Controlling Omnisphere in Live Mode

Controlling Omnisphere in Live Mode

Omnisphere supports a mode where it can load several sounds simultaneously so that you can switch from one to another with no delay and with the ability to leave the old sound audible until you release all notes. Of course, Gig Performer’s Patch Persist™ facility makes it possible to do this with every plugin.

We generally don’t recommend using plugin specific features like this as there are several significant disadvantages.

1) It uses a significant amount of RAM that would otherwise be available if you were to use separate rackspaces for each Omnisphere sound and possibly leveraging Gig Performer’s Predictive Loading™ feature.

2) You will be unable to leverage rackspaces to switch from one set of plugins to another and instead you will have to instantiate all your other plugins inside a single rackspace and selectively mute/unmute them, adding to the RAM load

3) You will be unable to use Gig Performer’s ability to switch instantly from one set of plugins to another since you must remain in that same rackspace.

Nevertheless, if you are doing a Gig Performer vs Mainstage comparison or you’re coming to Gig Performer from some other audio plugin host such as Forte or Cantabile (welcome!) and you were using Omnisphere in live mode before, you may want to duplicate that mechanism temporarily to save some time until you become more familiar with Gig Performer’s rackspace approach.

The following steps will help to get you going. We will use host automation to turn on or off each sound as desired.

We assume that you are already familiar with the basic operation of both Omnisphere and Gig Performer and so we do not explain how to perform the actions below (see our User Manual for more information).

1) Create a new rackspace, insert an Omnisphere plugin and connect a MIDI In block to it so that you will be able to play sounds:

Omnisphere instance in Gig Performer

2) Open Omnisphere plugin editor and switch to its Live mode:

Spectrasonics Omnisphere Live Mode

3) Click the power button Spectrasonics Omnisphere Power Button and then click the settings button Spectrasonics Omnisphere Settings Button to configure the setup:

Spectrasonics Omnisphere Live Mode Settings

4) Make sure the four power buttons (MIDI CC, Program Change, Key Select, Stack Mode Note Regions) are off. Make sure that Mouse Select Mode is set to Latch. The settings of the other parameters are unimportant for this use case. Click the Settings button again to exit settings.

5) Now, for each slot, right click on the slot and select Enable Host Automation:

Spectrasonics Omnisphere Enable Host Automation

If you right-click again you should see that there is now an ID for host automation for the slot. Repeat this operation for every slot. You do not need to remember the Host Automation ID number:

Spectrasonics Omnisphere Host Automation ID

6) In Omnisphere, go to each part (1-8) and select the desired patch for that part. Then go back to Live mode and you should be able to see the parts you selected. I just selected four parts at random. Note that you could have done this step first, preselecting the sounds you want for each part or slot. At this point you may want to save your Omnisphere patch in the usual manner for future use (although Gig Performer should save the entire state anyway):

Spectrasonics Omnisphere Live Mode, select patches

7) Now go back to Gig Performer, switch to its front panel view and add four buttons to the panel:

Gig Performer, four buttons in its front panel

8) Now we are going to use Gig Performer’s standard Learn mechanism to associate these buttons with their respective Omnisphere parts. First, make sure you’re in Edit mode and select the first button:

Gig Performer, Edit Mode, Select button

Next, select the Omnisphere plugin from the dropdown box on the right:

Omnisphere plugin, Gig Performer, Learn Parameter

… and then press the Learn button:

Gig Performer, Omnisphere plugin, Learn button

At this point, the Omnisphere plugin editor window should pop back up to the front. Press the first slot. It will light up and Gig Performer will show that the host automation parameter has been learned.

Gig Performer, Omnisphere plugin, host automation parameter has been learned


Next, click the second button in the Gig Performer panel and then click the second part in Omnisphere. You’ll see that Gig Performer is now showing the host automation value for that next slot.

Gig Performer, Omnisphere plugin, host automation value for next slot

Repeat this for the rest of the buttons and then uncheck learn and switch out of Gig Performer Edit mode.

You should now see that as you click each button on or off in Gig Performer, the corresponding part in Omnisphere will turn on or off in sync.

Of course you can now associate those button widgets with MIDI controls, or use the Rig Manager to associate the appropriate aliases so that you can turn the sounds on or off from a MIDI controller. You can also create different variations where you have different combinations of those buttons enabled.


Related topics:
Clever ways to optimize your plugin usage
How do I get widgets to learn Omnisphere parameters
My go-to plugin list
What are the best plugins to get?

Scaling Curves

Scaling curves allow you to control the shape of the output of a widget or convert an incoming note velocity to a new velocity. Various predefined curves are available and they can be tweaked as necessary. You can also just draw your own curve as well to achieve the effect you require.


MIDI File Player Plugin

You can load up to 128 MIDI song files in a single plugin instance. Switch from one song to another, mute tracks and/or change their channel numbers. Tempo can be controlled by individual songs or you can use the global tempo and tap tempo to control the BPM interactively.


Favorites and Presets

Create a sound by placing and interconnecting your desired plugins, such as a synth, some effects and perhaps a mixer. Select them all and then save the selection as a named favorite. The favorite will subsequently show up in all plugin insert menus, making it easy for you to recreate that configuration whenever you need it again. This feature is also very powerful for creating your needed sounds on your studio computer and then transferring them to your touring laptop.


Probabilistic Sound Designer

Parameters you select in an open plugin are captured into the Probabilistic Sound Designer dialog window. When you click Randomize, you're only adjusting those selected parameters. Each entry in the PSD dialog has a curve but unlike widgets where the curve controls scaling, in the PSD the curves are used to define the probability of particular values being selected. Make sure the filter cutoff never gets too slow so as to block all sound. Perhaps adjust the max range of the VCA attack parameter so that the sound doesn't have too much delay. Constrain the octave ranges of the oscillators, perhaps ensuring that 1/3rd of the time we select 8' and 2/3rds of the time we select 4'. The possibilities are endless.


More Widgets

Numerous new widgets are included in Gig Performer - a new sustain pedal, plastic knobs, drum pads and more colored sliders. Shapes can be colored with different borders and fill colors and morphed from rectangular to circular. Your creativity is now the limit to creating fabulous front panels in Gig Performer.


MIDI Message Helper

Select MIDI devices by name. Choose the MIDI message type and adjust the appropriate parameters for the specific type



Layout management

Gig Performer supports arbitrary resizing. Layout your widgets the way you want - resize the main window and the widgets will grow or shrink as necessary to maintain the same interrelationships. No matter what size screen you have, your front panels will still be neat and usable.


Undo Support

If you move your widgets around and/or resize them, or even delete them by mistake, the Undo facility will correct your mistake. Minor moves to a widget by mistake will no longer spoil your design


Plugin Channel Count

Some plugins support a large number of outputs and they depend on the traditional channel strip to control how many ports should be available.   When you only need a stereo pair, it is convenient not to have a large horizontal block. In Gig Performer, the number of available ports  is controlled by the channel count override, which can be applied to individual plugins and will be remembered when the gigfile is reloaded or if the plugin is saved as a favorite.


Input muting and output fading

Rather than a single audio length tail, Gig Performer 4 gives you the ability to control input muting and output fading separately. Input muting controls how much time it takes for audio input to be silenced when you leave the rackspace. Output fading controls how much time will be taken for audio to fade out when you leave the rackspace.


Faster Plugin Finder

Instead of searching through menus of perhaps hundreds of plugins (you know who you are!), the Quick Plugin Finder makes it easy to find the plugin you need by simply typing partial strings. For example, as shown here, to find the Modartt Pianoteq 7 plugins, it's enough to type pia mod 7 (in any order, by the way)  to restrict the list of available plugins to those matching your query. The Quick Plugin Finder also knows about manufacturers, presets and favorites.



Touch Friendly Input

Any entry field can be changed by either dragging your mouse (or finger) up or down, or by using the large popup touchpad where you can just tap on the squares to enter a value. The large popup keypad also does validation so you can't enter an invalid value. You can also just tap the BPM field to pop up a larger view where you can quickly change tempo, tranpose, trigger Tap Tempo and enable Ableton Link, the last allowing you to synchronize Gig Performer with any other application that also supports Ableton Link.


New Tuner Display

The tuner view makes it easy for guitarists to quickly check and adjust their tuning. You can toggle into the tuner view from any other view and toggle right back as soon as you're done. All output will be silenced automatically while you're in tuning mode. You can adjust the concert reference pitch from its default of 440 Hz to suit your own needs. The tuner view fills the entire screen so you can easily see it from a distance.