Diva and Zebra questions

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12628 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:56 am

Yes, let's actually hear those punchy and snappy sounds, I am also curious...

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zvenx
KVRAF
6771 posts since 16 Feb, 2005 from Kingston, Jamaica

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:45 am

Its time like this I wished kvr had a bookmark post and like post functionality.

Really well written and echoes my view.

thanks,
rsp
bmrzycki wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:19 am
djmino02 wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:35 am
I'm also wondering how they compare with the synth engine in Omnisphere.

If anyone has these and can weigh in on the advantages and disadvantages of having Diva and Zebra vs just the synth engine in Omnisphere. I would be forever grateful. :D
I own all three (Omni 2, Zebra 2, Diva) so I'll give you my compare/contrast between them.

Zebra is the most neutral synthesizer I've ever used. It can be pulled in almost any direction once you understand the modules. The modules themselves are very powerful and are almost mini-synths in their design. Any kind of routing (except feedback loops) can be done. It also does excellent layered sounds. I love that as my knowledge grows of synthesis (and of Zebra) the instrument grows with me. Very rarely do I say "oh, I don't think that's possible with Zebra" at least when discussing pure synthesis methods. To me, Zebra the best pure synthesizer on the market, hard or soft. This is my desert island synth. Howard's factory sounds are also a great way to learn about the power of the modules as well as his impressive frugality. Huge, interesting sounds, come from 3-4 modules. I often think of Zebra as several synths within a synth...

Diva oozes character and warmth. I love it for a fast subtractive workflow, particularly for Bass and analog pad sounds. When I use it I end up thinking of the words "round" and "creamy". I prefer the modulation system in Zebra though and I usually end up tweaking presets instead of making my own. I never grew up with any of the emulated hardware devices so I find the invisible routing to sometimes feel limiting. Zebra has ruined me that way. :)

Omnisphere is huge, weird, and wonderful. I always feel like I'm invited over to Eric's house and he drags me to his synth lab and says "check this sound out!". The pure DSP engine is very good, especially with the additional layers in the 2.5 update. Previously you used to have to assign one of the 2 parts in a sound to create noise. Now you have 3 more engines. The granular engine gives me back a lot of what I felt about Alchemy 1.x in a supported product on Windows too. This is also a preset tweaker for me mostly because the tagging system and parameter locking is so darn good. You can lock the fx and the "feel" of a preset and just start tweaking or flipping sound sources. The workflow, for me, is completely different from Diva and Zebra but I do love it when I'm searching for new sounds or what-if crazy resonators. It's worth every penny, especially as a masterclass on sound design if you're willing to put in the time to reverse-engineer the sounds. As a live synth with it's Live mode nothing else comes close for workflow IMO. I'm excited to try it out with multitouch under Windows when I get a touch monitor too. Biggest drawback is the engine layout is still very much fixed in the generator->filters->fx model. Again, Zebra has ruined me about what is possible. :)

Overall, I love all three in different ways. It'd be like asking me about which of my three pet dogs is my favorite. What I would recommend is for you to really be honest with yourself and answer the following questions:
1. What do I want to do with a synth? Play live, use in a daw, create my own sounds, use as a preset player,...
2. Do I love the presets that come with it and do they inspire me? Unless you're the most die-hard synthesist you'll inevitably use some of the presets from the factory.
3. What is my imagined (or demoed) workflow? Zebra and Diva can be demoed without expiration. I recommend doing so.

Thinking about these things should help you decide, or at least get you moving in one direction. Honestly, I'd recommend all three. and the total cost is less than a mid-tier workstation keyboard with almost all synthesis covered for under $1000.
sound sculptist

Elektronisch
KVRAF
2440 posts since 3 Feb, 2010

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:55 am

fluffy_little_something wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:56 am
Yes, let's actually hear those punchy and snappy sounds, I am also curious...
Here you go

https://clyp.it/ur42aml2

The start of the sound is under these settings. You can clearly hear the punchy percussive sound and the emphasis on low frequencies. Later on i increase decay and sustain on filter and a little bit filter cuttoff and envelope. As you can see there is no retrigering. I only pressed punch knob to add a bit more epmhasis on it even more, but without it its already very clearly hearable.

On Diva under same settings in diva you hear almost complete silence
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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12628 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:23 am

In the manual it says:

"PUNCH controls the dynamic transient enhancer which makes for a “snappier’ attack".

In other words, it is a kind of effect built into the synth. Naturally most synths don't have that. I think most developers actually try to remove such clicks.
Do analog hardware synths produce that click?
What does the same audio sound like when you disable the Punch feature?
Last edited by fluffy_little_something on Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Elektronisch
KVRAF
2440 posts since 3 Feb, 2010

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:24 am

fluffy_little_something wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:23 am
In the manual it says:

"PUNCH controls the dynamic transient enhancer which makes for a “snappier’ attack".

In other words, it is a kind of effect built into the synth. Naturally most synths don't have that. I think most developers actually try to remove such clicks.
Please read again what i said about punch...

Elektronisch
KVRAF
2440 posts since 3 Feb, 2010

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:25 am

Do analog hardware synths produce that click?

Roland cloud synths does as far as i remember. Is it real analong? i dont know dont care. But it suppose to be according to how close it does sound.

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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12628 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:27 am

Elektronisch wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:24 am

Please read again what i said about punch...
Why? 8)

Elektronisch
KVRAF
2440 posts since 3 Feb, 2010

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:23 am

fluffy_little_something wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:27 am
Elektronisch wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:24 am

Please read again what i said about punch...
Why? 8)
Because without a punch its quite hearable so your answer about punch just doesnt matter because it doesnt explain where the punch comes from without the knob :-) the punch effect knob only makes the punch louder more emphasized then it is :-)

Its best for you to demo yourself to hear it to believe it :-)

chk071
KVRAF
17594 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:51 am

Elektronisch wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:25 am
Do analog hardware synths produce that click?

Roland cloud synths does as far as i remember. Is it real analong? i dont know dont care. But it suppose to be according to how close it does sound.
Many soft synths are "de-clicked", or have too slow envelopes to be clicky. For me, it's definitely a sign of quality if a synth has a clicky attack, and, the de-clicking should definitely be optional.

About whether or not analog hardware produces that, i don't know. I think most of them do, but, wasn't there an issue people had with the Korg Minilogue being too clicky? Maybe it was another issue. Because, IMO, i wouldn't know what's not to like about a clicky attack stage. As i mentioned, for me it's rather a sign of quality, and overall snappiness of the synth.

yellowmix
KVRian
782 posts since 11 Aug, 2012

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:21 am

Waves Codex shares a lot with the Elements engine so I decided to explore what the "Punch" button does. It looks like a pitch envelope over one cycle, so it's remarkably phase aligned after this modulation. There is a slight amplitude bump as well. The "low-end" you're hearing can be explained by the downward pitch modulation, which is what makes many percussion instruments "thump". Obviously this can be done in Diva, Zebra, etc. with the appropriate modulations.
codex-punch.png
Naturally I became curious how other synths implemented similar things. VPS Avenger has a "Spike" mode on the amp. This is simply an amplitude spike at the beginning. However, it's easy enough to add a pitch envelope.
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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12628 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:34 am

Yes, if needed one can create that click via the mod matrix in most synths. I have several such Sylenth1 patches using pitch modulation(s).

https://app.box.com/s/masyizxz6lft884zvfr4dw5xph3b610e

Elektronisch
KVRAF
2440 posts since 3 Feb, 2010

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:56 am

fluffy_little_something wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:34 am
Yes, if needed one can create that click via the mod matrix in most synths. I have several such Sylenth1 patches using pitch modulation(s).

https://app.box.com/s/masyizxz6lft884zvfr4dw5xph3b610e
This is what i myself do to add, but the problem is:

1. its not out of the box, on Element you dont need to even add punch button, only to amplify if you want to make it more prominent :)
2. Its on low end
3. also when you use 2 osc its very hearable how the phasing occurs witch doesnt feel like a pattern, but random.

Your example sounds nothing like element, like 1%, its thin as ice, sorry :)

Elektronisch
KVRAF
2440 posts since 3 Feb, 2010

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:13 pm

yellowmix wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:21 am
Waves Codex shares a lot with the Elements engine so I decided to explore what the "Punch" button does. It looks like a pitch envelope over one cycle, so it's remarkably phase aligned after this modulation. There is a slight amplitude bump as well. The "low-end" you're hearing can be explained by the downward pitch modulation, which is what makes many percussion instruments "thump". Obviously this can be done in Diva, Zebra, etc. with the appropriate modulations.

codex-punch.png

Naturally I became curious how other synths implemented similar things. VPS Avenger has a "Spike" mode on the amp. This is simply an amplitude spike at the beginning. However, it's easy enough to add a pitch envelope.
I was able to get similar effect on Diva, but it still lacks that heavyness. Repro 5 without tweaking sounds very similar at the bottom end and that random phasing when playing 2 oscillators, but still doesnt have that clickiness, and when its emulated,it just doesnt feel "convincing" but not bad overal.

Actually out of the box i can see only Virus ti seem to be one who can produce same result (also that means viper too).

chk071
KVRAF
17594 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:35 pm

TBH, i don't find the example you posted above very punchy. Or snappy. Which, in my book, are two different things.

Here's a sound snippet i always post to demonstrate very fast, snappy envelopes:

https://soundcloud.com/chk-sound/monark-snap

"Punchy" i'd rather define as something heavy, weighty, and beefy. Fluffy demonstrated that pretty well with his Sylenth1 patch. And Sylenth1 is one of those synths which can get pretty "punchy". It doesn't take fast envelopes, and considerable "snappy"-ness to do a punchy sound though. In my opinion. Your definition may differ.

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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12628 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Diva and Zebra questions

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:37 pm

Elektronisch:
At the beginning of your audio there is no bass in the click, either. It seems to get added as the decay increases. It sounds almost like a sub-oscillator, a couple of octaves lower than the main sound. I can't think of many examples where I would even want that. I would only have to remove the low frequencies again with an equalizer as they would interfere with bass and bass drum...

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