Sorry for this long post. I'm a long time Omni user and Spectrasonics fan. I'm issuing a challenge for any great synth programmers here who might be able to help me with a 1.5 workaround.
I've hesitated writing this because I don't want it to sound like I'm complaining about the Omni update. It is an amazing update, the added features and patches are tremendous and the fact that its free is just amazing. Spectrasonics have got to be the coolest company I've ever had the privilege to be a costumer of.
Unfortunately the changes to the granular synth have destroyed the sound of many of my user patches. I was a huge fan of the granular synth and created many patches with it that have become almost become part of my 'trademark sound'. All these patches are now useless to me after the update.
I have contacted support, who were very helpful and have confirmed that I have discovered a problem for which there is not an immediate solution. I am writing here out of desperation to see if there is anyone out there who can help me find a work-around. I don't want to have to go back a version of Omni to finish my current album because of the new patches (and the orb). Also I don't want to put out an album full of sounds which can't be played on future versions of Omni.
Here's the problem:
Before the update the granular synth could be set so that single grains could be made to swoop gently and slowly up or down an octave creating an extremely beautiful "sighing", "singing" quality . This was one of Omisphere's most beautiful effects I think. You can here that here (starting at about 10 seconds in) with version 1.3: http://mrproductions.co.uk/z_temp/Gr..._test_v1.3.mp3
After the update, even with all the parameters set the same, this effect does not happen. With the update, the grains glissando much more quickly to their target pitch so the entire granular effect sounds quite different. I have that same midi file playing with after the 1.5 update (and same settings on the granular synths) here: http://mrproductions.co.uk/z_temp/Gr..._test_v1.5.mp3
You can hear it sounds very different, and all those beautiful slowly gliding, floating, gently glissando-ing singing grains are gone. I have spent ages trying to get the new granular synth to create this effect without success.
The helpful guy at support told me to put the speed/position control at 0.500 (center) to solve the problem, but it did not (as you can hear on the mp3 above). He has since agreed that this does not solve the issue.
I'm writing this incase someone out there has by chance managed to reproduce this effect with the new granular synth.
The real problem seems to be the speed at which the grains glissando. But also to some degree the frequency to which they detach and change pitch. Also, if you compare to the general texture of the sound in the two mp3s, even the non-glissando grains sound quite different with the same settings. Before the effect was smooth, gentle undulations, now with the same settings it quite busy sounding, and to my ears less musical (though interesting).
There maybe (I'm really hoping there is) a way to make the granular synth sound the same as it used to re above. I haven't found a way to after quite a bit of experimentation.
If anyone out there knows how to reproduce this effect or likes the idea of the challenge of flexing their programming muscles - I'd be really grateful if you could help me reproduce this. (I'll give anyone who manages to do this a credit for "synth programming" on my next CD - which is likely to get some very good US wide and international press).
Huge thanks to anyone out there who can help out.