Tag Archives: Sequencing

Download a Reaktor Step Sequencer (Roux macro series)

It’s been a while since I published the Roux II sequencer macro, which I’d promised to expand on with some further tutorials, so let’s get back on it!


A user emailed me an ensemble where he’d used two Roux II sequencers to create a step sequencer with pitch. However, it wasn’t working as he’d expected. Why not? Let’s take a look at his structure:

 This looks fine at first glance. One Roux is driving the gate input on an envelope, another is driving the pitch input on a Sine module. The sequencer driving Pitch has been modified so its values go from 0 to 127 – the standard range of MIDI note values – instead of 0 to 1. Here’s what that looks like in the properties for the mouse area:

And in the table:

But the envelope doesn’t retrigger as expected, and the pitch triggers even when the gate doesn’t. Another problem, both cosmetic and functional, is that the tiny height of the pitch sequencer doesn’t give you much room to accurately enter values with the mouse!

So in my version I’ve made a larger pitch sequencer area.

It’s easy to change the size of the mouse area and table by using the view tab on the properties of these panel elements. If you want even more room, just set the width and height of these modules to a larger number of pixels – but make sure they match, so the mouse area fully overlies the table module on the panel.

As you can see I’ve also added a constrain-to-scale macro borrowed from the factory library Spiral sequencer for a quick way to restrict the notes to a particular scale. Now let’s have a look at the changes in the structure.

What I’ve changed in my version:

  • Pitch and Gate macros have been renamed for clarity
  • All macros and modules have been set to mono. There are certainly ways to make poly sequencers in Reaktor but polyphony doesn’t make sense for this kind of simple structure.
  • The DR envelope is replaced with an ADSR. The DR envelope requires a zero value in between triggers, while the ADSR only requires a positive value to trigger, which makes more sense in a step sequencer where you’ll have one note after another.
  • Separator and Value modules send pitch values only when the gate value is on.
  • A Start / Stop module to send a zero to the envelope when the sequencer stops
  • Triangle wave for some extra harmonics to the sound
  • Mixer to control volume
  • the aforementioned Pitch Correction macro from Spiral
  • Added a synced stereo delay, to make things a little more interesting

Aside from the innards of the constrain-to-scale and delay macros, most of this should be straight-forward, but I want to talk a little more in depth about the use of the separator and value modules. The output of the Gate sequencer, which controls whether there’s a note on a certain step and how loud it is, goes through a separator. That way, only positive non-zero values of the gate trigger a new pitch.

Which brings us to the value module – the pitch is held back at the input of the value module until the “Trig” port receives a gate. If this weren’t in place, every pitch value would go through and you’d hear a glissando effect – notes between your desired notes – when setting high decay and / or release values on the envelope.

You’re probably also wondering about the start / stop and separator modules. What’s up with that?

The Start / Stop sends a 1 from its G output port when the clock is running – either Reaktor’s clock when standalone, or the host’s clock when running as a plugin – and sends a 0 when the clock stops. I’m using a separator module again, but this time we’re taking the value from the “Lo” output port, because we only want the zero. And the reason we want the zero is to send it to the G input on the envelope, to stop hanging notes from droning on forever.

Notice that the Separator module has two input ports – an “In” and a “Thld”. The threshold port determines what values go to the Hi and Lo outputs. When there’s nothing connected to Thld, Reaktor interprets this as a zero threshold. So values greater than zero go to Hi, and values of zero or less go to Lo.

One thing you’ll notice about this contraption is that it can have different sequence length and clock speed settings in the pitch and gate sequencers, one of the features you’ll also find on its big brother the Chroma sequencer. This lets the sequence morph and change in interesting and unpredictable ways over time. My philosophy is, if you already know what your music is going to sound like before you produce it, why bother? Make tools that produce happy accidents.

The next thing you might want to try is adding some better sounding audio generating modules, like a choice of waveforms, a filter or two, a filter envelope, an LFO – and of course, more Roux sequencer macros to control some of these parameters. See my previous post here to download the Roux macro on its own, and find out how to use it in your structures.

The Roux step sequencer is free and you can download it from the Reaktor Tips shop here:

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The cost is zero and a link will be delivered to your inbox instantly. Plus, you’ll receive notification and another link when the Roux Stepper is updated with improved audio and sequencing features. Oh, and you’ll also get Ghost Shift, in case you don’t have it already.

Happy sequencing!

The Roux Sequencer Macro

Back in the day when I was blogging at the now-defunct kore.noisepages.com, I did a series on the inner structure of a basic sequencer macro, one that could be easily adapted for many uses. Those posts have vanished into the bit-ether, so I’m rebooting the topic with a revised macro and an ensemble that shows how to use it. And here it is! download link

All controls are tool tipped – there’s sequence length and clock speed controls, an IC send menu and value range controls – see below for details.

Last time around, I posted the macro and dived right into the inner structure, explaining it bit by bit from the inside out. I think this was useful but lacked a degree of… instant gratification. So this time around I’m going to start with a simple demo ensemble that shows how you can use it right off the bat.

This demo instrument is a rhythmic FM noisemaker that has three sequencer macros mapped to the volume, carrier pitch and modulation amount. The modulation oscillator pitch isn’t sequenced – it’s fun to map it to a MIDI or OSC controller and manipulate in real-time. You can get some fine Clicks and Cuts style sounds and sequences out of it. I’ve run it through the standard factory library Dual Sync Delay to wet the sound a bit. Here it is with a little ParamDrum beat behind it:

The Roux macro can be slapped into any Reaktor instrument, and doesn’t even require wiring stuff together. Using the IC send module, the signal can be routed to any target in an ensemble – such as knobs and faders in an existing instrument. It’s designed, therefore, for quick and dirty hot-wiring. Plop one into Carbon 2, for example, and add some sequencing to oscillator pitches and cutoff values.

One nice thing about the IC send module is that it displays a menu right on the front panel of the instrument that lets you direct the signal without mucking around in module properties. Another great thing is that it adapts the signal range to the target you’re aiming at – doesn’t matter whether the target has values from -12 to +12 or 0 to 127. As an added tweak, I’ve included min and max controls that will restrict the range, in case you want a target control’s travel limited to, say, the middle range – just set min to 0.4 and max to 0.6.

Now, why is this macro called the Roux? A roux is the basis for sauces in french cooking – it’s little more than flour fried in fat, and you can make gravies, cheese sauces, any kind of sauce where you want a little body and thickness. And just like the sauce base, this sequencer macro can be used in a lot of different ways, as the basis for different instrument designs.

In upcoming posts I’ll talk about other ways to use the macro, like triggering envelopes, build some new instruments with it, and we’ll take a peek under the hood at what makes it tick. Bon appetit!

I was raised to be a saucier. A great saucier.

REAKTOR’s Scenario and “Operation Limitation”

In this video, Brent Kallmer discusses the benefits of limiting your options by using the classic Reaktor ensemble Scenario. I can relate to this, as can anyone with a well stocked plugin folder, especially us Reaktor users – it’s easy to get trapped in what the writer Douglas Coupland called options paralysis.

Brent offers some further thoughts on his blog at Bluewater VST.

Rendering and Importing Loops From and To Reaktor Ensembles

Brent Kallmer shows you how to render loops from Reaktor sequencers and import them to Random Step Shifter. Pretty cool stuff!

A Working Clock

Recently I’ve been working on some new sequenced ensembles and found to my horror that the clock macro I’d been relying on no longer worked properly. Bit rot? Slow change in behavior from version to version? I’m not sure. The problem was the old zero reset bug – old hands at Reaktor are nodding sagely right now – where the first beat or note would not fire off after resetting the song position to zero.

So I went through some frantic experiments and experienced a genuine Dark Night of the Soul until I put something together based on my old clock macros, hints from forums, and ideas from the Reaktor user library.

Unfortunately in the process I upgraded to the current version of Reaktor, 5.7.1, because there seemed to be some subtle differences in behavior between 5.6.2 and 5.7.1 and there’s a limit to how much time and effort I can dedicate to old versions.

Here’s what the new, fixed, stable, working macro looks like on the inside:

As you can see it’s fairly simple. If you’re still sticking with 5.6.2 you should be able to throw one together from this schematic in a few minutes.

Special thanks to Owen Vallis who came up with the idea of using the mod output of the Modulo module to gate the Div output. So much better than using a silly old step filter. Owen posted his fix in this thread on the Reaktor forums so go thank him there.

I’ve stuck the macro in this demo ensemble:

Click here to download the new clock macro.

Grab the macro labeled “SeqDriver 571” and use it in your own creations. Of course, nobody’s perfect and no fix lasts forever so let me know if you find a bug, a sequencer where it doesn’t work or works erratically, or if you need help wiring it into your own creations.