Review – Keyscape Creative from Spectrasonics
Keyscape Creative is a huge patch library for users of Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 and Keyscape. You may be surprised by what you can do by combining the two. And it’s free!
by Dave Townsend, May 2017
Keyscape Creative Patch Library from Spectrasonics
Because Keyscape (and Trilian) share a common engine with Omnisphere 2, it’s possible to load and play them from within Omnisphere. The first, most obvious application is stacking one of Omnisphere’s gorgeous pads with Keyscape’s detailed Yamaha grand piano. Another cool trick would be to utilize Omnisphere’s extensive effects with Keyscape, which doesn’t bundle many effects in its own package.
Those were my first two ideas, anyway, and the things I tried on Day One after getting my hands on Keyscape. The results were delightful. Although I knew I was probably only scratching the surface, I was so tickled with the results that I kind of left it there to be further explored another day.
Well, for those of us who suffer from either procrastination or lack of imagination, Spectrasonics has helpfully provided us with a creative nudge in the form of an extensive collection of Keyscape/Omnisphere combinations called Keyscape Creative. It’s a huge library of patches that showcase just what can be accomplished by teaming up these two instruments. Turns out, it’s even more than I would have thought.
This patch library is free to current owners of Keyscape and Omnisphere 2. To get them, all you have to do is update Omnisphere (click on “Check for Updates” in the greeting screen) and the patches will be installed as part of the version 2.3 update. Sorry, you must have both Keyscape and Omnisphere 2 installed in order to use the Keyscape Creative patches.
To begin previewing the patches, start Omnisphere 2 and select “Keyscape Creative” from the directory dropdown list.
You’ll see 25 categories listed, most with familiar names such as “Guitars”, “Keyboards” and “Synth Sweep”.
The patches range from just plain pretty to pretty darn weird. All of them are inspiring. As you’ve come to expect from Spectrasonics, patch names are fanciful and often give few clues about what they’ll sound like. What does “Burning Evil” sound like? Only one way to find out!
Some of the patches layer Keyscape instruments with Omnisphere sounds, while others just route Keyscape through Omnisphere’s impressive array of high-quality effects. Many of them alter Keyscape’s vintage instruments in some way, from gentle envelope adjustments to total sonic mayhem.
Here are some audio examples of just a handful of the 1,200 (!) patches in this collection.
Demo Clip 1
What the patches in the above example have in common is that they don’t use any Omnisphere sound sources, just Omnisphere’s effects (and in one case the arpeggiator). Yes, believe it or not, all these sound sources are just Keyscape, albeit seriously altered by Omnisphere’s filters, envelopes and effects.
Here’s a rundown of the patches used in the above sample (with the original instrument in parentheses, because otherwise you might not guess them!).
00:00 An Abysmal Failure (Pianet Model M)
00:14 Burning Evil (Clavinet C)
00:24 Baritone Elegy (MKS-20 electronic piano)
00:47 Once Upon a Time (Celeste w/ Arpeggiator)
00:53 Confused Moth (LA Custom Rhodes)
In the next audio sample I’ve selected some Keyscape Creative patches that stack Omnisphere sound sources with Keyscape instruments. Sometimes the combined effect is musically-predictable, and at other times, um, considerably less so.
Demo Clip 2
Again, I’ve put the original constituent patches in parentheses; see if you can identify the original Keyscape instruments without looking.
00:00 Abusive Attack (Weltmeister Bassett + Diego Stocco’s custom-built Experibass Stickato)
00:05 An Honest Heart (Dolceola + Strat Taponics)
00:24 Ambrosia Cascade (MK-80 Rhodes + Atmosphere Strings)
00:48 FM Dayz (MK-80 Contemporary Rhodes + Elastic)
If you are an Omnisphere user but have been on the fence about Keyscape, this cool collection may be just the encouragement you need to take the plunge. As I opined in my Keyscape review last November ( http://soundbytesmag.net/keyscapekeyboardsamplelibraryfromspectrasonics/ ), don’t make the mistake of blowing off Keyscape as “just another piano library”. It’s so much more. And in this context, even more than that.
Pick up Keyscape Creative here: