We are excited to announce that version 2.6 of our flagship software synthesizer Omnisphere® is now available! Version 2.6 adds major new enhancements to Omnisphere’s Arpeggiator and dramatically expands the innovative Hardware Synth Integration feature with full support for over 65 Hardware Synths! The new update more than doubles the number of profiles and adds support for such iconic synths as the Roland Juno-106, Super Jupiter, Alesis Andromeda and the Roland D-50. The v2.6 update adds 600 brand new patches and is FREE for all registered Omnisphere 2 users.
Major Arpeggiator Update
Omnisphere’s renowned Arpeggiator has received a major update in v2.6 with all new creative tools, making it one of the most flexible arpeggiators ever. The many innovations include inspiring new Pattern Modes, Step Dividers, Pitch Slides and the unique ability to have altered Chord Voicings and Chord Inversions per step. Also included is a new Arpeggiator Preset Library that showcases all the creative possibilities. Best of all, Omnisphere 2.6 can now capture the MIDI data of the arpeggiator as a standard MIDI file, which can be dragged to any DAW for further editing!
Learn More About the 2.6 Arpeggiator
Expanded Hardware Synth Integration
Omnisphere’s ground-breaking Hardware Synth Integration feature bridges the physical experience gap between software and hardware, giving users intuitive control of Omnisphere by using the familiar layout of their hardware synth. With the new 2.6 release, many requested hardware synth profiles have been added, including support for over 65 popular hardware synthesizers from Moog®, Sequential®, Roland®, Korg®, Novation®, Nord®, Behringer®, Access®, Studiologic® and Yamaha®. The supported hardware synths cover a wide array of form factors and price ranges for different types of users.
Click here for complete list of supported synths!
Omnisphere 2.6 features a newly expanded “Hardware Library” with 600 new patches created by Eric Persing and our acclaimed Spectrasonics Sound Development team. Notably, the update takes Eric’s classic sound design work from the original 1987 Roland D-50 into completely new sonic territory with Omnisphere’s vast synthesis capabilities.
Pricing and Availability
Omnisphere 2.6 is available now as a FREE update for all registered Omnisphere 2 users!
Feb 03, 2011 Is this true? Just trying to sync an arpeggiated sound in Omnisphere with the tempo of my Logic project but can't find a sync button on the Arpeggiator page like the one in the LFO area on the Edit page.
How to get Omnisphere 2.6:
Current Omnisphere 2.5 users: Simply use the “Get Updates” feature on Omnisphere’s splash page!
Earlier Omnisphere 2 users: Download and install the 2.6 updates from your User Account.
Omnisphere 1 users: You can upgrade to v2.6 directly for the same standard upgrade price!
All specifications subject to change without notice. All trademarks are the property of their respective holders
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: https://soundbytesmag.net/omnisphere23review/
Omnisphere 2 Arpeggiator Clocks
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.
Sl1 serato, testing for 30 mins vs. Serato scratch live el capitan. SSL with SL1 on El Capitan DJ Marv the Maverick Thought that was so strange. Serato DJ will be compatible with El Sl1 serato soon.
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.
Omnisphere 2 Arpeggiator Clock Manual
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: