Yearly Archives: 2011

Using Konkreet Performer and TouchOSC in a host?

Spending some time with Lemur since its launch, one of the neatest features is the ability to script 14 bit MIDI, to give higher resolution control over various parameters. This is essential in instruments like Loupe and Mirage, where regular 7 bit MIDI just doesn’t give the fineness I want to set loop points. It’s too steppy and jumpy.

I’m working right now on creating Lemur templates for my ensembles, but I’d also like to do version for Konkreet Performer and TouchOSC. This would involve running a Pure Data patch and rerouting PD’s output, which is an extra step, but it would enable fine grained control within a host. As you may have noticed, Reaktor’s OSC capabilities are missing in the plugin versions (for the love of God, why?!)

Anyhow, vote in the poll above if this extended capability for Konkreet, TouchOSC and my instruments interests you.

Update: I’ve hit a few performance issues with Pure Data so I’m going to do the OSC translator as a custom Reaktor patch. Here’s what you do: run Reaktor standalone alongside your host with the translator patch, and redirect its MIDI output to your host. This is easy on Mac because programs can share a core audio interface, but a bit sticky on Windows where ASIO access is exclusive. One solution could be to redirect Reaktor’s output to a different sound interface, or set it to use the DirectX driver. I’m open to suggestions from Windows users.

So, how about it – Reaktor as a translator?

Update 2: things are coming together…

First Lemur Template

All reety then, after buying Lemur for iPad the other day and sifting the PDF manual for the chunky bits, I spent a few hours today crafting my first Lemur template. It’s a hybrid OSC / MIDI creation that borrows the stock drum pads, adds a sustain latch, and also five bouncing balls with individually adjustable speeds, friction and scaling. 

The scaling turned out to be especially important, as setting the balls loose on their full range of travel then mapping them to Reaktor controls is a bit sloppy. So using the X and Y scale controls, you can specify a range of travel for whatever control you map them to. That way, you can specify that your filter cutoff stays within a useful range, or open it up to the full range of travel for crazy wildness.

The MultiBalls output both OSC and MIDI. The OSC signals look like /Multiball/X1 etc, and the MIDI CCs are in the range 17 to 26. There are X and Y lock toggles to make MIDI learn easier.

There are probably better ways to address the creation of variables and math formulas than what I’ve done here, but give me a break, this is my first try! If you’re a longtime Lemur demigod, I welcome your criticisms.

The HolyBallz template can be downloaded here. I’ll be adding templates more specific to my own ensembles soon.

Mixin’ it up with Konkreet Performer

I was talking to another Reaktor builder about mixing Konkreet Performer signals, so one KP parameter could control 25% of the range of a Reaktor instrument parameter, another could control 10%, and so on. It was an intriguing idea so I worked out the math and knocked this quick test ensemble together.

All it does is mix the X-value signals from the first three nodes in Konkreet Performer, then normalize the range so it’s always 0 to 1. That way you don’t have to fish around making sure everything adds up to 100%. Here’s what the structure looks like:
The output goes to a numeric display so you can see the values. 
You could easily adapt this to control whatever parameter you desire, or send the result to MIDI, or even adapt it to mix incoming MIDI CCs instead of Konkreet OSC parameters. 
Here’s the ensemble. Happy building!

Loupe 1.5.4 fix for Reaktor 5.6

From now on, buying Loupe on this page also gets you a copy of Loupe 2!

It came to my attention – frustratingly, as I was attempting to write some music – that the Reaktor 5.6 update had done something that messed up the slice points in Loupe. After changing a snap, slices would play on too long, drop out or play the wrong part of the wave when they were first triggered. Subsequent key presses on the same note worked fine.

I spent hours trying to fix it the proper way, by looking for initialization problems. Finally I decided to brute force the issue with an iteration macro:

All this does is silently bang out 128 notes in a split second when the instrument loads or changes snaps. As you see in the instrument properties manager, MIDI output is directed back at itself, making Loupe properly initialize every slice. This is perhaps inelegant, the equivalent of kicking 128 televisions, but it works well, doesn’t cause other problems, and I’ll take a working kludge over broken ideological purity any day.

If you have an instance of Loupe already loaded with your snapshots and samples, and you don’t want to bother with the update, you can simply install this macro in the main instrument structure, and make sure to go to the connect tab in the instrument properties and redicrect its MIDI output to itself. Incidentally, tracing the events in this macro makes for a pretty good exploration of intermediate to advanced Reaktor event wrangling and I welcome any questions – post ’em below.

Download the update here. Don’t have a Loupe license? Learn more and purchase here.

Shout out to Felix Petrescu (Makunouchi Bento) and Phil Durrant (Trio Sowari) for beta testing!

ParamDrum for Konkreet Performer

Please note: though this version of ParamDrum has Konkreet Performer mappings, Konkreet Performer is not mandatory. ParamDrum works just fine with a mouse or any MIDI controller.

Hey kids! It’s time for yet another update of ParamDrum.

This time the big deal is Konkreet Performer mappings. Performer is an iPad app that gives you tactile control over anything that can receive OSC, such as Reaktor. Free utiities also let you translate it to MIDI for software and hardware that can’t receive OSC. How good is Konkreet Performer? It’s the reason I went out and bought an iPad in the first place.

Here’s a cheat sheet with the lowdown on who does what where and when in the KP interface:

ParamDrum 3 kp

For those of you who don’t have KP (go get it you fools), the new version still includes a new sample set, a whole lot of new snaps, and new features including optimized randomization.

Screen shot 2011-07-13 at 6.49.38 PM

A funny thing about the beats this thing throws down in conjunction with Konkreet – it’s so easy to make crazy fun beats that you’ll be making and saving one after another at a furious clip. That’s why this edition of ParamDrum has so many more snaps compared to earlier versions. And among the most warped of them, you will find that they only make sense early in the morning when your ears and mind are fresh. When your ears, body and mind are exhausted, late at night, you will lose the ability to follow the sickest beats. So never delete snaps late at night. True story.

ParamDrum KP is free for owners of previous versions. Did I mention that you also need a working installation of Reaktor to use it? I should mention that. You can download ParamDrum KP edition here. Don’t have ParamDrum yet but want in on the game? Buy a license here:

Add to Cart

Update: Due to changes in default settings for the latest versions of Konkreet Performer, not all parameters are automatically mapped. Quickest way to fix that is to install this bank in Konkreet Performer via iTunes. Instructions on working with Konkreet banks can be found here.