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Musicradar Omnisphere 2 Review

In parallel with building one of the most powerful synthesisers of all time, Omnisphere 2, Spectrasonics has also filled the last ten years with the creation of a similarly sizeable - if nowhere near as architecturally ambitious - instrument based on 'the largest selection of collector keyboards in the world'. Sep 29, 2018  Traveller for Omnisphere 2.5 by Triple Spiral Audio REVIEW. SAMPLE SOUND REVIEW A Music Industry blog that features virtual instrument reviews, audio plugin news,and shares the latest deals in composer tools. If you're an electronic musician, composer, hobbyist, audio software enthusiast, or music producer, please subscribe to Sample Sound Review.

  1. Musicradar Omnisphere 2 Review 2
  2. Musicradar Omnisphere 2 Review 2017
  3. Musicradar Omnisphere 2 Review 1

Are you interested in editing and producing your very own music? If the answer is yes, you’ll definitely want to check out the Omnisphere synth. It’ll provide you with the tools needed to perfect your music. Within this review, you’ll learn all about the synth and its features.

What Is It?

First and foremost, you should familiarize yourself with the basics of Omnisphere. The program is actually a virtual synthesizer. It can be used by an abundance of individuals, including producers, sound designers and composers.

Omnisphere 2.6 includes a stunning new “Hardware Library” with over 1,600 new patches created by Eric Persing and the renowned Spectrasonics Sound Development team. Each hardware profile has a corresponding set of sounds in the Hardware Library which were specially designed using that hardware synth as an Omnisphere controller. Omnisphere 2.6 includes a stunning new “Hardware Library” with over 1,600 new patches created by Eric Persing and the renowned Spectrasonics Sound Development team. Each hardware profile has a corresponding set of sounds in the Hardware Library which were specially designed using that hardware synth as an Omnisphere controller.

The software offers tons of synthesis options and a massive library of sounds. When using the Omnisphere synth, you’ll have little to no trouble getting the exact sound that you’re after.

File Import

In the past, it was impossible to import files into this software. That has been changed with the new release of the Omnisphere 2 synth. Now, it is possible for users to import their very own audio files into the sound engine.

This can be very beneficial for music producers. Once you’ve imported your audio files, you’ll be able to manipulate them utilizing an abundance of features. For instance, you can take advantage of granular synthesizers, filters and so much more.

Importing your files will prove to be very easy. You just need to use the Soundsource Browser. From there, you’ll have your files ready to go before you know it. It is possible to import files with a maximum 24-bit 192kHz resolution.

Included Sounds

Another great thing about the Omnisphere synth is the fact that it comes with tons of build-in sounds.

The instrument will provide you with more than 12,000 sounds. Many users will be completely satisfied with these sounds alone.

Once you’ve started messing around with this software, there is a good chance that you’re going to be mesmerized with the sounds available. You can literally spend hours and hours experimenting with these sounds.

The new software is roughly 20GB and most of that space is going to be consumed by these sounds. You can guarantee that you’re going to be impressed with the sounds provided!


If you’re going to be mixing and editing music, you’ll definitely want to play around with some special effects. The unfortunate truth is that many programs do not offer many special effects. The good news is that Omnisphere does.

This software is going to provide you with tons of special effects. The original software had plenty and Omnisphere 2 has even more.

The new version of the software includes a total of 58 modules. You’ll definitely want to experiment with the new distortion and amp modeling sound effects.

You will also receive vintage phasers, a chorus unit and so much more. If you’re a big fan of FX, you’ll love what Omnisphere has to offer. In fact, it is tough to find another software that offers so many amazing sound effects.

Upgrade Fee

If you used the previous version of the software, you’ll be happy to know that you can upgrade for a small fee.

The price is less than 300 bucks. It is also possible to buy the software straight out. Since Omnisphere 2 has been improved so extensively, you’ll definitely want to consider making the upgrade. It’ll prove to be well worth it and it’ll provide you with tons of new features to play around with.

Ease Of Use

Musicradar Omnisphere 2 Review 2

The truth of the matter is that many similar programs are difficult to understand. This is why you should check out Omnisphere 2.

The original software was amazing and the new one is even better. It is true that the software is downright extensive.

You’re probably going to have a tough time exploring all of the new features. In fact, you may never see everything that the software has to offer.

Nevertheless, the software is pretty straightforward. Once you’ve started using it, you’ll have no trouble figuring things out.

In fact, a lot of people won’t need to read tutorials or check out the software’s help section. The software’s user interface is pretty simplistic.

This ensures that everyone will be able to utilize this software even if they didn’t use the previous version.


  • A comprehensive upgrade
  • Far more synthesis options
  • Users can now import their own audio files
  • User interface is easier than ever
  • Tons of new FX options
  • Not too expensive


  • Might be too extensive for some users

Skip The Hassle And Download Omnisphere 2 For Free

There is no doubt that Omnisphere is pretty expensive.

With that being said, you don’t have to put up with the costs. In fact, you should know that cracked versions of the software are available and you should not hesitate to take full advantage of them.

Just check out this step by step guide and learn how to take advantage of it on your own! You’ll be glad that you did.

A flagship synthesizer gets updated with an improved arpeggiator and many more profiles for hardware integration.

by Rob Mitchell, May 2019

Omnisphere 2.6 features a new and improved arpeggiator and support for many more hardware synthesizers. Over 1,600 new patches have been added, it has over 500 DSP waveforms and it now includes over 14,000 sounds to choose from. Before I go into any depth on the new features in 2.6, I thought I’d briefly describe some basics of Omnisphere in case you are not familiar with it. Each patch (part) can have up to four layers, effects and a dedicated arp. For each layer, you can select between sample sources or waveforms for standard synthesis with optional unison or the Harmonia feature which multiplies each layer’s oscillator capabilities. The sample sources can also be manipulated with the synthesis features. You can easily copy and paste the settings between the layers. Several filter types are available with serial and parallel settings. There are 48 slots for setting up modulation in the mod matrix section, eight LFOs, twelve envelopes, waveshaping, ring modulation, FM and granular synthesis can further enhance your patches. A huge selection of effects are on board to give your patches just the right edginess or polish that they might need. A Multi is a higher level than the part that can use a combination of patches in different configurations with up to eight parts simultaneously. The re-sizable display makes it a joy to use on any size of monitor.

Omnisphere requires a 2.4 GHz or higher CPU and 8+ GB of RAM. For the PC it requires Windows 7 (or higher OS) 64-bit, and for the Mac you’ll need OS X 10.11 El Capitan (or higher). It works with AU, AAX, VST 2.4 compatible hosts and there is a standalone version.

This review will mainly lean towards what is new for version 2.6. Here is an earlier review we published for version 2.3 which covers some other details:


With the 2.6 update Spectrasonics has added eight additional pattern modes for the arpeggiator giving it a total of nineteen modes. Those modes include Chord, Up, Down, Up and Down, As Played, Stairs, Join, and many others. Here are three examples of some of the newer modes: The Join mode plays the low note, then the highest note, and continues alternating between notes until they reach each other (hence “join”) with the intervals between the notes closing in towards the middle. The Spread mode is similar to Join, but it works the other way around; alternating low and high, but this time gradually working their way outward (versus inward). The Stairs mode is a rising pattern which rises upward in a similar way to the shape of stairs: two notes upward and then one note down, and it continues that pattern repeatedly.

The three included Trigger modes will determine how and when the arp is restarted. The modes are Legato (the arp pattern continues as long as notes are played legato), Song Position (depends on the host settings) and Note (restarts pattern with each new note played). You can set up to a four octave range, change the speed of the arp, and adjust the length of the events you’ve configured in the arp. Other features include a swing amount control and a velocity slider. The velocity slider controls the balance between the step velocity settings in the pattern and the actual velocity of the keys that are played. To set the time value for the steps, you use the Clock setting. From there you may choose the timing value you’d like, such as 1/1, which would mean each step equals a quarter note, 1/2 equals a half note, and 1/4 is a quarter note, etc. Triplet and dotted settings are also included.

Each pattern can have up to 32 steps. To set the number of the steps, you just drag the small blue bar (below the sequence of numbers) until you have the desired amount. The button above of each step number will turn it on or off, or you can click above the button to set the velocity amount (drag up and down to set) and that will also enable the step. To transpose each step, you just click on the 0 (if you started with a blank arp setting) that’s above whichever step you want change.

When you click right above each step it will bring up a menu where you may select from a number of settings. These can be added per-step, and include Transpose, Slide, Chord voicings (with inversions!) and Hi or Lo. Hi ignores the arp and plays the highest note played for that step, and Lo does the same thing for the lowest note played. The Step Dividers will divide each step into various multiples of themselves (i.e. doubles, triples, etc.) and the velocity amount of each division can be set to rise or fall over time.

The new Capture function will grab the notes that you played along with any arp settings you are using at the same time. You can drag the file it generates to another track in your DAW for use with other synth/sampler plugins you may have. The length of the recording can be set to 1, 2, 4, 8 or 16 bars and it automatically starts with the first note you play. It worked perfectly for me when I tried it myself. This is how it looks after I dragged the recorded arp sequence over into my DAW:

Hardware Integration

One of the most exciting features added in version 2.5 was the hardware integration. It allows you to use your hardware synthesizer as a controller to interface with Omnisphere. It isn’t just a MIDI-learn type of setting, as it goes much deeper than that. Each profile is primed and ready to work specifically with that particular synthesizer. You can take the original synth’s sound (or at least a very close likeness of it) to new heights of creativity using the many modulation capabilities and effects available in Omnisphere. I mention a “close likeness” because the way this works depends on how the Spectrasonics programming wizards configured it for each synth. They went into great detail for each of them, and added some new features to make Omnisphere work in much the same way as the hardware.

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One such feature that was added in 2.6 is the Bias control. With this addition, it can match the same bias settings that the Roland D-50 synthesizer has. There are eight bias controls per part and you can set them to a certain key (the Bias Point) which affects the other keys above or below it in a linear fashion. It is similar to key tracking, but is more customizable and can be assigned to any of Omnisphere’s available modulation targets. A Left/Right setting lets you pick which side of the keyboard is affected on either side of the Bias point. The range of modulation can also be multiplied by 4 using the 4X button.

Most patches included use more than one layer per patch. Some will use a combination of samples in one layer along with Omnisphere’s powerful synthesis features in another layer. In this latest update, Omnisphere now includes support for over 60 hardware synthesizers and hundreds of new patches.

Here is the synth hardware support list at the time of my review (there may be others in the works).

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Even if you don’t have one of those hardware synths, you can still load the patches that were made to integrate with it and access the modeled waveforms and/or samples. For this part of the review I thought I’d cover my experiences while using the Moog Sub Phatty.

It’s very easy to get started. Up at the top of the GUI is a small button labeled HW. Clicking that will give you a menu with a long list of hardware profiles. For my setup, I chose Moog Sub Phatty from that list and it was smooth sailing after that. There are several patches to choose from in Omnisphere (under the category name of SPHAT) that you can tweak or you might want to start from scratch with just basic settings. The controls on the hardware work well with the software and I didn’t run into any issues. Say you want to switch the waveform for the LFO. No problem there. When you change it on the Sub Phatty it switches over to the same waveform in Omnisphere. The same goes for selecting the waveform type for the oscillator, and many others. If you change filter cutoff or the ADSR envelope settings, it automatically bounces you over to the correct display in Omnisphere and changes the corresponding setting.

I noticed that within the Default Sub Phatty patch (first patch when you load the profile) there is a Moog Modular Raw Triangle sample which is used in place of the sub-oscillator in the Sub Phatty. Turning up the sub-oscillator control on the Sub Phatty increases the level for the sample in the layer. The only issue I had with that is the Sub Phatty uses a square waveform for the sub-oscillator, but it still sounds good anyway. Another thing I noticed is that none of the patches in the SPHAT category use the modeled Sub Phatty waveforms in Omnisphere, but around 90% of the patches are using the modeled Moog Modular 4X Shapes wavetable instead. It seems they designed them that way because the regular Sub Phatty modeled waveforms only blend between two different shapes. The Modular 4X type can blend between the same (or at least very similar) waveform shapes that are available on the Sub Phatty, so in that way it is much closer to feel of the original. I know it is supposed to be in the likeness of the hardware and not an emulation of sorts, but I was a little surprised when I found a patch called “Yearning Chips” in the SPHAT category which uses none of the Moog labeled waveforms at all.

When I tried using the preset buttons located over the left side of Sub Phatty, I thought that maybe it would switch to similar sounding patches in Omnisphere, but it didn’t. Then I remembered that there is a part in the setup instructions that mentions for the preset buttons to work you have to assign them with the MIDI Program Change Learn function.

One other thing I wanted to test was using the hidden functions that the Sub Phatty has. The first one I tried was the filter slope setting. The results were a little strange, as I selected (in order) 6dB/octave, 12dB/octave, 18dB/octave and finally the classic Moog 4-pole 24dB/octave setting on the Sub Phatty. This is done by going into what they call Shift mode, and then you press the Bank 2 and Patch 1 buttons at the same time. Then you just press one of the four lowest keys (C, C#, D, D#) to change to one of the different slope settings I mentioned earlier. So what result did I get? When I pressed the low C key it changed to the HPF Power 24dB, C# gave me the Bandpass Power 24dB, the D key switched it to the LPF Power 12dB, and the D# changed it to the LPF Power 24dB. Anyway, C should have been 6dB/octave, C# normally changes it to 12dB/octave, D is for 18dB/octave slope, and D# is for the 4-pole 24dB/octave setting. Long story short, I ended up writing to Spectrasonics support. They promptly wrote me back that same day and told me the hidden functions of the Sub Phatty are not mapped out. I’m glad I reached out to them since it saved me lots of time and frustration. However, the fact that they are not mapped should be documented somewhere.

Musicradar Omnisphere 2 Review 2017

As for the other sounds that are available, the Roland D-50 patches hold a special place in my heart as I used the actual synth hardware while attending college. They had a D-50 in the music studio along with (among other items) some samplers, drum machines, many microphones and cords, a mixing console, patch bay and an Atari 1040ST. When I first heard the D-50 I was amazed by its sound and wanted to use it for nearly everything. The patches in the Omnisphere 2.6 update are very close to the original sounds you may remember from way back when, that is, if you’ve ever heard the real deal. Even if you didn’t use the D-50 yourself, it has been used in many movie and TV soundtracks, and major artists have featured it on their albums. It was definitely one popular synth, that’s for sure! Don’t get me wrong, there are many great patches from other synths included as well. I found myself returning to the Alesis Andromeda, Sequential OB-6, and Nord Wave patches more often than some of the others. I can’t imagine how much work Spectrasonics put in to create all the sampled sounds, modeled waveforms/wavetables and patches, as well as the hardware configuration settings. It must have been an enormous task, but I am sure it was a labor of love along the way. Hopefully they will have more releases for the hardware integration (along with additional patches, of course) down the road.


Musicradar Omnisphere 2 Review 1

I was very impressed by Omnisphere’s easy to use interface. Once I knew where everything was located (there is a small learning curve) it was easy to navigate to the various sections of the synth. It is very intuitive and a joy to work with. It is easily one of simplest to use (yet most powerful!) synths I have ever encountered. With that said, for such a small update (0.1 increment) it represents a huge undertaking in man-hours for the craftsmanship of preset design and hardware integration. The only improvements I can think of are the ability to use the arpeggiator as a mod source and maybe a few more options for the granular synthesis. Though I have never seen Omnisphere on any type of sale (unless I didn’t get the memo?), the updates are such a huge value that it easily makes the full price asked for well worth the cost. Well done Spectrasonics!

Omnisphere 2.6 retails for $499 USD you can get more info on Omnisphere here:

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