79-Love for u-he and Zebra!

Zebra2 softsynth from Urs Heckmann

This fantastic instrument is still at the top of my soft synth favorite list after a long time. Updating this on 1 Sept 2012 I note that it has had a few minor updates and is at verson 2.5.4. It still works pretty much the same. Go to u-he.com for details.

More Zebra2 awesomeness

When I installed Zebra2 I noticed a few other components such as ZRev (reverb), Zebralette and Zebrify. I never really paid much attention to them, but recently I looked more closely at Zebrify and once again got dazzled.

Zebrify is like a version of Zebra2 that allows you to process incoming audio. Have you ever worked with a software tool or VSTi and thought to yourself “the processing section of this synth is incredible. I wish I could feed the output of my sampler/synth into it.” This is what Zebrify allows you to do. It’s like a smaller version of Zebra2 on the generation side, but with a complete complement of the filters, EQs, LFOs, delays, envelope tools and reverb that exists in the main program. Unspeakably awesome.

Zrev which also comes free with Zebrais the mother of digital reverb implementations (non-convolution).

According to Urs Heckmann:

Before tweaking any knob, google for “comb allpass filter”, “feedback delay network”, “jot householder matrix”, “schroeder moorer reverb”

So that:

Now, welcome to ZRev.  It’s all of what you just learned, where the left section represents a feedback delay network while the right section represents two cascades of nested allpass filters, feedback being adjustable for each cascade. With ZRev you should be able to dial in any artificial reverb thinkable. If you find Ts and As that do not exhibit metallic ringing, please send them over immediately.

The idea is, if enough people start messing with it, it’s like that SETI screensaver: Someone will eventually come up with a nice sounding set of reverb coefficients! (Crowdsourcing?! – tps)

Zebralette is a small version of Zebra which you can use to focus on oscillator programming without getting bogged down in the complexity that Zebra2 can offer.

Who he? u-he!

u-he is Urs Heckmann’s software company. He is one of these rare software and music geniuses. (For examples, see René Ceballos, Rob Papen and the guy behind Reaper whose name I temporarily forget.) He has several products out, but the one I have is his fantastic sounding and super-powerful software synthesizer called “Zebra2“.

In really general terms, I suppose you could just characterise Zebra as “just another software synth”. But its architecture and glorious sound do put it in a rarefied class of its own.

page#79/last edited 20120901

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