One of the essential giveaways of 2011! If you've read my gushing review of Zebra 2.5 you'll be aware of my awe and respect for U-he products, not to mention my love of the Zebra oscillators, which are pretty much fully fledged unique and versatile synths in their own right.
Zebralette is one oscillator, a couple of LFO's and envelopes (including one multi-segment, freely designable envelope capable of looping). ONE oscillator which can sound like 16, 20, 42 but forget supersaws and the like, in here we have huge tone clusters that can actually move in interesting ways, not just quantity for the hell of it.
In essence you have a freely drawable 16 wavetable morphing oscillator, capable of morphing between waveforms to create exotic and unheard of PWM and filtering effects, or crossfading smoothly for some PPG-style love. 16 waves per table may not *sound* like much, but like the best wavetable implimentations, they are essentially 'key frames' which are interpolated between to create a sweep consisting of what must be hundreds of infinitely variable waveforms. I kid ye not.
If that wasn't mind-blowing enough, you have an option of four different schemes to construct your waveforms, including freehand drawing, beizer curves and lines to build the waveform, and additive graphs allowing you to spray sinewaves all over the place like they're going out of fashion. What I like about this wavetable implimentation is that you can explicitly specify not just what will morph into what, but *how*. This is a serious boon to all sound designers and wave-freaks out there :)
You'll notice a lack of resonant filters, but instead of a gaping hole where they should be, the space is filled with two spectral FX slots capable of throwing your harmonics around in ways that can make a resonant filter seem somewhat boring. These spectral effects include phase distortion (several sine-bending varieties, and the CZ-style 'resonance'), spectral brickwall filters (highpass, lowpass, band stop and pass), spectral gates/boosters, spectral unison, phasing, geometric mangling such as PWM/wave symmetry shifting, wave wrapping (a sort of cross between FM and sync), fractal sync (the synched waveform is included in succesive repeats), and a shedload of others. These are all per-voice and modulatable, and with adjustable resolution (which controls how frequently they are updated).
On top of that we have a standard oscillator control section, featuring phase control, antiphase mixing (for another flavour of PWM), oscillator self-sync (yes, several simultaneous ways of making sync and PWM - stack them and see what happens!), unison up to 11 voices... everything you'd find on the finest 'normal' oscillator.
If by now you aren't salivating and already downloading this plugin, I suspect you aren't really a synthesist at heart. While many have found Zebra 2.5 slightly overwhelming with it's myriad multimode modules and ways to connect them, Zebralette is a good way to get the Zebra sound and creativity into your music, without paying a penny and needing a degree in audio geekery. And if you're wondering about sound quality, just try something: Create the most gnarled waveform you can, add a sync sweep and some FM or other dangerous technique, and play around the high end of the keyboard, using plenty of pitch bend. Do you hear any aliasing or loss of definition?
Ok, why are you still reading this? GO! Install this plugin and let your inner explorer into this universe of sonic possibilities!