NAMM 2024: It’s not just hardware synths that get launched at the NAMM Show; sometimes, we see new software instruments, too. That said, u-he's Zebralette 3 is a little unusual in that it’s a cutdown version of a synth plugin that hasn’t even been released yet.
Set to appear in beta in Anaheim, Zebralette 3 is a single-oscillator version of the synth that will eventually be released as Zebra 3, the latest version of u-he’s most enduringly popular products. It also features one Zebra MSEG and, according to u-he’s Urs Heckmann, “a bit of surrounding stuff, made up from standard modules we have”.
Writing on the KVR Forum, Heckmann goes on to explain that “It works as its own synth because the oscillator is pretty capable on its own. In the past 10+ years I've been on and off able to work on a new version, which increases the consistency between visual editors, and vastly expands sonic possibilities.”
As for the “tingling question” of when Zebra 3 will be ready, Heckmann says that it’s hard to put a precise date on that. He is making positive noises, though: “once Zebralette 3 is finished, the largest chunk of work on Zebra 3 is done as well. Also, our team has been making big progress in areas that are not part of Zebralette. We'll know more once we get there.”
This being a beta version of Zebralette 3, Heckmann says that it’s “feature complete but still a bit buggy,” which is to be expected. It’ll go in front of the public fairly soon after NAMM, though, and Heckman is confident that it’ll be “one of the most comprehensive wavetable generation tools available, and like its predecessor, it'll be free.”
Keep up with developments on the u-he website.