Review: BigTone EDM Expansion Pack for Z3TA+ 2

by Craig Anderton

Sound Designer Nico Herz has done sound design for a variety of companies, of course including Cakewalk. BigTone EDM, for Z3TA+ 2, is (as you can probably guess from the name) designed for EDM. So if you’re into traditional bluegrass, you probably should not continue reading this.

Anyway, the presets are designed for the EDM “sweet spot” of 125bpm. There are 127 presets total, arranged as eight banks: 7 Bass, 19 Keys, 11 Leads, 20 Pads, 11 Sequences, 6 Sound FX, 19 Textures, and 34 Arps. I’m going to assign each bank a letter grade average for two reasons—it might be helpful, and because sounds are so subjective, if you end up disagreeing with me you’ll know not to bother reading any sound reviews I do. Conversely, if you think my evaluations are correct, we can have an ongoing relationship with future sound reviews. (more…)

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Ben Cantil on Z3TA+ 2 – Teaching Synthesis & Sound Design at Berklee Valencia

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with our friend Ben Cantil (aka. Encanti) – EDM Producer, author of the Mutant series Expansion Packs, and evangelist for Z3TA+ 2.

Who is your Masters Sound Design Course at Berklee Valencia geared towards?
I am working with young professionals from all walks of life who have come to Berklee Valencia to earn their Master’s degree, especially as part of the Music Technology Innovation program. My curriculum emphasizes practical and professional applications of creative music software. Some of these students will become sound designers, but many others will become engineers, stage musicians, film scorers, and installation artists, so I try to find common threads to make the content really relevant and useful no matter where you take your skills outside the classroom.

 

What are your goals for the students in your class?
This course is all about the fundamentals of sound design. The first goal is to equip students with creative and technical skills for generating sounds from scratch, emulating sounds, and composing unique sonic gestures intuitively. Another goal of this course to produce content using a variety of different medians. I think it is an ideal class for anyone that learns best from hands-on experience.

 

What are some of the Cakewalk Products being used in your class?
Z3ta+ 2 is a major part of my masters sound design course. We spend several weeks building patch libraries and sequences to make the synth really sing. I’ve found this is the ideal plugin to use when teaching synthesis, because it’s so unrestrained and versatile without being a processor hog.

 

In what ways are you using Z3TA+ 2 as a teaching tool? (more…)
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Free: Old-School Video Game Presets for Z3TA+ 2

June is Virtual Instrument Month at Cakewalk so we thought we would remind you of these great free presets for Z3TA+2 in case you missed them! Stay tuned to the Cakewalk Blog for Synth tips and other special offers all month long.

 

The Polybius video game expansion pack is a free set for Z3TA+ 2, inspired by all your favorite old-school video game titles. Includes video game themes, game over themes, boss themes, attack effects, blaster effects, and even some timeless sounds you are sure to recognize. The Polybius expansion pack proves the true power behind Z3TA+ 2’s synth engine and best of all, it’s totally FREE!

Polybius Video Game Sound Pack Info:

  • 100 Free 8-bit Inspired Sounds
  • Title Themes
  • Game Over Themes
  • Level Themes
  • Blaster Effects
  • Run, Jump, Attack Effects
  • Classic Sound FX
  • Additional MIDI Arpeggios
  • Both Simple and Complex Presets
  • Great for shaping your own sounds!

How to Download Polybius: If you already purchased Z3TA+ 2, you can download the free Polybius Sound Pack from your My Account page on the Cakewalk Store. If you have not yet created an account, you will need to use the same email address as your Z3TA+ 2 registration. Then proceed to the My Account section and under “My Registered Products” you will see the Free Polybius Expansion Pack for Z3TA+ 2.

If you buy Z3TA+ 2 through the Cakewalk Store then the free Polybius Sound Pack will be included with your Z3TA+ 2 download.

If you purchase Z3TA+ 2 on Steam the Polybius Sound Pack is Free DLC.

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FREE: Polybius Video Game Sound Pack for Z3TA+ 2

The Polybius video game expansion pack is a free set for Z3TA+ 2, inspired by all your favorite old-school video game titles. Includes video game themes, game over themes, boss themes, attack effects, blaster effects, and even some timeless sounds you are sure to recognize. The Polybius expansion pack proves the true power behind Z3TA+ 2’s synth engine and best of all, it’s totally FREE!

Polybius Video Game Sound Pack Info:

  • 100 Free 8-bit Inspired Sounds
  • Title Themes
  • Game Over Themes
  • Level Themes
  • Blaster Effects
  • Run, Jump, Attack Effects
  • Classic Sound FX
  • Additional MIDI Arpeggios
  • Both Simple and Complex Presets
  • Great for shaping your own sounds!

How to Download Polybius: If you already purchased Z3TA+ 2, you can download the free Polybius Sound Pack from your My Account page on the Cakewalk Store.  If you have not yet created an account, you will need to use the same email address as your Z3TA+ 2 registration. Then proceed to the My Account section and under “My Registered Products” you will see the Free Polybius Expansion Pack for Z3TA+ 2.

If you buy Z3TA+ 2 through the Cakewalk Store then the free Polybius Sound Pack will be included with your Z3TA+ 2 download.

If you purchase Z3TA+ 2 on Steam the Polybius Sound Pack is Free DLC.

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Learn Sound Design with Z3TA+ 2 – Free Video by Digital Sound Factory

Z3TA+ 2 Sound Design Video

 

Z3TA+ 2 Sound Design
By Timothy Swartz
Digital Sound Factory

Digital Sound Factory veteran sound designer, Timothy Swartz takes us on a tour of Cakewalk’s Z3TA+ 2 software synthesizer and how to quickly create interesting sounds. The video begins by explaining basic programming of Z3TA+ 2 envelopes, LFO’s, filters, modulators, and effects. As the tutorial progresses, Tim explains Z3TA+ 2 program parameters and takes us through the process of creating synth pads, synth bass, synth leads, and electronica synths. We hope you find this video informative and will stimulate your imagination. (40 min. running time)

Z3TA+ 2 Expansion Packs by DSF

 
 

Digital Sound Factory offers a collection of over 1,000 Z3TA+ 2 programs, designed using these concepts, now available on the Cakewalk Store.

Timothy Swartz produced the original E-MU Emulator and Proteus sound libraries. In 2007 he founded Digital Sound Factory with a mission to provide high quality low cost sounds for computer software musicians. Digital Sound Factory also offers Cakewalk sound libraries for Dimension Pro, Rapture, Session Drummer 3, and Cakewalk Sound Center.

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Big Z3TA+ 2 News: Now on Mac OS X, Save 50% of sound packs, and new video tutorial

Z3TA+ 2 for Mac

A decade in the making: Z3TA+ 2 now available for Mac – only $99/£69/€79

For 10 years, Z3TA+ 2 has only been available for Windows…until now. We are pleased to announce that Z3TA+ 2 is now available for Mac OS X 10.6.8 and higher in VST3 and Audio units format. This is huge news for Mac owners who have been asking for Z3TA+ to come over the Mac platform. Z3TA+ 2 for Mac includes all the ground-breaking features of the Windows version plus all the updates and improvements in Z3TA+ 2.1.

Z3TA+ 2 features 1000 new sounds from top sound designers including:

  • Nico Herz, Big Tone Studio
  • Frank Genus, Pro Sounds
  • Francesco Silvestri, FI Sound
  • Chad Beckwith, FI Sound/Patch Arena
  • Bryan Lee, Xenos Soundworks
  • Ben Cantil, Encanti Productions
  • Tim Swartz, Digital Sound Factory
  • Kieran Swarbrick, Dance MIDI Samples
  • Listen to over 50 sound examples

The new sounds alone are worth the price of Z3TA+ 2 but you also get much more:

  • A completely redesigned user interface
  • Quicker access to needed controls
  • More parameters and controls
  • 1,093 classic Z3TA+ patches
  • All new patch browser
  • New filter types
  • New waveshapers
  • New modulation destinations
  • Revamped FX section with drag and drop
  • New Performance Module
  • All updates and improvements from Z3TA+ 2.1
  • And more!

Download it today

 

Z3TA+ 2 Expansion Pack

Limited-time offer: Save 50% off additional sounds for Z3TA+ 2

In honor of the Z3TA+ 2 for Mac announcement, we are slashing prices on all Z3TA+ 2 Expansion Packs. This is a great time to stock up on more sounds from leading sound designers like Xenos Soundworks, Digital Sound Factory, Loopmasters, and more. Choose from 13 individual expansion packs that span many different genres of music. Offer ends August 31st, 2012.

Download today and save 50% off the regular price

 

Z3TA+ 2 Explained

New Z3TA+ 2 Explained video tutorial now available for only $19.95/£14.95/€19.95

To help you learn all there is to know about Z3TA+ 2, we are also offering a brand new video tutorial from Groove 3. Whether you are familiar with Z3TA+ 2 or a first-time customer, no other video offers you a comprehensive look at the amazing Z3TA+ 2 waveshaping synthesizer.

Z3TA+ 2 Explained Highlights:

  • 24 tutorials / Over 2 hours of total runtime
  • Perfect for beginners or more advanced synth users
  • Written by DAW master instructor Doug Zangar
  • Simple to use video control interface for Mac & PC.

Add it to your Z3TA+ 2 order today

 

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