Your opinion about Zebra 2

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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KVRist
301 posts since 27 Aug, 2020

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:14 am

I get that. Some people simply might not appreciate Zebra's quirks and expect something different and a bit more straightforward and comfy I guess. It's because of the workflow, sound and whatever. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

User avatar
Urs
u-he
25635 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:16 am

GRUMP wrote:
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.
Yes, you have obviously never met the man. The real person is completely unknown to you, and so is every bit of circumstance that led to him being who he is, and why I value his opinion quite a lot more than the vile shit that some people think they need to pour out.

KVRer
8 posts since 27 Mar, 2021

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:18 am

I love it.

KVRian
1184 posts since 11 Jun, 2019

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:35 am

Urs wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:16 am
GRUMP wrote:
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.
Yes, you have obviously never met the man. The real person is completely unknown to you, and so is every bit of circumstance that led to him being who he is, and why I value his opinion quite a lot more than the vile shit that some people think they need to pour out.
That is true Urs and I also never said a word about him. But that doesn´t change the fact that his name is a well know brand today. I I even know people who know better than me personally for professional reasons ;-)

KVRAF
5316 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:44 am

crickey13 wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:14 am
I get that. Some people simply might not appreciate Zebra's quirks and expect something different and a bit more straightforward and comfy I guess. It's because of the workflow, sound and whatever. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
+1
Saying that Zebra is crap and the Hans Zimmer story is fake - that's bullshit.

Saying that Zebra is the one and only synth everybody needs (e.g., because Hans Zimmer) - this is at least questionnable.

U-He does have a synth for everyone though. I have and regularly use few of them, Hive being my current favourite.

Btw, Hive has got some well-deserved recognition from psytrance guys (as far as "genre specific" uses of Hive go)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCRaxeMC-hA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc8eXbctEJM
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

https://soundcloud.com/recursion-loop/s ... travels-ep

KVRAF
28131 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:35 am

crickey13 wrote:
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.
On most of his records, he has the synths he used for the album printed on the back sleeve. There's also several videos of his impressive collection of gear and soft synths. If he spend half a year for each of them, to learn it "inside out", he would not only be 200 years old by now, but he'd also have had no time to record his albums, or go on tour...

Not saying that it's a bad idea to learn something inside out, on the contrary. And, I also don't know why someone would read stuff like that into what I wrote. What I was saying is that I consider it a bad argument to say that you have to spend more time with the synth, when you say that it doesn't work for you. I can spend a year with a synth, and use it every day, and it will still not work for certain scenarios for me. Because I have a certain demand for specific sounds. I can also scratch 99% of soft synths for typical supersaw pluck or pad sounds, because they simply don't sound very well with those (I know that some people here, who never had any reason to even create a supersaw sound, because they don't do that music, will tell you else, but, I don't think their opinion really matters). There's a reason why Sylenth1 or Spire excel at such sounds, and get so widely used for them.

Maybe Zebra excels at cinematic sounds, and that's why Hans Zimmer uses it for those. I wouldn't know. Maybe Zebra simply gives him many, many synthesis options, and he uses it as a "do it all" work horse (hence "Zebra"?). Thing is, he surely has a reason to do so. Like I have a reason to use the synths that I use for certain sounds.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRAF
28131 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:44 am

crickey13 wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:51 am
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.
Exactly. :tu:
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 5:53 am

Spending more time with a Synth does is no guarantee for reaching your goals with it. You should better check if someone else already did and how. And before you chose an other time sucker over a time saver.

As said some pages before already Zeb proved as a time grave for me and I know for sure why now that I have crashed all walls with other, rather unknown tools.

Edit: to have mentioned that - I don't make abstract Hardcore or "Terror" sounds but rather "soft" and"simple Synth sounds that sound good and balanced without that "artful" deflection from the weaknesses and plastic cover.
Last edited by GRUMP on Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
KVRAF
2562 posts since 8 Jul, 2008 from UK

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:56 am

nirm123 wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:02 pm
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.
v1o wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:40 am
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.
So I buy a synth and spend months finding a way to make a certain style of sound ? A lot of supersaws are used in the genres I am part of and is Zebra2 ideal for them ? No, its less suited. Sylenth, DUNE are by far better choices
chk071 wrote:
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.
This is exactly the point, why should anyone buy a synth and then have to spend more time then to learn to do certain things, when you can open another synth and get the desired result in half the time or even a better sounding version.

As I said I dunno what HIVE is like, maybe the EDM answer from u-he, but I have plenty of choices for leads, if I want dubby stuff I go with Serum or Massive, leads, Sylenth or Electra2 , and the list goes on. Check the sounds in Hardstyle and Terror and Hardcore, they aren't from Zebra I can assure you.
Forward ever, Backward never

User avatar
KVRAF
2293 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:13 am

LeVzi wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:56 am
Check the sounds in Hardstyle and Terror and Hardcore, they aren't from Zebra I can assure you.
There's a genre called Terror, learn something new every day.

User avatar
KVRist
301 posts since 27 Aug, 2020

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:56 am

chk071 wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:35 am
On most of his records, he has the synths he used for the album printed on the back sleeve. There's also several videos of his impressive collection of gear and soft synths. If he spend half a year for each of them, to learn it "inside out", he would not only be 200 years old by now, but he'd also have had no time to record his albums, or go on tour...

Not saying that it's a bad idea to learn something inside out, on the contrary. And, I also don't know why someone would read stuff like that into what I wrote. What I was saying is that I consider it a bad argument to say that you have to spend more time with the synth, when you say that it doesn't work for you. I can spend a year with a synth, and use it every day, and it will still not work for certain scenarios for me. Because I have a certain demand for specific sounds. I can also scratch 99% of soft synths for typical supersaw pluck or pad sounds, because they simply don't sound very well with those (I know that some people here, who never had any reason to even create a supersaw sound, because they don't do that music, will tell you else, but, I don't think their opinion really matters). There's a reason why Sylenth1 or Spire excel at such sounds, and get so widely used for them.

Maybe Zebra excels at cinematic sounds, and that's why Hans Zimmer uses it for those. I wouldn't know. Maybe Zebra simply gives him many, many synthesis options, and he uses it as a "do it all" work horse (hence "Zebra"?). Thing is, he surely has a reason to do so. Like I have a reason to use the synths that I use for certain sounds.
My point is that there are good producers making that concrete argument, it's not about whether it's intrinsically cogent or if it holds any value. It's just a little extreme to argue that no serious producers suggest that and that most serious producers only take interest in immediacy in sound design. It might've been a somewhat hyperbolic figure of speech on your part, doesn't matter.

That being said, it admittedly may very well not be a good argument to make in the sense that it's hard to learn a softsynth inside-out if the said softsynth doesn't even inspire you on the surface level. If you don't find the experience or the sound appealing and engrossing in some way, then it's hard to invest even more of your time in something you don't find inspiring to begin with.

Zebra's sound is unabashedly digital and I find its clasically subtractive patches to be flat and somewhat plugin-y sounding, I mean there are better synths out there to get those forward-sounding subtractive patches. That is not to say you can't do away with that underlying plugin-y character through some wicked patching, you've got to be willing to put in the time and effort to do that though. You have to be happy to some extent with the way the synth works and you can't do that if the synth doesn't inspire you at all.

I guess that at the end of the day, it's a matter of priorities. Zebra is mostly about its semi-modular architecture, highly capable processing and CPU efficiency. It's about flexibility and being able to do a lot of things synthesis-wise rather than getting something characterful right out of the box. The toolbox is there for you to express yourself. If you don't find the toolbox to be of much use or inspiration, then that means an impediment to your creative expression and that ends the discussion. I like Zebra, but one ought to remember to think for oneself when choosing tools for one's own creative expression lest they should fall for the hype and end up with something they don't find inspiring at all.

KVRAF
12701 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:23 am

...
Last edited by ghettosynth on Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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addled muppet weed
77730 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:27 am

ghettosynth wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:23 am
I remember thinking that zebra 1 sounded pretty good for a soft synth, this was eons ago
pfft, i remember zebra, when the only way you could use it, was to have urs, come round with a usb stick! :P

User avatar
addled muppet weed
77730 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:30 am

ghettosynth wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:23 am
.

Just because you like a synth doesn't mean that someone else is going to get on with it in a productive manner. There are many aspects of an instrument that work together with the user's preferences and psyche.
yup. that's exactly why there are so many choices, none of which is wrong (outside of given restrictions [features required for example])

8)

User avatar
Urs
u-he
25635 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:44 am

vurt wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:27 am
ghettosynth wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:23 am
I remember thinking that zebra 1 sounded pretty good for a soft synth, this was eons ago
pfft, i remember zebra, when the only way you could use it, was to have urs, come round with a usb stick! :P
Are you sure it wasn't a CD-ROM?

But yeah, that long ago, huh? 2003?

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