Review: Journeys for Omnisphere 2 from Triple Spiral Audio

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Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate” – Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Thus reads the signpost upon the gateway as Dante enters hell, to begin his journey, guided by Virgil, through the nine rings. You, as musician and composer, are Dante and Journeys, the latest Omnisphere 2 installment from Triple Spiral Audio, is Virgil, the guide who will take you and your music on its descent to your darkest places. On the way, you will meet some of the most sinister soundscapes ever devised and, just maybe, the denizens in this nefarious composition will greet you and provide inspiration to awaken your senses to possibilities you never knew lurked within your soul. Are you ready to begin? If so, let us begin the Journey…”

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Review: Journeys for Omnisphere 2 from Triple Spiral Audio

Journeys from sells for €29.95 from Triple Spiral Audio

Thoughts

It feels like I’m starting to get well acquainted with the Triple Spiral Audio libraries. They have released several packages for different synthesizers, of late. In addition to Omnisphere 2, libraries for Falcon, Diva and Zebra have been recently released, all of top notch quality. The Journeys release, to say the least, is something special and it has been a library I have submerged myself in over the past few weeks (and the reason why it has taken me a while to write this review). I’m going to make no bones about it, the Soundscapes portion of this library is some of the best dark ambient patches I have ever had the pleasure to play in Omnisphere…and I have played quite a few. Whether you are a composer, electronic musician, or write music for film, this library will help take your music to places you’ve only imagined.

The overall library, categorically, speaking, is quite basic. There are 2 types of patches enclosed: Textures Playable and Textures Soundscapes. There are no hits, bangs, booms, ARPS or deeply growling basses. This is a library of pure, dark ambiences created from the sound sources provided within the Spectrasonics library. What the developer has created within the confines of Omnisphere is, indeed, quite amazing. The Textures Playable provide a framework for developing your own multis to layer over the soundscapes. These utilize conventional tuning and several are incredibly inspirational I find there are certain “types” of instruments that compliment a very deep and dark ambience…bells, toy pianos, guitar harmonics, those with a fairly rich and vibrant sound all treated with a sizeable reverb, some delay and a long release…to be played sparsely so the sounds are left to ring out, so to speak, over the soundscape.
While you make your way through the patches, you will definitely want to “mix and match” the playable textures with the soundscape textures to get the sound which is right for you.

One particular patch I come back to a lot is the playable texture “Longing to the Past”. This patch is dual-layered and comprises a low deep modulated piano combined with guitar harmonics. It’s one of the simpler patches in the library yet it’s one of the most effective. The sparse playing will provide some rich overtones (with the deeper piano sound complimenting the harmonics) that can easily accompany almost any soundscape in the entire library. The piano layer has the pitch and pan slightly modulated while the harmonics layer has no modulation added whatsoever. For FX, both a Pro-Verb and Innerspace convolution is added. What makes Innerspace so effective (and, at times CPU intensive) is that you can load 2 different sound waves into the convolver and balance / mix them however you please.

While the playable textures provide the over-riding layer of sound, it is the soundscapes that provide the underside, the layers of hell, so to speak…and they are ALL represented.

No, I’m not going to explain all of the rings, you’ll have to look that up and do that for yourselves. I will however, provide snapshots of the 1st and 7th rings. The 1st ring signifies Limbo, the place where the un-baptized go, the people who may have lead good lives but who are not followers of the Christian g/d. In Omnisphere 2 the 1st Ring is comprised of a dual-layered patch which combines a sound sample called Distant Sparkles 1 (a crystalline sound) with a sound sample called Bowing a Bell with Rocks. The Harmonia is engaged on Distant Sparkles and there is quite a bit of modulation going on here. In the Bowing a Bell with Rocks layer, the Orb is engaged and it is modulating the pitch. In addition, there is quite a bit of global FX including delay ad reverb. The patch, itself, is set to an Amadinda scale of tuning. Yes, I had to look that up as I had never heard of this scale before. It is actually a scale used in Baganda music, common to Uganda. You see this, primarily, used in tuned percussion and stringed instruments like the xylophone, lyre and harp. There are 5 intervals to an octave, each separated by 2.4 semitones. How this translates to your typical 12 semitone per octave keyboard, I’m not fully clear. This is an example of an instance where it would be useful to have a descriptive layout for reference as you play.

The 7th ring of hell is for those who commit violence. This ring is sub-divided into 3 distinct rings of its own : 1) those who commit violence towards other, 2) those who commit violence upon themselves, and 3) those who commit violence towards nature or the divine. Not a nice place, to say the least. In the 7th ring of Omnisphere, we are presented with a dual layer patch that may be one of the most unsettling patches in the library. It combines a sound sample called Divine Restlessness and one called Choir Full of Swells. It truly sounds like the souls of the damned wanting relief from their torment. There is quite a bit modulation on both of the layers as well as a good dose of global FX, including the use of Innerspace, yet again.


Overall, this is an extremely addictive library to play with. I even used some 3rd party plug-ins to bring the sounds even deeper into the abyss. For those who wish to make the descent into the vast unknown, Journeys by Triple Spiral Audio will, indeed, guide you there and beyond.

Facts

Journeys for Omnisphere 2 contains 128 patches broken up into 2 sound categories and downloads as 6.1 MB. Since Journeys utilizes the original Spectrasonics sound sources, it does not require the most recent Omnisphere updates however 2.4 or above is recommended.

Journeys from sells for €29.95 from Triple Spiral Audio

 

Demos of Journeys from Triple Spiral Audio

Videos of Journeys from Triple Spiral Audio