MAN CAVE, a grotesque of mid life crisis
Great Great Great Great Granddaughter of Yacht.
Premise 1: that greed is modulated by guilt – over the years I have ‘inherited’ much of the work of Spectrasonics in the form of AKAI CDs and such like, and ills in my life result from such wickedness which is in need of remittance.
Premise 2: for my extremely important and justifiable Sword and Sandals studies.
Therefore: Omnisphere 2: great great great great granddaughter of Yacht.
The alpha and omega of S&S; Mr. Persing, who programmed many of the sounds that made the D-50 and offspring, back with what can only be described as the far flung spawn of it – the D50 begat the JD800 begat the JV1080 begat the JV5080 (Yacht) begat the Fantom (Granddaughter of Yacht) and from its chunky blueness to its faux rackness to its sample layerness this is ANOTHER BOAT, pure and simple.
Compare it with the Camel. Alchemy, as all you Logic owners have just discovered, is a Russian doll, with the out-most doll being the 8 part XY pad that you slide your mouse about. Inside that it has odd kinds of synthesis, and four parts to it; samples are important but it is just as happy making its own synthetic twinkly-burbles. Alchemy is more like Absynth than Omnisphere, and compares to other European machinery. The Camel sample sets have complex, post modernist names like Zuxlit – Greenland and lots of glitching.
Persing has a different audience. They have worked their way through every Roland device and had a board meeting about each upgrade. Like MS Windows, the idea is to add features but make sure that backwards woosh sound that the client likes is still there – and it is. Omni has a lot of those ‘identity sounds’ in place. It has all of the previous Atmosphere in place. It has that sample you liked from Symphony of Voices. It has J8 samples. No one in the jingles department is going to have a flucky.
The synthesis section is also familiar and simple. Waveforms from warehouses of old machinery are provided – you can bend them about a la JP8080 – run them through familiar filters. Things like granules are extra sauce on the basic synthesis; it’s ‘do the simple thing’ then ‘tweak it’. So nothing like hand drawing frequency graphs or any of that.
The most interesting part of Omni are the effects. Innerspace is a convolution effect that imposes the sonic qualities of one sound on another, such as piano tones on a voice. There is a Quad Resonator that does metals and tubes. Thriftshop Speaker actually offers many speaker types, some are very curious. These are all means by which sounds can be moved from their natural source to a surreal place.
There are weird sources in there, mostly Diego’s odd hand built instruments. I’m not that excited about these as programmed – they are either raucous or innocuous and I will have to see about making my own versions before judging. But I’m just as likely to add my own samples – or am I? Because Omni is again like a Fantom in that multi-samples aren’t really supported (Alchemy does support multi samples). They say it’s not a sampler, it’s a synthesiser – but I reckon Omni 3 will have changes there. No, I’m most likely to treat this like my older yachts, as a closed map where I can practice economy.
Let’s sum it up. For all the promotion, Omnisphere 2 is a familiar thing. It is capable of strangeness but strangeness is not its primary goal. It doesn’t have a particular voice. If Alchemy is a thousand little glowing lights (as it seems to me) then this is bread and butter from an artisanal bread shop. You could make a full song on it, more likely a 30 second advert, which is what the yachts are all about. If you wanted the opposite spirit then a Blofeld would do that.
Rack handles? Seriously? I guess it’s like vinyl samples.
Try find a picture of Eric Persing frowning. You will not. He is infused with the glow of opulent hoarding and we can all learn something from that.
THIS TOY IS EASY TO USE
IT MAKES MANY UNUSUAL & COMPLEX SOUNDS
THE SOUND QUALITY IS EXCELLENT
IT WAS NOT CHEAP AND IS COMMON
ITS RATING IS CONVOLUTED
It was either this or a red car and I think I chose wisely.