At Knobcon 2018, we talked with Spectrasonics product specialist Eddie Spinelli, who gave us a hands-on demo of hardware integration in Omnisphere 2.5.
Hardware Synth Integration transforms over 30 well-known hardware synthesizers into controllers that are deeply integrated with Omnisphere’s newly expanded synthesis capabilities.
Here’s the Omnisphere hardware recommendation video, mentioned in Spinelli’s demo:
Omnisphere 2.5 was originally introduced earlier this year by founder Eric Persing at Superbooth 2018, but it was released a few weeks ago. Here’s an in-depth demo from Persing at Superbooth:
For details on Omnisphere 2.5, see the Spectrasonics site.
10 thoughts on “Omnisphere 2.5 Hardware Integration Update At Knobcon 2018”
What a no-brained update!
Apparently there are still people using version 1, though!
Unless Spectrasonics is going to sell overlays for all those hardware synths I can’t imagine the experience of having Omnisphere mapped to a variety of different knob layouts being a positive one. Rather than making the software work with hardware interfaces for which it was not designed, why not just make Omnisphere Native Instruments NKS compatible? The NI Kontrol Series keyboards have nice displays with every knob clearly labeled. Perhaps I’m just a little bitter that development time went into mapping hardware that doesn’t match the software when a seemingly ideal interface was already available and waiting to be utilized. It seems like a glaring omission… Thankfully, there are third party NKS files from vendors like freelancesoundlabs.com and maschinepacks.com to fill the void although native NKS support from Spectrasonics would still be a very welcome addition.
Why would you need overlays for a hardware synth? All the controls are labelled and they’re assigned to the correct parameters on Omnisphere already. I’d prefer programming with a well laid out synth over a generic controller.
If the NI Kontrol MK2 controllers were just run of the mill generic keyboards I’d agree but the displays and tight integration with VST instruments and DAW control makes them superior, in my opinion, to the interface of a hardware synth for controlling a software like Omnisphere. There’s no way I’d want to use my hardware synths to control Omnisphere when my Kontrol S61 MK2 automatically pulls up and clearly labels all the parameters. I can drill down between categories of sounds and be able to see the names of all presets, listen to a short sound preview of the preset, and load it without even glancing at the computer. That same experience does not carry over nearly as fluidly when controlling Omnisphere with a hardware synth. I mentioned the overlays mostly in jest since it’s the closest a hardware synth could get to matching the clear layout of Omnisphere on the Kontrol MK2 keyboards. I suppose a lot of people will be happy to be able to control it from their hardware synths but there are certainly better options.
Are there enough buyers to justify it? That’s what the company has to be asking.
They also may not want to endorse a competitor’s standard.
When it comes to things like the Roland boutique series – you know they’re selling those by the truckload so it makes sense to support them.
And I’d expect Omnispere users to be much more likely to have multiple synths and some of the higher end gear. I’d love to have a Voyager set up with this.
Seems like they’re targeting on the market synths vs those out of production like Voyager. Don’t see a point. Komplete Kontrol is better. There’s a third party NKS library by Freelance Sound Labs, which is excellent. Also, I’m guessing they have some contracts with these manufacturers given the waveforms included by individual synths. That’s a great addition but they are variations of pure waveforms. So they’re close but not exact, obviously.
After reading some of these comments, I think there seems to be a bit of misconception/misunderstanding of the Omnisphere 2.5 Hardware Synth Integration feature.
For a more detailed explanation, I suggest you check out the full “Introducing Omnisphere 2.5” video on the YouTube channel.
James – thanks for the feedback.
I think there are a lot of Omnisphere users that are going to ‘get’ this right away and jump on it. But any time that you’re doing something that’s really original, there’s also going to be a lot of people that don’t get it right away.
From my perspective, that’s good feedback for Spectrasonics. Some people just don’t understand how this differs from ‘MIDI learn’, in spite a lot of coverage on sites like Synthtopia and Sonic State, and in spite of some great demos that you’ve done.
We’ll try to follow up with you and dig into this further. There is a growing ‘grey area’ between music hardware and software that can be a little confusing, so there’s a lot of opportunity for companies to help musicians figure this type of technology out.
PS: It was great to see you at Knobcon!
I was initially sceptical but actually now really like this feature. It’s actually two things:
1) Synth-specific mappings so you can use your synth’s controls to edit Omnisphere presets.
2) An approximate digital emulation of your hardware synth.
#1 is brilliant and works very well.
#2 is a bit of a gimmick IMO, I suppose they did it because they could, but in practice Omnisphere doesn’t really come close to emulating my Prophet Rev2.
So, is 2.5/2.6 just to allow you to use your analog synth as a MIDI controller? Or is it about layering the sounds? If they designed the software patches to add another layer of complexity to the hardware factory patches, this could be amazing but that doesn’t seem like the point, or am I missing it??