Serum vs. Zebra vs. Bazille vs ...? Meaningful comparisons?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Gyu ??
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra - a meaningful comparison?

Post by Gyu ?? » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:57 am

For me it's all about this skin for Zebra http://plugmon.org/zebra-pokemod/
You do have to pay for it but I reckon it's well worth it.

stoersignal
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra - a meaningful comparison?

Post by stoersignal » Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:32 pm

Gyu ?? wrote:For me it's all about this skin for Zebra http://plugmon.org/zebra-pokemod/
You do have to pay for it but I reckon it's well worth it.
+1
they only thing i would change: make the OSC tab a tab for MSEGs instead

sporkles
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra - a meaningful comparison?

Post by sporkles » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:05 pm

OK, so I've been demoing Zebra and Serum a bit again, and now I got the notion that I should try Bazille too. Now this seems like a REALLY interesting synth, but daaaayum, what a CPU hog! I can't even imagine what kind of monster PC one would need to tame this beast. I have a 3.3 GHz Intel Core i7 with 32 GB RAM, and some of the patches push Live's CPU meter straight into the 80s and crackle hell. Is anyone using Bazille on a daily basis?

deva
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra - a meaningful comparison?

Post by deva » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:20 pm

sporkles wrote:OK, so I've been demoing Zebra and Serum a bit again, and now I got the notion that I should try Bazille too. Now this seems like a REALLY interesting synth, but daaaayum, what a CPU hog! I can't even imagine what kind of monster PC one would need to tame this beast. I have a 3.3 GHz Intel Core i7 with 32 GB RAM, and some of the patches push Live's CPU meter straight into the 80s and crackle hell. Is anyone using Bazille on a daily basis?
Turn on the multi-core option... and use the freeze function

tedlogan
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra - a meaningful comparison?

Post by tedlogan » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:13 pm

sporkles wrote:OK, so I've been demoing Zebra and Serum a bit again, and now I got the notion that I should try Bazille too. Now this seems like a REALLY interesting synth, but daaaayum, what a CPU hog! I can't even imagine what kind of monster PC one would need to tame this beast. I have a 3.3 GHz Intel Core i7 with 32 GB RAM, and some of the patches push Live's CPU meter straight into the 80s and crackle hell. Is anyone using Bazille on a daily basis?
I use it daily, it's my favourite synth.

It can crush older CPUs especially if patches use voice stacking. I constantly had to freeze Bazille tracks on my previous i7 920.

As deva said, flip the multicore switch. Even with my new i7 5820@4.4ghz, some patches can cause dropouts with small audio buffer sizes. But, once Bazille's MC switch is on it's smooth sailing, with even the most disgustingly complex 8-voice-stacked polyphonously played patches with long release times not causing any trouble at all.

I recommend using Bazille's GearPorn skin (included as standard but not default) right from the start. Everything is on one page.

jlgrimes
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra - a meaningful comparison?

Post by jlgrimes » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:04 pm

jcrystal wrote:I own and love both. The "digital" sound people mention about Serum is largely related to very high quality including more of the frequency spectrum than normally heard...I love the clarity and can always filter if needed. Zebra may ultimately be deeper, Serum more accessible
This.

Serum's GUI is very efficient.

Zebra's is efficient as well but it's flexibility kind of requires a steeper learning curve.

That said, Serum does plenty of things Zebra doesn't do but vice versa. Zebra does proper FM, has more oscillators and is more routable. Serum's wave table engine is more fun but Zebra's is pretty extensive as well. Biggest gripe is Zebra can't load samples but has a variety of modes of drawing to keep you busy.

Sound wise Serum is cleaner sounding, while Zebra is warmer sounding in general. Zebra has a mode that emulates analog synths which can be turned off. Many people complain about the sound of both synths saying Serum is sterile and Zebra not analog enough but IMO both have a very usable sound for a variety of genres with enough capability to adequately emulate about anything with proper programming.

Both has tons of filters and effects.

Zebra has more presets especially being an older synth but I think Serum is better organized in terms of presets. I'll bet Serums preset list is growing though.

Both companies are great while Xfer being smaller (I think) but both are small compared to NI.

deva
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra - a meaningful comparison?

Post by deva » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:28 am

jlgrimes wrote:
This.

Serum's GUI is very efficient.

Zebra's is efficient as well but it's flexibility kind of requires a steeper learning curve.

That said, Serum does plenty of things Zebra doesn't do but vice versa. Zebra does proper FM, has more oscillators and is more routable. Serum's wave table engine is more fun but Zebra's is pretty extensive as well. Biggest gripe is Zebra can't load samples but has a variety of modes of drawing to keep you busy.

Sound wise Serum is cleaner sounding, while Zebra is warmer sounding in general. Zebra has a mode that emulates analog synths which can be turned off. Many people complain about the sound of both synths saying Serum is sterile and Zebra not analog enough but IMO both have a very usable sound for a variety of genres with enough capability to adequately emulate about anything with proper programming.

Both has tons of filters and effects.
The thing that disappoints me about the Serum GUI is that it is a relatively simple synth (beyond the extensive wavetable stuff) but you still cannot edit 2 envelopes without tabbing between them. Same with the LFO's. I'd lay it out differently were it up to me. Now Hive truly is an efficient GUI.

Also, saying that both have tons of filters is a bit unclear. Serum has 1 filter with lots of filter type options. Zebra has 6 individual filter modules in the upper module grid. 4 regular and 2 XMF. There are 3 more individual filters in the FX grid.

Zebra is far more diverse than Serum (especially in the practical sense). Zebra does FM, Additive, Some Physical Modeling and PD, as well as the wavetable stuff. And of course you can combine them freely in any sort of complex multi-channel routing...

login
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra - a meaningful comparison?

Post by login » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:25 am

What I don't like about Serum is the CPU use, way too much and the filters doesn't sound that great. I do like it's didigtal sound nevertheless but then I also like Largo and I like its filters more.

sporkles
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra - a meaningful comparison?

Post by sporkles » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:28 am

deva wrote: Turn on the multi-core option... and use the freeze function
That did the trick! It helped, at least. (Although they obviously did a good job hiding that setting away from the settings pane! :D )

I'm still a bit torn on the whole virtual cables thing; it's one of the things I was happy to leave behind when I left Reason for Live's more zen-like approach, but it's undeniably very intuitive (up until the point when you've got cables crisscrossing all over the display).

sporkles
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra vs. Bazille vs ...? Meaningful comparisons?

Post by sporkles » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:15 pm

OK, so a bundle deal for AIR Music Synth Bundle (Loom, Hybrid and Vacuum Pro) conveniently landed in my inbox, and (despite iLok BS) this was simply too good to pass on, so that means no Serum or Zebra for me. I'm already having great fun with these synths - just what I needed!

Machinesworking
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra vs. Bazille vs ...? Meaningful comparisons?

Post by Machinesworking » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:35 pm

sporkles wrote:OK, so a bundle deal for AIR Music Synth Bundle (Loom, Hybrid and Vacuum Pro) conveniently landed in my inbox, and (despite iLok BS) this was simply too good to pass on, so that means no Serum or Zebra for me. I'm already having great fun with these synths - just what I needed!
I can't attest for the other two, but Loom is one of my favorite underrated synths. Got it for $45 a while ago. 8)

Waiting for another sale on AIR's upgrade bundle before diving in. It's usually $135 or so to get their entire package, but it's gone on sale when I was completely broke (of course) for near the same price as that bundle.

eq.a
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra vs. Bazille vs ...? Meaningful comparisons?

Post by eq.a » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:02 pm

I bought Serum a year ago. Used it once. Now I'm watching Hans using Zebra and I think they layout of Zebra makes sense. For me it Zebra makes sense visually. Never the less, I just ended up getting some real mod synths hardware.

SuburbanThug
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Re: Serum vs. Zebra vs. Bazille vs ...? Meaningful comparisons?

Post by SuburbanThug » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:17 pm

I can't believe you guys are complaining about the CPU hit of Serum! What about Bazille??? Haha.

I own both Bazille and Serum and they are my go-to soft synths. I think they compliment each other well and between the two of them I usually forget about Zebra... which I also want. I'll be good for now. Just gotta get Urs to implement a switch allowing Direct Current from Bazille and I'll be happy as a pig in poop.

Oh, wait. You asked for a meaningful comparison.

You can't compare these two synths, in sound or functionality. Bazille excels at complex FM routings and allows for a lot of modulation you'd be confused to attempt in more traditional softsynths. How often do you FM ring-modded operators with variable wave shape all fed back into each other for example. Serum is a beast soundwise. Like Massive it will cut through your mix like a hot knife through butter. Creating your own wavetables is fun and intuitive (can't do that in Bazille [oh, but if you could! drool...]) From there you start FMing them and syncing them against each other and it just gets bigger than life. Awesome effects section in both of these but Serum easily takes the cake with the Hyper/Dimension effects and the distortion sounds great as well. The reverb also just got a nice update.

Get all three!

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