Join J. Scott Giaquinta for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring Synth mode, part of Learning Omnisphere 2.
- There's a lot to cover in Omni's oscillator section, so let's dive right in. As we discussed in a previous video, each patch has two layers, so we're just going to be working with the A layer here for simplicity's sake. A and B, let's just go back to A. The first thing I want to bring your attention to is you have the ability to either choose from a sample source which as had discussed before is where you can access Omni's extensive sample library or a DSP generated waveform which Spectrasonics has upgraded to an incredible 400 waveforms as opposed to the four or five that the first version had. So you can click either of these two buttons to get to either mode, so this is sample mode which we're not going to cover here, and then this is synth mode which is what we're going to be working in.
We're going to go to the expanded view here. The oscillator. So if you click here in the middle, you can choose from all the different waveforms, right? You'll notice the original ones here at the top. And then the new ones here down on the menus so let's go through some of these to see what they sound like. Let's start with this one, SawSquare Fat, and we'll just play through some of these. (beeping and buzzing of various pitch) And of course we can pick some of them from the menu too. Let's just go to, let's say overtones. (light beeping and buzzing) Now these two knobs analog and phase introduce inconsistencies into the waveform which makes them act more like a real vented synth.
So for example, with analog here, anything below 50% which is at 12 o' clock which is strait up and down, destabilizes the phase of the oscillator and anything above it destabilizes the pitch so I'm going to turn this up and just notice how the tuning starts to get a little wonky randomly. (beeping) Let's put it back in the middle there. And the phase knob's the right only has an audible effect when it's heard with another layer as in layer B which we won't have enabled right now so if we enable layer B and we pick the same waveform with the same settings and mess with the phase knob, you hear the difference.
So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go back to SawSquare Fat and let's get out of the expanded view here. And we're going to turn layer B on and we're going to pick the same waveform, SawSquare Fat. We have two layers playing at once. Watch what happens when I change the phase knob. (electronic buzzing) You can hear it actually start to phase. It's not actually a phase effect. What the phase knob does is it starts the cycle of the waveform in a different place. So let's turn layer B off and go back to our expanded view here.
And to the left are your oscillator tuning options. You have the ability to tune in semi tones with the core slider and synths with the other ones. So, got this menu. You can do up or down semi tones. Let's do an octave below. (buzz) Maybe two octaves. (low pitched buzzing) And of course you've got course and fine settings. (erratic buzzing) And if we want to set this back to the middle, we just hit command click. Of course our fine tuning. (buzzing) Now the tracking button, when it's on, simply tracks what key you're hitting on your controller and it plays the corresponding note.
So I'm going to play up and down the keyboard here. (ascending keyboard notes) (descending keyboard notes) And you'll notice that it tracks to the pitch of the key that I'm hitting. So if I turn this off, you'll notice that the notes are stationary. I'm playing the same notes by the way. (repeating keyboard note) Alright? (ascending keyboard notes) (descending keyboard notes) (repeating keyboard notes) Here on the right are the shaping controls. Now this first slider shape morphs the wave between the two waveforms. So for example we're on saw square here. So if I move this to the right, it goes form a square to a saw and you can see the waveform change in the middle, so pay attention to that.
(buzzing) Below that you have these two sliders, symmetry and hard sync, which gives you even more shaping control. Again, watch the waveform to see how these affect it. (buzzing) Now remember all these controls can be modulated by a number of sources. I'm going to be referring to modulation a lot in this course because it's super important to remember.
Okay, below that are three buttons which tell the waveform how to start. Sometimes you'll have these settings tweaked in a way where you get a pop at the beginning of each sound, and you can help eliminate this by clicking these two buttons which are the medium fade and the maximum fade in. And right now we don't actually have any settings. You're not hearing a pop so you won't really hear any difference, but if you do start getting a click, (buzzing) you can try adjusting these buttons here. (buzzing) Next are these six options here which are the oscillator's subpages. We've got FM, ring mod, wave shaper, which can be turned on independently of each other, and then unison, harmonia, and granular.
And only one of those three can be on at a time. So let's start with FM synthesis here at the beginning. Let's turn that on. Now FM stands for frequency modulation. This is a very common type of synthesis found on most modern synth, so. On the left you can choose from a standard list of waveforms. So right now we've got sine. But let's just choose, I don't know, a OB-8 PWM. Alright. You can adjust the frequency and the depth here, so I'm just going to play one note. (buzzing) Below that is the normal and boost buttons.
Now the normal setting you just heard. But boost basically sets the depth much higher which gives you a crazier sound, so let's switch that to boost. (buzzing) To the right here are the shape, symmetry, and hard sync sliders which are essentially the same controls we had on the main oscillator pitch. But they only apply to the waveform we're using to modulate with FM. So let's play with those. (erratic buzzing) You can see as I play with any of these controls here on the right that the waveform display changes accordingly on the left.
Now one last thing here at the top is the tracking button. If this is on, the FM oscillator tracks with the keyboard meaning it mirrors whatever key you're playing. If it's off, it's static. So let's try that. Again, I'm going to play up and down the keyboard. (ascending keyboard notes) Let's play those same notes. (ascending keyboard notes) Let's turn that off and jump right into the ring mod page. So ring mod works exactly the same way as FM does. You'll notice that it has all the same controls but instead of FM it uses ring modulation. So let's see what that sounds like. (soft buzzing) And of course we can change the waveform.
(erratic buzzing) (slow buzzing) Alright, moving right along. Next we have the waveshaper. Which as you can see, is very different than the last two subsections. So here on the left we have a crusher which basically just reduces the bitrate. (simplistic buzzing) Here in the middle is the shaper, and you have a depth slider which increases or decreases the amount as well as four different types, so let's play with that.
(various buzzing) To the right of that is a sample rate reducer. (buzzing) And the animation slider adds different character that changes over time. (soft buzzing) Here at the top are the wave shaper presets where you can load or save settings. Let's go through some of those. (deep buzzing) (buzzing) At the bottom on the left is a mixer slider which adjusts the wet dry amount.
(buzzing) And here in the middle is the routing of where the waveshaper happens. So if it's on oscillator, then the waveshaper happens right after the oscillator but before the filter and the amp sections. (ascending keyboard notes) So if it's on filter, then the waveshapers come on after the filer and so on. To the right of that is the gain slider which controls the amount of gain. If you have settings in the waveshaper that make your sound too loud or quiet, you can adjust this here.
(buzzing changes volume) Alright, let's move on to unison. Let's turn waveshaper off. Now again, I want to point out that these last three here, unison, harmonia, and granular work separately. You can't have them all on together. Not like FM, ring mod, or waveshaper. You can actually have those all on together. But these three are separate. Or they work separately. So let's turn unison on. And the first slider, which is depth, controls the amount of voices added. So all the way at the top is eight voices, which is the maximum amount of voices that unison adds, so let's play it with that.
(buzzing) Below that is spread, and this controls how those voices are spread out over the stereo field. So for example, if we have the depth all the way up, we have the spread slider all the way to the left, all eight voices are in the middle of the field. (buzzing) So if we start turning spread up, it starts to pan those eight voices out. (buzzing) Now the octave menu here specifies which octave the unison notes will be at. So if we put this all the way to plus one, all eight voices are spread out an octave above the root.
(buzzing) On the right we have our detuning slider, and let's put this back to zero here, which basically determines to what degree the unison notes will be detuned from the original oscillator. A little bit goes a long way I might add. (buzzing) Now these two buttons determine the range of the detuning. If it's set to fine, you have a smaller detune range. If it's set to course, it's much bigger. So let's just put this here.
(buzzing) Let's go to course. (buzzing) And lastly is the analog slider. This introduces anomalies into the pitch and phase of the oscillator. (buzzing) Drift simulates the movement that happens naturally in analog synths. (buzzing) And that slider controls how much of that you want.
Okay. Next we'll take a look at the harmonia section. Now this is one of my favorite parts of the oscillator because you can literally add four more oscillators and make some really really huge sounds. So you notice in the top left is a mix slider. This is just a wet dry control. (buzzing) To the right is the preset menu where you can load or save harmonia presets you made, and this is pretty standard stuff. We're not going to go through that. Now the quickest way to explain the rest of this is just to show you how these four identical rows work and I'm going to start with row one.
And you can turn the oscillator on and off with this button so we're just going to play with layer one here and you can see that the first one is tuned up a fifth which is seven semi tone. (buzzing) You got panning. (buzzing) Detuning. (buzzing) Let's add a second layer here. Let's do that an octave down. (deep buzzing) We'll add a third layer. We'll do that a fifth. (deep buzzing) We've got volume controls here.
And again, these buttons turn layers on and off. (buzzing) Let's do that up two octaves. (deep buzzing) To the right here, are the oscillator's shaping controls. Now if you look at this box to the far right, you'll notice that it says OSC. This means that that layer is using the same waveform as the one we have set in our main oscillator. Which in this instance is a saw tooth. So let's play with the shaving controls. (buzzing) And those three knobs you should already be familiar with as they're the same shaping controls that we've seen on the main oscillator pitch.
Alright, let's set these back to unity here. Or in unity it should be just be off. So one of the cool things about this section is if we want to make a layer a different waveform than the one we originally started with we can do that by choosing one from the menu here. Let's just turn these layers off here. Let me just show you what we've got. (buzzing) I'm actually going to tune this down an octave here or a couple octaves so you can hear. (deep buzzing) Or maybe that's a little much, let's try. (buzzing) Alright, so those are both playing our original waveform which as you can see here is our SawSquare Fat.
So let's go back in. Let's go back to harmonia and let's choose a different waveform for our second layer in harmonia. We'll just choose a pulse. (buzzing) Or we could choose something else. (buzzing) That's it for harmonia. So the very last option of the oscillator section is the granular section, but we're not going to dive into that one in this video since it deserves its very own video. You can however turn it on and off the same way you turn all the other modes on and off which is right here or with this button.
And that's it for the oscillator section. Now remember you still have a B layer that you can add with all the same controls and features, so between the two of those, you should be able to get some pretty beefy sounds.
- Navigating the Omnisphere header and multis
- Setting up automation
- Managing presets and patches
- Using the Orb to manipulate sounds
- Exploring the Synth and Sample modes
- Using filters, envelopes, and LFOs
- Using granular to mangle sounds
- Understanding the Arpeggiator
- Using Stack and Live mode
- Creating sounds from scratch