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Omnisphere and Other Extensive Libraries - So many patches - What’s your process?

ReelToLogic

Still have my reel-to-reel
With VI’s/Synths that have a lot of patches, like Omnisphere (14,000 patches), many atmospheric libraries like eDNA Earth (over 1000 presets!), and even libraries like Albion One (with all the Brunel Loops and Steam Band sounds), I sometimes feel like I’m not doing them justice. When I’m looking for a sound in Omnisphere, I’ll use the category criteria to narrow it down and then start auditioning sounds until I find something that works and then stop. But maybe there is something much better and I just didn’t find it yet! I’ve tried setting aside time to just audition and rate Omnisphere’s “Pad” patches, but I’m only up to the “C’s” and there are probably hundreds more that I haven’t ever heard.

On a related note, I’m hesitant to purchase many third party Omnisphere patch libraries, even if the demo’s sound great, because I’ve only listened to a small fraction of all the patches that come with Omnisphere! Even if I’ve auditioned ~1,400 sounds (say), I tell myself; “you haven’t listened to 90% of the patches that come with Omnisphere and you’re buying more!?!?”.

I realize that this is a good “problem” to have - and I’m not complaining - rather I’m curious to hear how others address it. Do you ever spend time just auditioning patches for future reference or just do it when you need something and then stop? For libraries that don’t have a built-in rating system (like Omnisphere), what kind of notes do you take? When you buy a third party patch library, how do you know there isn’t something similar in the base product? I’ve mentioned Omnisphere a lot in this post, but this applies to lots synths and libraries like, ETHERA EVI 2.0, eDNA Earth, etc.
 

Guy Rowland

Senior Member
I never use ratings. I don't even really get the idea behind them. If going through patches cold, of course I like some more than others. But it's almost a meaningless exercise... there's no context. On a project I might be searching for absolutely anything - there are times when annoying sounds are right, when cheap and cheesy is right, when wildly over the top is right. If I only used the sounds I like in a cold browsing session, all I'd ever make is synth pop from 1982.

When I search, I'm usually trying to find things I haven't used before, even so I can be fatally drawn towards some beloved patches. For Omni I use the tags to get going, then may start editing... so many ways to go there. It's often good I find to get something that has SOMETHING about it I like, and then might do all sorts of stuff to change it to what I'm exactly looking for. A synth like Omni's strength is in its depth and diversity, the more I can move off my comfort zone the better.
 
OP
ReelToLogic

ReelToLogic

Still have my reel-to-reel
I never use ratings. I don't even really get the idea behind them. If going through patches cold, of course I like some more than others. But it's almost a meaningless exercise... there's no context. On a project I might be searching for absolutely anything - there are times when annoying sounds are right, when cheap and cheesy is right, when wildly over the top is right. If I only used the sounds I like in a cold browsing session, all I'd ever make is synth pop from 1982.

When I search, I'm usually trying to find things I haven't used before, even so I can be fatally drawn towards some beloved patches. For Omni I use the tags to get going, then may start editing... so many ways to go there. It's often good I find to get something that has SOMETHING about it I like, and then might do all sorts of stuff to change it to what I'm exactly looking for. A synth like Omni's strength is in its depth and diversity, the more I can move off my comfort zone the better.
I understand your comment about the ratings not being meaningful without context. I sometimes find that a patch that I rated poorly during a given session turns out to be a great option for another track because I was looking for something different. Even so, I still go through and audition patches to help identify ones that I really like and can imagine using in future compositions. Even though patches that I rate poorly might end up being good in another context, ones that I rate highly usually remain favorites.

I suppose if I was a better sound editor like Guy, I could create exactly what I wanted and I'd be less concerned about the presets. It still bothers me that I only ever listen to or use a small fraction of the available patches, and therefore feel like I'm likely missing something. Do others ever feel that way?
 
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holywilly

Active Member
I use rating to mark the sound I love, 5 stars for essential, 4 stars for good, 3 stars for potentials.

And I always open Omnisphere to play around the sounds that aren’t rated, if I find something good, I’ll rate them.

Last but not least, I always tweak the sound to suit particular projects.
 

Guavadude

New Member
There are a LOT of Omnisphere sounds that are great when demoing to sell the software but never work in a track. I use the ratings basically to thin the herd a little. I also use shift-click to mark my very favs and then use sort to view only those. Once I get something close, I use the "find similar" function and try to at least get in the ballpark before auditioning more patches.

Having some sort of controller setup for most used parameters in VIs can really speed up the dialing in process. I've started mapping my Virus C to control filters and ADSRs for my VIs and it's helped a lot.
 

michelsimons

Active Member
I often start with a certain type of sound that I am looking for in my head and browse through instrument presets using tags (if available). Once I find something that fits I don't look further. Are there better fitting presets in my collection? I am sure there are, but with the amount of stuff I have it's virtually impossible to know for sure that you have found the best possible sound for your song. I do prefer browsing through presets using tags, because it's easier to end up with a manageable collection of presets to audition. However, I have learned that these tags are often very subjective. My idea of "ambient" isn't necessarily the same as that of a developer.
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
one thing i'd like to see in Omni2 (maybe it's there and i don't know) is the ability to add your own tags/descriptors in addition to the rating system and filter by that (or by the pre-existing description)
 

StefanoM

Senior Sound Designer & Composer
Hi, my workflow it's simple, I create my Template, with all sounds pre-loaded which I choose from the Snapshot Presets. All sounds mean the best sounds which usually I use. Then I load 2 instances for load some sound on the fly or to create some new sounds. This is very useful also because when I have many instances loaded I can create interesting combinations and layerings. I have a Pre-Mixed sound, I Have the routing, I have the FX chains.

I do this with Ethera EVI, With Soundscapes and with Ethera Gold too, and of course with Omnisphere. I use the same workflow which usually I use with the Orchestral Libraries. I love layering Orchestral Elements to Hybrid Elements Like Ethera Series, or Omnisphere.

In This Video I Showed One of My Ethera Template.



Cheers
 
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keepitsimple

Active Member
Exploring Omnisphere can be overwhelming if you don't know in advance what you're looking for. Start with a category (playable textures etc...) and stick with the first sound that serves your project and don't worry about "missing out" on other sounds that could fit the track better because you'll never finish.

Use "find similar" on that patch.

Repeat.
 

oxo

Active Member
i am one of the crazy omnisphere users who listened to all (!) factory sounds (soundsources, patches, multis) + omnisphere moog library + all sounds of my third party omnisphere patches (the unfinished, etc.).
my system:
i work with the project function in omnisphere. i create my own project categories (my favorite style, mood, genre, etc.) and then sort the sounds in there.
 

GtrString

Active Member
I surf the sounds when I need something, and mark ratings to find starting points next time. But the process is pretty chaotic and fast, so I havent found a better way. I use a patch from Omni often, though. Maybe every 2 or 3rd track.

On thing I have found very useful is to dial back the presets, because most of them sounds over the top, and is too overwhelming to sit nicely in a track as is.

I won't need more patches, but perhaps different versions of the patches Omni already has, because it is sometimes difficult to imagine what the patches can become, when only hearing the full effected presets. Definitely takes some tweaking.

Here's a vid:
 
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OP
ReelToLogic

ReelToLogic

Still have my reel-to-reel
Thanks to you all for the insights, helpful tips and videos. I hope to have a good process in place before The Unfinished holds their annual summer sale....:)
 

TigerTheFrog

Amateur
I have the Komplete Kontrol NKS templates for Omnisphere from Freelance Soundlabs.
This makes Omnisphere like any NKS instrument--there are recorded sounds for every Omni preset. I can go through them really quick.

Granted it doesn't take long to load an Omni patch, but this is just turning a knob on my controller. You don't need a KK controller to use this template. It will work with any controller, as well as the arrow keys on a computer keyboard. The templates show in the User Presets part of KK.

If you do have a NI controller, then you can control many of the parameters of Omnisphere through the knobs.

Freelance Soundlabs also has tons of the other NKS templates for additional fees, including ones by PluginGuru, The Unfinished, Audiority, PlugHugger, etc.

When you look at the prices on the site, be aware that they are in Australian dollars.
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
I have the Komplete Kontrol NKS templates for Omnisphere from Freelance Soundlabs.
This makes Omnisphere like any NKS instrument--there are recorded sounds for every Omni preset. I can go through them really quick.

Granted it doesn't take long to load an Omni patch, but this is just turning a knob on my controller. You don't need a KK controller to use this template. It will work with any controller, as well as the arrow keys on a computer keyboard. The templates show in the User Presets part of KK.

If you do have a NI controller, then you can control many of the parameters of Omnisphere through the knobs.

Freelance Soundlabs also has tons of the other NKS templates for additional fees, including ones by PluginGuru, The Unfinished, Audiority, PlugHugger, etc.

When you look at the prices on the site, be aware that they are in Australian dollars.
worth the price in your opinion? Does seem nice - I do wonder if Spectrasonics will ever give Omnisphere/Keyscape NKS support 'naturally'.
 

TigerTheFrog

Amateur
worth the price in your opinion? Does seem nice - I do wonder if Spectrasonics will ever give Omnisphere/Keyscape NKS support 'naturally'.
To me they are well worth the price. But that depends on how useful you find NKS in general. I have FS NKS templates for Omnisphere, Keyscape, World Suite, and a few others. He has kept Omni up-to-date to 2.6. The one drawback with the FS templates that they don't include the lightguides.

Recently I bought two things for a total of $18.98 AUD. In US dollars, they were $13.82. It's always a happy surprise to see it's less than I expected.

Something tells me that Spectrasonics won't go NKS. Eric Persing is taking his own path.
 

DerGeist

Active Member
I normally don't uses preset patches because I'm a start at Init kind of guy but what I would like to see is an automated script built into a VST that would automatically play a short melody, switch to the next patch, play the melody, switch to the next patch... self playing patch auditioning. Granted, all patches would not be showcased well with a stock melody but it should it would work well enough for most.

I run it while pulling my hair out to figure out why <random product> isn't making any sound despite me having changed nothing.
 
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