Logic and Omnisphere: Create Your Own FX In Space Designer

Space Designer is a powerful tool. Not only can it be used to load Impulse Responses for realistic reverbs but it can also load any .aif or .wav that can be convolved (merged) with any source you feed  

Logic's Space Designer is a powerful tool. Not only can it be used to load Impulse Responses for realistic reverbs but it can also load any .aif or .wav that can be convolved (merged) with any source you feed into it to make all sorts of new and exciting sounds and FX.

I’m going to show you just one quick example of what you do with with this.

Step 1 - Create Some Content

This example starts in Omnisphere with a simple White Noise sample called ‘Moog Modular Raw Noise White’. I’ve applied the default ‘Unison’ setting and a bit of Ring Mod.

I’m going to modulate the Amp, Filter and Res with some of the supplied Rhythmic envelope presets to create an FX loop. I advise you experiment and see what you get.

Once I’m happy I’ll bounce it out to a 24 bit AIF file.

Step 2 - Set Up Something To Effect

I’ve made a 4 Bar drum sequence using the Default kit in Ultrabeat. It’s pretty basic! I’ll then create a Bus Send for Bus 1 on my Ultrabeat channel and turn it up to 0db.

Step 3 - Load Your Sound

Now I’m going to load Noise loop I made into the Space Designer that’s been inserted on Bus 1 and turn it into a Delay effect! 

I do this by choosing Load IR and Init from the IR sample drop down and navigating to my bounced audio file.

Upon playing my Ultrabeat sequence I can hear the result of the Convolution between the two audio files. 

It’s a bit of a mess at the moment and needs some tweaking. As you can hear the Noise Loop is playing all the way to the end every time it’s triggered and convolved with the Ultrabeat sounds.

I’m going to take the Volume envelope and make it shorter.

I’ve also adjusted the IR Start parameter (this can produce some interesting variations!). I just experimented till I came up with a result I was happy with. I’ve added some Sample Delay to widen the effect

The result is a subtle filtered delay effect as my Space Designer audio file imprints itself onto the Ultrabeat sounds being fed into it.

From here on in you can just repeat the process to create some really nice sounds effects that are otherwise impossible to achieve. Here is a loop with two additional Space Designers on different Busses.

Tips On Using This Technique

Using Pitched IRs

You may notice that the above loop has taken on a note. That’s because one of the files loaded into Space Designer has pitch information and any pitch characteristics will be imprinted onto the incoming signal.

Using Noise as a source for your ‘IRs’ will produce non-pitched effects as noise has no definable pitch.

Frequency Characteristics

I’ve got this chord made from a couple of waveforms in Omnisphere. It has a wide frequency range from low to high.

I’m going to feed this file with a 16th note noise loop (which has a Bandpass filter on it modulated by a Sample & Hold LFO).

The Noise loop only triggers the corresponding frequencies inside the IR, producing this.

The effect is very similar to that of vocoding. Notice how short the envelope is inside Space Designer.

Sample Length And Envelope

Things can get very blurry when using this technique. Really short IR samples (I mean really short 1-100ms) will create more ‘EQ’ type effects. Adjusting the Volume envelope to shorter times can help to clean up the effect and make it more defined.

I really hope this has given you the urge to get creative with this. The possibilities are limitless and can range from the highly disturbing to completely beautiful, so just experiment!

Don't have Omnisphere? Visit the Spectraonsics website for details on how to buy it and check out the macProVideo.com Omnisphere 101 tutorial.

For the past 20 years Toby has worked as a professional guitarist, programmer and producer. Clients include Sir Paul McCartney, George Michael, Shirley Bassey, Yusuf Islam, Giles Martin as well as the London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies. He has also worked extensively in TV, Advertising and Film. As well as composing himself he has also ... Read More


Pat Buckna
Very cool technique - thanks
Peter Schwartz
Beautiful technique! I may never leave the house playing with this. Cheers!
Really love this tutorial Toby! Thanks for sharing.
Hi, can anyone tell me how to do the sample and hold LFO bit (frequency characteristics) within massive?
Jeff C
Hey there,

Apple includes a large (~ 400MB) library of material very similar to this with Logic Studio 2. Its an optional installed named Warped Effects for Space Designer.

Its really great that Toby is walking you through the process of making your own. I worked on the development of the Warped Effects library and had a blast making them. Convolution Reverbs like Space Designer can be so much more than high quality reverbs.
Hi Jeff,

Well the Space Designer Warped Library is one of my go-to places for weird and wonderful sound design in Logic... So Thank You!!

I second that. Love the way Toby walks us through making our own "warped" additions ;-)
Jeff C
We definitely learned a lot in the process and used so many sound sources. Turns out Omnisphere is totally ideal for this work. If only it had been available then, we might have made even more compelling files.

Which parts of the collection do you gravitate towards the most?
Yup... Omnisphere makes the world a better place IMHO!

Can you reveal any of the sound sources you used in certain presets?

I find myself hanging out mainly in the Drone Tones and Textures area. (I love making ambient soundscapes).

Jeff C
hmm, its been a while.

It was a collaborative effort with several designers involved, so I can't speak to it all. I do know several analog modulars and a Kyma Capybara. I think an Access Virus provided some useful source too.

I feel like I'm still learning what will and won't work well with some material. It was quite a learning process.

Also, wish that we could have delivered content that worked at arbitrary tempos.
Thanks Jeff,

That's really interesting to know. Seems like the Access Virus finds its way into all sorts of sound design realms.

I imagine you must've created a fair few presets that never made it to the final release?

So do you have a favourite category in the Warped Effects or even a preferred preset?
Jeff C
Indeed, we love Access.

There is always left overs. Sometimes they are planned for future releases, sometimes just because we end up with too much of a specific class of texture or rhythm. If there's too much of a thing that's too similar it kind of slows the review and selection process. I find people don't have much patience and if they don't make a decision in the first 15-30 previews, they may give up. So, keeping it lean and well differentiated is something that helps improve hits.

I think its all pretty great, so its hard to say.

Textures was designed with sustained sounds like pads in mind. I love those. That might be my favorite.

That said, the rhythmic stuff discussed above is somehow very satisfying. So, our Ghost Rhythms are quite fun.

It tough to pick a favorite because the beauty of these is that the source content is key. The same SDIR can sound very different on 3 different sound sources.

haa haa.. just reviewing these, I am having flashbacks to very challenging file naming work. Its not easy naming files like this.
Well, I've just been looking at Kyma again... it gets mentioned with hugh regard a lot in the circles I frequent, but I've never tried it out myself.

Well, you inspired me to spend some more time exploring the Ghost Rhythms again.

But you know I was going to mention that you've done a great job not only designing the preset but also naming them! Honestly, the names have worked well for me when browsing through.
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the comment mate. I'm more than familiar with the Warped library (great job!) as they not only make great content for Sound Designer but they also make an insanely good FX Loop library as well.

I use them all the time as raw AIF files in productions especially 'Ghost Rhythms'. Nice and tasty bit crushed loops!! :)

I've been using libraries like Kalideskopy and Spectral Relativity for years so to see Apple include this kind of content was a bonus for me!

All the best :)
Jeff C
Its always a pleasure to hear positive feedback about work like this. I love how well it demonstrates that there's more to Space Designer than great sounding reverb.
Nice technique. In your last example, why aren't we hearing the beat? Is the rhythmic loop on a muted track, triggering Space Designer on a buss?
Hi sammydave,

If you look at the image above the audio you'll see the dry signal is at 0% so you only hear the effect.

Gotcha. Now I get it. Thanks!

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