Monthly Archives: September 2013

Taking Reaktor L3 to the Next L3vel

In this video, Brent Kallmer continues his series on digging into Reaktor factory library instruments, this time with the L3 slicer and sequencer.

Reaktor 5 factory ensembles like L3 have been around since 2005 and are still, I think, under-explored and under-utilized. A sign of how forward-looking these instruments were is that they still look and sound fresh 8 years later and remain ripe for exploitation.

Brent says:

While loop slicing is nothing new, L3 remains a gem on the basis of the results it produces and the elegance and simplicity with which it produces them. Of course, this is not to say that L3 didn’t scare me off for longer than I care to admit.

Let Brent be your guide into the jungle of L3. More here

MASCHINE and REAKTOR: Stack-and-Send FX

This week at BluewaterVST, Brent Kallmer takes us on a tour of Reaktor FX in Maschine. I really love Maschine for its freeform session view style workflow. I think it’s the only sequencer / host that gets this right aside from Ableton.

Enjoy Brent’s tutorial and check out the rest of his site here.

Video Tutorial: Antonio Blanca’s NOD-E

In this video, Brent Kallmer of BluewaterVST takes us through the wonderful NOD-E ensemble by Antonio Blanca, an algorithmic music machine that generates MIDI note data based on the positions of nodes moving on the instrument panel.

Says Brent:

You might think of NOD-E as the sequencer that you get when the nodes in Spiral reach escape velocity and break out of orbit. In NOD-E, 8 nodes travel around an XY-field and trigger notes when they cross certain boundaries (defined by you). Movement along the X-axis triggers notes; movement along the Y-axis determines the triggered note’s velocity (in other words, a note that is triggered at a high Y-value will play more loudly than one that is triggered at a low value. The nodes are propelled throughout the XY field by two polyphonic LFOs (one for each axis).

The cool thing about NOD-E is it can sound like anything – you can route the MIDI data to other plugins, even to hardware synths – or record and edit the sequence in a sequencer. Big ups to Brent for this great video introduction to the ensemble.

Sending Random Notes from Reaktor part 2: Turning Off Notes

Last time we looked at sending random notes from Reaktor, everything was hunky dory except the ensemble didn’t send note-off signals to its destination.

Note-offs are required because otherwise you end up with stuck and hanging notes. If you’re sending to a synth patch you could inadvertently create drones. If you’re sending to a drum synth or other percussion instrument, you might not hear a drone when the note fades but it might still be active, consuming CPU. This has happened to me when I’ve tried to trigger Drumspillage from Reaktor.

The fix is very simple and uses part of the same structure we used to send MIDI out from Krypt – a note-off macro.

There’s also a NoteLen control, unlike the earlier version in Krypt. This control determines the length of the triggered note, so it doesn’t require a new note to turn off the previous one.

Now let’s have a look inside the NoteOff macro:

It’s a bit complex, but the gist of it is – the Value modules on the right, just before the merge modules and P and G terminals, hold the value of the previous note and a zero. The Order module is wired up so that when a new note is received, the macro first sends out the pitch of the previous note with a zero velocity. That’s one way to send a note-off. The macro then sends out the new note with whatever velocity came in through the G terminal.

The Hold module holds the note on for however many milliseconds you’ve set as the length of the note, then drops the value to zero, which again sends out a note-off.

You can download the updated ensemble here and experiment with it yourself.

Update: here is a version of the note off macro that is more suitable for popping into other sequencer ensembles, which often have trouble with stuck notes when sending to external synths and hardware.

Memory Stick 20 – Free Reaktor Groovebox from Boscomac

Boscomac is at it again and has released Memory Stick 20, a sequenced sample based beatbox for Reaktor.

These aren’t just any samples either – the source is a Korg MS-20 and its audio was routed through some mighty fine analog hardware processing on its way to the analog to digital converter. Says the creator:

MEMORY STICK 20 is a beatbox sample-based on MS20 mini analog synth. Sounds from the legendary synthesizer were carved to get a kick, a snare, a clave, etc.. Every sound has been treated through analog peripherals worthy of the name: Preamp Cartec Audio, Eq Chandler Limiter, Compressor Shadow Hills. Then they were arranged in Reaktor to give birth to an old school drum machine, simple to use and really fun in the style of a TR808! According to sources, you can set the Tune, Decay, Tone, Drive or the Reverb and put everything in a Tape Saturation. The drum machine is compatible with the GM standard and can be used in multi-out.

 As usual with Boscomac Reaktor ensembles, it looks as good as it sounds. Get it here.