Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (2023)

So you're in the market for a new VST instrument, and Omnsiphere has caught your eye. But, you're wondering, is Omnisphere really worth the $400+ price tag? At such a high price, it's a big decision to make for producers. Is it really all it's hyped up to be, or is it better to spend your money elsewhere?

We wholeheartedly believe that purchasing Omnisphere alongside Keyscape or Trillian could be one of the best decisions you make. The attention to detail, the quality of the presets, the huge sound bank and the sheer power of this plugin are worth more than its weight in gold.

However, we understand that it may not be for everyone. So, in this article, we'll cover the benefits and drawbacks of Omnisphere so you can decide whether it's worth your hard-earned music bucks or not.


Is Omnisphre Worth it? (TL;DR Answer)

Yes, Omnisphere is worth it. For $400 you get over 80GB of unique samples, a huge array of analog & digital wavetables, a comprehensive suite of 50+ professional-grade FX, and an almost endless amount of sound design capabilities, with 4 oscillators, 7 instances, a built-in mixer, unique arpeggio and so much more.

Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (1)

Omnisphere crowns the name “power synth” because it's a piece of software that you can do almost anything with.

Whether you're a producer who likes to get technical and under the hood, or you're just looking for a bank of incredible, cinematic-grade presets – Omnisphere will be for you. It may be a bit complex to learn and understand at first, but once you do, you will be grateful you bought it.

It is expensive so, we can understand why it may put some people off. And, that being said, it's definitely not for beginners or people who don't understand synthesis. But, after 3 years of use, I can't recommend Omnisphere enough. Time and time again I find myself reaching for Omnisphere when I want intriguing and unique sounds.

The sound library is stellar, you have built-in effects that are on par with Soundtoys plugins, you can open 4 sets of 7 different oscillators or samples, there's an incredible arp, thousands of filter types to choose from, a granular synthesis mode for all individual oscillators… the list could make this article 3 pages long.

The only downside to Omnisphere is the price and the amount of CPU it devours. Be wary if you don't have a powerful enough computer to run it.

What I will say is that Omnisphere will not automatically make your beats better. So, if you're not at a level where you're creating great melodies, proud of your sound selection etc. you need to hone in on that first. Do not spend $400+ on a plugin if you have a long way to go with your composition.

How Good Does Omnisphere Sound? (Sound Examples)

Omnisphere sounds incredible. The wavetables & sound engine give it a pristine sound, almost on the same level as analog synthesis. On top of this, the sound library has been recorded with incredible attention to detail and is one of the most professional-sounding instruments we've ever heard.

Omnisphere is good at it all. It's great at realistic sounds, cinematic, ethereal, ambient, EDM and pretty much anything you can think of. From creating gnarly trap melodies to cinematic compositions, Omnisphere has you covered.

But, we always think it's best you hear some sound examples. So we've included some presets below.

Which is Better Keyscape or Omnisphere?

When talking about features and use cases, Omnisphere is the better choice. However, they are different instruments. Omnisphere is a sound design powerhouse, where Keyscape is the most realistic library of collector keyboards. If you want endless sound design possibilities, go with Omnisphere. If you want great piano sounds, go with Keyscape.

It's ideal to get both if you have the money. All Spectrasonics instruments work with Omnisphere, meaning you can use the sounds from Keyscape (or Trilian) in Omnisphere when creating sounds.

Although Omnisphere has an ample 80GB library of top-notch sounds, it lacks realistic piano & guitar sound sources – only including (in our opinion) 6 usable piano/guitar sounds.

When you combine Omnisphere with Keyscape, this completely changes, giving you access to a huge library of some of the most professional-sounding, realistic sampled pianos. Combine this with Trilian, and you get realistic bass and guitar samples. Layering these sounds with Omnisphere's vast library of wavetables, FX and filters really start to open the world of possibilities in terms of sound design.

It's hard to choose one. If you want piano – go Keyscape. If you want cinematic synths – go Omnisphere

Does Omnisphere Have Good Piano Sounds?

Omnisphere has some good piano sounds included with the 80GB library. But, if you're looking for piano sounds specifically, you're better off choosing a VST that is dedicated to piano. Keyscape, or Kontakt libraries are a much better pick than Omnipshere for realistic pianos.

Omnisphere is an incredibly powerful sound design tool that can be used for cinematic sound design, large soundscapes and ultimately will give you an extremely unique sound.

Although it does realism well in other areas like drums, flutes, and other miscellaneous sounds. Omnisphere is not recommended for piano alone. There are a few good patches, but these are more ethereal/cinematic sounding, rather than realistic.

Does Omnisphere Have A Free Trial?

There is no free trial for Omnisphere. However, you can head into your local retailer to arrange a live demo of Omnisphere before deciding to purchase it. You can see a list of authorized resellers on the Omnisphere website.

This is apparently due to the nature of the instrument library and the size of it. Quite a poor excuse for such a massive company. There is definitely a way some kind of free trial could be implemented. Many other instruments with huge libraries are able to do this by adding white noise, or some kind of audio watermark to sounds.

Despite this unfortunate news, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials, demonstrations and audio examples you can check out online to see if you're happy with the quality before purchasing Omni.

There is also no refund policy available on the Spectrasonics website, with nothing to be found on their FAQ either. However, you can resell Omnisphere by asking for a license transfer from Spectrasonics support.

Can You Install Omnisphere on An External Drive?

You can install the Omnisphere sound library on an external drive. However, it's recommended that you install it on your main disk drive for speed. When installing the Omnisphere library on an external HDD, make sure it's 7200RPM.

While you can the Omnisphere library with a 5400RPM disk drive, it will cause the loading times to increase. We personally have it installed on a 5400RPM external drive and, at times, it's almost unusable. This is not the case when using it on our main 7200RPM hard drive.

When talking about SSDs vs HDDs, it's best to install any sound library on an SSD. This will load rapidly, and won't cause any lag in your sessions.

Features of Omnisphere & What Makes it Worth it

Sound Library, Presets, Oscillators, Wavetables & Layers

Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (2)

The main selling point of Omnisphere is the sound library, presets and sheer capability it provides for sound design. With over 80GB of incredibly professional sounds, you'll never be stuck for ideas.

There's artistic style sounds like bowed piano strings (for cinematic sound design), world sounds like Kalimbas, Chinese flutes, Sitars and instruments of African Heritage. There are brass sounds, weirdly textured soundscapes and even tuned stalactite recordings.

(that's right those icicle-shaped formations that hang from the ceiling of caves)

If you're more into electronic sounds, there's also a vast library of sampled synthesizers, circuit bended toys and even synths created by the Spectrasonics team out of an Altoids case.

The library is ridiculously good, the presets are cinematic-grade and, along with the oscillator capability of Omnisphere, this alone makes it worth the $400 asking price.

Not only do the 4 oscillators come with a huge range of digital and analog wavetables, but they offer incredible functionality to alter the sound of the recorded samples included with Omnisphere too.

For instance, you could take a combination of samples and wavetables, then individually apply granular synthesis, unison, waveshaping, ring modulation, FM or Harmonia. You can use many of these features together to create already textured sounds, without even reaching for the FX units.

Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (3)
Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (4)
Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (5)
Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (6)

Expanding on this, Omnisphere offers 8 different instances of these 4 oscillators… can you see how powerful this is getting now? There's a separate “multi” window that provides level mixing for these instances, with options to add FX to each layer independently or add the FX to buses – almost acting as a fully-fledged DAW/synth hybrid.

Here you'll also find controls for live performances, which help you change sounds on the fly, and a “stack mode”, which is used for creating splits, layers and crossfades between your instances.

This creates the possibility for constantly evolving and intruiging sounds – giving you an edge in your productions.

Professional-grade FX, Modulation & Automation

Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (7)

After creating an already textured patch, using only the oscillator functions and sound library, you can expand on this even further, choosing from 58 professional-grade FX. With Omnisphere you'll have access to delays, reverbs, weird inner reverbs, amps, distortion, analog chorus and phasing effects + a whole lot more.

You can also use these FX as individual inserts on singular parts, or you can apply processing to the entire 8 parts of your patch, using the clever bussing system found in the “multi” window.

Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (8)

Then, you can add further movement to your patches using the vast modulation capabilities that are available on all 4 oscillators. The modulation section allows you to modulate anything your heart desires with LFOs, envelopes, foot controller, mod wheel and more.

In Omnisphere, you get 8 LFOs, 4 modulation envelopes (including a filter envelope), bias, random and a whole plethora of other modulation sources.

There is also an “orb” function that controls a series of what sounds like filters, delays and other effects. This can act as a great tool for live modulation and is similar to the X, Y controllers you get on some synths.

On top of all this, you can automate anything in Omnisphere. And, to make things easier, you can MIDI CC learn any knob to map to a controller of your choice.


Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (9)

Another reason Omnisphere is worth it is the 32-step arpeggiator. Not only does it include a whole range of presets that range from weird, sliding arps to awesome melodies, basslines and even chord progressions, but the arp includes differing playing patterns, the option to change each step to a chord, a slide, or a triplet and even the option to lock it to a MIDI file for more unique grooves.

You can additionally export the arpeggiator patterns as a MIDI file and use it to play your other instruments that aren't Omnisphere.

Using the arp in Omnisphere is one of the most effective ways to come up with track ideas quickly and, coupled with the ability to export MIDI, it can be incredible for padding out tracks or even saving ideas that aren't relevant to your current tracks for later.

Hardware Synth Compatibility

Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (10)

This is a huge selling point for anyone who has a hardware synth. Omnisphere is fully mapped to work with over 50 synths, meaning you can use the filters on your synth to control the filters on Omnisphere, the waveshape dials to control the waveshape selection etc.

Depending on what you own, you'll have more control over what Omnisphere does. Unfortunately, you can't directly browse the library using your hardware synth (hopefully some kind of Omnisphere keyboard comes out soon, like with Native Instruments).

Utilities & System Configurations

Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (11)
Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (12)

A little bit boring, but the utility options inside Omnisphere are really useful and expand the capability of the plugin quite nicely. For instance, there's an undo/redo button (not often found in synths), meaning anything you've done to your patch you can undo the last step and get it back to where it was. I personally can't count the number of times this has been helpful. I've accidentally pressed something, and undo has saved my bacon.

There are also other cool features like micro tuning, options to glide all oscillators (sounds amazing for dissonant chords), velocity curve settings and options to increase or decrease the voice number of the whole patch.

Alongside this, there are other useful things like the way in which your Omnisphere loads samples. You can alter the sample memory size and alter the pre-load memory + stream brake. This is less useful, but can help when your computer is a little slow.

The Technical Stuff

System Requirements

Here are Omnisphere's system requirements:

  • Bit Depth: 64-bit DAW host
  • Format: AAX, VST 2.4, AU, Standalone
  • Hardware Requirements – Mac: 2.4 GHz Dual Core Processor or higher, 8GB RAM minimum, 64GB free drive space
  • Hardware Requirements – PC: 2.4 GHz Dual Core Processor or higher, 8GB RAM minimum, 64GB free drive space
  • OS Requirements – Mac: OS X 10.13 or later
  • OS Requirements – PC: Windows 7 SP1 or later

CPU Usage

Omnipshere is a CPU eating beast. It's also pretty heavy on your RAM and can be extremely slow if you don't have a fast enough hard drive. It's recommended that you install it on an SSD for the fastest loading speeds.

When you have a lower number of instances open, it'll be far tamer – and, it's really once you start to get into the more intricate sound design, with more layers, effects and modulation, where CPU will become a problem.

It's advisable to avoid using multiple instances of Omnisphere in a single project. On our 6 core AMD, we can run up to 7 instances before it starts to get a bit cranky.

Although the system requirements say you'll only need a dual-core processor, we think this is pretty misleading. You wouldn't be able to run Omnisphere inside a DAW, with other instrumentation going on and have a fun, freeze-free time.

To mitigate the CPU usage, you can always freeze tracks or bounce them in place.

User Interface

For a power synth, Omnisphere's interface is actually very appealing and un-overwhelming when compared to something like Falcon. It's easy to navigate, and you'll find yourself at home creating synths in Omnisphere in no time.

If you're fairly new to synthesis you will find Omnisphere quite overwhelming. There are a lot more features included when compared to more common synths. And, if this is your first power synth, you'll struggle a bit.

Nevertheless, if you watch some tutorials or read the manual, you'll pick it up pretty quick.

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Is Omnisphere Worth it? An Honest Review After 3 Years of Use (13)

Whipped Cream Sounds

With over 8 years of hands-on experience in the music industry, Harry has run successful raves, played alongside industry heavyweights such as Max Chapman, DJ EZ, DJ Zinc and more (pictured below), had music played on national radio, DJ'd on live radio, produced until he hated every song, mixed until his ears bled, created sample packs from scratch using just a Zoom H1n and some sound design skills… and pretty much anything related to music production – he's done it, tested it, tried it.

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