Monthly Archives: August 2013

Ambient Loop Generation in REAKTOR

Brent Kallmer comes through again with a fantastic video and tutorial post on combining two Reaktor factory library instruments into a sum that is greater than its parts:

REAKTOR‘s Sound Generators (think Metaphysical Function, Skrewell, and Space Drone) produce complex, evolving walls of sound that need no accompaniment. But perhaps you’ve wondered—given Sound Generators’ inclination to do their own thing—how you would use this strange sonic magic in one of your own, rhythmically minded productions. The answer is offered by our good friend Fast FX. By teaming up Fast FX with one of REAKTOR’s Sound Generators (this time it’s Metaphysical Function), we can create an ambient loop generation machine the likes of which the world has never seen…

Brent is a machine… he just moved house last week and already he’s delivering quality material like this. When you’re done checking this out, explore the rest of Brent’s site which is chock full of valuableReaktor information.

MPT Deep House Synth for Reaktor

Here’s the (almost) free Deep House Synth for Reaktor, from Danny J. Lewis of Music Production Tutorials.

You can get the Deep House Synth almost for free, or rather, for a tweet or a facebook post, which is an interesting use of networking – it makes the phrase “social capital” rather literal.

In this second video, Danny discusses the internal structure of the synth:

Update: if you’re feeling nervous about giving Pay With A Tweet write access to your Twitter or FB timeline, you can always edit your FB or Twitter app settings afterwards to revoke access to your account from this app. Your FB app settings are here. Twitter app settings are here. If you’ve never visited those settings pages before, you might be surprised at what already has write access to your timelines.

Sending Random Notes from Reaktor

Here’s a quick structure and mini tutorial that demonstrates how to send a random note from Reaktor on triggered input – you can use OSC or MIDI to map a control to the trigger button here:

…and the RandomNote will then send a note to the ReceiveNote instrument – or, in the properties, you can set up RandomNote to send the note to a different instrument, or a different plugin, or even a hardware synth. Use the Connect tab of the RandomNote instrument properties to select a destination.

The center pitch and rand. range knobs control the range of notes that can be selected randomly.  The velocity knob sets the volume of the triggered note. This is not a finished instrument, but a demonstration of a technique. A recipe ingredient, if you will.

Here’s what it looks like inside:

The Trigger button triggers a core cell that outputs a random value between -1 and 1. This is multiplied by the Rand Range knob to produce a value, in this case between -12 and 12. A quantize module turns this into an integer, a whole number, which will correspond to a MIDI note. This value is then added (or subtracted if it’s negative) to the value from the Center Pitch knob. An Order module sends the note value first to the P(itch) input port on a Note module, and then to the Trig(ger) input on a Value module that holds the Velocity, or volume, of the triggered note. The Note module only sends when it receives a value at its G(ate) port, and it sends a note with whatever pitch was at its P input at the time.

Download the ensemble here and start hacking away at it. Replace the Rand. Range and Center Pitch controls with a scaled LFO, and the Trigger button with a clock, for example. Another recipe ingredient that might come in handy here is my Roux basic sequencer macro.

You’ll quickly notice, in sending this control signal to a synth, that it’s missing a note-off. We’ll add that next time!

Roundup: Automated Faders and Gestural Instruments in Reaktor

Last weekend Andre Goc uploaded Weirdo to the Reaktor user library. It’s a granular sampler with automated faders controlling many of the parameters. Very cool!

The idea of automated faders has a long and interesting history in Reaktor.

One of the first times I saw this implemented was in the venerable Green Matrix ensemble that debuted in Reaktor 4:

This intrigued me but at the time I couldn’t figure out how to chop out the faders intact and use them in my own creations – I was too much the noob.

The next automated fader that came onto my radar completely blew my mind – Metaphysical Function, which was originally sold separately in the Electronic Instruments 2 package, and later incorporated as part of the Reaktor 5 factory library.

I can’t emphasize enough how Metaphysical Function shook me up and turned my mind around about music making methods and even about music itself. Anyhow, again the faders were a bit unwieldy, and though I did manage to extract the macros and get them working in my own ensembles, I eventually abandoned that and built my own from scratch.

My own recordable faders first made their Reaktor Library debut in Dubby Red Planet, which was a remix of a classic Dieter Zobel instrument, and later on their own as The Freshmaker, a tool / macro upload for Reaktor builders.

I later adapted the Freshmaker faders for use in my ParamDrum drum machine. ParamDrum is set up with its recordable faders mapped to Konkreet Performer node parameters, taking it into a whole new dimension of gestural control. While we’re on the topic of iOS, I should also mention one of the more awesome iOS gestural instruments – Figure. Gestural control is one of the most powerful aspects of tablet music making and it’s always baffled me that devs will release sonically revolutionary and intriguing instruments that slavishly stick to a keyboard style control. Props to the Propellerheads for moving beyond that.

The great Kristian Thom, creator of Acoustring, took some inspiration from The Freshmaker and built his own superb toolkit of automated controls which you can download here. And Andre Goc, creator of Weirdo, built his own modified auto-faders based on Mr. Thom’s devices.

So that’s one path through the history of automated faders in the Reaktor user library – doubtless there are things I’ve skipped over – if you know a good upload I’ve overlooked, please mention it in the comments. Perhaps you’d like to download one of the macro sets or fader based instruments and start hacking away at controlling your own synth, effect or sampler parameters. Go for it!

Update: I knew I was overlooking things!

Reichatron by Matt Mower is another spiritual descendant of Metaphysical Function, inspired by the phase-shifting music of Steve Reich. Matt also uploaded his faders separately here.

ConiX by Dmitriy Vasiliev is a package of automated faders aimed at Reaktor builders.

Ghost Shift 1.1 with Konkreet Performer mappings

When I released Ghost Shift I didn’t have live control in mind other than mapping a MIDI fader to the mix control. However, the recent update of Konkreet Performer got me thinking, and I realized there was an easy way to map Performer parameters to the individual delay taps in Ghost Shift. Here’s how that turned out:

Here’s how it works: you set your number of delay taps – I find three works well – in the Ghost Shift instrument properties. The node visualizer instrument is voice-slaved to Ghost Shift so its number of nodes / voices should auto adjust. If it doesn’t, turn Reaktor’s audio engine off and on again.

Make sure Reaktor is set up to receive OSC from Konkreet Performer on your iPad. Here are the setting screens inside Performer, showing which parameters and settings I’ve used:

Notice that every node parameter is active, from angle and length to X and Y. We’re going whole hawg here, using every part but the oink. Also activate the ribbon, which controls the mix of dry and wet signal.

So how does one obtain this marvelous and endlessly entertaining Ghost Shift device? Click here:

Add to Cart

It’s free! Enjoy!