Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Tools for Synthesis: Spectrasonic's Omnisphere

I realize I'm a few months behind on the release of this product, but I've been so intrigued by it lately that I thought it deserved a post.

There's not much I can say here that video won't explain. Omnisphere is a follow up to the popular synthesis tool Atmosphere, a soft-synth that can be used in conjunction with your DAW as an RTAS plug-in. The new version boasts a huge library of foleyed sounds that, when put through the powerful "steam engine" (the name for their real time audio processor), makes some pretty out of this world textures. The program seeks to combine real-time processing of raw recorded sounds with modular synthesis techniques to create hybrid intruments like you've never heard.

For example, one of their sound designers recorded the sounds of an upright piano burning while he was playing it. He then hyper-sampled the sounds to a keyboard turning that one sound into a totally tonal, playable keyboard. Once you've built that keyboard, you can use the same key to trigger some synthesis tools, playing the synths and the "burning piano" at the same time.

Other features include an incredibly comprehensive arpeggiator, drum sounds for use with Stylus RMX, and mulitple synthesis tools. To name a few: Granular, Modular, FM, Waveshaping, Ring Mods, etc. etc.

The raw sound quality is just so clear and sharp, I have a feeling we will start hearing this tool in film and video game scores all over the place.

The price is high ($479.00 USD), but I must say it sounds better than any soft-synth i've ever heard before. I might be so inclined to buy the thing. If that happens, expect a lengthy review of the user interface to come.

Click here to view all of the other web-isodes detailing different aspects of the software. I highly recommend episode 3 that shows how they utilize Psychoacoustics to create some crazy sounds.

Click here to go to the product's main website.

Click here to buy the thing.