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Author Topic: Spectrasonics Omnisphere!!  (Read 8577 times)
elwoodblues1969
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« on: September 26, 2008, 05:13:01 AM »

In anticipation of my new Korg M50 & the Karma software,I began exploring the world of software products & needless to say,it's all very overwhelming for many reasons.
Most of the virtual synth software I came across was not cheap,typically in the 400 range-which is distressing-due in part to the fact that these items are not returnable,once thier opened-which surprised me. Shocked Embarrassed
Having found that out,I began to search for audio demos of software,but none existed in the product description pages of the music retailer sites I viewed..which seemed terribly counter-productive in terms of sales.

I then discovered the recent release of the Spectrasonics Omnisphere,which has a price tag of $479,which was a very scary prospect-in the event I did not like the performance of the software....however though,I located the website & listened to the user contest entries(songs),Namm coverage(Herbie Hancock was there,which was ultra cool! Cool) and I heard the most shocking and stunning synths sounds I had ever heard from any source.
In fact,I would say that alot of these sounds even rivaled the Kurzweil sounds....truly amazing stuff!!

Of course though,it's too large of a step into that world for me by far,in terms of any knowledge in this area,computer power & price!

I had read a review on Sweetwater.com about a guy who said that it's a 6 DVD set,which has been known to crash computers!
This particular guy though,has a 8 core MacPro...so clearly,my pc can't be anywhere near that software package-WOW! Shocked

I think I will just stick to the Karma software for a while to learn on,& then move onto something a bit larger & very gradually.

The Spectrasonics software is the official software behind the musical scores of the Bourne movies-that is just too cool!! Cool

http://www.spectrasonics.net/news/2007/bourne-ultimatum-features-the-sounds-of-spectrasonics/

http://www.spectrasonics.net/omnisphere_teaser/

Thom
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Moon
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2008, 06:10:48 AM »

Thom,

I have to warn you! Although softsynths have many features and are very apaeling, there are not many synths which sounds as good as those big hardware synths like Kurzweill, Virus,...

There are some stunning softsynths out there, but before you start buying any of them, please first experiment with demo versions or even better, free soft synths (e.g. Crystal).

I've used many software synth in the past, and to be honest, I've found myself using more of my hardware synths than softsynths. Of my softsynths there ar few which I keep using, being Sylent1 (a fantastic anlogue sounding synth), Rapture (of Cakewalk) and Z3ta+

There are many more softsynths to choose from and allthough they are cheaper than their hardware counterparts, you may find yourself spending more for less...

Moon
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folderol
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2008, 06:28:26 AM »

Please don't forget that there are also some very good open-source soft-synths {cough}ZynAddSubFX{cough} all of which have their strengths and weaknesses. There are also soundfont players - the quality of which depends on the particular soundfont sets you use.

I still use my elderly hardware kit (Mk1 Sound Canvas & Yamaha SY35) alongside these. choosing whatever combination gives the best result for what i want.

One combination that can give truly dramatic results is the use a hardware synth + a softsynth on exactly the same MIDI channel. When you do that, there is a few milliseconds delay between the two, which depending on which sounds you choose can add great richness and depth.
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Oren
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2008, 07:52:17 AM »

Please don't forget that there are also some very good open-source soft-synths {cough}ZynAddSubFX{cough} all of which have their strengths and weaknesses. There are also soundfont players - the quality of which depends on the particular soundfont sets you use.

After hearing Will with ZynAddSubFX,  Magmavander with Buzz Machines, and Kara with H.G. Fortune, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that free/inexpensive softsynths can match hardware synths and  expensive softsynths for sound and versatility. It all depends on the creativity and resourcefulness of the musician.
And what about all those Renoise jockeys? ............case closed Grin
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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2008, 03:48:14 PM »

Moon,

Even though I am dazzled by the Spectrasonics software,I am equally cautious about the software realm,especially since it's uncharted territory for me...plus,I am simply unwilling to pay $400 & up for software...I'd rather wait until the software gets old & significantly reduced...I had considered the "Atmosphere" version of Spectrasonics,but despite what thier website said,that software is discontinued & is not available anywhere.

I will certainly look into the free software,as I am sure that software will keep me busy-especially so,with having the Karma software also.

Thanks alot for the advice. Smiley

Thom
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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2008, 03:52:03 PM »

Will,

Your advice is equally useful & a very exciting prospect...thanks a mint! Smiley

Oren,

You bring up some very valid points Sir,much appreciated. Cheesy

Thom
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rharv
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2008, 09:35:20 PM »

I still pull the Crystal up occasionally; excellent free synth from Green Oaks I believe.

There are a few other good freebies I've found.  When you start experimenting with these, let me know and I'll post them somewhere..

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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2008, 11:25:19 PM »

Thanks Rharv. Cool
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kara
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2008, 08:37:45 AM »

Here are my 2 cents, based on around 20 years of synthesises.
A synth is a synth wether it is hardware or software... it is true that some hardware synth sound 'different' then software synths but it all depends on what you want as a sound.

Now, what I observe is that a lot of people in the real world and on forums,  judge synths on the preset that are delivered with it. A lot of people just use presets and when they are out of existing presets they say they need a new synth ! As a proof of that statement : I bought my Clavia G2X used from an established french artist, who had used it on 2 CD's of him and said that he needed new sounds for his next CD  Roll Eyes How stupid is that ? The G2X is a modular empty box where you can build your own synth's from scratch thus giving endless possibilities.

It's not about the tool, it's all about what you do with the tool.
I would advise, before you buy anything, learn how synthesises work. Take any synth you have (whether it is  hardware or software) study presets, understand how they are build and what happens when you change some parameters. Not only will you learn a lot but you'll be able also to build your own presets.
Believe me, once you understand the design of a typical subtractive synth, a new world will open for you. And I'm not even talking about the new possibilities with additive of FM synthesises....

Folderoll here is a very good sound designer with Zyn, why ? Because he knows that synth like it's pocket, but I'm sure he'll confirm that it took a long time to learn it. I know allso a thing or 2 about synthesis but it took around 20 to learn it, and I'm still learning  Grin
My first real hardware synth was a Roland SH101, it was pretty simple and easy to learn, but it gave me all the basics which i stil use when i design a sound. Even if you take the more complicated synths like Crystal (software) or a Nord modular (hardware) you'll still start from the same basics (OSC, ADSR, LFO, filter,....) and with more experience combine those elements and as a next step using more advanced techniques like modulation matrixes.

Moral of the story  Grin
If you want more sounds and 'your' sounds, you don't need a new synth, you'll need to learn how to program what you have.  Tongue
 

k

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Oren
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2008, 08:57:37 AM »

... it all depends on what you want as a sound.
... A lot of people just use presets and when they are out of existing presets they say they need a new synth !  How stupid is that ?

It's not about the tool, it's all about what you do with the tool.

....I would advise, before you buy anything, learn how synthesises work.
...If you want more sounds and 'your' sounds, you don't need a new synth, you'll need to learn how to program what you have.  Tongue

Now we're talking!
Same as the guy who "needs" a new guitar when he can't play the one he already has.
(...been there, done that Grin...)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2008, 08:59:51 AM by Oren » Logged

rharv
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2008, 12:02:22 PM »

Very true, Kara.  I learned synthesis structure on the Moog and Juno 106.  The moog was real VCA (voltage controlled, not digital), so the Juno was new world where presets could be created and saved.  Then the samplers came out, and I learned sound structure and looping there.  Knowing what each synth does is important too.  Superwave P8 is a softsynth that can emulate the older 80's synth sounds pretty well, and the controls.  Triangle II is ls another freebie that would be good to experiment with, it's a mono synth with basic controls.  Actually Triangle II and Superwave P8 would be better to learn on than the Crystal.  The Crystal is more complex, with pages of options on different tabs (windows) that affect other tabs, etc..  The other two synths mentioned are all in one window and better to learn on.
 However, since Thom owns that Alesis synth, I assume he knows the basics now. So any of these would be a fun and new experience in the softsynth world.
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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2008, 01:02:20 AM »

Kara,

I appreciate you taking the time to explain the many aspects of electronic synthesis,as it's very prudent.
However though,in reference to my two existing synths,I have taken the Alesis as far as it will go,& with my Triton-which I am intimate with very well...the only thing left for me to do,is to buy the Karma software for it.

The Kurzweil PC3 series(next to the Korg Oasys),is the most vast & in-depth synthesizer I have ever seen & plus,one of the main functions of the PC3,is that it's a midi controller. Cool
All this being said,once I get the PC3,I honestly don't think I will ever exhaust all of the sound creation possiblities,as it's virtually endless. Shocked

It's about time I cleared my plate and focus all my efforts into obtaining this one crucial piece of gear.

Moon is right; if I get the Korg M50,I will be digressing backwards-because unlike my Triton,the M50 is ultimately just an entry level keyboard.

The M50 may have some decent electronic sounds that maybe my Triton does not have,but the acoustic programs on the M50 are nothing special,particularly the piano sounds.

-Thom
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2008, 06:54:43 PM »

Back to Omnisphere. There's a lot of hype around this software synth. It's worth having a look it at. If anyone should get this one (or try this one out, I would be very interested to hear your opinion about it.

Moon
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folderol
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2008, 07:53:15 PM »

Late to the party - again Smiley

I very much agree with Kara, but would add that although there are a limited number of ways a sound can be created there are a lot more ways this process can be represented. One of the reasons I like Zyn. so much is that the guy who created it seems to visualise sound in a very similar way to me. So, although it has taken me a long time to develop the sounds I have, I've always felt 'in control' of what I am doing (even when later I've realised there was even more depth than I thought).

I think that with any instrument, whether it be 'real' or synth you need to just go with whatever feels most comfortable to use. If you feel good, you'll sound good Wink
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If you have a poem, I have a tune, and we exchange these, we can both have a poem, a tune, and a song.
- Will
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