Zebra is a wireless modular synthesizer that combines subtractive and additive synthesis with a powerful modulation engine and built-in effects section. Version 2.0 adds the sonic capabilities of FM, modeling of natural sounds and advanced wavetable synthesis.
Zebra 2 offers many different types of synthesis and sound manipulation options, and you can mix them up in any way you choose. For instance, you can easily combine additive synthesis with phase distortion and frequency modulation. Or you can recreate the structure of your favourite analogue synthesizer. All this is done in an intuitive drag-and-drop fashion, without cluttering the user interface with cables.
Zebra is meant to be the most flexible yet easy to use synthesizer one can think of. Zebra presents you with as much complexity as you need for a particular sound, but not more. It's layout is arranged so that nothing gets in your way, unless you explicitly want it.
Reviewed By Clifton
March 29, 2019
I just simply wanted to say this is the most outstanding VST synth I've ever played and I was totally blown away by the sounds of this virtual instrument. Very versatile and the sound quality is beyond normal for importing even your own wavetables just in case if your using the right separate utility for importing your own waves. The sky's the limit you can only imagine what you can do and what unusual sounds you can come up with. Price wise it's kind of high but you'll soon realize you'll be quite happy that you've made the purchase after all.Read more
Reviewed By Relja
August 20, 2018
Compared to other u-He synths, this thing is unusable.
The competition that it has (Bazille, Repro-5, Diva etc.) is really a strong one tho.
I know that this thing is really versatile but I can't find the use in the sound quality that it doesn't deliver.
I hope that Zebra 3 will actually sound good.Read more
Reviewed By rasputin
August 4, 2018
If you're new to Zebra and research a bit you'll notice that it is over 10 years old. The last update (before 1/2018) was in 2015.
That is said not to imply that its sound is in any way dated. As you'll see over and over from reviews the sound engine is powerful and infinitely flexible, along with the modulation capabilities.
A huge advantage of a supremely well-designed synth of this age is the terrific number of sound banks available. In fact there may be TOO many and you'll have to spend some time picking through them to find the best ones.
Some people go overboard and design patches that have infinitely complex evolving sounds that are entire compositions in 120 sec; and it's great to know this can be done, but better are the incredible pads, basses, leads and incidental sounds you can create with Zebra. They asset themselves in a mix without being overbearing. Amazingly light weight in terms of CPU/RAM use; I am using an 8GB Windows 7 system and can load a stack of these up in Ableton without it even noticing.
Really, try the demo. 15 minutes is admitted too short a time to really get into it, but it's a chance to try a bunch of presets and get a handle on the power of this amazing too.
The most recent (2.8) demo even further improves the already excellent manual.Read more
Reviewed By hivkorn
December 5, 2016
I think everything has been said.This is just the best synth of all the time.
Light for the CPU and powerful if you understand modular synth.
I think it deserve a better GUI, but i can pass on that...
you want powerfull synth ? it does it well !
An insane dark synth ? it does it well .
if you have the luck to have the DARK version...You don't need another synth.Read more
Reviewed By ZaBong69
June 9, 2016
It took me a while to appreciate Zebra 2. While it's sound engine still is awesome - a remarkable feat for a synth that was first released in 2007 -, its user interface appears (in 2016) to be somewhat dated. However, using the Massive Modular skin (sold from an independent developer), the GUI instantly goes into Serum territory, with the serious advantage that Zebra's skins are fully scalable, while Serum's GUI is on the (too) smaller side for my taste. My review below refers essentially to this Zebra 2 with improved skin.
Zebra's sound engine is extremely flexible with its semi-modular design. You have access to 4 wavetable oscillators and 4 FM oscillators, as well as 2 comb filters, 4 standard filters and 4 cross modulation filters. As each filter can self oscillate and the comb filters come with three waveforms, you have access to 18 (!) OSCs - per sound! Oscillators, filters and auxilliary sound design modules (including, for instance, ring modulation, frequency shifters, distortion) can be arranged in three lanes and connected. Oh, and then comes an feature rich effect section with its own main path and two sends/returns. You can control all this with with standard envelopes (that not only have four stages, but can also init, delay and are loopable) or go with drawable envelopes. Did I mention that each wavetable oscillators can load your own single cycle waveforms and comes with an incredible set of wave mangler effects on its own? Add a very cool sequencer/arpeggiator, thousands of really cool presets and... well, I will stop here. I should add that Zebra is by no means a resource hog, if you want you can use 20 instance of it or more on a fast computer. I sometimes apply Zebra as a luxury drum synth in Ableton drum racks, with 8 instances just for the drums.
In conclusion, this thing is a sound designers wet dream, if you can not get the sound you want from this, you probably have not tried enough. I would wish that Zebra 3 (annoinced in 2013!) would come this year, but Zebra 2.7 still holds its ground rather well in 2016, more than 10 years after Zebra 1's introduction.Read more