U-he appreciation

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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crystalmsc
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U-he appreciation

Post by crystalmsc » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:29 pm

It takes a long journey, until something in the soft synth world came with something so good, that it almost felt like the first time I was blown away, listening to the demo CD of Seer System Reality in the late 90s, which made me thought that finally software is there. Then a long journey began, to realize that it's almost there (without expecting it to sounds better than the actual hardware), but still lacking something. Until it feels right to me, with the line up of synths from Urs. I love many other plugins, specially Omnisphere, KLC, PPG 3.V, Synthmaster, Moog Modular V, Mini V and a bunch of other software and hardware, including the Live Suite instruments. But U-he synths made me feel really complete, supporting the other really well, as my main soft synths right now.
When first saw "the CPU demanding" warning, I almost ignore both the ACE and Diva..also when playing for the first time with Diva, I felt that the Moog Modular V and Mini V is more of a moog synth to me. But the more I play..the magic is starting to happen..on one side, it sounded like the other favorite hardware of mine, the Technosaurus Microcon 2, with it's quality component. Later on, with a slight different perspective, it is more comfortable for me to see the Diva as a simpler modular synth without cable, with some boutique modules of the vintage synths emulation, instead of a direct imitation. It has an original tone to it..something discrete. I own two Monotrons, a Monotribe and the MS-20 Legacy and really love those. But rather than expecting the Diva to sound exactly like those synths..It's more enjoyable for me to see it as a DIVA. Which is perfect! Because, with what's already available, what I'm looking is something with more sparkle, something smoother with more bottom and more alive. Both Diva and ACE gave me that flawlessly. While the ZebraHZ rounds it up, with my favorite filter modules from Diva, integrated to the super flexible engine of the Zebra 2.5. Ace is certainly one of the most raw sounding plugin I've ever played..but while enjoying the sound, it came to mind about something with the quality of ACE, but using FM/Phase Distortion synthesis for that dirty modular madness..and Bazille came along. With an expectation of a bigger ACE, when the Berlin Modular is available..and a free Zebra 3 for ZebraHZ owner. A promising future from one of the the most friendly and supportive company in the business.

I actually enjoying the Instruments that came with Live Suite even more now..for the great sounds and the low cpu usage to support more Ace and Diva in the track. Both really complimenting each other..and not often, that I finally feel Komplete! :)

What about you guys..anyone up on the saddle too?

Just want to share the appreciation with fellow Ableton Users, away from the U-he land in KVR.
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merges
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by merges » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:53 pm

I also can't say enough about Zebra. It is an astonishingly versatile and lightweight synth.

tintala
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by tintala » Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:31 pm

I can appreciate this. but I am on the fence about something. If you guys were to choose between ZEBRA2 and ALCHEMY, which on would you choose? And which trance gate would you choose, camel space or filterscape?

tintala
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by tintala » Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:31 pm

sorry dbl post/

agent314
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by agent314 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:49 pm

I love U-He. Zebra2 and DIVA are my two most-used synths by a long shot. Super easy to program and they sound fantastic, esp. DIVA.

If I were choosing between Zebra2 and Alchemy, I would definitely go with Zebra. They're both very capable and there are some things I prefer Alchemy for (I like the implementation of the arpeggiator way more in Alchemy than Zebra), but the sound quality is just not there the way it is with U-he's plugs.

I have them both and use them both different ways, but I would have a much bigger void in my arsenal if Zebra magically disappeared tomorrow.

Haven't used Filterscape, but I have Camelspace and it's good at what it does, but I've noticed that whenever I use it, it always ends up sounding clearly like Camelspace. Between the two if I were choosing, I'd give Filterscape a try just because I love the sound quality of U-he's stuff.

Machinesworking
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by Machinesworking » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:20 am

I would go with Zebra, and for trancegate, Camelspace. Filterscape is more of a filter plug in than gate, though it comes with a synth as well.
Zebra is a best of breed for sure.

crystalmsc
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by crystalmsc » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:54 am

tintala wrote:I can appreciate this. but I am on the fence about something. If you guys were to choose between ZEBRA2 and ALCHEMY, which on would you choose? And which trance gate would you choose, camel space or filterscape?
I'm a bit torn between the two..since both has their own strength and unique points. But I would say, I'd choose the ZebraHZ just for the additional Diva Filters and Resonator. When they apply the Diva Osc quality to Zebra 3, the choice is even more clear. Meanwhile I'm more into a D-Pole user, combined with the Live's built in processors and Novation FX Suite filter, which is based from the Supernova II. Really tempted to try the Filterscape though..specially the FilterscapeVA, certainly one of the most awesome looking plugin, even from a designer point of view like myself.
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crystalmsc
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by crystalmsc » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:05 am

funken wrote:I also use Triple Cheese sometimes.
It's my kept secret synth for odd ball material, which can be very lite on cpu in the cheesy mode, but can be a bit CPU killer when tripled :lol:
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Sibanger
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by Sibanger » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:29 am

After falling in love with Diva, I will probably revisit u-he earlier synth releases.
I have never had so much fun with a vst synth before, and just love the sounds this beast is capable of.

Now to just upgrade my cpu to a 12 core powerhouse to manage the hunger of Diva's cpu usage. :wink:

crystalmsc
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by crystalmsc » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:59 am

Sibanger wrote:After falling in love with Diva, I will probably revisit u-he earlier synth releases.
I have never had so much fun with a vst synth before, and just love the sounds this beast is capable of.

Now to just upgrade my cpu to a 12 core powerhouse to manage the hunger of Diva's cpu usage. :wink:
If you love Diva, you should really try ACE, the twisted brother. not only the price is incredibly low for such a quality, but from what I heard, the money will also goes to the bigger ACE when the long awaited Berlin Modular is available.

He2..both ACE and Diva are the only plugins that made want to get a bigger system just for the damn divine mode :D but I'm a bit enjoying the current situation with the processor limitation. Made me feel like working with a hardware modular..one synth at a time, freezed for another take.
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kevwestbeats
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by kevwestbeats » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:53 am

The only U-He product I own is Diva however it is my favorite synth in my setup.
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crystalmsc
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by crystalmsc » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:49 pm

kevwestbeats wrote:The only U-He product I own is Diva however it is my favorite synth in my setup.
Seems like, it is destined to be the Diva in everyone's setup :)
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donmich
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by donmich » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:47 pm

I've had Ace and Ubhik for some time and absolutely love both, although I put ubhik to more immediate use as I have a bunch of Arturia plugs as well as Alchemy and NI Komplete.
I knew Diva and Zebra were friggin awesome but I deliberately didnt allow myself to become too exposed to them as I felt I had invested enough in synths already and didnt want to feel buyers remorse.
But I did finally, and almost cant go back to other plugs. As useful as others are, the sound quality of the UHe stuff just makes them disappoint. For me anyway.

TBH though, I dont find Zebra an Alchemy alternative as much as a Massive alternative, even then they are different beasts. But as straight synths with no sample playback, capable of vintage and modern sounds, these two seem to have more in common.

I feel a spirtual connection with zebra that I dont fee with massive, and I get more sounds that I like to make out of it. But thats me. The better I get at Massive, the more forthcoming it is, I must say. And its oversampling puts it a cut above many others. But i still really, really like Zebra.

To me Alchemy is great if you really dig, but its really easy to sound bad with when you start trying to do sound design from scratch. There are some default settings I hate, im not in love with the effects section and also the factory sample library, imo is pretty awful. Most of the commercial libraries sound quite Alchemy-ish as well.

Someone recently hipped me to this site:

http://www.adventurekid.se/akrt/waveforms/

Its a huge collection of single cycle waveforms. And its well documented. There is also a version of the whole set specifically formatted in the Alchemy .raw format. It took me a little while to figure out where exactly in the Alchemy files to place it so it loads withouthout the resunthesis applied, but I did. And its amazing for synthesizer type sound design.

Check it.

Then theres the whole sample aspect. And the spectral stuff.

As for trance gates, I have camel space but while I can usually get cool things going with it, I feel a sense of relief when I turn it off. I tend to prefer arps and steppers to gates. But it has its place for sure.

crystalmsc
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by crystalmsc » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:39 am

agent314 wrote:I love U-He. Zebra2 and DIVA are my two most-used synths by a long shot. Super easy to program and they sound fantastic, esp. DIVA.
When I saw this cool studio of Shleed, which is imho one of the Ideal hardware synth setup, the comparison with U-he synths came to mind. without comparing the sound of hardware vs software.

Image

Proper 3 osc synths represented by the MFB Synth II and Akai Miniak, is something like the Diva in the software world. I own the Alesis ION and Diva is no less good sounding if not better in some areas. Compared to my Waldorf Pulse+, both has their own strength. The Pulse is great for it's modulation madness and cool arpeggiator, FMish sound which could sound really cold, also for the hard sound it had. While the Diva sounds smoother and could be warmer and brighter, specially in polyphonic. Also the Diva is able to take the role of the Monotron, just not as dirty, may be due to the cheap converter which has it's own charm. But with Ableton's build in effect such as saturator and a bit of redux, such territory can be achieved as well.

The strong foundation of a modular system represented by the Doepfer A100, is something like ACE and I like to view Bazzile as a perfect extension in this area. Can't wait for the Berlin Modular! A nice polyphonic digital synth, with a flexible engine such as the Blofeld is somehow covered by the Zebra with their own strength. May be one day Zebra is going to be able to load user samples too, but still no confirmation about this.

Even though Diva and Ace are CPU expensive, but even with a proper studio like above, we usually record the synths as an audio track, mostly one track at the time. With a benefit of being able to save the edited sound, no real cables and less maintenance with the flexibility of automation. I usually can't let go the idea of using both hardware and software. Only now, even not as hands-on, but I'm finally ok with just a laptop for some purposes now :)
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crystalmsc
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Re: U-he appreciation

Post by crystalmsc » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:27 am

donmich wrote:I've had Ace and Ubhik for some time and absolutely love both, although I put ubhik to more immediate use as I have a bunch of Arturia plugs as well as Alchemy and NI Komplete.
I knew Diva and Zebra were friggin awesome but I deliberately didnt allow myself to become too exposed to them as I felt I had invested enough in synths already and didnt want to feel buyers remorse.
But I did finally, and almost cant go back to other plugs. As useful as others are, the sound quality of the UHe stuff just makes them disappoint. For me anyway.

TBH though, I dont find Zebra an Alchemy alternative as much as a Massive alternative, even then they are different beasts. But as straight synths with no sample playback, capable of vintage and modern sounds, these two seem to have more in common.

I feel a spirtual connection with zebra that I dont fee with massive, and I get more sounds that I like to make out of it. But thats me. The better I get at Massive, the more forthcoming it is, I must say. And its oversampling puts it a cut above many others. But i still really, really like Zebra.

Interesting post, specially since there are a lot of other plugins to compare directly. Agree with the Zebra and Massive for being a straight comparison in that area and allow me to put Largo as well. I own the uWaveXT and uQ, both are my all time favorites as a fan of the old Waldorf. But imho, the interface of Largo is one of the greatest looking and I tempted to get it one day. Meanwhile the PPG 3.V and the PPG 2.V which is the less refined version, are all the vintage wavetable synths that I need. The earlier version is more harsh and metallic sounding which is more preferable in many ways. Both are complementing the Zebra nicely.
It's always interesting to follow the comparison between Massive and Zebra, specially about the oversampling, since it's on my list too. Also a bit curious that Ace is being let go..since I'm deeply in love with it right now and really interested in Uhbik, even though Filterscape is more of my cake :)
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