good, even for the expensive price.
Stability - Never crashes my system.

I would buy it again.
Reviewed By DevonB [read all by] on 8th January 2004
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows.
Last edited by DevonB on 8th January 2004.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Sweepy, dreamy, tinkly, rich, deep, I could go on forever describing what Atmosphere, and it's that and more. If there ever was a synth that was based on value for money in a per-usable-patch comparison, this has got to be the best $369 you could spend your hard earned cash on. While that price might be off-putting to some, it's a dream come true for those of us who lust after pads, and it delivers the goods. The one thing that would have been nice though is if the slow attacks on the sounds were not already incorperated into the sound themselves, and gave the end user the ability to adjust how fast the attack was would have been a very welcome addition. Also, we're still waiting on syncable LFO's, but still hoping the wait is coming to an end soon. So if you've ever dreamed of rich texture beds to lay your sonic works of art gently into, Atmosphere is the place to rest your dollars in.
Reviewed By Rabid [read all by] on 22nd December 2003
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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I have long been a fan of Roland ROMplers and was very excited when I heard that Eric Pershing was releasing a VSTi dedicated to pads. Since getting Atmosphere I am not disappointed. When buying this products you are not just getting samples and patches, you are getting a lot of extensive work done with a large variety of sound sources and effects. While the price of Atmosphere may seem high, consider the price of just renting all of the units used to create these sounds, not to mention the time involved.

Make no mistake, this unit is for pads. Long, lush pads. It can be used for other parts, but pads is the strong point. As with any ROMpler the danger here is when too many people use the same presets. You can mix and match combos of sounds, and edit those sounds within the VSTi, but it still comes down to the original sample. Some of these sounds are very good, and that makes a lot of people want to use them in their songs. Too often the evolving part of the sound is samples rather than synthesized with the VSTi so there is not really that much you can do to change the sound without a loss of quality. This is a very basic synth playing samples of some very nicely processed synths and effects.

As mentioned before, the LFO does not sync with MIDI. This is a major limitation when trying to do any sequenced effect. But, if you are creating these patches with a real Moog Modular or Oberheim SEM then you will also be without MIDI sync. What this lack of MIDI sync does is restrict the ways you can use Atmosphere. Even so, it is a great deal considering the usefulness and quality.

Pros:
Sound quality.
Sample quality.
Amount of detail in creating the samples that make up the patches.
Great use of effects in the sample creation process.

Cons:
Lack of LFO sync to MIDI.
Much of what makes up a fantastic sound is sampled rather than created with the synth engine. This makes for limited editing of patches.
Challenge Response copy protection.

Robert
Reviewed By kevvvvv [read all by] on 14th April 2003
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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Atmo ... in a word - quality

Many synths have lots of presets, but most of these seem thrown in there for good measure and only get in the way.

The result is lots of VSTIs with too many non-musical, awkward, jarring or odd sounds.

Not so with Atmo.

The presets are all musical, all carefully considered before they were included.

I haven't found a duff one yet.

So far, any preset I've picked at random and listened to has something in there that somebody's thought about in a musical way.

The detail is right.

V few synths can make that claim.

So that's what Atmo gives ... usable professional quality sounds ... ideal for pads.
Reviewed By endmusik [read all by] on 9th February 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on unspecified OS
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I have lusted after atmosphere since the first mini write up I read in Computer Music last year - yet I put off buying it.

It is absolutley stunning- the presets alone really define a great canvas of material to work with - and it works well in the mix ( sometimes I can be heavy handed with pads - but they seem to "flow" right into place for me with Atmosphere)

Overall - the tweakability of the patches is exaclty my speed - mix and match two layers, tweak envelopes on each patch, mix and pan each channel, and you can creat some truly astonishing hybrid atmospheres and effects - this is the first VST I've ever started saving patches for within a day of installing-

CPU load is ok on my Mac - watching voice counts is really a great way to keep the overload syndrome from happening- and any other idiosyncracies I have are due to my own not reading through the manual yet.

overall, this is by far the best single sound source I have tried for truly great rich sounds and textures - this paired with Absynth is a killer!

Customer support - haven't had to use it yet, and there are no updates yet - so we'll see.....
Reviewed By c_huelsbeck [read all by] on 26th January 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Virtual "Rompler" done right!

This is in my opinion the first virtual instrument plugin that in many ways easily outperforms it's hardware counterparts. First of all, it sounds just incredible. Originally intended to be the ultimate pad sound machine, it is now almost an allround "Dream Synth". The price may be a little steep for some hobby-ist, but considering the quality, size and effort that the developers put into the core library, I think it is justified.

The UVI engine performs quite well, the overall sound is transparent and fat. CPU usage is moderate and it has some of the best filters I've heard so far in the virtual intrument world. And don't make the mistake to see this plugin as a pure preset machine. Since you can layer 2 of the 1000 sounds and change quite a number of sound parameters for each layer, the sound creation possibilities are almost endless. The controls offered to manipulate the sounds behave also quite musically, means if you turn a knob, you get a "result" and not some abstract behaviour that I've seen in other plugins.

Envelopes are fast and flexible enough to shape the sounds into various directions, though I would like to see more than the 4 standard stages sometimes. Nice also that the voice allocation follows the standards set by hardware synths and gives held notes a higher priority. This is something that a lot of other soft synths and samplers don't do correctly.

+ Huge library
+ Quality sound
+ Layering concept
+ Musical behavior
+ Correct voice handling

- LFOs not syncable to host (planned for an update)
- Fast pitch bends sound stepped
- Challenge response copy-protection (though they allow unlimited installs)
- Price may be an issue
- Long installation procedure

(The installation procedure takes ages, since Atmosphere decodes and copies data from 6 CDs onto the harddrive and the progress bar moves very slowly. The first time I thought the computer crashed, so I started from scratch...)
Reviewed By luCiPHer [read all by] on 12th January 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by luCiPHer on 12th January 2003.
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This is the first Synth i am using that is really samplebased (i have Plex, but that's different).
And it was a Suprise.
It sounds just great. The sounds are mostly atmospheric, there ARE some Leads and basses and Stuff, but you can get better Synths or Samples for those, but when it comes to Pads and things like taht i think Atmosphere ist the best Thing i have ever owned.
There are TONS of Presets and you can easily create new ones in Minutes.

Things that are not so great:
the GUI: it simply TOO BIG!
Installation: it took me about 9 hours to install because my system crashed several times.
Reviewed By dandridge [read all by] on 7th December 2002
Version reviewed: 1.00 on Windows
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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There's been a lot of hype around this synth...maybemaybe too much hype. So, don't raise your hopes too high. The sound of Atmo is great. I believe a lot of time'n'energy has been devoted to sampling, processing and patch creation of this instrument. The interface is simple and well laid out although unnecessary large (maybe just to make it appeal more attractive or to save space for future enhancements).

There are however a couple of things I have to critisize. First of all although the core library seems to be huge and the abundance of presets is nearly overwhelming the variety is not as large as I expected it to be. Atmo is very focused (or you could also say rather limited) synth. It is very much centered around lush evolving soundscapes with long release times (there are a few other things of course).

Now, it's possible to programme your own patches around the core library and so to strech Atmo further. You can take a preset and change the filter and modulation settings. Or you can start from scratch by selecting an empty preset and selecting a patch (layer) for it. However this procedure deletes all the mod and filter settings you may have tweaked to the defaults set in that particular patch you just loaded. To get back your settings you must program the patch from start again every time you just set the layer to play a new sample. Ouch!

Personally I think the price of Atmo is slightly too high. Such great synths as Pro-53, Absynth and FM7, let alone Z3ta+ are much cheaper and I dare not say that Atmo would be more flexible or better sounding than those competitors. However some kind of 'Atmo Light' with at least half smaller sample library and price tag and less clumsy auditioning of the pure core sample library would be a great choice. As a lush soundscape synthesizer Atmo sounds absolutely great.
Reviewed By Mighty_Hero [read all by] on 6th December 2002
Version reviewed: current on Windows
Was it helpful to you? Yes No
Atmosphere is a real amazing package...I think for the million plus combinations you can have just with presets alone, then you can make your own and save them.....it is worth every penny!..I have a real keyboard that cost twice as much as this package did, but atmosphere would have to be about 10 of my keyboards in sound.
The GUI is straight forward, but the rack mount bars could be removed. the right out of the box sounds are out of this world.....I made a demo track in about 15 minutes.
there website pretty much says it all, the demos do it some justice, but atmosphere should be on everybody's arsenal list!
Reviewed By bluey [read all by] on 2nd December 2002
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I had high expections for Atmosphere and I have not been let down. As a fan of Distorted Reality and Bizzare Guiter, I had reservations that this may just be a rehash of these sounds, which is cleary not the case. Atmosphere can sit along side existing Spectrasonics sample CDs nicely.

The sheer number of sounds on offer is awesome and of very high quality and attention to detail. The initial press press release of Atmosphere gave the impression of an ambiant and pad system. While it does this well, the sounds available have more on offer and should be useable in any number of musical genres, though clearly it is the ambient and movie soundtrack field that I feel this will be used a lot. Expect Atmosphere to be coming to a cinema to you soon. Really this is no wild boast, considering the number of movie score producers on the manual and demo credits, and Eric Persings association with the "LA Movie Producer Elite".

However there are a few gripes though not really reflective of the score I am giving, and are really minor if nothing at all:

a) I would have prefered a little bit more vocal patches and different "Choir" sounds. But I am not not too bothered considering it excels in other areas.

b) The GUI is functionally well laid out, but why those two stupid bars and the top taking up screen space. A minimum mode should have been incorporated.

c) The Layering system is an important and usefull feature. But why stop there, it would be nice to specify keyzones and velocity ranges, as well as even more layers.

However Atmosphere surpasses everything. It offers the sounds I like for Tangerine Dream, Jarre, Eno, Sylvian, Glass etc type sounds and "atmospheres". The Interface is so clear to use functionaly to the sounds that it was not really necessary to read the manual.

I used it on both Logic 5.5 and Cubase SX windows. On Logic it crashed on Cubase SX it did not. I do not know why, nor did I care since I am crossing to SX anyway.

Bluey.
Reviewed By David Abraham [read all by] on 28th November 2002
Version reviewed: 1.00 on Windows.
Last edited by David Abraham Fenton on 30th November 2002.
Was it helpful to you? Yes No
DISCLAIMER: I Beta tested Atmosphere on Cubase SX/Windows and SONAR.

Atmosphere is the most incredible sounding synth I've ever played. I enjoy a number of great softsynths, but Atmosphere is the first one to give me way more than I wanted or expected, it's forcing me to grow musically, and I can't complain about not having the right, or enough sounds anymore. I'd say it tripled my expectations.

The sound is rich, bigger than life, and when wearing headphones I frequently get fooled into thinking my studio monitors are on, when they aren't.

The string ensembles...OMG what a suprise, the best strings ensembles I've ever played.

The number of sounds is stunning, almost too many! Basses, Synths, Pads, Strings, Ambient patches... I'll never get through all of these.

The interface is very clear and user-friendly. Well designed.

I was tempted to vote a 9 for features because I would prefer mult-timbrality...but I couldn't do that -everything else about the synth goes so far beyond my expecations that I have no choice but to give the product a perfect score.

As of now, The best synth in history...IMO :)
Reviewed By ahriakin [read all by] on 24th November 2002
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Initially I thought this would be a pretty expensive but probably indispensible addition to my setup (as I'm nuts about pads). I was wrong, it's not only indispensible it's an absolute beauty to use. It's one of those instruments you could just sit,play and get lost in within seconds. Each sound inspiring a whole new tune in your mind.
The sheer variety of instruments alone is staggering from ambient pads to strings to voice morphs, bass and literally hundreds of hybrids between. Couple that with the layering system and superb sound quality and , well, Im running out of superlatives, but you get the idea.

The interface is well designed, aesthetically pleasing, simple, yet quite powerful (For tweaking that is, since you are dealing with pre-recorded and not natively generated sounds).
The manual is short, but concise and clear. It takes all of 10 mins to read through it and know the Synth inside out (and I don't mean that in a bad way, anything that can get you playing without having to spend hours working out just how it works is fine by me).
Performance is also top notch. with relatively little CPU usage per instance - options are provided for saving memory/processing by enabling/disabling layers and 32/16bit sound, so it's quite flexible.
So far it has been 100% stable for me within Sonar 2.1 (utilising FxPansion's Wrapper 4.1), and that's with 11 instances all running at 32 bit (~40% cpu usage on an Athlon 2200, 700mb ram usage), coupled with a complex Dr008 drumtrack.

If I haven't made it clear so far, this is the best Synth I have ever used, in every dept. It's a wonder to use.
Reviewed By coldmachine [read all by] on 23rd November 2002
Version reviewed: 1.00 on Windows.
Last edited by coldmachine on 23rd November 2002.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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I've been using this for a week now and would say I know it pretty well.I've used hardware synths for years so found this very very simple to use.I haven't used the manual once other than to authorise.
Due to it being a sample player it has very low CPU overhead.It also means that it will stand or fall totally on the basis of the core wavetable.No worries here as it is fantastic.The sounds can be both generic and distinctive which makes for flexibility.With some of the more distinctive sound types I dont think you will say "oh thats Atmos" youre more likely to say "That sounds like the Waldorf Wave or a Jupiter 8 or what the hell is that",praise indeed.Sample start offset is a welcome inclusion as slow samples can be made to really snap and bite.Ditching an attack phase can render the sample totally different
Filters and enveopes are fine, with the facility to deselect filters not in use so reducing CPU load,as does layer deselection.The implementation of the master filter is also good.Modulation is functional rather than complex.The facility to sync lfos to clock needs adding at some point.Layers can be linked for simultaneous edit,always good.Overall the synth engine is very good and a breeze to edit.
What sets this baby apart is the core wavetable.If you want me to equate the "sound" I'd say it is highly Virus and Waldorf with a side order of Prophet/Jupiter.I mean that as praise as i own and use those machines every day.This machine can sound as full as the mighty "Wave" (also used as part of the core.). The presets are exellent but serve as a shop window,get in there and slap it around a bit,make it your own
Minor criticisms asside this really has raised the bar.Sounds great,simple to use,low overhead (memory asside)and stable as a rock.Eric intends to update and expand the core in future which will be great and a focus on the "harder" side will make this an even more lethal weapon.
Buy this baby now

Latest 5 reviews from a total of 5

Comments & Discussion for Spectrasonics Omnisphere 1

Discussion
Discussion: Active
slowdazzzle
slowdazzzle
19 December 2013 at 1:59am

@Introspective,.

You've owned Omnisphere for 5 years and don't know if it has a comb filter.??? And yet you claim to know all this other stuff about it???

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

adam2410
adam2410
25 January 2014 at 8:24am
JavaJ
JavaJ
10 February 2015 at 11:43pm

It shocking how little free patches there are for Omnisphere. So I will try uploading free ones I have been offering outside of my paid collection offerings. Also, check out www.worshipmusicians.org and the archive section for more free patches and resources. The Hillsong Omnisphere Sounds facebook group is also huge and growing- filled with lots of Omnisphere love so check it it out.

outofspace
outofspace
21 February 2015 at 5:28pm

thank you Omnisphere.

FLPhantom
FLPhantom
22 May 2016 at 12:40pm

I bought the Spectrasonics Omnisphere Software not long after it came out. We purchased several pieces of software around the same time and registered most of them (some of them, not at that time.) Here is the problem. I have the 6 DVD discs and the box and Serial Number, all intact almost brand new as the day I bought it. The serial number is directly printed on the Instruction Booklet.

Here is the problem. I do not remember registering this product. If we did, it was when I had 3 Studio Engineers working for us. One of them might have done so. However, there is no doubt I own the software. When I recently found this software, I went to install and register it. I tried registering the software, and the prompt says: "This Software is already Registered." So, then I try my 3 - 4 various emails that could have possibly been used, and all of those are "Unrecognized". The Registration will not go through, as it says the "Registration Email on File" is not on file. So, I tried to register it based on the Serial Number. It then tells me that the Registration Email has been notified and to go into that email to follow the Activation Process. Well, none of the 4 accounts that I could have / would have registered it on shows the email to activate the software.

I call in to Spectrasonics. I tell them the story. They will not tell me the email that is is "registered under". And, I assure them that I am the sole owner of this software product. And, if it WAS originally registered, it was done so in MY own studio where there were others working in my employment. The Support Person I am given could have not been more rude / accusatory.

She then tells me that I would need to go to prove my "ownership" via the original Purchase Receipt. That was in 2011! I go back through my records and find it from Thoroughbred Music. It was purchased for $479.00. But, when I called the store to get a reprint, they tell me they only keep records back from 2 years. And, they can not give me a printed record, only a Receipt Number. I called Spectrasonics back and offer the Receipt Number, but the girl tells me that will not do. My credit card receipt from that date, does not list the item I purchased, but only the PLACE from which I purchased.

Can anyone tell me HOW I can set up and USE this software AS THE OWNER of it, with the original BOX, ORIGINAL DVDS, INSTRUCTION MANUAL WITH the ACTUAL / ORIGINAL REGISTRATION NUMBER intact??? I am really disappointed in Spectrasonics. I spent almost $500 on this software and cannot even USE IT!

Thanks in advance.

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