Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

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Shift Gorden
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Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by Shift Gorden » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:20 pm

Since most of you guys are plugin and instrument addicts, I thought I'd post this.

Over the weekend I downloaded Spitfire Audio's BT Phobos plugin. It's absolutely sensational.

Essentially it's a synth most suited to movies/TV style instruments, but can easily be used for pretty much anything.

It's a sample-based synth, the huge catalogue of source samples being provided by BT. The sample selection is very broad - synths, strings, rhythms - but they're pretty much all a bit "weird" - they've been processed and messed up in a very nice way.

You can combine up to 4 source samples using the usual mix/ADSR type of tools. The cool thing is, you can route each of these sources to a polyconvolver (or something like that) - essentially it's like an impulse response reverb type of deal where all the original samples can be used as an IR source. You can layer in up to 3 of these convolvers.

The results are spectacular. Adding the convolver layers really gives some insanely nice texture to whatever you're making. It's hard to describe - it's nuts. It's certainly one of the most inspirational and insane synths I've used in a long time - and the interface is pretty easy to get your head around once you've experimented for a little bit.

I spent about 2 hours just messing around yesterday - I think I created maybe 4 patches and then one clip I'll use in a track.

Spitfire Audio typically use Kontakt as their playback engine, but this one is an actual standalone plugin which is nice. The samples load extremely quickly which means you can really get down to experimenting with different combinations very efficiently.

It's certainly not cheap, $229 right now, but if you're wanting some interesting weirdness, I think this could really become a go to.

hyperscientist
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by hyperscientist » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:43 pm

Shift Gorden: How do you find the usability of it so far? UI doesn't feel like it's very complex, but I find it difficult to achieve predictable results so far (I am sure it will get much better with time however). Also, those impulse responses doesn't seem to change the sound too much when I create patches from scratch. Not sure what am I doing wrong… or how to make the effect more significant, dramatic even.

But the plugin indeed is very very nice and original, some patches are mind-boggling, so if someone feels like parting with two hundreds then give it a go :)

Shift Gorden
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by Shift Gorden » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:29 pm

hyperscientist wrote:Shift Gorden: How do you find the usability of it so far? UI doesn't feel like it's very complex, but I find it difficult to achieve predictable results so far (I am sure it will get much better with time however). Also, those impulse responses doesn't seem to change the sound too much when I create patches from scratch. Not sure what am I doing wrong… or how to make the effect more significant, dramatic even.

But the plugin indeed is very very nice and original, some patches are mind-boggling, so if someone feels like parting with two hundreds then give it a go :)
Hey buddy! Yeah, at first I was a little confused, but after a while I figured it out. Basically if you want greater control of the waveforms or the IR's , if you click on the waveform number (1-4) or IR letter (X, Y, Z) it opens up a "hidden" menu where you have much more precise control of the parameters.

The IR's seem to be a bit hit and miss in terms of how dramatic they are - I'm not quite sure how to tell them apart - I basically just mess around until I find one I like. I think they sound more dramatic on longer, sustained patches - that gives the sound time to evolve and morph.

I would agree though, it is somewhat tricky to make predictable patches...but that's what I kinda like about it - it's a real rabbit hole!

Tarekith
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by Tarekith » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:33 pm

Thanks guys, this is one of the few softsynths to grab my attention lately. How big is the install, Omnisphere territory?

Shift Gorden
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by Shift Gorden » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:01 pm

Tarekith wrote:Thanks guys, this is one of the few softsynths to grab my attention lately. How big is the install, Omnisphere territory?
I don't think so, mate. If memory serves it's about a 22gb install. Isn't Omnispehere a zillion gb or something? I know it's a big one.

I'm honestly surprised at how fast this thing runs - I have it installed on an external drive, and I've noticed no transfer speed problems.

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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by Tarekith » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:06 pm

Thanks!

digitalgeist
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by digitalgeist » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:29 pm

I've been digging it, I preordered when they first mentioned it.
A thing I did notice is if you try to load it within Komplete Kontrol, it will hard crash Komplete Kontrol and/or whatever DAW you're using. I contacted Spitfire about this and their response was that it's not NKS compatible (and they don't plan on making it so).

There's some quirks, depending on connection speed to the library.

But those things aside, I've been cycling through the presets and there's some absolutely stellar stuff in there. Even just randomizing patches with the IRs has gotten really great results.

Bottom line, it's fantastic.
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digitalgeist
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by digitalgeist » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:31 pm

Shift Gorden wrote:
Tarekith wrote:Thanks guys, this is one of the few softsynths to grab my attention lately. How big is the install, Omnisphere territory?
I don't think so, mate. If memory serves it's about a 22gb install. Isn't Omnispehere a zillion gb or something? I know it's a big one.
Hey...Omnisphere 2 only takes up 120gb :D
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Shift Gorden
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by Shift Gorden » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:49 am

digitalgeist wrote:
Shift Gorden wrote:
Tarekith wrote:Thanks guys, this is one of the few softsynths to grab my attention lately. How big is the install, Omnisphere territory?
I don't think so, mate. If memory serves it's about a 22gb install. Isn't Omnispehere a zillion gb or something? I know it's a big one.
Hey...Omnisphere 2 only takes up 120gb :D
LOL. Never trust an Englishman who lives in Oklahoma!

Say, did you get their free gift for releasing Phobos a week too late? North, I think it's called. Another amazing sounding instrument.

Totally agree - randomizing often leads to great-sounding patches. I love this thing.

Tarekith, put it to the top of the list!

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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by digitalgeist » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:58 am

North 7 Keys, yes I did. I think it was nice of them to give that away after the delay considering what they charge for North 7.
Have you noticed on Phobos that some sounds can be brought in by raising the mod wheel? The preset that loads first in Live, Phobos Organ, works like that with sound 1.
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hyperscientist
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by hyperscientist » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:02 pm

I'll copy-paste my post from some other forum as I find it relevant:

I just connected Phobos to Bitwig (I wish I could do it over Live…) to Seaboard RISE… OH MY GOD! This is pure unadulterated MADNESS! I can load just about any sample as source, add a random convolver (I didn't even get to layering yet), setup mapping to slide, glide or X-Y pad… it's just insane how flexible and unique sounding instrument I have at this point and how natural to control it is with Seaboard.

To me Phobos is a better fit for Seaboard than ROLI's own Equator or bundled Strobe2 - much more so. I somehow never "clicked" with that software, I was disappointed with it, felt I could do everything with oldschool keyboard with mod wheel and expression pedal. With Phobos it's different - exciting opportunities throw themselves at me :) I think it's due to the structure of this synth - all the layers naturally map to all 5 dimensions of touch Seaboard interprets.

I haven't been this excited with Seaboard ever, not even when I first bought it.

Shift Gorden
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by Shift Gorden » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:40 pm

hyperscientist wrote:I'll copy-paste my post from some other forum as I find it relevant:

I just connected Phobos to Bitwig (I wish I could do it over Live…) to Seaboard RISE… OH MY GOD! This is pure unadulterated MADNESS! I can load just about any sample as source, add a random convolver (I didn't even get to layering yet), setup mapping to slide, glide or X-Y pad… it's just insane how flexible and unique sounding instrument I have at this point and how natural to control it is with Seaboard.

To me Phobos is a better fit for Seaboard than ROLI's own Equator or bundled Strobe2 - much more so. I somehow never "clicked" with that software, I was disappointed with it, felt I could do everything with oldschool keyboard with mod wheel and expression pedal. With Phobos it's different - exciting opportunities throw themselves at me :) I think it's due to the structure of this synth - all the layers naturally map to all 5 dimensions of touch Seaboard interprets.

I haven't been this excited with Seaboard ever, not even when I first bought it.
That sounds awesome, mate! Don't you dare make me add a RISE to my list of wanted gadgets! I can see something like Phobos working incredibly well with and expression based controller like RISE - seems like a match made in heaven.

Digitalgeist - yeah, they didn't have to give away North 7 Keys - it's like 229 or 299 or something! You know, I did mess with the mod-wheel a little, and saw that it could control expression on some presets, but then I got way carried away and forgot all about it! I'll give it another go.

rebelinc
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by rebelinc » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:54 pm

Iv also bought this VSTi. And still havnt found it very useable at all. Omnisphere 2 has 10 times more to offer and it can load your own samples!!!!!!
I find the tweakability very limited indeed, the user interface terrible small. The preset browser annoying to use.
In my opinion a waste of time and money.
More like a sample/loop collection with another interface than usual provided using Kontakt.
Better user Sampler and a couple of zynaptiq plugs, that will get you going. :)

Shift Gorden
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by Shift Gorden » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:35 pm

rebelinc wrote:Iv also bought this VSTi. And still havnt found it very useable at all. Omnisphere 2 has 10 times more to offer and it can load your own samples!!!!!!
I find the tweakability very limited indeed, the user interface terrible small. The preset browser annoying to use.
In my opinion a waste of time and money.
More like a sample/loop collection with another interface than usual provided using Kontakt.
Better user Sampler and a couple of zynaptiq plugs, that will get you going. :)
Well, if I were you, I'd ask for your money back - sounds like it's not your cup of tea at all!

beats me
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Re: Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

Post by beats me » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:14 am

rebelinc wrote:Iv also bought this VSTi. And still havnt found it very useable at all. Omnisphere 2 has 10 times more to offer and it can load your own samples!!!!!!
I find the tweakability very limited indeed, the user interface terrible small. The preset browser annoying to use.
In my opinion a waste of time and money.
More like a sample/loop collection with another interface than usual provided using Kontakt.
Better user Sampler and a couple of zynaptiq plugs, that will get you going. :)
That was my fear. A lot of these highly praised sample based instruments or sample libraries end up sounding like highly effected and tell tail chopped samples unless you want to get a Phd in how to program it.

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