Soundsources are based on a ‘map’ of audio samples stored in the Core Library of Omnisphere in Spectrasonics’ proprietary STEAM format. A Soundsource can be as simple as a single sample stretched across the keyboard range or as complex as hundreds of chromatically sampled, velocity-switched multi-samples – like you’d find in a modern sample library.
Omnisphere’s Core Library Soundsources vary dramatically in size – from a few kilobytes to over a gigabyte. Each Soundsource was carefully prepared and optimized by the Spectrasonics Sound Development team.
Larger and more complex Soundsources take a longer to load, but still load relatively quickly, since the STEAM Engine includes streaming technology to allow for playback of very large multisamples. Streaming allows for the samples to buffer off of the computer’s hard drive in realtime, instead of all of the samples having to be loaded into the computer’s RAM. In addition, Omnisphere’s sophisticated Progressive Loading allows sounds with thousands of samples to be played and auditioned while they are still being loaded.
Soundsources in Omnisphere are similar to using “programs” in a sampler, but there are some key differences:
- A Soundsource contains not only all of the raw samples, mapping information, such as pitch, velocity, zones, and loop points – but also Soundsource images, notes and tags.
- Soundsources do not include envelopes, filters, LFOs, FX or any modulation settings (those are stored in the Patch).
For this reason, you can load a new Soundsource into a Layer, without changing any of the Layer’s synthesis settings. This allows you to take any patch you like and create thousands of variations by simply changing the Soundsource.
Most importantly, the concept of Omnisphere is completely different than a typical sampler. Omnisphere is an incredibly deep synthesizer with a massive Core Library that will take a lifetime to explore.
The Factory Core Library of Omnisphere is almost 60Gb and includes more than 4800 Soundsources specifically designed for compatibility with STEAM engine synthesis. This massive library covers a wide spectrum of sounds, from simple raw waveforms to psychoacoustic samples, morphing textures, and a best-of selection from our award-winning sample libraries. The STEAM engine architecture allows Spectrasonics to expand Omnisphere with new Soundsources via a Satellite Instrument like Keyscape or Trilian. The User Audio import feature allows users to add their own audio and manipulate it by taking advantage of Omnisphere’s powerful synthesis capabilities.
Spectrasonics is constantly improving and adding to the Factory Soundsource Library, so make sure you stay up to date with the Smart Updates feature.