Monthly Archives: June 2016

Drive Your Reaktor Blocks Patches with a High Res Clock

Blocks are great for the kind of freeform music making I like but one thing that’s bothered me is the maximum 64th note resolution of the util clock block. I miss the 1/96, 24 ppqn (pulses per quarter note) resolution of Reaktor’s MIDI timing, which makes it easy to do triplets. You have to have triplets or things won’t swing.

96 clock panel

I dug down into the master clock to see how much fuss it’d be to modify and it was surprisingly easy. I changed the panel controls:

clock multi text

…and added a couple of values to tables in the Core macros:

clock core 1

clock core 2

And just like that, I had a 1/96 clock. In order to divide that into musically useful timings, use a standard Blocks clock divider. As you might expect, a 24 ppqn clock will play quarter notes when you divide by 24. So half notes are a division by 48, eighth notes by 12 and sixteenth notes by 6. Triplet eighth notes are a division of the 96th clock by 8. Try different multiples of 2 and 6 as divisors to see what happens.

Note that changing the values in the clock divider will require a clock restart. So will changing snaps if the divisors change. This isn’t a bug in the 96th clock hack, it’s how the clock divider works. If you’re using “ext” mode in the clock block, just hit option (alt) -space to restart the clock. You can also activate the reset on the util clock, set to 96, but that will have the effect of setting long looping patterns to reset too quickly. IMHO.

I’ve uploaded a demo ensemble to the Reaktor user library showing a couple of beats made by dividing a 1/96 clock. Download from there, or try following the instructions above to do it yourself if you enjoy a challenge.

To Do: fix the graphic display for the 96th ring, and adjust reset values higher for longer intervals between resets. I’d also like to rework the clock divider for larger divisions, and clock the controls so they change synchronously and don’t put the sequence out of time when you adjust them, necessitating a clock restart.