To demonstrate this powerful feature I put together a little video that takes you on a tour of the stack mode within Omnisphere. I explore what it is, the different modes available and finish off with a little sound design using CC messages.
This video demonstrates the hidden depth, and oft overlooked area, of Omnisphere. Whether you want to stack patches in the way I set out in this article or as a method of sound design, it is all at your fingertips.
“I explore what it is, take you on a tour of the different modes and finish off with a little sound design using CC messages”
Stack Mode Setup
There are various performance parts in Omnisphere and to access these you just click on multi and you’ve got a choice of either live and stack mode. We will come to the live mode in another video post at a later stage.
Today we’re just going to look at the stack mode. To get stack mode up and running by going to the mixer page. We then need to load sounds into each of these little segments called channels. To keep it simple we’ll just look at using two channels, channel one and channel two.
We may go a bit further later on but first of all, we need to choose a pad sound. For the second channel we go for a more of a synth lead. What I show in the video is a quick way of actually loading the patch into another part. Where it says part one, part two, that pertains to part, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, in the mixer page.
This method saves you having to go to the mix page menu every time. Once we’ve loaded a patch into channel one and two, let’s click on stack mode.
You are greeted with a display of four lines and each line represents the channel that the patch is loaded on. As we have nothing loaded into channel three and four, it’ll show us default settings. We currently have a pad sound on channel one and a lead sound on channel two. So to engage stack mode click the button to switch it on.
Blending the Sound
These two sounds will now play together as a stacked sound. If you want to split the keyboard, so you have the pad in the left hand and the lead in the right hand, all you need to do is click and hold a corner of the channel graph and drag it across. This is demonstrated better in the video rather than pictures.
What could have been helpful, and I don’t know if Spectrasonics will pick this up at some point, is to have a little indicator to see that you’ve actually got the corner of the channel. Once you have managed to get the corner of the slide, move it into middle C. Now select the second channel and move the slide so that it only the notes above middle C play. This is one way of splitting the sound across the keyboard.
This is a great way of a bit of difference to your sound palette, depending on how heavy you hit the keys.
One final way to control the stacked sounds is to use the CC mode. This allows the use a Continuous Controller message to control how the stacked sound is blended.
Omnisphere defaults to using the mod-wheel as the CC message and I have got mine linked to a pedal. When I push the pedal forward, the mod-wheel goes forward and if I pull it back it goes back to zero. This is represented nicely on the little graph at the bottom of the stack view. It also gives you an indication of where the mod-wheel is sitting.
The thing is, sometimes the movement can be quite jerky on the transition from one sound to the other. What you can do is overlap the patches slightly by clicking and dragging at the bottom of each line. To make the patches overlap better you need to use a gradient by clicking and dragging from the top left-hand corners.
This is a great way to design your sounds, whether you want to split them over the keyboard or just make a massive layered pad sound. Omnisphere stack mode is powerful and I urge you to spend some time experimenting with this feature. It is particularly useful for those that play live either through YouTube streaming or in an arena/club environment.
For more tips, tricks and music head on over to my YouTube channel by clicking this link