Zebra2 - wireless modular synthesizer

Sound? Top Notch! New oscillators, refined algorithms all over the place give V2 of Zebra the balls for anything phat, bright, aggressive, crisp and organic, even more so than Zebra1.5 - still with all the variation of character that made the original Zebra so special.

In terms of synthesis you'll hardly find anything that you can't do. In many hybrid approaches different synthesis concepts live side by side - in Zebra everything integrates seamlessly. This is owed to Zebra's renowned concept of modularity, called The Grid. Use an oscillator to build wavetables in an additive fashion, mangle these with some phase distortion effect, send that through a comb filter that in turn frequency modulates a sine oscillator. Sounds too harsh? - Put a warm sounding lowpass filter behind it!

The whole signal flow has become stereo. Every single module does stereo. Even those that are commonly considered mono. Once you combine a stereo Supersaw with a phat stereo FM part into a punchy, wide sound, you'll wonder how you could survive all those years with just a chorus or something to make it wide. Width, warmth and brightness are built right into Zebra's synthesis - where it belongs. You don't have to apply hordes of effects afterwards to make it sound good. Well, you can. Having options is a key feature of Zebra.

In Zebra's effects section, only the processor power is the limit. Working with the same modularity concept as its synthesis, this effect section might be among the most powerful things ever put in a synthesizer. Whatever needs you have, multitap delays, modulation effects, a reverb, waveshapers or even a ringmodulator can be run in parallel, in series or in any combination. If you're into weird drones and ambiences, try ringmodulating the reverb with a delay, both set to endless feedback. (Before you ask, yes, the reverb delivers smooth diffusion that can last for days before it fades out. If it ever fades out. That test has yet to be made.)

user interface

Zebra 2 comes with a completely redesigned user interface. It doesn't only look cool, it's also highly usable! Despite being packed with thousands of options and parameters, you will find it easy to work with Zebra.

Stuff that's turned off doesn't get in your way. You only see things that contribute to the sound - but not more.

Everything is where it should be. Things that interact aren't hidden in tabbed panes. No endless switching between pages. Everything needed for a certain task can always be visible at the same time.

Context sensitive activity: Things tend to know what you're doing. For instance, when you turn a modulation knob, the corresponding modulation source gets highlighted. When you select a module in the Grid, it automatically jumps into your sight. No matter how complex stuff gets, this user interface makes even wildest stuff easy to master!

Four XY Controls offer powerful means to bend a patch into something new, without destroying the original sound. They've got various usages depending on the current patch and what you want to do. They can act as a simplified user interface to an otherwise complex patch, they can be used for easy automation of various parameters or they can go as far as morphing a patch with eight degrees of freedom.

Each XY can control up to 16 parameters - 8 per axis - in independent ranges for up/down or left/right movements. Quick setup wizards let you easily assign typical modes of usage, or you can dive deeper and control everything precisely.

modules & key features

Signal Flow

* Synthesis Grid with 4 x 12 module matrix
* Effects Grid with 3 x 6 effects matrix
* Mixer for each output in Synthesis Grid
* Sends/Returns for Channels 2 & 3 of Effects Grid

Synthesis Grid:

4 x Oscillator

* 16 editable wavetables/curves
* additive or graphical wavetable generation (4 modes)
* single, dual, quad modes
* Sync and PWM for any waveform
* 2 special oscillator effect sections, 17 types each
* normalization
* mix and panning
* Resolution controls modulation accuracy vs. cpu hunger

4 x Filter

* 18 types
* includes phasers, formant filters and analog modelled lowpass filters

4 x FM Oscillators

* FM by input from any other module in the signal chain
* FM by self (feedback)
* Amplitude Modulation mode (AM)
* alternative FM using a lowpass filter on iput signal
* mono or stereo operation with pan, mix and width

2 x Noise Generator

* White, Pink, Digital, Crackles
* 2 built in filters to vary the noise generation
* mono or stereo operation with pan, mix and width

2 x Comb Filter

Comb filters are short delay lines with a feedback path. They can be used for flanging effects or spectral mangling of sound. The feedback can cause self oscillation. When played "in tune" with some damping, comb filters provide a vast source of "alive" sounds. This is often used as a building block for digital models of natural instruments such as strings and wind instruments.

* 5 modes with different types of feedback networks
* up to 4 comb filters in the network
* PreFill function initializes delay buffers with noise
* frequency independent feedback
* damping and waveshaping of feedback signal
* control of delay time ratios
* alternative input point for some types (Flavour)

2 x Ring Modulator

* oversampled, aliasing free ringmodulation

2 x Shaper

* currently just one soft saturation mode (work in progress...)
* Edge parameter for band selective waveshaping, leaving treble untouched
* Depth parameter for mode specific variations (i.e. asymmetry)

4 x Channel Mixer

* combines Grid Channels

more to come... tba

Effects Grid:

2 x ModFX

* Chorus/Flanger, Phorus and Phaser modes
* signal split to operate on variable mid bands
* optional equalization
* optional Quadrature element

2 x Delay

* Stereo, Dubby, Multitap modes
* pan, sync and ratio (percentage of sync) for up to 4 taps
* lowpass and highpass on feedback
* normal feedback and crossover feedback for ping-pong delays

1 x Reverb

* currently 2 models
* Reverbrator (delay network) and Diffusor (allpass network)
* Range parameter scales delay lengths (similar to room size)
* Independent Range for Reverbrator and Diffusor for artificial rooms
* Feedback in Reverbrator controls decay, can be infinite
* Feedback control in Diffusor (smooth diffusion, slap back)
* Warm, smooth modulation

2 x Shaper

* see Shapers in Synthesis Grid

1 x Ring Modulator

* see Ring Modulators in Synthesis Grid

2 x Channel Mixer

* see Channel Mixer in Synthesis Grid

more to come... compressor, eq

Modulation Sources:


* Velocity
* ModWheel
* Breath Control
* Expression
* Gate
* Key Follow

4 x Envelope

* Fall/Rise for Sustain Phase
* Optional Init value or Delay
* Optional Sustain2, Loop Time or Release2
* Variable Slope mode
* Different time bases, including sync to host tempo
* Every parameter can be scaled by Velocity and Keyfollow

6 x LFO (2 global, 4 per voice)

* 8 waveforms
* Modulatable Amplitude and Rate (voice only)
* Delay (voice only)

4 x MultiStage Envelope Generator

* up to 32 nodes
* variable slopes for each segment
* loop
* various meta controls are not yet in the preview version

more to come... modulation mixer, scaling operator, arpeggiator

What else?

* Modulation Matrix
* Arpeggiator (not yet in preview, see Filterscape to get an impression)
* Alternative tunings (not yet in preview)
* Module presets (not yet in preview)
* Tons of patches in the works
* and more...