Review: BigTone Stratospheres for u-he Zebra 2

Hot on the heels of the recent updates for Zebra follows the release of three new patch libraries for the virtual modular synthesizer.

Big Tone Stratospheres

One of them is Stratospheres, the sequel to the acclaimed Chronospheres soundset by BigTone Studios.

The main focus of this soundset is on meticulous emulations of classic analogue sounds – but several surprises are also included! Great care has been taken to ensure that all patches remain rich and expressive across several octaves: all sounds are truly playable… Stratospheres is a must for all aficionados of analogue synthesis!

The Stratospheres soundset includes a total of 136 patches for Zebra. The sounds are generally extremely expressive, with many patches having modwheel, pitchbend, velocity and aftertouch assigned. The patch names indicate which controls are used, and Zebra’s info panel has detailed information for each patch.

The sounds are divided into eight categories:

  • 18 arpeggiated sounds,
  • 27 basses,
  • 15 drum & percussion hits,
  • 8 sound fx,
  • 17 keys,
  • 10 leads,
  • 34 pads,
  • and 7 sequenced sounds.

With a focus on classic analogue type sounds the set includes deep bass sounds, lush house chord stabs, polysynth sounds, 303 acid type bleeps, a large selection of huge pads, and much more. Classic, but not outdated.

Have a listen to the Stratospheres demo sounds below.

So what do I think?

Product: Stratospheres by BigTone
Format: .h2p for Zebra 2.5
Price: $30 USD excl. VAT
Like: High quality, expressive sounds, especially pads section is amazing
Don’t like: –
Verdict: 9/10

To be honest I already knew I was going to like this set before even checking it. BigTone already impressed me with his previous soundsets (LinPlug Albino, Camel Audio Alchemy, and Tone2 ElectaX) and Stratospheres does not disappoint either.

The set features a wonderful blend of useable, bread and butter type sounds. Never too experimental, never bland either. Even though this set has a focus on classic analogue sounds there is still a lot of unique material in here. The “granular beauty” patch is just gorgeous. There’s hardly a dud to be found in the soundset, but the pads section is my favorite. Huge sounds, wonderfully dynamic. So inspiring.

Seeing as there are already thousands of free sounds available for Zebra, any commercial set really needs to offer something worthwhile. Stratospheres surely delivers. Nico Herz is a top notch sound designer and in my opinion you can’t go wrong with picking up any of his soundsets.

More information: u-he / BigTone! Stratospheres

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