Your opinion about Zebra 2

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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SJ_Digriz
KVRAF
5579 posts since 5 Jul, 2001 from either Northern Idaho or Southern Canada, still trying to figure out which

Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:10 am

no one goes there anymore, it's too crowded
The trick is to realize there is no spoon. That's when you'll know you have been truly swindled.

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Urs
u-he
22519 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:03 am

DJErmac wrote:No matter what you try, it always sounds "old"
It proudly does :clown:

https://www.u-he.com/songs/zebra2/zebra ... ratron.mp3

(100% Zebra2, including drums and fx - how many synths can do this without using samples and yet so easily?)

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DJErmac
KVRian
602 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:34 am

Zebra 2 is a great synth, there's no doubt about it, but my personal opinion, and I represent nothing more than one user, is that if you're into EDM there are better alternatives today. You definitely can't deny that Zebra 2 isn't the most endorsed synth into EDM community. Watch EDM production tutorials : people use Sylenth, Serum, Avenger, Massive, but NOT Zebra 2. Actually I have never ever met any EDM producer in my life who said he uses Zebra 2 (of course there must be some lol, some people might find examples to prove me wrong :D ... what I've said is that I've never met any...).

And if you don't care about EDM, then you don't care about my comments also, I'm only talking about what I'm doing ! ;)

recursive one
KVRAF
3694 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:03 pm

DJErmac wrote:Zebra 2 is a great synth, there's no doubt about it, but my personal opinion, and I represent nothing more than one user, is that if you're into EDM there are better alternatives today. You definitely can't deny that Zebra 2 isn't the most endorsed synth into EDM community. Watch EDM production tutorials : people use Sylenth, Serum, Avenger, Massive, but NOT Zebra 2. Actually I have never ever met any EDM producer in my life who said he uses Zebra 2 (of course there must be some lol, some people might find examples to prove me wrong :D ... what I've said is that I've never met any...).
I mostly agree. EDM, trance, psytrance, DnB, dub/bro/vomit/whateverstep... Zebra can do all this on paper, but these are other synths that cover the same bases, sound much better (or at least more authentic) and require much less finetuning and less external processing to sit well in the mix. I used it a lot in the past but each time i tried to use Zebra for a lead or bass I either had to use shitload of processing or I just ended up with replacing it with some other synth.

I think Zebra userbase are mostly soundtrack composers, ambient/downtempo/experimetal producers and people who love designing sounds just for the sake of it. I still use it here and these because I have it (it actually was the first synth I ever bought, together with Sylenth) but it's not an essential part of my setup. If you want an U-he synth for trance/EDM, Hive is far better choice especially with the new wavetable functionality.
I hate incomplete sentences because they ...

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karrikuh
KVRist
292 posts since 6 Apr, 2008

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:33 pm

himalaya wrote:@anomandaris1,

Thank you for posting the examples. Lots of 'formant', wavetable, and FM sounds in there, most of which are very 'clinical', precise, very digital sounding. The immediate advantage of Serum over Zebra, is Serum's wavetable engine, which allows to import all manner of ready, digital 'formant' waveforms, whereas we need to make them from scratch in Zebra. But a lot of the more piercing, very sharp wobbles can be made with FM, which Zebra supports. So I don't see anything that should stop us from making such patches. Might give it a go myself (and fall flat on my face being unable to! haha! :D )
I don't think Z2s feature set is enough to achieve these kind of in-your-face sounds. Most of these make heavy use of features particular to synths like Serum, e.g.:
- Wavetable osc as FM carrier. Z2 only offers a few simple waveforms as FM carrier. Also, no FM unison > 2 voices. My understanding is that Zebra 3 will have these capabilities, though.
- "Reverb" filter from Serum. Some weird comb filter effect, not found in any other synth I'm aware of.
- Hyper/Dimension Expander stereo widening effects from Serum/Massive.
- OTT-style multi-band compression/expansion found in Serum/Ableton. The "OTT" preset from Ableton's dynamics effect is a key ingredient to get these punchy sounds.

I would very much welcome if Zebra 3 added some of these to finally make it a true all-round synth in this day and age.

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Urs
u-he
22519 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:21 pm

Well, the problem I see with these kinds of sounds is that they are essentially an anti-statement to sound quality, as well as an anti-statement to synthesis. Often enough it's a random sample that was loaded into an engine designed for something else, and the resulting tone becomes the celebration of the glitch. In my percpetion, there's an aura of arbitrariness about them, strings of happy accidents which happen to work despite a probable lack of intent.

But don't get me wrong, I don't mind happy accidents. I just don't design synthesizers that way.

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exmatproton
KVRAF
2105 posts since 25 Apr, 2011

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:30 pm

Urs wrote:Well, the problem I see with these kinds of sounds is that they are essentially an anti-statement to sound quality, as well as an anti-statement to synthesis. Often enough it's a random sample that was loaded into an engine designed for something else, and the resulting tone becomes the celebration of the glitch. In my percpetion, there's an aura of arbitrariness about them, strings of happy accidents which happen to work despite a probable lack of intent.

But don't get me wrong, I don't mind happy accidents. I just don't design synthesizers that way.
Unless you're called Seamlessr, who is making these sounds with pure synthesis (FM and PM mostly) (mostly in Sytrus and Harmor). :D :D

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Urs
u-he
22519 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:14 pm

exmatproton wrote:Unless you're called Seamlessr, who is making these sounds with pure synthesis (FM and PM mostly) (mostly in Sytrus and Harmor). :D :D
Interesting stuff, just watched a video ("Glass"), nicely programmed. I can appreciate that stuff.

However, I can't unhear that the main bass/lead (starts at 1:22) sounds flatulent to me.

Trancer
KVRist
67 posts since 7 Aug, 2018

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:23 pm

First of all a big thank you for your answers.

Thanks for the explanations for the installation and the references for patches for Zebra 2.

A real pleasure to read you.

Regarding Jacqueslacouth, not shocked, it's just vulgarity free and without interest.

A lack of respect towards the community.

About me and about you subject closed.

Kypresso
KVRist
156 posts since 26 Mar, 2014

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:01 pm

DJErmac wrote: Actually I have never ever met any EDM producer in my life who said he uses Zebra 2 (of course there must be some lol, some people might find examples to prove me wrong :D ... what I've said is that I've never met any...).
How about this,"Psytrance Bass with Sean Tyas".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBguk3Hpd-A

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Urs
u-he
22519 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:53 pm

How does the Multiband trick differ from the good old 1960ies (or earlier?) phase rotation trick we built into Presswerk?

It's made to reduce peak noise at the expense of transients, a common trick to increase decrease crest factor.

I'm happy to add that, it's utterly simple. I'm also happy to educate as to what it really is, and as far as I can see, it's got nothing to do with Multiband separation. It got everything to do with transient smearing, which adds that "pew" sound to the attack (a commonly unwanted artifact).
Last edited by Urs on Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Delta Sign
KVRist
498 posts since 22 Jun, 2018

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:06 am

Can't watch the vid right now, but back in the day everyone used the old Quadrafuzz plugin included in Cubase to mess up the phase. No one actually ever used it for distortion, but the crossover points messed up the phase so bad, it kinda became its own effect :hihi:

These days we have allpass filters in Zebra :wink:

Cinebient
KVRAF
3644 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:12 am

Zebra 2 is one of many synths we can get these days and i think it‘s still a really great one.
It can‘t do all of course and lacks in some areas but that‘s not a letdown either.
I don‘t use it much anymore since i just wait for Zebra 3 now :D
(my favorite U-he synth is still ACE)

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Urs
u-he
22519 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:26 am

Delta Sign wrote:These days we have allpass filters in Zebra :wink:
Of course :dog:

Zebra2 has had that built in *forever*. Just add one or two VCF modules to the FX Grid, set to "Allpass 8" and that should get you there, no? Or does it need much higher order allpass filtering?

(will try this out in the studio later)

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Delta Sign
KVRist
498 posts since 22 Jun, 2018

Re: Your opinion about Zebra 2

Post Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:32 am

It definitely gets you there. Check out pretty much every single Bigtone preset, for example. He uses this technique a lot.

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