What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
stromkraft
KVRer
13 posts since 21 Feb, 2013 from Sweden

Post Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:05 pm

ATS wrote: Bladerunner sequel was amazing. Sad thing is though I believe a lot of people didn't like it. Audiences nowadays are use to a movie holding your hand the whole time. This movie makes you think for yourself and figure out what is going on.
Yes it does.

If audiences didn't like it they sure aren't voting at Imdb. Currently an 8.4 average.

grandmasterbird
KVRist
216 posts since 7 Jan, 2007

Re: What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

Post Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:15 pm

I used to think Zebra sounded a little tame when it came to writing dance music but then it clicked and I realised that with a little tweaking it can sound as raucous as anything else out there.

I don't think it was made to sound that way from the moment you load it up like a lot of other soft synths. To me it's pretty neutral, and if you want it to sound big, cutting (insert your own subjective take on things here) then you need to steer it to that place with your programming.

Personally I find the xmf filters and ms20 modelled filters help to beef things up, but if you want more tips and pointers then post in the uhe forum, they all seem like nice chaps who would no doubt be happy to help and offer more advice than I could ever hope to!

In my opinion it's an awesome piece of kit and if you put the time in you will reap the rewards

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ATS
KVRAF
5780 posts since 21 Dec, 2002 from MD USA

Re: What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

Post Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:19 pm

stromkraft wrote:
ATS wrote: Bladerunner sequel was amazing. Sad thing is though I believe a lot of people didn't like it. Audiences nowadays are use to a movie holding your hand the whole time. This movie makes you think for yourself and figure out what is going on.
Yes it does.

If audiences didn't like it they sure aren't voting at Imdb. Currently an 8.4 average.

You think this movie holds your hand and explains everything to you simply? Are we talking about the same movie? :lol: And yes this movie didn't do as well as everyone though it would at the box office. AND if you didn't see the first one you will have little clue what is really going on and even who or the story behind some of the characters. There are no flashbacks to explain anything before.
my music: http://www.alexcooperusa.com
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls ~ Pablo Picasso

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Igro
KVRAF
3988 posts since 26 Apr, 2007 from Noosphere

Re: What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

Post Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:47 pm

recursive one wrote:
fanodu1 wrote:It does sound more "neutral" than other u-he synths, but I actually think that's a strength because it doesn't sound very obtrusive and that's why it blends so well with other synths.
I think it depends on indivual tastes, chosen genres, mixing approaches etc. I've bought Bazille and Repro this weekend and both already found their place in my current psytrance project. Repro provided pretty nice goa-like lead which easily stands out in a dense arrangement made of various sounds mostly recored from my Virus. Bazille was used for some SFX sounds wich also blend nicely with the Virus and the other synths. On the other hand, when I'm using Zebra I always have troubles to get it sit properly in the mix and often have to use more external processing compared to other synths.

Overall, I have the impression that people who love Zebra are more into more mellow sounding music, like ambient, downtempo, or just pure sound design.
Or those who hates anything that has tons of brilliance, clicky attacks that sound like kicks (lol). Anything that that makes ears ringing...

stromkraft
KVRer
13 posts since 21 Feb, 2013 from Sweden

Re: What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

Post Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:55 pm

ATS wrote:
stromkraft wrote:
ATS wrote: Bladerunner sequel was amazing. Sad thing is though I believe a lot of people didn't like it. Audiences nowadays are use to a movie holding your hand the whole time. This movie makes you think for yourself and figure out what is going on.
Yes it does.

If audiences didn't like it they sure aren't voting at Imdb. Currently an 8.4 average.

You think this movie holds your hand and explains everything to you simply?

AND if you didn't see the first one you will have little clue what is really going on and even who or the story behind some of the characters. There are no flashbacks to explain anything before.
No, I think this movie "makes you think for yourself and figure out what is going on". The clue is in the quote to which I answered.

What are you talking about? There were more connects to the original than I expected there to be. Nevertheless both Bladerunners stand on their own. They are movies and not a TV-series.
Last edited by stromkraft on Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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ATS
KVRAF
5780 posts since 21 Dec, 2002 from MD USA

Re: What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

Post Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:56 pm

stromkraft wrote:
ATS wrote:
stromkraft wrote:
ATS wrote: Bladerunner sequel was amazing. Sad thing is though I believe a lot of people didn't like it. Audiences nowadays are use to a movie holding your hand the whole time. This movie makes you think for yourself and figure out what is going on.
Yes it does.

If audiences didn't like it they sure aren't voting at Imdb. Currently an 8.4 average.

You think this movie holds your hand and explains everything to you simply?

AND if you didn't see the first one you will have little clue what is really going on and even who or the story behind some of the characters. There are no flashbacks to explain anything before.
No, I think this movie "makes you think for yourself and figure out what is going on". The clue is in the quote to which I answered.

What are you talking about? There were more connects to the original than I expected there to be. Nevertheless both Balderunners stand on their own. It's movie and not a TV-serie.

Yeah the connects are there but if you didn't see the first one you would never know it. That's the whole point though. If you can't get the connects; because nothing explains what happens previous, you won't know what is going on. In other words, if you haven't seen the first one, make sure you watch that first.
Last edited by ATS on Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
my music: http://www.alexcooperusa.com
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls ~ Pablo Picasso

stromkraft
KVRer
13 posts since 21 Feb, 2013 from Sweden

Re: What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

Post Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:59 pm

grandmasterbird wrote:I used to think Zebra sounded a little tame when it came to writing dance music but then it clicked and I realised that with a little tweaking it can sound as raucous as anything else out there.

I don't think it was made to sound that way from the moment you load it up like a lot of other soft synths. To me it's pretty neutral, and if you want it to sound big, cutting (insert your own subjective take on things here) then you need to steer it to that place with your programming.
Well, this is very possible, but I put Zebra in direct comparison to about 6-7 other synths and I simply didn't like it enough at the time. This doesn't mean one cannot make great sounds with it. Real talent means you can tailor any instrument to something golden. I just chose other synths myself at the time (a few years back) without losing my eye on U-he. They are an amazing company.

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fmr
KVRAF
7576 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Re: What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:44 am

ATS wrote: Yeah the connects are there but if you didn't see the first one you would never know it. That's the whole point though. If you can't get the connects; because nothing explains what happens previous, you won't know what is going on. In other words, if you haven't seen the first one, make sure you watch that first.
If you just see the Return of the King, would you understand perfectly what's going on? And if you see just Rogue One, would you understand completely the allusions to a Death Star that you will never see or to a Rebel Alliance that you don't quite understand what is (besides the fact that they are rebelling against some power) or who is Darth Vader, for that matter?

On series of films, like it happens in series where there is a continuous story being telled, if you don't see all the episodes, there will be things that you fail to fully understand. That said, I found Blade Runner 2049 a good film, alhough it didn't impress me as much as the first one did back then.
Fernando (FMR)

clueless
KVRAF
5725 posts since 10 Mar, 2003 from Music Shed #3

Re: What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

Post Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:58 am

Krakatau wrote:
Teksonik wrote:
layzer wrote:no clue :roll:
You're absolutely right. You have no clue.......... :lol:
BTW where's clueless gone ? ...i'm wondering !
Spain

https://www.instagram.com/p/BnvyW3UhMN8 ... 6639314298

KBSoundSmith
KVRian
705 posts since 6 Jul, 2009

Re: What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

Post Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:19 am

To answer the OP's question: I think when someone dives deep in learning synthesis, the more one comes to appreciate how well-designed Zebra actually is. For that reason, I've come to think of Zebra as a synth for the truly dedicated.

I've had Zebra for a few years now. Several times, a more "specialized" synthesizer would become my main... but after learning a lot from a given synth, I'd return to Zebra with a new understanding of synthesis. And each time, I've had an epiphany moment that I can usually get a similar and/or better result with Zebra (not always of course -- sometimes the architecture of a dedicated synth can be pushed to greater extremes which Zebra just can't replicate...which is exceedingly rare...hint: it usually involves samples). You can think of me using other synthesizers as "Research and Development," and then usually using Zebra for the final output, where thoughts have been refined and crystallized.

As a recent example, I've been studying FM synthesis in-depth the last few months. I've demoed a bunch of synths, bought a few, have read several books on the subject, studied a bunch of DX7 patches and factory FM patches for other synths like FM8 and Sytrus, algorithmic vs matrix FM, etc etc... I've come to a number of conclusions about FM synthesis that made me realize just how well-implemented Zebra's FM actually is.

To put things starkly, let's think about a 6-op FM synth for a moment (limiting the operators to sine waves, for clarity). Let's imagine a single carrier being modulated by 2 modulators in series (ie, Mod A -> Mod B -> Carrier). What we are doing is using two simple waveforms to generate a complex waveform, which in turn modulates another simple waveform.

Zebra cuts out the middle man by starting with a complex waveform to modulate a simpler waveform. You don't need a bunch of operators because you can cut straight to the point. And you get to take advantage of Zebra's wavetables for time-varying waveforms, AND you get to take advantage of Zebra's extensive modulation options (which I have found sorely lacking in FM8... bleeding-edge sound design with FM8 is reliant on host automation, IMO). Now, this seems like a "well duh" moment...but once you truly grasp what this means, you begin to understand that Zebra's practical FM capabilities are more extensive than many dedicated FM synths. One trick I've picked up is to see what spectral content a modulation scheme creates, then simply model that spectrum in a Zebra wavetable (research and development, so to speak).

Also, Zebra's FMO modules are better than people realize. For waveforms which are typically useful in a traditionally musical context, the FMO module has things covered for carrier waves: sine, triangle-like, square-like, sawtooth-like. The FMO doesn't fulfill the fantasy of arbitrary waveforms which I'd like...but I've come to realize what a fringe case that actually is. And when I DO want something that fringe via FM, Serum (which I also own) can fulfill that desire (because 2-op is actually all you need in that case).

Now this isn't to say Zebra replaces FM8 or Sytrus. It doesn't. You can get results with those that you can't or would never *think* to get with Zebra, especially without having gone through the experience of programming a matrix FM synth. But again, after having gone through that experience, my understanding of Zebra has increased and I now know new, useful ways to extract sounds from Zebra that I can't get from other synths.
Last edited by KBSoundSmith on Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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vurt
addled muppet weed
37102 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

Post Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:28 am

simply put ...

urs knows his shit! (and the team)

each of uhes synths have their own character (would be pretty pointless them all being the same) zebra is more unique as its not modelled on anything whereas the others have their origins in previous hardware. this gives it a character of its own, that works!
although, i do prefer ace, but its more visually catered for my needs, i like to see the paths. while you can in zebra, its not as "pow!" as on ace :hihi:

NothanUmber
KVRist
252 posts since 1 Jul, 2004

Re: What makes U-he Zebra so loved?

Post Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:19 am

Initially I wished I could have as many instances of the modules in Zebra as I like. And even though I still like the open world modulars (and the ability to open everything and explore how it works inside) I now also see the merrit in the "u-he approach" of giving you a box of carefully chosen components to play around with

It's perhaps like having years of fun with exploring the possibilities that two hands full of lego bricks offer vs having an empty paper/canvas/universe and a pencil. Both have their merrits and challenges :)

Currently I don't use Zebra much because it is inconvenient to use with MPE controllers (you have to create 8+ instances, map those to midi channels manually, and reload presets in all of them each time the preset is altered).
Bazille (and most other u-he synths nowadays) work(s) great with these controllers though!
As far as I heard Zebra3 will have voice per channel support - so looking forward to it!

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