Spectrasonics Unveils Hardware Synth Integration for Omnisphere 2.5

At Superbooth this morning, Spectrasonics announced a major update of its flagship software synthesizer, Omnisphere.

With version 2.5, Omnisphere becomes the first software synth to offer a Hardware Synth Integration feature, which transforms well-known hardware synthesizers into hands-on controllers for unlocking Omnisphere’s newly-expanded synthesis capabilities.

Hardware Synth Integration

The new feature bridges the physical experience gap between software and hardware, allowing users intuitive control along with the ability to easily create and modify Omnisphere sounds by using the familiar layout of their supported hardware synth with minimal setup.

The initial release will officially support over 20 popular hardware synthesizers from Moog, Dave Smith Instruments, Roland, Korg, Behringer, Novation, and Sequential, with more to come. The supported hardware synths cover a wide range of types and price ranges.

The new Hardware Synth Integration feature in v2.5 goes far beyond the typical “MIDI Learn” approaches that many software synthesizers employ.

Under the hood, Spectrasonics’ development team has designed unique “Hardware Profiles” for each supported hardware synthesizer, making the special features of that hardware work seamlessly with Omnisphere, translating MIDI messages from the hardware into satisfying sonic results in Omnisphere.

This new system allows Spectrasonics to enable sophisticated interactions from a single touch of a knob, including the ability for Omnisphere to automatically recall entire FX racks, assign multiple scaled parameters and even instantly create complex modulation matrix routings on-the-fly. The new development system also allows Spectrasonics to add new profiles for new hardware synths in the future.

Most importantly, it’s easy for musicians to use – simply by selecting the hardware synth from the drop-down HW menu.

Expanded Synthesis Capabilities

The new version 2.5 greatly expands the synthesis capabilities of Omnisphere by doubling Omnisphere’s voice architecture to Four Layers per patch. Each patch can now utilize up to 12 envelopes, 8 LFOs and the Modulation Matrix has been doubled to 48 modulation routings. Newly-designed State Variable Filters are included, which were specially created for the OB-6 hardware profile and can seamlessly blend between low-pass, notch and high-pass filter modes. Over 50 new “Analog” Oscillator Wavetables are included and featured in the new hardware profiles.

New Hardware Sound Library

Omnisphere 2.5 includes a new “Hardware Library” with hundreds of new patches created by Eric Persing and the renowned Spectrasonics Sound Development team using the Hardware Synth Integration feature. 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 new sounds feature a wide range of categories and many have a distinctly ‘classic analog’ flavor. The new sounds are available for all users, regardless of whether they use hardware or not.

“Since the beginning of computer-based music, the biggest limitation of software synthesizers has been the lack of physical interaction. It’s hard to beat the immediacy of a physical synthesizer that you can touch! We are very excited to be able to finally eliminate that problem by utilizing the world’s finest hardware synthesizers to fully control Omnisphere.” said Eric Persing, Creative Director of Spectrasonics. “We’ve never felt that the worlds of software and hardware synths should be segregated into different ‘camps’. Our virtual instrument users can now experience the joy of the hardware synth workflow and hardware synth users can now fully expand their capabilities into the vast sonic world of Omnisphere!”

Omnisphere v2.5 features:

  • Hardware Synth Integration
  • New Hardware Library adds hundreds of new patches for all users:
  • Over 13,000 Sounds total now included
  • Vastly Expanded Synthesis:
  • Four Layers per patch
  • Doubled Mod Matrix
  • New State Variable Filters
  • 8 LFOs, 12 Envelopes
  • FREE for all Omnisphere 2 users

Hardware Synths supported include:

  • Sequential Prophet 6
  • DSI OB-6
  • DSI Rev 2
  • Moog Voyager
  • Moog Little Phatty
  • Moog Sub Phatty
  • Moog Sub 37
  • Moog Subsequent 37
  • Korg Minilogue
  • Roland System 8
  • Roland System 1
  • Roland SE-02
  • Roland SH-01A
  • Roland JP-08
  • Roland JU-06
  • Roland JX-03
  • Roland VP-03
  • Novation Bassstation II
  • Novation Peak
  • Behringer Deepmind

* A complete list of new features and supported synths will be announced upon the official release in mid-Summer 2018.

Public Beta

The Omnisphere 2.5 update will initially be released in May 2018 as a Public Beta. All registered Omnisphere 2 users with Standard licenses are eligible to join the Public Beta test. Spectrasonics encourages end users to participate and provide feedback in the Public Beta test. The company says that users who give high quality testing/feedback reports in the Public Beta will be eligible to join the official Spectrasonics Beta Team for future products.

Eligible users can sign up for the 2.5 Public Beta program through their Spectrasonics User Account.

Pricing and Availability

Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2.5 is a free update to all registered Omnisphere 2 users. Public Beta starts later this month, with an official release in mid-summer 2018.

For more information, check out the Spectrasonics website.

18 thoughts on “Spectrasonics Unveils Hardware Synth Integration for Omnisphere 2.5

  1. Seems like an interesting idea… and Omniesphere is one of the main software programs I use. I just hope they add the main synth I will be using from now on to the list of compatiable synths (the forthcoming Waldorf Quantum.) In the mean time, I guess I’ll have to use my lowly Moog Sub 37 to test this with.

  2. On a more serious note this must qualify as the most bizarre idea from a
    UI and usability point of view. It is akin using the driving constructs of a car
    (driving wheel, pedals, gear shift, turn signs etc) to control an unrelated
    transportation machine (eg a submarine or airplane).

    What is the relationship between the controls of a hw synth designed around
    architecture A with the DIFFERENT architecture of Omnisphere?

    And how big a cognitive dissonance one will develop when turning a knob in
    synth X that does Y normally in the hardware, will do Z in Omni?

    1. Checked it out at Superbooth and have to disagree.

      They way that they’ve got it set up, every knob essentially does what you’d expect it to, and OmniSphere shows a UI that reflects the hardware.

      They’ve also got presets mapped for each hardware synth, so that you get Minimoog-style sounds by default with the Voyager.

      But OmniSphere doesn’t have the limitations of hardware, so it lets you play your Voyager polyphonically.

      And you’re not limited to their presets. There’s no reason you can’t take a Voyager preset, for example, and swap in a Oberheim filter.

      Spectrasonics had some massive monitors set up, and it all sounded really good to my ears. I know OmniSphere is supposed to be one of the best soft synths around, but their demo was still blowing my mind.

  3. Now all I need is a Prophet-6, Omnisphere and a SSD for it. About four thousand bucks? No problem! Make it five if I want to use a Prophet X. I think its another excellent idea from Eric, so let’s be patient and see where they invest their compatibility sweat next. I don’t expect them to rival MidiQuest’s list of covered synths, because we’re in a mid-line boutique situation for more serious players, but whew, its almost like something out of FUTURAMA.

  4. Not a heavy synth dude, but this totally speaks to me. I need dedicated, optimized knobs in my world. I hate programming Midi Controller X to work decently with Software Synth Y.

    This could work for me. The required laptop ain’t hard these days. Especially as I own a very knobby DeepMind-12, which I love 🙂

    I also own a bunch of Nords. I don’t think they’re going to be able to do a good job there, as the Nords are idiosyncratic. They go their own way.

  5. Brilliant! This is SO useful that it should be open-source for any soft synths 🙂 Yep, Nord Lead support would be great – specially the 3 for the UI feedback! Thanks Spectrasonics

  6. Glad I stuck to my system 8 purley out of my love for my Juno 106 model which replaced my vintage Juno 106. The system 8 has a ton of knobs/sliders and will be one of those very complete setups in this format. Its a better controller anyhow and it seems like a perfect marriage of hardware and software!

  7. +1 DSI Pro 2

    I think it is an excellent idea, makes me want to get Omnisphere! That way I can get into serious programming using the hardware I’m familiar with.

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