Behold and beware: Trevor Gavilan has released the Reaktor Ass Fister on an unsuspecting world.
Inspired by the infamous Metasonix tube powered hardware units and with sound design by Jesse Voccia, the AF-150 is a Reaktor effects unit based around the humble slew limiter module. Amazing what you can do with simple structures in Reaktor with some imagination! Get it here, where you can also download the Semi Fuzz.
I’ve only tried it on drum loops so far and to say it utterly destroys any sound routed through it is an understatement. It can sound like a contact mic fixed to a circular saw cutting through cement blocks laced with steel rebar. That’s my first impression, anyhow. 😉
If it’s Thursday then there must be another excellent Reaktor video tutorial from Brent Kallmer at BluewaterVST. This time around, Brent looks at rendering loops from Reaktor grooveboxes, which sounds simple at first blush but Brent takes you deeper into some of the tools and options available to you when hosting Reaktor in Ableton Live.
In this tutorial, let’s take a look at how to bounce individual parts of a groove from Aerobic and SineBeats—two stunning REAKTOR grooveboxes. Both are drum synths (they synthesize drum hits rather than playing samples) and their penetrating, glossy sounds are ideal for techno and glitch (or anything else that needs a synthetic touch).
Great stuff! I think the grooveboxes in Reaktor 5 are some of the most under-appreciated and under-used tools out there, mainly because people just don’t know what to do with them, and as Brent says, sometimes there are just too many options. Rendering loops this way is a great strategy to narrow things down and get something going.
Scott Riesterer of Sublime Sound has posted three retro game-sound Reaktor ensembles on his site.
A while back I stumbled onto Adventure Kid’s single cycle waveform libraries. I really wanted to use his NES waveforms to make a synth that could produce chip tune style sounds reminiscent of those games from my childhood. At first I tried using Kontakt, and it was fine for just simply performing one type of sound at a time, but I wanted to dynamically blend them. I decided I’d have to use Reaktor to make it work. I used the structure of the included “Sound School Analog” synth and replaced the oscillators with samplers that play back the NES waveforms. I also designed the user interface to look a little like an NES controller. If you listen to “Pixelated” below you can hear my Pixelator synth in action.
Danny J. Lewis of Music Production Tutorials tried out my free Frame 3 ensemble and liked it so much he made a brief video demonstrating what happens when you explore parameter changes in one of the default snapshots.
What’s interesting here is how deep he goes into the sound… Frame was designed for just this sort of exploration, for deep dives into detailed samples to bring out hidden goodies and details.
In this video, Danny from Music Production Tutorials introduces the free Solina-V String Ensemble (available here in the Reaktor user library) and demonstrates its use in Maschine.
The Solina was a classic 70s synth used by many of the soul/funk/jazz artists of the time. It’s got a lovely spacey, trippy sound when you make use of some of the controls.
Hugo Portillo’s reconstruction of the Solina in Reaktor is jaw droppingly good, and rivals other top-drawer emulations like the DCAM Synth Squad Amber, in my opinion. If you want to trip out 70s style, get downloading and start playing!