Tag Archives: Cakewalk

Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2 – Review

A few days ago I’ve started to test the new Z3TA+ so I going to tell you about this long awaited beast !

Z3TA+
Z3TA+2

First thing you’ll notice, is the change occurred in the design. The size of the interface is bigger and cleaner than the old one but the general organization remain intact so you wont get lost If you were familiar with the previous one.

Z3TA+ Oscillators
Z3TA+ Shaper

The Oscillator panel remains globally the same but there are some great improvement in term of usability. For example, the Shaper panel is now directly integrated to the oscillator panel and all the options are now selectable via a context menu.

Z3TA+2 Oscillators
Z3TA+2 Perform

There is now a new panel called “Perform” which contains, a joystick modulator and a small but interesting panel named “Analog”. In the analog panel you’ll be able to control oscillator drift and burst 😉 Last but not least, it is now possible to select and load the “user waveforms” from the wave context menu… Even if there are no real astonishing improvements, changes were made and well made !

Z3TA+ Filters
Z3TA+2 Filters

The filters panel remains the same but with 3 new filter types which are “Formant”, “Reso” and “Comb”.

Z3TA+ Enveloppes
Z3TA+2 Enveloppes

The envelope panel is more visual and more usable but globally there is no real changes at all.

Z3TA+ LFO
Z3TA+2 LFO

The low frequency section offer more waveforms and is also more visual, no much to say.

Z3TA+ Modulation Matrix
Z3TA+2 Modulation Matrix

The modulation matrix is pretty much the same one, with a 16 slots routing table. Now the modulation matrix share the same location with the arpegiator panel.

Z3TA+ Arpegiator
Z3TA+2 Arpegiator

The arpegiator has very few modes available but it allow you to load midi files directly and the default soundbank already contains tons of midi sequences. It is possible to use the arpegiator as a “trance gate”.
The parameters available to control the arpegiator are the same but you have now an “humanize” and a “swing” parameter.

As you can see, even if there were improvement made for the “Synth” part, these are ergonomic changes and finally, 80% the functionality remains the same as in version 1.5 but I have to admit that the basis was already very good, so, cakewalk is forgiven 😉

Z3TA+ Effects
Z3TA+2 Effects

The “Effects” part of Z3ta+2 allow you to chain all effects as wanted but again, this is mainly the only modification.

In conclusion, even if Z3ta+2 is very good, it is more an “ergonomy” update than a technically improved version of the first one and I think that’s a bit light for a “10 years later” upgrade 🙁

Pro :

  • Great Sound !
  • New “Analog” features
  • Very usable interface
  • Nicely designed
  • Effect routing
  • Old presets are still compatible
  • Large set of quality presets

Cons :

  • No arpegiator editor, only presets and/or midi file
  • Lack of apegiator modes (Only 5 modes available)
  • Preset/category management is outdated
  • Bugs