The ARP Omni 2 string synth has been reborn in a free plugin, so now everyone can play this late ‘70s classic

Full Bucket Music Oxid
(Image credit: Full Bucket Music)

String synths were big news back in the ‘70s, and one of ARP’s offerings in this area was the Omni, which was released in both mk1 and 2 versions. This is believed to have been used by everyone from Joy Division to Journey - on Don’t Stop Believin’, no less.

Now Full Bucket Music, which was emulated several vintage synths down the years, has brought the Omni 2 back as Oxid, and the good news is that it’s letting you have it for free. 

Offering a distinctly ARP-esque look, this offers 64 voices of polyphony and includes both String and Synthesizer sections. The former enables you to trigger bass, cello, viola and violin sounds, while the latter offers a filter and an ADSR envelope.

The original Omni-2 didn’t have any effects, but Full Bucket Music has furnished the Oxid with a phaser and a delay.

Special mention, too, for the manual, which is far more comprehensive than you’d have any right to expect for a free plugin. In it, Full Bucket Music’s Björn Arlt writes: “The first time I heard (about) the ARP Omni was on Tangerine Dream’s live album Encore - it is listed on the back of the double LP as part of Edgar Froese’s gear. Of course many other great artists played it too, and somewhere on the internet someone even claims that ‘the Omni was the DX7 of the ‘70s.’” 

Full Bucket Music has already emulated several string machines, though, so why release another one? “Because this one is (like all the others) a little bit different,” says Arlt. “It is amazing to see all the various designs, and they are nice challenges for a nerdy developer like me.”

And a great freebie for us: Oxid runs on PC and Mac in VST/AU/CLAP formats and is available now from the Full Bucket Music website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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