Omnisphere 2 in Worship - Part 1 - Pads

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Check out my Omnisphere 2 patches over at That Worship Sound

I'm going to begin this review with honesty: I am in love with Omnisphere. I have used it for years for my worship back tracks, my worship EDM project, my modern rock band, and my ambient music. But the goal of this blog series is not convince you whether or not to buy Omnisphere 2. You should buy it. The goal of this blog series is to dig through the new presets and find the best ones to apply in a worship context. 

Before I get to some of my favorite sounds from the new release, I wanted to talk about a bit about my one of my favorite parts of Omnisphere 2: the browser, projects, and project sharing. Since I sometimes need to create tracks quickly, and I don't have time to create patches from scratch, browsing sounds quickly is essential. The new browser allows amazing flexibility in sorting patches, which will make finding the perfect sound a breeze. Also, I'm part of a very active worship keyboard group and the project sharing feature will make sharing sound sets a breeze.

So I wanted to start this with the bread and butter of the worship keyboardist. The pad. Listen to any modern worship record and the pad sounds are most likely from Omnisphere. It has been so popular in worship that Hillsong's Peter James was even tasked to create patches for this new release. 

Top 6 Pads for Worship

Here are my top 6 pad sounds. All of these are included in the factory library.

CS-80 PWM Swell Verb - I've loved using Arturia's CS-80 emulation, so when I first loaded this patch up, it felt very familiar in sound. It was bright, a little bit detuned, nice swelling attack. But then I stopped playing, and I heard a gorgeous reverb tail that reminds of the Cloud setting on the Strymon BigSky. With its slow attack and beautiful reverb tail, I can imagine using this on a slow build worship anthem.

Distant Memories - This was the first of Peter's patches. It brings images of falling crystals in a cave on a distant planet (I love scifi). The way the reverse movement plays inspires me to keep playing subtle melodies on the pad instead of just sitting on chords. Instant inspiration.

Eternal Evolution DR - If the last patch inspired me to play melodies, this patch inspired me to hold it as long as possible and play with the mod wheel. Hold it long enough and distant choirs come in. Open up the mod wheel to open up the heavens. (This synth inspires so much hyperbole)

Endless Opera Pad - I've always loved the subtle volume dips of a slammed compressor on a pad and this captures that beautifully. The mod wheel brightens up the sound and the release is long but it never overpowers.

Fade to Green - A very dense but playable dark choir pad. I don't have much to say about this except that it does what it does very well. Playing with the mod while brings out upper registers to liven it up, but I could see this played for days under a prayer.

Heaven's Shores - Another one of Peter's patches. I've always loved flute based patches because they sit so well in a mix and contrast with most other elements. Another one that sounds like they packaged the BigSky into the software.

The new pads sounds in Omnisphere 2 definitely won't replace what I've been using from the original Omnisphere library, but will instead open up my options, especially when I want airy pads with subtle movement.

I'm excited to dig deeper into Omnisphere over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for part 2 of many!