Spectrasonics has released Omni TR (Touch Remote) – a free app that’s designed to turn an iPad into a performance-oriented, remote control surface for Spectrasonics Omnisphere software synthesizer, running on a Mac or Windows PC.
Omni TR offers wireless two-way communication, multi-touch patch selection, remote browsing and editing of Patches and Multis, and an control feature called the Orb.
Omni TR is designed to be ideal onstage for live performance or even in the studio where the iPad sits at the controller keyboard located away from the studio computer.
Omni TR has 4 pages for different types of real-time control:
The Main page mirrors Omnisphere’s unique Live Mode, offering 8 patch slots with latching and trigger modes, individual mute and solo, and mixer faders. In this page alone, Omnisphere becomes a performance instrument with the iPad sitting at the user’s controller keyboard. Patch names can be simply touched to be enabled, one or more at a time for layers and stacks. Users can also browse and select Multis and Patches directly from the iPad to instantly change sounds for a new song or live set.
The Orb Page
Omni TR was designed to make the iPad the ideal control surface for Omnisphere’s new ‘Orb’ feature. The ‘Orb’ is both a sound manipulation tool and a performance interface — it can be thought of as a ‘circular controller.’ Now with a single gesture, the user can customize the sound in Omnisphere. The Orb automatically works with every patch a user has, there’s no setup necessary.
As the Orb moves and orbits around the concentric circles, it morphs between automatically generated parameter scenes in Omnisphere’s STEAM engine in a highly intelligent and musical manner, all patch dependent — manipulating the sound in subtle or radical ways appropriate to that particular patch.
If the user doesn’t like what the Orb has created, a complete new set of manipulations can be chosen by simply rolling the “Dice” button, which instantly creates a brand new group of intelligent sonic modifications and effects to try. There’s no limit to how many serendipitous sonic variations the Orb can create – opening up the vast power of the STEAM engine to every user, regardless of synthesis knowledge.
The tactile experience of moving the cursor around the Orb space on the iPad with a finger to create variations in the sound is remarkably musical. Where standard controllers might change one or two simple parameters in a linear manner, The Orb morphs a host of parameters that are patch specific, and easily changed on-the-fly.
Users can also Record their performance movements directly into the Orb and play the performance back in sync with their controller or host. The Orb’s movements and sonic results are saved within the patch, multi or the host’s session for later recall. The movement of the Orb can also be automated in the user’s host.
The Controls page features a touch-based pitch ribbon performance controller and 8 touch sliders assigned to groups of the most useful performance/editing parameters for each Omnisphere layer.
The Jumbo page shows large patch names on all 8 parts, easily seen in a live stage performance situation.
The Omni TR iPad app requires iOS 4.2 and works with Omnisphere 1.5 or newer on Mac OSX or Windows systems. Windows users must install Bonjour from Apple.