To control Omnisphere using the OB-6, you’ll need to do the following:
- Using a USB cable, connect the OB-6 to your computer
- Verify that your OB-6 is transmitting MIDI through USB
- Set up the front panel controls to NRPN mode
- Enable the OB-6 as a MIDI input device to Omnisphere in the host software you’re using (DAW, Standalone, etc.)
- Activate the OB-6 Hardware Profile in Omnisphere 2.5 or higher
MIDI OUTPUT SETUP
To make sure the controls in your OB-6 transmit MIDI through USB, press the GLOBALS button so the red LED is ON. Press the program selector button  and then use the BANK and TENS buttons to scroll forward and backward through parameter settings until the display reads USb to output MIDI only over USB or btH to output MIDI over USB and the MIDI out port. Once you are done, press the GLOBALS button twice to exit.
ENABLE NRPN MODE
Set the controls on your OB-6 to send MIDI as NRPNs by pressing the GLOBALS button so the red LED is ON. Press the program selector button  and then use the TENS button to scroll forward until the display reads nr. Once you are done, press the GLOBALS button twice to exit.
Open your host (DAW, Standalone, etc.) and make sure the OB-6 is enabled as a MIDI input device.
|Omnisphere Standalone||Pro Tools|
Open Omnisphere and from the header select the HW menu button:
From the drop-down menu, select “Dave Smith OB-6” to activate that hardware profile.
The OB-6 is not only a great synth, but it’s also a fantastic controller for Omnisphere! In designing this hardware profile, we made decisions to achieve a balance between being faithful to how the OB-6 works and using its panel creatively to make the most of it for controlling Omnisphere. This means that some controls do special functions that expand the capabilities of the hardware. Here’s a quick overview of how we set up this profile:
VCO 1 affects Layer A.
VCO 2 affects Layer B.
Moving the SHAPE and PULSE WIDTH knobs will automatically load specific wavetables in the corresponding layers. These wavetables were designed after OB-6 waveforms.
The SUB OCTAVE knob affects Layer C level and automatically loads a wavetable.
The NOISE knob affects Layer D level.
In the X-MOD section, the VCO 2 knob affects FM Depth on Layer A.
The LOW FREQ button changes the FM waveform from Sine to Noise.
Omnisphere’s oscillators have their own Hard Sync parameter, which is independent from the their frequency. This allows you to create sounds that go beyond what’s possible in most hardware synths. When using SYNC, keep in mind the following:
- When SYNC is activated, the frequency of the oscillator in Omnisphere’s Layer A is not slaved to the frequency of the one in Layer B. This means, for example, that you can tune the oscillators a fifth a part and still obtain “hard sync” sounds.
- If you activate SYNC and then engage a pitch modulation to VCO 1, you will need to disable and re-enable SYNC to get the expected behavior.
Moving the FILTER FREQUENCY knob automatically loads the State Variable Filter 12dB.
When the BP switch is active, the Bandpass Juicy 12dB filter is automatically loaded.
When UNISON is enabled, the OB-6 is monophonic. In Omnisphere it’s possible to have Unison enabled and still play polyphonically!
Set the KEY MODE “Hi” to make the part you are controlling monophonic.
Set the KEY MODE “Lo” to make the part you are controlling polyphonic.
When UNISON is enabled, the DETUNE knob affects Unison Detune.
Setting the UNISON voices to “Chd” has no effect in Omnisphere.
When the LOUDNESS ENVELOPE VELOCITY switch is active, the AMOUNT knob affects Amp Velocity Amount in Omnisphere.
When using the POLY MOD FILTER ENV knob to modulate F MODE or NORM<->BP, the modulation is monophonic.
Both delay types (BBD and DDL) are instantiated in Omnisphere’s Aux Rack. All other FX are instantiated in the Common Rack.
When using the BBD, the CLK SYNC button freezes the delay signal.
The communication between the OB-6 and Omnisphere is one-way: the OB-6 sends information to Omnisphere, but not the other way around. As a result, when a patch is loaded in Omnisphere its settings will be different than those in the panel of the OB-6. For example, an Omnisphere patch might have Unison enabled while the UNISON switch in the OB-6 is disabled. In a case like this, to disable Unison in Omnisphere press the UNISON button twice.
LOADING OMNISPHERE PATCHES FROM THE OB-6
If you want to load Omnisphere Patches from the OB-6, follow these steps:
- In the Omnisphere Patch Browser, right-click the name of the patch you want to load
- Select “MIDI Program Change Learn” from the menu
- On the OB-6, press the patch selection button you want to use to load the Omnisphere Patch
- A MIDI icon will appear next to the name of the patch in the Omnisphere browser if the learning is successful
The following OB-6 controls have no effect on Omnisphere:
- Tap Tempo
- Sequencer Record
- Sequencer Play
Not working? Here are some things to try:
- Make sure the MIDI Channel is set to Ch.1
- Is the MIDI Out port set up properly?
- Is your DAW receiving MIDI from the OB-6?
As a last resort, you can reset all Global parameters to the factory defaults by holding down Global and Write. After doing this, please go to the top of the page and follow the instructions again.
USING ABLETON LIVE
If you use Ableton Live and find that Omnisphere does not respond to the OB-6 after the profile is loaded, simply adjust these two controls (in no particular order):
- UNISON DETUNE
- FILTER ENVELOPE AMOUNT
After adjusting the controls, it’s OK to return them to their original condition (e.g. OFF, then ON again).
This will reset Ableton Live’s NRPN logic and allow Omnisphere’s NRPN to respond. Once NRPN is working, it will work indefinitely until Omnisphere is started again.
Still not working? More questions?
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