U-He Releases Dark Zebra Soundset with ZebraHZ FTW!


U-He has released a new soundset for Zebra 2.5 called Dark Zebra which includes over 400 presets resulting from a collaboration between Hans Zimmer and Howard Scarr .  Here is a video teaser.

Why This is Worth a Look

Even if you are not interested in having the Batman soundtrack palette, there are some reasons to consider this $99 update. First off  you get a special version of Zebra made just for Zimmer called ZebraHZ (more on this next). Second, there are some very cool patches by Hanz Zimmer and Howard Scarr that will both inspire and teach you new ways to use Zebra to create your own signature sounds.

What is ZebraHZ?

ZebraHZ is a  customized version of Zebra 2.5. According to the manual, ZebraHZ adds “classic analogue filter models like in Diva, a resonator
effect module like in the old Polymoog, polyphonic compressors (especially good for
drum sounds) plus two more modulation mappers.”

Yum! Of course yum with more of a CPU hit – but as with DIVA you can throttle accuracy.

I really like this idea because I’m much more fluent in programming Zebra than DIVA so it’s pretty fantastic to get to those DIVA bits through the familiar Zebra GUI.

A Precursor to Zebra 3?

Over on KVR someone asked if this was a fully supported product and that would continue to be maintained and Urs’s reply was:

Yes, we'll keep a parallel build available with Zebra2 updates/maintenance/compatibility fixes.

Then the question was asked will ZebraHZ provide any features Zebra 3 won’t. Ur’s replied:

Well, Zebra3 won't exactly have Diva's filters. We're merely aiming at filters of same quality but not necessarily very same authenticity, so we can make them process stereo and less cpu draining.

I think Z3 will sound much more refined (if that's audibly possible), with more options to add character. Z3 won't sound the same as Z2, and presets might not be easily transferred.

I think most people will use both – Zebra2/ZebraHZ for the vast existing library, Zebra3 for things new and things to come.

Screen Grabs from Manual

Here are some screen grabs from the manual to wet your appetite. First the Low Pass filter.


Next the compressor.

“Each lane in the main grid has its own polyphonic (i.e. per voice) compressor.” !!!


And how about this? A resonator!

”One of the very first polyphonic synthesizers ever included a 3-band peaking filter that could be used to dramatically shape the overall sound… The ZebraHZ version is similar, but has an extra full-range band. To see the Resonator, click in the effects grid and select the Res1 module from the very bottom of the list.”


Back Story – Turn to P. 9

Page 9 of the Manual documents the back story of how all this came about and is worth a read.

Coexistence with Zebra 2.5

You need a Zebra 2.5 license to use this update. So how does the install work?

Although you will need a Zebra2.x license to run ZebraHZ, they will appear as separate plugins with separate preset folders. You should never try to install them in parallel. If you already have installed Zebra2.x, simply install ZebraHZ over the top. No worries, the ZebraHZ installer also contains Zebra2.5, Zebrify, Zebralette and Zrev. Note: Whenever ZebraHZ-specific updates are ready, they will be available in the user area at u-he support. We recommend setting up an account there.

Last But Not Least Here isWhat you need to know”

  • you need a valid license of Zebra 2.x to use these sounds
  • upon purchase you will receive an email with the download link
  • the download contains installers for Mac and PC
  • The Dark Zebra and ZebraHZ install alongside Zebra 2.x
  • ZebraHZ is VST2 and AU only (no RTAS, but AAX and VST3 are in the works)
  • presets have been made to suit Hans' workflow – read patch info on how to use them!
  • Although ZebraHZ has prototype character, it worked flawlessly during scoring sessions
  • ZebraHZ features CPU-expensive Diva filters but does not have Diva's multicore support


Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO


Camel Audio Alchemy Mobile Pro = Wireless iPad Controllerism For Alchemy Full Version


I’ve been a fan of Camel Audio Alchemy for some time. If you are an Alchemy user and have an iPad or iPhpne/Touch I’m going to recommend you pick up Alchemy Mobile Pro. Note, you only have to buy the app and content once to use on both the iPad and iPhone.

Pro edition is not only a great mobile app on its own but is also a great multi-touch surface for controlling Alchemy wirelessly on you computer.  Here is the marketing blurb from Camel Audio on latest update:

Photo Jun 30, 9 03 56 AMPro allows you so wirelessly integrate your iOS device into you computer workflow. In other words you gain a multi-touch controller for Alchemy full.  The 1.27 update allows you to:

Alchemy Mobile v1.1.27 lets you move the remix pad using the new Tilt function to translate your physical hand movements into morphing sound changes, while Inertia lets these moves continue under their own steam while you carry on playing. Other new features include quantise to tighten up the timing of your recordings, as well as unlimited record, bounce and export times, further improvements to the keyboard and menu displays, more control over MIDI input and outputs, and iPad 3 retina display graphics.

The Pro Upgrade now lets you record remix pad movements to capture complex sound changes, bookmark your presets to make favourites easier to find, adds more complex quantise functions including triplets and a new 'Clear MIDI performance and loops' option. Upgrading to Pro is easy once you've installed the free version – just tap on the preset name in the upper left, switch to the Libraries page and select the Pro Upgrade to purchase for $14.99 / €11.99 / £10.49.

How To Connect Alchemy Mobile Wirelessly

STEP 1: On Alchemy on you computer select “FILE” then “Turn On iPad/iPhone” Control”












STEP 2: On the iOS device click the Sound Library name. Scroll down to “Alchemy on..”.  You’ll see you computer there. Click the item and now your synced.


At this point the iOS synth is disabled and the surface controls Alchemy full on you computer including patch browsing. Brilliant!

Not a “Shinny Object”

A lot of iOS music apps are like “shinny objects” to me. They are fun but don’t end up in my workflow. Alchemy mobile is exception to this. Nicely done Camel Audio!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO


Starting Work on an iPad Lemur Template for Moog Phatty


I've started work on an iPad Lemur template for my Moog Slim Phatty. This will most likely end up on Patch Lab at some point so signup for my email newslettter if you want to be notified. This is a very early version of what I have ultimately planned but I thought I'd share this as I went along.

Photo Jun 06, 8 58 11 PM

I'm programming the Lemur via Wifi, the Lemur is attached to the Phatty via the camera kit and straight into the USB port. I also have a Novation Remote SL hooked up via MIDI to play notes on the Phatty. You can also use WiFi via a host like Ableton live to control the Phatty.

Photo Jun 06, 8 12 11 PMIn this version of the template, Filter controls are in red. There is an XY for Cutoff and Res with physics controls for Friction, Attraction and Speed. I can also lock the control on the X and Y Axis. To the right Filter EG amount with filter envelopes. Under that Filter Overload.

Next are Arpeggiator controls that are normally hidden under-the-hood in the Advanced Menu. So I can directly control Arp on, Latch, Clock Div, and Arp Octave. To the right of this a little note trigger button.

Lastly I have an Amp Envelope in Blue. Unlike from the front panel of the Phatty, Lemur allows me to control more than one parameter at the same time, like Cutoff and Res, or all the segments of a an envelope.

Here is a video of all this in action.

More to come…

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO