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Cakewalk Z3TA+2: full specs revealed

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Z3TA+2 offers drag 'n' drop effects routing. Click the image for more screenshots.

Z3TA+2 offers drag 'n' drop effects routing. Click the image for more screenshots.

Z3TA+2 effects

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The matrix

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Cakewalk sort of announced Z3TA+2 late last month, and then teased it in video a few days later. Now, finally, we have the official press release, which contains full specs and pricing details.

You can read said release below - Z3TA+2 will be available to buy via the Cakewalk website from 4 August priced at $99/€99/£89. Registered Z3TA+ users can upgrade for $49/€39/£35.

The only fly in the ointment - for Mac users, at least - is that the synth remains Windows-only.

Cakewalk Z3TA+2 press release

Boston, MA (July 21, 2011) — Cakewalk, the world's leading developer of powerful and easy to use products for music creation and recording, today announces Z3TA+ 2 the Second Generation Waveshaping synthesizer featuring improved sound design, real-time expression, and sound quality.

Z3TA+ is highly revered as a classic synthesizer with unique character and tonality. Its unmistakable signature sound has been used in countless electronic, trance, and dance productions around the globe for nearly a decade. The key to Z3TA+'s success has been its formidable sound synthesis generation engine, featuring unique per-oscillator waveshaping capability, vast filters, multi-stage envelope generators, morphing and advanced modulation matrix with powerful effects routing.

Z3TA+ 2 builds upon the solid foundation of this classic waveshaping synthesizer with improved controls via a complete user interface overhaul for extensive, hands-on control of parameters including envelopes, effects routing, waveshaping, and performance functions. Real-time performance and expression controls are centralized into the Performance Module featuring the new Adaptive Pitch Bend. All this provides new inspiration for sound design, real-time expression, and is all bounded by impeccable sound quality.

Z3TA+ 2 loads all original Z3TA+ patches and sports a new browser providing easy access and organization of patches. Z3TA+ 2 also includes hundreds of new presets from renowned sound designers Nico Herz of Big Tone Studios (who crafted many of the original Z3TA+ patches), Francesco Silvestri/FI Sound, Frank Genus/Pro Sounds, and Chad Beckwith/ FI Sound / Patch Arena.

Z3TA+ 2 highlights

· Waveshaper is now an integral part of the Oscillator section with 4 new Waveshaping modes. All Waveshapers are now accessible via the modulation matrix opening up an enormous amount of new sound shaping possibilities

· 4 new Filter modes bringing the total to 14 filter modes with separation control for tweaking resonance peaks on stacked filters. Both filters are readily accessible and visible simultaneously.

· New Graphically controlled Envelopes providing visual representation of all envelopes, mouse controlled ADSR, andimproved naming and interface arrangement.

· New Graphical LFOs clearly show the resulting LFO shapes when morphing between two waves and the newAMOUNT fader quickly scales an LFO's intensity.

· New Graphical Arp provides visual display of Arp patterns, including 100 new patterns from Dance MIDI Samples. 50 new 'Gate' patterns, also from Dance MIDI Samples, instantly apply trance gates to synth pads and leads while Humanize and Swing controls increase total Arp flexibility and expression.

· Effects enhancements include: Simple drag and drop routing of all effects, new Hypertube distortion algorithm, and highly flexible distortion module routing (apply to filter busses and master section or both simultaneously).

· Real-time Expression is enhanced with Adaptive Pitch Bend which allows for thebending of notes within the key and mode performed; automatically learns key based on performance.

· All Waveshapers can be mapped to the modulation matrix opening up a whole new world of expression when mapped to velocity and bend controls.

· XY Pad speed control allows users to adjust the morphing speed of XY coordinates.

· Z3TA+'s legendary sound engine has been improved with a new 'HIGHEST' SRC algorithm providing smoother, more accurate interpolation of wavetables.

Other UI enhancements

· Layout is rearranged with numerous usability improvements

· Menu items now show graphical previews (oscillator shapes, velocity curves, etc)

· New extended ribbon controller with latch (Shift-click)

· Menus are revamped with clearer organization and descriptions


Z3TA+ 2 has an estimated street price of $99/€99/£89 (vat inclusive) and will be available at August 4, 2011. Customers who purchase Z3TA+ 1.5 starting July 18, 2011 will get a free upgrade to Z3TA+ 2 when it becomes available. Registered Z3TA+ customers can upgrade for $49/€39/£35 (vat inclusive) at