CAKEWALK Z3TA+2 808 TUTORIAL
How to make an 808 kick drum with Z3TA+2
Z3TA+2 from Cakewalk is an excellent synth to make 808 style drums with. It’s pitch envelope allows for the 808 to hit a lot harder. Z3TA also has great effects and processors built in to add flavor to 808s.
Let’s get started.
Load up Z3TA+2 and Initialize the patch.
Turn on OSC #1
GENERATED SINE WAVE
Select the generated sine wave for OSC1.
This is what the default sine wave sounds like..
In Z3TA the ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release) settings are somewhat different than other synths.
The AMP ENVELOPE section will be used to adjust the ADSR
To start off let’s turn all the knobs down
ADSR Knobs turned down
In Z3TA the TIME1 knob will adjust the DECAY. Turn the Decay knob to taste. (the Decay will determine the length of the 808 kick).
Z3TA 808 Short Decay example
Z3TA 808 Long Decay example
As always adjust the Release to get rid of any clicking sounds.
Listen the examples below of adjusting the release to get rid of clicking sound
Adjust the POLYPHONY/VOICES to 1 OR 2, to avoid more than one note playing at a time.
(LEFT AND RIGHT CLICK TO ADJUST)
As with all 808s adding a lowpass filter can eliminate high frequencies.
Add a High Pass filter and adjust to taste.
Listen to examples below with and without Lowpass Filter.
Z3TA 808 Without filter
Z3TA 808 With Filter
Z3TA’s pitch envelope can work wonders when extra punch needs to be added to the 808. The modulation and routing capabilities of this synth are un-mached.
Adjust the pitch envelope to look similar to the screenshot below.
In order to hear the effect you need to set the source and destination in the modulation matrix
Set the modulation source to Pitch EG
Set the destination to OSC #1 Pitch
You can experiment with different curves on your own but PITCH 4 OCT works best.
Adjust the AMOUNT slider to taste. Turning the slider up or down will change the pitch shift from up to down. Turning the Time1 knob up a tad bit will add extra punch.
Listen to the examples of what is possible below. Adjusting the decay will shorten or lengthen the effect.
Z3TA Pitched 808 examples
Z3TA+2 has some fairly decent built in effects that are perfect for 808 sounds.
You will see how to add them to the 808. Click on the effects tab as show in the screenshot below.
Adding distortion to your 808 sounds to gives them an analog style overdrive effect. Experiment with the different distortion modes that Z3TA has to offer, and adjust the amount to taste.
Listen to the different Distortion examples below.
Distorted Z3TA 808s
Z3TA also has a compressor to automate gain control.
With and Without Z3TA Compressor examples
Other Waveforms (non-Sine)
A sine wave is usually used to program 808 sounds with most synthesizers in existence. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. Z3TA has the capability to make custom waveforms and also has built in waveforms suitable for 808 sounds. It is possible to make various 808 sounds with character without effects. The sky is the limit. experiment for yourself and unlock the full potential of this excellent softsynth.
Z3TA+2 was used extensively in one of our feature soundsets “Subfinity”
If you are looking for Z3TA 808 presets you can find them here.
In this tutorial you learned how to make 808s with Cakewalk Z3TA+2
Stay tuned for more tutorials in the 808 secrets series from synthfinity.com.