Login / Register 0 items | $0.00 New @ KVR
 Zebra by u-he is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin, an RTAS Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
Zebra
Zebra Zebra Zebra Zebra Zebra Zebra Zebra Zebra Zebra
Product Zebra
Developer u-he
Price (MSRP)
$199 (with Zebrify)
Type / Tags
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Instrument(s)     
Operating System Availability
Operating
System
Latest
Version
Download Released
 
2.8
 
Downloads Released
System Requirements
Mac OS X 10.7 or newer
Windows 7 or newer
Linux


1GB RAM, more recommended
50MB free disk space
1000 × 600 or larger display
Modern CPU (Sandy Bridge or newer recommended)
Host software
 
2.8
 
Downloads Released
System Requirements
Mac OS X 10.7 or newer
Windows 7 or newer
Linux


1GB RAM, more recommended
50MB free disk space
1000 × 600 or larger display
Modern CPU (Sandy Bridge or newer recommended)
Host software
Miscellaneous Information
Copy ProtectionSerial Number

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.

Features:

  • Modular architecture with up to: 4 oscillators, 4 dedicated FM oscillators, 4 filters (19 types), 4 VCA/pan, comb filters, wave-shapers, ring-modulators, noise-generators for each voice -- 24 audio modules, 28 modulation sources, thousands of parameters to tweak; accessible via an intuitive user interface.
  • Drag and drop circuit building.
  • 4 syncable Multi-Stage envelopes/step-sequencers.
  • 4 ADSR envelopes, 4 LFOs per voice.
  • Play-modes: polyphonic, single trigger, legato modes and arpeggiator/step sequencer.
  • Spectral Editor: Unlimited number of Waveforms (including additive synthesis).
  • Flexible Modulation Matrix.
  • 16 on-board Effects: ModFX (Chorus, Flanger, Phaser), Delay, Reverb, Ring-modulator, Filters, Waveshapers, Mixers.
  • 2 internal send busses and flexible effects routing.
  • Many effect parameters can be modulated.
  • 4 XY-controls, allowing for deep realtime sound morphs.
  • MIDI Learn: All knobs remotely controllable by MIDI Control Changes, also with relative/incremental controllers.
  • Drag and drop ModMatrix.
  • Configuration menu to set preferences and assign MIDI controls.
  • Thousands of presets available.
  • User interface zooms in 10% steps (70-200%).
Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 4.78 from 18 reviews

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

Reviewed By SLiC
November 19, 2013

Simply the best software synth; people lust after the DS prophet 12- this does more and sounds better. If your a present basher it has some of the best banks available (many free) as there is an active and friendly community. If you like to program sound it will make your ears smile.

Read more
Discussion

Discussion

Discussion: Active
FarleyCZ
FarleyCZ
16 December 2011 at 11:33pm

Yep. Agreed! :) When you got Zebra and you can't imagine any new sound to make, something's wrong with your imagination. (Perhaps tired...)

Love this one too!... so much! Got it around second year now and I can promise you this fascination with OSC's, OSCFX, MSEGs etc etc doesn't end.... AMAZING synth.

proletkult
proletkult
18 December 2011 at 12:17pm

Glad you agree Farley. Should have added that there is a very clever promotion going on... after taking a photograph of what ever analogue synth you are retiring because of Zebra and sending it in - you get a $50 discount!! Good for your pocket and their ego!!

Urs
Urs
18 December 2011 at 2:20pm

Thanks so much proletkult! Happy that you like it :)

Cheers,

;) Urs

proletkult
proletkult
18 December 2011 at 5:16pm

You're welcomed, Urs and congratulations on a stunning product.

Howard
Howard
22 December 2011 at 8:45am

"So inspiring is the whole experience of discovering Zebra2 that the manual (which has been critised by some) works, quite rightly, more as a great reference point as you venture through this sonic jungle".

Ha! I reviewed Zebra in 2007 and criticised the documentation as well as the presets. Since then the manual has been completely rewritten, and the presets have been retired/replaced... ;-)

proletkult
proletkult
22 December 2011 at 10:53am

I'll be honest with you, Howard. I'd tried Zebra 1 and found it fun but no replacement for other synths I had. The development since then has been on a scale you'd expect from a big set up like Spectrasonics. Fantastic acheivement.

liquidsound
liquidsound
30 April 2012 at 2:04am

There are two synth I can't live without, Zebra and Surge.

if I had to choose, I'll keep Zebra.

audiomac
audiomac
18 June 2012 at 4:35am

Thanks to everyone for sharing your Talent..

babyblue
babyblue
2 April 2013 at 9:31pm

hi,.

i just bought zebra today, because i like some of its sounds, but i agree, many sounds are over-effected. When turning the wet knob down, the sound is not really good anymore. In my opinion, the reason is first of all the looppoint of the waveforms. Especially with Pad Sounds, you can hear the loop of the used sample, the higher note is looping faster than the lower, resulting in an unsteady, not smooth sound. But this i heard nearly with every Softsynth. But i heard a few sounds, where this is not so obvious. So i hope, it is possible, to create really smooth pad sounds.

Is there a tutorial online "How to make Sounds with Zebra"? The userguide is not sufficient for me: The interface is really overwhelming.

Howard
Howard
2 April 2013 at 9:50pm

@Babyblue: There are no samples in Zebra2, and therefore no looping or loop points.

BTW Zebra2 Tutorials are here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8B3F7A60F7C76BA
... but I would recommend that you study the manual in more depth first - start at the beginning, read very carefully, understand.

ontrackp
ontrackp
2 April 2013 at 10:53pm

I agree with Howard completely. Read the manual carefully, tweak the various parameters to understand what they do, and turn modules off and on to hear the results. You might also want to research some basics of different types of synthesis so you can really understand. I also recommend that as you go thru the presets you focus on the simpler structures so it is easier to understand what is going on.

And watch every single one of the tutorials! More than once....

You may have to dig around a little to find the waves that "speak" to you -- and remember, each wave has 16 possible iterations, some of which are completely different as you cycle through them.

Zebra is a beast for sound design, it's worth the time to learn how to use it.

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

babyblue
babyblue
3 April 2013 at 8:42am

thanks Howard and ontrackp for your constructive words! I will do my best and dive into the secrets of zebra. When you say there are no samples used as groundstructeres for tweaking them with the different oscs, LFOs, envs etc., i must believe you. I came to that conviction, when i played a (one) note, i heard a repeating cycle, playing this note lets say 3 notes lower, i hear this repeating cycle too, but this cycle lasts a bit longer, resulting in an unsteady, not smooth sound, when playing both notes together.

But as i said, i try my best, to achieve what i am looking for. Thanks again for your advice and the link.

uups! just tried the Link, doesn't work....

Howard
Howard
6 April 2013 at 7:00am

True Babyblue, the direct link to the YT playlist doesn't work (strange!), so here's the channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/uheplugins.

ontrackp
ontrackp
3 April 2013 at 2:44pm

The cycle speed of a LFO or MSEG can be modulated by key follow (or by specific notes for that matter) so the speed can change as you go up or down the keyboard. My advice is to deconstruct the patches. Go thru module by module and double click on modulation controls, zero out modulation amounts in the matrix and you'll start seeing how the modulators can affect cycling of filter cutoff, pitch, etc....

Just search on youtube for the tutorials, they come up all over the place.

Phader
Phader
3 April 2013 at 11:04pm

@ontrackp.

you say you want warmer filters in the next version,,,.

Have you thought about getting the dark zebra upgrade?

it has a few additions, DIVA filters being one of them.

hollo
hollo
4 April 2013 at 12:22am

Hehe, this was my fav because it's so presonal to me :).

"For me, the biggest downside of this synth is that it's easy to get so involved in the fun of experimenting with sound that you lose time getting work done.".

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

psydenis
psydenis
21 August 2013 at 8:55pm

How to choose the right directory where the data of zebra will be installed.

clangorous
clangorous
13 November 2013 at 2:22am

Disappointed in the Zebra2 demo. The synth seems good but it's hard to tell because as soon as I start tweaking it starts dropping out. First time I tried it was just the static which is annoying but not too bad. But now I have to keep reloading a new instrument track to get it to even play more than one note. Evidently I am in the minority here, because I do not find anyone else posting similar. But had to be honest...it's hard to evaluate it when I can't really use it for even 15 minutes. If I have to use presets, and cannot create big sounds with it, then it's not going to be as useful to me. Would rather have a time limited demo...even one day would be better than this. Not meaning to be disrespectful or overly bitchy because obviously a lot of work went into it and I respect that. But that does not automatically mean it will be good for me personally.

Having got that out of my system, it seems to work in Studio One 2 so I'll probably buy it based on the stellar reviews of most everyone.

Howard
Howard
13 November 2013 at 9:21am

@bksherwood: Zebra2's demo restriction is quasi-random notes (not "static"), so I'm wondering what happened there. Anyway, 15 minutes per session should be plenty of time to find out whether a product suits you. You just have to bite the bullet and reload, or purchase a license.

clangorous
clangorous
13 November 2013 at 4:20pm

@Howard: Then it sounds like what I was experiencing were not the demo limitations. I did purchase Zebra2 last night and I am VERY happy with it. Was able to take what I know and create some pretty awesome initial sounds. So far none of the notes dropping out or static etc. After working with it last night, I think Zebra2 is going to be like moving from a Model T to a rocket ship; it will drastically accelerate my progress and capabilities.

But I must say...wow! I never expected a response from you directly. I see that as a huge value of owning Zebra2. The community of Zebra2 is something you can't really put a price on, especially as someone who wants to excel at this stuff. Thank you very much for taking the time to respond.

snigelx
snigelx
13 November 2013 at 5:42pm

Well, you absolutely made the right decision then. You've just ensured yourself a long winter with a fat grin. Not only do you have a deep synthesizer in your possession, you have a deep and active Zebra user community and lots of freely available and commercial patch banks at your fingertips (Check the official KVR U-he forums). Check out U-he's YouTube profile while you're at it. There are tonnes of excellent official pointer videos for consumption. Enjoy your striped synth-beast.

clangorous
clangorous
13 November 2013 at 8:48pm

Thanks snigelx. Spot one with the fat grin! Honestly, I am not sure I will need another synth for a long, long time...except Dark Zebra...that I am definitely buying. My interest is primarily big, unique orchestral sounds and DZ surely fits the bill.

So far I have reviewed the manual, downloaded the free patches from http://www.u-he.com/PatchLib/zebra.html, started on the Youtube tutorials which are awesome, and started to decompose some awesome HS patches. I see also some of the patches from the community are designed to teach you things like FM. Very cool.

Thanks for the lead on the KVR U-he forums. Just starting to realize how much is here on KVR. Been missing out for sure.

pdxindy
pdxindy
19 November 2013 at 10:50pm

I have had Zebra for close to 8 years and I still discover clever new tricks... and of course it keeps getting better. Zebra just received a sweet new distortion module (actually 4 of them)!.

snigelx
snigelx
20 November 2013 at 1:27am

@pdxindy.

Thanks for the heads-up on that. It's been a while since I've stopped by the forum. Nice news.

snigelx
snigelx
19 November 2013 at 7:46pm

Re: 19th November 2013.

Great that you feel the need to review such a wonderful sound design tool, but I own the Prophet you speak of (why you compare software to this I have no idea) and no Zebra does not sound better. It is rather apples and oranges you attempt to compare my friend (which was not much of a comparison and much less a review). Of course Zebra has features more routing options because it is a piece of software relying on the computational power of the computer system that hosts it and a developer can add tonnes of bells and whistles into the software. For being a hardware unit the Prophet 12 is an amazing piece of gear capable of many a timbre, but the sound is VERY different between the two synths you mention in your blurb. Furthermore, a synth's sound will most usually reflect the level of skill and creativity possessed by its programmer and much less often the deficiencies of the synthesizer. Please, if you should write a -review- people then take the time to discuss the finer points. If you just wish to post that you like a synth then do that on the forum. Cheers.

PUSHA
PUSHA
5 August 2015 at 1:00pm

The sounds that Zebra produces is just incredible!!!! I cant imagine what Zebra3 will sound like......It will be tough for anybody to top this synth in my opinion. Possibilities are endless with this synth. I LOVE YOUR WORK URS!!!!!.

liquidsound
liquidsound
21 August 2018 at 2:04am

2 Stars....

And I thought Michelin was stingy.

I'm so sorry for you... so much bread and no teeth.

Please log in to join the discussion

Zebra

Average user rating of 4.78 from 18 reviews

u-he
 My KVR - Version Control & Lists
Not In Your MY KVR Groups
(or group limitation prevents versioning)
857 people have added Zebra to 42 My KVR groups 1138 times
+37 in private groups

KVR Rank (Based on page views)

Overall: 29  24  29

30-Day: 159; 7-Day: 163; Yesterday: 288

What's New @ KVR Audio
Reason 10.2 is out!by lachrimae @ 15:04 in Hosts & Applications (Sequencers, DAWs, Audio Editors, etc.)Eplex7 DSP releases Psytrance speaking synths 1 plug-in instrument for Win/Macby Eplex7 DSP @ 15:01 in InstrumentsCan KORG Gadget iOS be used to MIDI sequence KORG Odyssei (and similar apps)?by Liney @ 15:01 in Mobile Apps and HardwareWTB: Omnisphere 2 CD setby paulmatthew @ 14:58 in Sell & Buy (+Special Offers, Deals & Promos)anyone used new presonus faderport 2?by sureno @ 14:54 in Hardware (Instruments and Effects)Great UPGRADE Deals for Wusik Station V9!by WilliamK @ 14:53 in Sell & Buy (+Special Offers, Deals & Promos)AudioRealism Bass Line 3 (ABL3) - Where can i find 303 patterns ?by Oliver Schmitt @ 14:51 in InstrumentsGet our Ultimate Producers Desktop Wallpaper for free!by BertKoor @ 14:49 in Music TheoryElectric-Himalaya Zebra2 'Cinematic Pulsation' sound set - OUT NOWby himalaya @ 14:48 in SoundwareSay something about the poster before you.by Tj Shredder @ 14:42 in Off Topic ClassicsWusik EVE V5 Beta Testingby WilliamK @ 14:41 in InstrumentsNeed help with Omnisphere 1 install on FL Studio 20by chaosWyrM @ 14:39 in InstrumentsFS : SKNote, AME, PA, Waves pluginby qhtrvw425 @ 14:35 in Sell & Buy (+Special Offers, Deals & Promos)Vengeance Producer Suite - AVENGER - free 1.3.5 update with new featuresby msvs @ 14:30 in InstrumentsReceived copyright claim on work that I created - what should I do? (DMCA)by Distorted Horizon @ 14:29 in Everything Else (Music related)View All Latest Posts
Advertisements