Review: Omnisphere Colossus II for Omnisphere 2 from The Unfinished

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With Omnisphere Colussus II, The Unfinished delivers a giant treasure trove of excellent sculpted cinematic sound design with a glancing nod to the scores of Harry Gregson-Williams and James Newton Howard.

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Review: Omnisphere Colossus II by The Unfinished

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Colossus II is the brilliant and long awaited follow-up to Colossus I from The Unfinished (a.k.a Matt Bowdler). It offers more of the same excellent sculpted cinematic sounds found in its predecessor but has gone far beyond in offering even more diversity of content and filling in for some of the elements that didn’t make it into Colossus I.
Colossus II sells for £59.95 + VAT from The Unfinished

Thoughts

This time around is a bit of a departure for me as I don’t often do reviews of synth presets or libraries. I have a short list of developers that I follow and use libraries from that I am always happy to review and The Unfinished (Matt Bowdler) is right up at the top of it. Matt is well known in the sound design community as one of the most respected go-to names for bespoke sounds for film and game music. A number of his commercially available synth sets have also been featured in film, TV and games recently. As someone who owns and uses The Unfinished libraries in my recordings, I can tell you that I was waiting quite impatiently for Colossus II to arrive. Colossus II once again offers more than a glancing nod to the work of Harry Gregson-Williams and James Newton Howard.

Think soundtracks like The Bourne Legacy, Salt, The Martian, Deja Vu and The Equalizer and that will give you a good idea of what you will find in Colossus II.

The Unfinished has always provided a treasure trove of unique sounds in their libraries.  Colossus II weighs in with 400 patches and 70 multis! It is slightly smaller than Colossus I with its 600 patches and 130 multis but combined they give you 1,000 patches and 200 multis. You might think it is hard not to get lost in the sheer magnitude of patches but they are all very well organized so that you can find the type of sound you need for a particular feel or to create a mood. After two volumes of Colossus, The Unfinished is still providing amazing content using Omnisphere’s internal sounds. There are no additional sound sources installed with the library.

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I love the fact that The Unfinished libraries are clearly labeled with a description of the sound and most offer Modwheel control. These are two of my major complaints with many other commercial libraries. Some of the standout sound categories for me here are Guitars, ARP+BPM, Playable Textures, Soundscapes and of course Multis. Some of these account for a larger percentage of the content, but provide so much of the basis to develop a great Underscore or to add pulse, action or a drifting soundscape to an existing score.
The Guitars sweep from weeping ambience to punchy drive to reverb drenched and purely cinematic.

The ARP+BPMs offer a wide range of excellent sequences and ARPs

The ARP+BPMs offer a wide range of excellent sequences and ARPs that run the gamut from tonal percussion, metallic sounds, bells, lo-fi drums and synth sequences to traditional instrument sequences and ambient affairs. If you are looking for a solid starting point for Underscore, beds, action sequence or production of Electronic Music in general. The Playable Textures offer a similar starting point as the ARPs but this time you will find some magnificent alien soundscapes, haunting ambiences, dark drones and more gentle and reflective sounds all with Modwheel enhanced control. Just add your favorite strings, percussion, or solo instruments for a stunning result. The Soundscapes are similar but darker and more brooding. I can see some of these sitting really well underneath the mix or as a solo sound in instances where you want to bring out a darker or more somber mood.
That rundown about covers my favorite and larger sections. Please be sure to check out the full documentation in order to see all of the categories.

There are great pianos, synths, basses, percussion and many other treats in store.

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In all of my reviews I usually provide a disclaimer about how I prefer to use premium effects plugins and mix in the room. That one is kind of “out the window” when it comes to Omnisphere and particularly when it comes to sounds crafted by the likes of The Unfinished. The use of effects is one of the key ingredients in the sound of these amazing patches. With Omnisphere’s continued addition of excellent effects, the sound design possibilities have become even more inspired. Colossus II takes full advantage of that in its design as well.

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If you want to jumpstart your writing, check out the Multis. They are categorized are Combos. One Finger Wonders, Rhythmic and Writing Tools.

The Multis are chock full of great underscores, solid beds, pulsing drums, pounding rhythms

Here is where you can jump in with both feet and pull together a solid foundation on a tight timeline. The Multis are chock full of great underscores, solid beds, pulsing drums, pounding rhythms and some really useful Splits in the Writing Tools section. The Multis can also be particularly effective for adding color to your score or driving some Electronic Music across some existing pads.

Colossus II is library that I would not limit to a particular set of contextual uses. I believe it can be as at home in the composer’s studio for movies and games, as it can be for electronic musicians and performers looking for inspiring new sound content. I would urge you to have a look at Colossus I as well if you like what you see and hear with Colossus II. It offers a great compliment to the sounds found here. As with all of my reviews, I would encourage you to check out the official demos to make sure that this is the right tool for you.

 

Facts

Colossus II contains 400 patches and 70 multis. Colossus requires Omnisphere Version 2 by Spectrosonics.

Colossus II sells for £59.95 + VAT from The Unfinished

 

Demos of Omnisphere Colossus II

Videos of Omnisphere Colossus II