Your opinion about Zebra 2

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
lpr
KVRist
172 posts since 28 Dec, 2016

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:19 pm

I love zebra more than zebra actually!!!!

KVRAF
3293 posts since 20 Feb, 2004

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:47 pm

lpr wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:19 pm
I love zebra more than zebra actually!!!!
I know, right???
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KVRAF
2594 posts since 8 Jul, 2008 from UK

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:02 pm

Was probably the most underwhelming synth I ever bought. Not a sliight on the creator or the userbase, but for me and the stuff I was doing at the time, was of zero use.

I made the mistake of buying it on recommendation, because KVR really is a U-he fan driven site, and tbh there is a reason for that, because people highly rate the u-he synths. But in the world of music I am in, they are not used at all.

ACE was something I wanted to keep using, as it really had a nice sound but the CPU was being tortured for a basic patch, even if that patch was high quality, and at the time I had a pretty weak CPU (Still do but its better than it was) but I got rid of that too in favour of something less intense ( I am not a fan of bouncing out synths, I like to keep them loaded in case I want to tweak the patch )

Serum , Sylenth, Spire, DUNE, Tone2 synths and more hardware gets used more in the genres I am around. I've never tried Hive but the fact it's not been picked up by others kinda lets me know its not suitable. Which could be a shame as u-he quality and support is there, just the synths are more suited to other genres.
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KVRist
346 posts since 7 Sep, 2012

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:02 pm

LeVzi wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:02 pm
But in the world of music I am in, they are not used at all.

...

Serum , Sylenth, Spire, DUNE, Tone2 synths and more hardware gets used more in the genres I am around. I've never tried Hive but the fact it's not been picked up by others kinda lets me know its not suitable. Which could be a shame as u-he quality and support is there, just the synths are more suited to other genres.
out of curiosity, what are the genres you're claiming that u-he synths are not suitable for ? they're so versatile, they can fit anywhere and zebra is probably the most versatile among u-he synths, I think you just had to spend more time in order to understand how to incorporate it into your music/genre.

KVRAF
5322 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:14 pm

LeVzi wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:02 pm
Was probably the most underwhelming synth I ever bought. Not a sliight on the creator or the userbase, but for me and the stuff I was doing at the time, was of zero use.

I made the mistake of buying it on recommendation, because KVR really is a U-he fan driven site, and tbh there is a reason for that, because people highly rate the u-he synths.
I have the same story with Zebra, bouight it when I was starting out becuase of the KVR hype but never liked or used much. It's cool and all, and Hans Zimmer uses it, but for the genres I'm into (trance/psy/breaks) there always are alternatives with easier workflow and/or (subjectively) better sound.

I do like Hive and use it a lot, though. It's not the synth you see in every other EDM youtube tutorial but I think that's not because the synth itself but because Sylenth, Spire and Serum were first. The workflow is great and the sound is definitely there (I actually think Hive is somewhat closer to oldschool hardware VA sound, like Virus or Novation, than to modern super-clean and shiny software sound - but it can provide a nice contrast to Serum/Spire because of that).
LeVzi wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:02 pm
Serum , Sylenth, Spire, DUNE, Tone2 synths and more hardware gets used more in the genres I am around. I've never tried Hive but the fact it's not been picked up by others kinda lets me know its not suitable. Which could be a shame as u-he quality and support is there, just the synths are more suited to other genres.
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KVRian
1174 posts since 23 May, 2012 from London

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:59 pm

recursive one wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:14 pm
I have the same story with Zebra, bouight it when I was starting out becuase of the KVR hype but never liked or used much. It's cool and all, and Hans Zimmer uses it, but for the genres I'm into (trance/psy/breaks) there always are alternatives with easier workflow and/or (subjectively) better sound.
I feel more or less the same about Zebra. It's a quality synth and very deep, but it's fiddly and more demanding of my time to get serviceable sounds out of it. If I spent a bit more time to learn how all of the OSC FX work with the best source waveforms etc., I'd probably use it a bit more. That being said, ZebraHZ is killer for psytrance bass with fine control over the oscillators including Fundamental FX for taming the sub, flexible and punchy envelopes and Diva's tasty filters.
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KVRAF
2759 posts since 2 Oct, 2004

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:40 am

LeVzi wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:02 pm
Was probably the most underwhelming synth I ever bought. Not a sliight on the creator or the userbase, but for me and the stuff I was doing at the time, was of zero use.

I made the mistake of buying it on recommendation, because KVR really is a U-he fan driven site, and tbh there is a reason for that, because people highly rate the u-he synths. But in the world of music I am in, they are not used at all.

ACE was something I wanted to keep using, as it really had a nice sound but the CPU was being tortured for a basic patch, even if that patch was high quality, and at the time I had a pretty weak CPU (Still do but its better than it was) but I got rid of that too in favour of something less intense ( I am not a fan of bouncing out synths, I like to keep them loaded in case I want to tweak the patch )

Serum , Sylenth, Spire, DUNE, Tone2 synths and more hardware gets used more in the genres I am around. I've never tried Hive but the fact it's not been picked up by others kinda lets me know its not suitable. Which could be a shame as u-he quality and support is there, just the synths are more suited to other genres.
Can I hear some examples of this genre of music you're talking about? I think Zebra provides a nice contrast to those synths you mentioned above because it layers really well with other instruments and synths.
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KVRAF
28440 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:01 am

Just wrote a longer post, and then close the tab accidentally... ARGH...

Well... to cut it short, I don't believe in things like "You have to spend more time and effort with the synth". It's an argument which never made sense for me, and, it's also something you won't hear from any serious music producer. People go for synths like Sylenth1, or Nexus, because they get the desired result out of them. Fast. It doesn't make sense to work and work and work, to make a synth work for the sounds you're doing.

I just had the case yesterday. Had a sound in my mind that I wanted to create, so, I booted up Massive X, which I like a lot, to see if it can do it. I just couldn't make it work for that sound. So I booted up the Super 8 demo, simply because I hadn't used it for a while, and, bam. Out of the box, I was able to go where I want to be.

Of course, I could have tried to make Massive X work for me... with a lot of effort, and lots of FX. But, what's the point? And, for some things, like the snappiness of the filter/envelope, there's just no way to make things work as you like it. I think that's a common misconception here on KVR. And, it doesn't matter either, if Hans Zimmer did 99% of his Dark Knight soundtrack or whatever with Zebra, with the help of Howard Scarr. It's a nice marketing story, and, I'm sure it's even true. But, that doesn't mean that it has any relevance for me, or any other hobbyist, or even professional. Professionals usually go for fast results. Otherwise they wouldn't hire professional sound designers to design the sounds they use in their music either.
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Urs
u-he
25680 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:10 am

This...
chk071 wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:01 am
Just wrote a longer post, and then close the tab accidentally... ARGH...
... and that...
chk071 wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:01 am
I just couldn't make it work for that sound. So I booted up...
... are somehow entangled. Had you spent the time to learn one synth inside out, you'd have known beforehand what it can or can't do. But by not doing so you wasted time, just like accidentally closing a tab.

(and yes, the "story" is real and HZ has learned one synth inside out - one synth that does all he needs after I added certain features - and thereby vastly improved his workflow)

KVRAF
28440 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:27 am

Ok, but, why didn't he just learn Synth1 inside out then, and used that for the whole soundtrack? Would have been cheaper as well.

Apart from that, of course, you can't possibly know what I know inside out or not.

IIRC, Hans Zimmer said something along the lines of "We tried several plugins, and Zebra's sound was the only one which didn't fell apart when pushed", or something similar. So, obviously, it is about sound. Anything else would be pretty odd anyway.
Last edited by chk071 on Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRian
1174 posts since 23 May, 2012 from London

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:35 am

chk071 wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:27 am
Ok, but, why didn't he just learn Synth1 inside out then, and used that for the whole soundtrack? Would have been cheaper as well.

Apart from that, of course, you can't possibly know what I know inside out or not.
because Synth1 is a very basic synth learning it inside out wouldn't have given him the same sonic palette as learning Zebra inside and out. Violins sound pretty good on their own, why don't film composers just stick to using only the violin for their scores, it would be cheaper than hiring the whole orchestra or buying additional Kontakt libraries :wink:
Always Read the Manual!

KVRAF
28440 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:39 am

But, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Picking synths because they offer you something others don't. The only difference is that one talks about features, the other one about sound. I would argue that sound IS a feature
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRian
1184 posts since 11 Jun, 2019

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:49 am

recursive one wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:14 pm
[...] and Hans Zimmer uses it [...]
"Hans Zimmer" is a brand that sells endorsement and emotions. The real actors in this roleplay are unknown - as usual.

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KVRist
339 posts since 27 Aug, 2020

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:51 am

chk071 wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:01 am
I don't believe in things like "You have to spend more time and effort with the synth". It's an argument which never made sense for me, and, it's also something you won't hear from any serious music producer.
Hasn't JMJ basically stated that in order to get really creative and learn a synth properly and inside-out and all that, you have to stick with just one softsynth for half a year and use nothing else other than that? Something to that effect anyway. Hardly a non-serious producer even if I find his latest albums to be on the cheesy side. I doubt AFX would disagree with the sentiment either.

It's obvious it depends on the context of the kind of sound you want to achieve. Even though Zebra is perfectly capable of creating classical subtractive patches, its strengths arguably lie in the more esoteric sonic realms.

Using Zebra for synthesizing some kind of simple psytrance bass patch might indeed be an overkill and there are synths that are better suited for that, probably something inspired by Viruses like Viper.

It's mostly about being aware of the kind of workflow and synthesis immediacy you expect from a softsynth more than anything else. If you don't want to get exploratory and wanna get very predictable results without any of the hassle found in very complex synths like Zebra, then it is conspicuous Zebra is not the right choice. Instead of blindly falling for the hype, you need to know what you want in the first place and it's pretty hard to ascertain with all the informational white noise going on around us.
chk071 wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:39 am
But, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Picking synths because they offer you something others don't. The only difference is that one talks about features, the other one about sound. I would argue that sound IS a feature
The sound is oftentimes a function of features. It's on you to decide whether you need those features to create certain sounds or not. Also, demoing and hearing for yourself whether the synth in question is capable of creating certain sounds likewise helps making that decision.

KVRian
1174 posts since 23 May, 2012 from London

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:07 am

crickey13 wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:51 am
chk071 wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:01 am
Using Zebra for synthesizing some kind of simple psytrance bass patch might indeed be an overkill and there are synths that are better suited for that, probably something inspired by Viruses like Viper.
I mean I didn't buy it, nor would I recommend others to buy it just to make a psytrance bass, but if you have it it's by no means a poor choice or overkill. The envelopes are tight with variable contour and there are lots of filter flavours to choose from including Diva's if you have ZebraHZ. One of the great things is that complexity scales with the patch, so programming a single osc, single filter patch is no more convoluted and time consuming compared to a simple VA like Hive or Sylenth1 etc.

The fundamental osc FX is helpful for me personally. I can achieve the same result using a second phase inverted sine oscillator layer, as I do in other synths, but it's nice to have it built right into the oscillator module in Zebra. The built in EQ has variable-Q bell bends and the frequency can be keytracked, making it possible to make a pitch tracking EQ at the patch level. It's easy to make a pitch tracking EQ in Live or Bitwig, but for other DAW users, this is a big plus point.

Edit: fixed quote parentheses.
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