Log InCreate An Account
  1. Developers
  2. »
  3. u
  4. »
  5. u-he
u-he, Heckmann Audio GmbH, , Wilmersdorfer Str. 98/99, 10629 Berlin, D-GERMANY
Favorite Developer - Best Audio and MIDI Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2023

Founded in 2001 by industrial designer and synthesizer fan Urs Heckmann as a one-man show, the Berlin-based audio software company u-he has since evolved into a tightly knit team of employees, active associates and 3rd-party contractors – with ambitious plans.

Known primarily for Zebra2 and Diva, u-he has released several other successful products over the years, and has contributed freeware plug-ins to popular music technology magazines. Despite their underlying complexity, u-he synths and effects are widely acclaimed for their ease of use.

The u-he team has been exploring new technologies for vastly improved analogue synth and delay emulation, as well as various "physical modelling" approaches to acoustic instruments and effects. All valuable groundwork for the Zebra3 project and other spin-off products - watch this space!
Especially well known for the Zebra2 and Diva software synthesizers, u-he has developed several other successful products over the last decade, and regularly contributes freeware to popular magazines (available as download or on cover discs).

Despite their underlying complexity, u-he synths and effects are widely acclaimed for their ease of use. This is often attributed to Urs Heckmann's background as industrial designer. Heckmann sees the seemingly unconventional decision to start an audio software company as a direct result of his equal love for industrial design and for synthesizers.

Most recently, u-he has been exploring concepts for analogue synthesizers, and the first results can be heard in the software synths ACE / Bazille (audio-rate modulation paths) as well as Diva, Presswerk and Satin (accurate simulation of electronic circuitry). Hive is u-he's first foray into the world of low CPU dance-oriented synths.

Products by u-he

Filterscape FXEQ
by u-he
Favorite Developer - Best Audio and MIDI Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2023
MyKVR$129 (Sold only as part of Filterscape Bundle)
Filterscape Q6EQ
by u-he
Favorite Developer - Best Audio and MIDI Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2023
MyKVR$129 (Sold only as part of Filterscape Bundle)
by u-he
Favorite Developer - Best Audio and MIDI Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2023
MyKVRFree with Computer Music Magazine

Latest reviews of u-he products


Reviewed By petelina [all]
April 28th, 2024
Version reviewed: 19092 on Linux

This is magic out of the box.

Expresive, deep, clear sound with a bunch of presets.

This synth comes through.

Not surprising from u-he.

Read Review

Reviewed By paramita123 [all]
December 20th, 2023
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

ZebraCM is truly an exceptional freebie, a delicious synth capable of gorgeous leads and pads and everything else.

It has some really great sounding filters and lots of modulation options.
I have to mention the great presets system. Everything is designed so well.

I'll have to buy something from U-HE to thank them for this true gem, saving up for Diva or Hive.
Thanks CM too, bought the mag for years and love it.

Read Review

Reviewed By mtelesha [all]
August 19th, 2023
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

This is the first compression I go to and I usually stop here. It is a great swiss army knife. If this was a hardware compressor it would be 5 racks tall. The UI makes it simple to get something dialed in right away and then tweak and compare is also simple.

Read Review
Tyrell Nexus 6

Reviewed By maro4755 [all]
July 12th, 2023
Version reviewed: 3.0.389 on Mac

Literally, If I've been forced for any reason to remain only one vst/au in my daw it would be.... ta-daam... Tyrell N6. Most creative synth of all time. Thank you u-he, thank you amazona.de.

Read Review
ACE (Any Cable Everywhere)

Reviewed By lyuboserafimov [all]
February 28th, 2023
Version reviewed: 12092 on Windows

This is one of the most underrated softsynths. Everything about it screams analog. Soundwise I would compare it to Bazille, but I like ACE more, because it's semi-modular, thus easier to control. It's still extremely flexible and most importantly - inspirational. I never know what I'll end up creating.

The only thing I didn't like was the GUI - that's why I made my own. Yes - that's how much I adore this thing :).

Read Review

Reviewed By viraven8 [all]
February 2nd, 2023
Version reviewed: 1.4.5 on Windows

This is the only plugin I ever bought JUST from hearing the init patch saw wave. I agree with everyone else, that Diva is the best analog emulation plugin to date. A must-have for electronic producers.

Since this plugin is praised so much, I will mostly be listing the cons. I honestly thought I would consider this plugin to be rated as 4/5 stars, but the sound is just too amazing and fat for such a rating.

Biggest problem with Diva, (not cpu!) is that it isn't really semi-modular. You can slap an LFO/EG to filter/FM/amp/tune/pwm, but most subtractive plugins already do that. You have a lot of ways to manipulating LFO's/Envelopes using the "add/multiply/etc" features, but doing so is FAR more tedious than modulation in most other VSTs such as Serum/Pigments/Massive/etc. The modulation is only really useful for engineering analog chaos. Real analog instruments may have the advantage of having infinite sample rate, but the real analog sound comes from the imperfections of circuits and how heat effects transistors. Diva has already engineered almost all of these analog features to the point that you don't need to reinvent the wheel. If you want to add some more analog chaos, then perhaps you can make use of some of the semi-modular features.

Additionally, you will find some knobs that you want to modulate, but you can't. The modulation is messy and very limited. U-he even made a separate tab for working with the modulators, but since modulation is so limited, I feel like it's just a waste of space/a tab.

Last issue is more personal, but I didn't find the effects very useful or good sounding. The only effects I liked were Chorus/Rotary. I'd suggest using external FX for reverb/ phaser/ delay.

CPU isn't much of a problem if you use high hardware buffer and a good soundcard. However, this plugin definitely uses the MOST CPU out of any plugin. If you do not have the hardware, then you must bounce everything to rendered samples, which is reasonably too much work for some people.

Now for why I love this plugin: The generators and filters are beautifully engineered to emulate the REAL analog circuits. There are 5 generators and filters that each sound like their own VST plugin. I'd almost consider Diva to be 5 fat sounding VST plugins in one, but without much useful modulation. I bought this purely for the sound, and many others will too.

Read Review
Hive 2

Reviewed By zisser [all]
December 25th, 2022
Version reviewed: 2 on Windows

Five star synth.

This synth sounds good even with the init preset :)
The filters are amazing, the wavetable selection is great and modulation is easy to manage.

Once you get to know Hive you can get some beautiful sounds with just few moves.

Here is my beginners guide and demo.


Read Review
Kling Klong

Reviewed By glokraw [all]
November 8th, 2022
Version reviewed: V 1.0 on Windows

After previewing similar Hive factory sounds, this was a no-brainer purchase. Being able to easily create rhythm tracks while modifying synth percussion sounds on the fly, is great fun. Like having a drummer that listens to and obeys the boss. Hive's wavetable capabilities might be contributing to the sounds selection, and the sequencer is put to good use moving the sounds along.

I've set up a Logitech gamepad as MIDI controller in Reaper daw, which has scriptable joystick support, and an 'add joystick support' button, with three example scripts to choose from. I'm using the 'guitar-hero' script, and eight parameters are shared between the dual spring-loaded joysticks, seen with dials active in the Hive presets view. I mounted the device for easy left-hand control, run the sounds with a latched arpeggiator plugin, and start recording when I find something special. I'll be getting a gamepad where the joysticks are not spring-loaded, as a supplement, so choice settings can be maintained with both hands on the keys.

The gamepad buttons also trigger notes from an eight or ten note chromatic scale, which come into play with melodic content. There is much more here than meets the eye, and a wide array of sounds and modulations to meet the ear, so experiments and multiple Hive instances are worthy of the effort. As well as applying ColorCopy and Uhbik, as whispered by the Muse. Those good with a modwheel, midi-learn, and more standard knob-and-slider controls will find the most important parameters up front without needing to root around much. Very happy with this, and all other U-he purchases! I'll give it 5 stars for ease of getting results, and Hive's wavetable import extending the sound collection possibilities. I'm using U-he products in linux, both the native versions, and the windows version via wine, in the AVLinux turnkey audio OS.


Read Review

Timeline of Latest Product Changes [view all]

Latest News from u-he

Latest Videos from u-he

Latest Forum Posts in the u-he forum @ KVR

Add Preset Preferences to Save Button Right-Click Menu
by AtomOfScent at 15 Jun 2024, 02:45
Zebralette 3 Bug Reports
by Arithmophone at 15 Jun 2024, 01:05
Diva 1.4.7 update (revision 15105)
by mrj1nx at 14 Jun 2024, 02:58
What is the stackindex modulation?
by ghostwhistler at 11 Jun 2024, 11:32
u-he @ Superbooth 2024
by neuromod at 9 Jun 2024, 20:38
Zebra arpeggiator and microtuning
by monomaker at 6 Jun 2024, 07:47
DIVA free running oscillators
by mentooool at 6 Jun 2024, 03:03
Music created with U-he synths
by glokraw at 4 Jun 2024, 11:34
DIVA Filter trigger question
by ghostwhistler at 30 May 2024, 02:22
Out Now: Filterscape 1.5 rev 15011
by Nug Wrangler at 29 May 2024, 05:12
Zebralette 3 Spline Editor & UX Discussion
by tasmaniandevil at 28 May 2024, 03:07
Uhbiks & Apple Silicon
by Ploki at 28 May 2024, 01:35
u-he preset library
by Fannon at 26 May 2024, 22:20