Monthly Archives: March 2009

Vintage Graphical Skinning Tutorial

The aptly named Jonathan Style creates some of the finest styles in Reaktor skins and GUI elements. In this post at his blog you’ll find a tutorial on creating your own graphics. He has a lot more material at his site so check it out – simply gorgeous graphics.

My own approach to Reaktor GUI design is minimal at best – I like to use the built in tools and maybe work with colors a bit, because my stuff is always in a state of rebuilding and flux. But if you have a finished work, laying a nice skin across it can really change the way you view it and work with it.

Fast Sample Wrangling with Reaper, Edison and Reaktor

How do you deal with samples and MP3s that you want to use as raw material in Reaktor? Reaktor has an audio browser, but it doesn’t read compressed formats so they have to be converted beforehand. Then you’ll probably want to break them down into chunks so you don’t have to import a three minute song to get a ten second drum break or koto sample – so you have to fire up a separate audio editor and cut things up ahead of time.

FL Studio is one of my go-to programs for this, especially for dealing with large numbers of samples. It has a great sample browser sidebar which previews-on-select your compressed or uncompressed audio, and the integrated FL version of the Edison wave editor makes it a snap to grab a selected area of a sample and drag it into a sampler channel or the playlist. This works for just about any audio file, including compressed formats like Ogg and MP3.

This is handy for prototyping things and trying out ideas, but the built in sampler channels are limited and I’d rather be dragging things into Reaktor. So can you drag a sample or a piece of a sample from Edison into Reaktor running as a plugin in FL Studio? Of course not – that would be too easy.

The next step for me was to try the standalone Edison sound editor and see if it can drag selections into standalone Reaktor’s sample map. Nope, that didn’t work either.

Finally, I loaded up Reaktor in Reaper, selected a sample from Reaper‘s media explorer (it’s very similar to a Windows file explorer window), and opened it in Edison. Magically, dragging a selected area from Edison into Reaktor worked now! Reaper is voodoo, kids. I don’t question it too much, I just use it and be thankful.

Sample Drag and Drop with Edison, Reaper and Reaktor from Peter Dines on Vimeo.

The media explorer tab, like the browser in FL, works with compressed or uncompressed audio and can preview on select. And of course Edison can deal with compressed or uncompressed audio, so these two plus Reaktor make a super sampling triumvirate powerhouse. Jeez, I should be writing ad copy. Anyways, go grab ’em, because the demo versions of both programs are non expiring and will allow you to do what I’ve demonstrated here.



Frame 0.3 beta – download

I’m crossposting this from Lambent Studio because people are asking about it in the thread below, and Reaktor Tips gets more traffic; I guess I’ll post Reaktor related stuff here in the future, where people expect it to be. šŸ™‚

Here it is.

Tada! The initial release of the Frame looper, made to emulate the realtime-manipulable start and loop points of Ableton’s Simpler instrument. It’s a powerful and convenient way to play with samples, which makes the dearth of samplers that can do it so shocking.

Frame Beta 0.3 from Peter Dines on Vimeo.

In this clip I’m alternately adjusting start and loop points by clicking and dragging on the waveform, and using the knobs. The knobs can be mapped to MIDI controllers or (better) the high-res knobs on the Kore 2 controller. Initially I had tried to do this with the sample loop module, but that caused clicks because of the lack of crossfade / ramping. Eventually I hit on the idea of using a grain cloud module with grain overlap set to one – so the single grain, in effect, is acting as a loop. And the great thing about the grain cloud module, unlike the grain resynth, is that the grain can be arbitrarily long.

When I interviewed Phil Durrant, one of the things that came up was the lack of a split library in Reaktor 5 – there were only “premium” bells and whistles ensembles, and no simple, easy to modify examples. Frame is an instrument that tries to do just one thing, and do it well, with a clean easy to modify structure.

Read the notes in the instrument properties and tooltips. If you have suggestions for improvement, let me know, unless your suggestion involves sticking a reverb macro in it. šŸ˜‰