Review: Omnisphere Kubo by MIDIssonance

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Omnisphere Kubo includes an impressive collection of cinematic patches for Omnisphere 2.6. If you are a fan of Cliff Martinez’s work in Solaris (who isn’t!?) or just looking for an excellent collection of cinematic sounds for underscore or ambient track work, Omnisphere Kubo should get your attention. The price tag of only €19.95 price tag should definitely not go unnoticed.

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Review: Omnisphere Kubo by MIDIssonance

MIDIssonance have created something special in Omnisphere Kubo. These patches have been thoughtfully programmed and are dripping with ambient emotion. It’s not often that I stop writing my review to lay down an idea inspired by a patch, but that’s exactly what happened here. It’s obvious to me that these sounds have received some love, as they are beautiful, usable, and artfully programmed.

Omnisphere_Kubo

Omnisphere Kubo sells for €19.95 from MIDIssonance

Thoughts

Omnisphere Kubo is the first soundset by MIDIssonance I have had the pleasure of exploring. I never know exactly what to expect when I open a sound set by a sound designer I am unfamiliar with. Are the sounds going to be unique and beautiful? Will they be usable? Well, if Omnisphere Kubo is any indicator of the overall work of MIDIssonance, this is a sound designer who should cause you to stand up and pay attention. Omnisphere Kubo is an impressive set of cinematic and ambient patches that makes excellent use of the powerful Omnisphere 2.6 engine. The ARP + BPM section is sensational, the Pads + Strings are gorgeous, the Textures are first rate, and, at only €19.95, the price point is exceptional.

As is my customary practice when writing soft synth soundset reviews, here is a breakdown of each category found within Omnisphere Kubo.

ARP + BPM – 42 Patches
This is normally the first category I check out when opening a soundset. I’m a sucker for good arpeggios and beat-synced pulses. These are often the sounds that most inspire me with an idea for a new track. This category is a standout within Kubo. The patches here are sensational! These are some of the richest and most complex Omnisphere ARP + BPM patches I have ever heard. There are light and ambient tones, as well as darker, pulsing timbres. This category would make a fantastic scoring toolkit all by itself. This is also some of the best use of the Omnisphere modwheel I have yet heard. The modwheel not only controls filters (a common use of the modwheel in Omnisphere soundsets), but it also introduces entirely new rhythms, tones, and even instruments. If you are a fan of the wonderful score for the movie Solaris by Cliff Martinez, you are especially in for a treat. There are some excellent moving gamelan and mallet-like patches here that are reminiscent of Martinez’s memorable work. I had to press pause on this review to record an idea for a track inspired by one of these patches. This is among the best and most inspiring selection of ARP + BPM patches I have heard.

Hybrid Organic – 5 Patches
The hybrid patches here feel inspired by traditional sounds of the far east. Some of these patches can serve double duty when holding a drone with the left hand while playing a melodic line with the right. There are only 5 patches here, but they are dandy if you are looking for some traditional sounds of the Orient.

Keyboards – 7 patches
I love piano alternatives – sounds that can play the role of a piano in your track while introducing a different tone or feel. If you are looking for alternatives to the traditional piano, the Keyboards section of Omnisphere is a great place to begin. There are some great piano-style patches here that would do well as solo instruments for minimalist underscore. The one thing to be aware of is that some of these are also drenched in reverb and might require a bit of tweaking to avoid muddiness in your mix. Why not put down your piano for a while and come check out the world of ambient, hybridized keys!

Pads + Strings – 21 patches
We all love pads and strings, and these are just gorgeous! The pads and strings here are so beautifully ambient and dripping with melancholia, which makes them right up my alley! If you are looking for something to supercharge your scores with ambient emotion, Omnisphere Kubo has you covered. Again, the modwheel is used to nice effect here. That’s one of the things I really appreciate about this soundset, the generous programming of the modwheel. Instead of simply moving a filter or fading in/out a sound, MIDIssonance have went deep with Omnisphere’s powerful engine to give us something moving and magical. Bravo!

Synth Bass – 12 patches
There is a nice collection of useful synth basses here. From deep droning bass sustains to simple deep synth mono bass, Kubo is a good place to find some simple and useful synth basses. I wouldn’t say there are a lot of standout patches here, but I’m often looking for simple bass sounds and it’s nice to find several of those in one place.

Synth Mono – 1 patch
“Gliding Over All” is the one patch you will find in the Synth Mono category. Described as “Gliding, legato lead ideal for melodic content and layering”, this is a gliding pad-like lead that has a somewhat hybrid Oriental feel to it.

Synth Poly – 10 patches
There are some patches here that could easily cut through your mix. None of these patches blew me away, but they were serviceable and could be used to good effect in ambient tracks or scoring.

Textures – 28 patches
Textures are so useful when you’re trying to add thickness and richness to your track or underscore. The textures within Kubo are first rate. There are beautiful, ethereal textures that pulse and evolve and could serve as fantastic sound beds for solo piano work, as well as distorted, mysterious, and even alien textures. This is one of the standout categories of Kubo. These textures are brilliant and will be among the first places I go to for underscore soundscapes and textures. In my own Omnisphere rating system, I gave 16 of these 28 patches 5 stars!

Traditional – 2 patches
There are only 2 patches within the Traditional category in Kubo, but they are great. The patch “Going Home” especially caught my attention, with its post-rock style Strat sound that can be both clean and dirty, depending on your use of the modwheel. Both patches are filled with post-rock goodness.

Omnisphere Kubo is my first encounter with the work of MIDIssonance, but I doubt it will be my last. I am so impressed with the sound design on display here; from the thoughtful and expert use of the modwheel to a large number of patches dripping with pure ambient and melancholic emotion, Omnisphere Kubo is a soundset I see myself going to again and again.

Facts

Omnisphere Kubo is a collection of 128 patches for Omnisphere 2.6. It’s a small download of only 504KB. Omnisphere Kubo can be purchased from MIDIssonance for only €19.95.

Omnisphere Kubo sells for €19.95 from MIDIssonance

 

Demos of Omnisphere Kubo by MIDIssonance

Videos of Omnisphere Kubo by MIDIssonance

Contributor Raborn Johnson reviews Omnisphere Kubo by MIDIssonance
“Omnisphere Kubo includes an impressive collection of cinematic patches for Omnisphere 2.6. If you are a fan of Cliff Martinez’s work in Solaris (who isn’t!?) or just looking for an excellent collection of cinematic sounds for underscore or ambient track work, Omnisphere Kubo should get your attention. The price tag of only €19.95 price tag should definitely not go unnoticed.”