Category Archives: download

Christmas Two-fer from Boscomac: Two Free Reaktor Ensembles

The Christmas elves at Boscomac have been busy wiring together modules and macros, wrapping up everything in nice skins, and we have two nice new instruments just in time for stocking stuffing.

First up, an update to Tranzistorg, the transistor organ emulator. Boscomac says:

TRANZISTORG MKII is a transistor-based combo organ typical of the 60s. It delivers a clear and thin sound that quickly becomes warm and round as soon as it passes through the distortion of an amp!

Here you have 4 drawbars to generate the sound, distortion with two modes to bring energy, 5 cabinet models and 1 direct output with Leslie option to all floors, a slap or spring reverb used in mono or stereo , vibrato and a volume for key click. And I think we are full!

Next up, from the Folklore category, a brand new instrument: Barrousel.

BARROUSEL is based on a barrel organ and a Carrousel. You can adjust the color Tone of the instrument, change the wind noise in the pipes, choose the instrument condition and act on its accuracy and its responsiveness. And finally, you can place the instrument in a kind of magical reverb…

Remember to thank Santa with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk – or more realistically, click on Boscomac’s paypal link to show some appreciation for his consistently fabulous Reaktor creations.

The Roux Sequencer Macro

Back in the day when I was blogging at the now-defunct, 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.

Video Tutorial: Antonio Blanca’s NOD-E

In this video, Brent Kallmer of BluewaterVST takes us through the wonderful NOD-E ensemble by Antonio Blanca, an algorithmic music machine that generates MIDI note data based on the positions of nodes moving on the instrument panel.

Says Brent:

You might think of NOD-E as the sequencer that you get when the nodes in Spiral reach escape velocity and break out of orbit. In NOD-E, 8 nodes travel around an XY-field and trigger notes when they cross certain boundaries (defined by you). Movement along the X-axis triggers notes; movement along the Y-axis determines the triggered note’s velocity (in other words, a note that is triggered at a high Y-value will play more loudly than one that is triggered at a low value. The nodes are propelled throughout the XY field by two polyphonic LFOs (one for each axis).

The cool thing about NOD-E is it can sound like anything – you can route the MIDI data to other plugins, even to hardware synths – or record and edit the sequence in a sequencer. Big ups to Brent for this great video introduction to the ensemble.

Sending Random Notes from Reaktor part 2: Turning Off Notes

Last time we looked at sending random notes from Reaktor, everything was hunky dory except the ensemble didn’t send note-off signals to its destination.

Note-offs are required because otherwise you end up with stuck and hanging notes. If you’re sending to a synth patch you could inadvertently create drones. If you’re sending to a drum synth or other percussion instrument, you might not hear a drone when the note fades but it might still be active, consuming CPU. This has happened to me when I’ve tried to trigger Drumspillage from Reaktor.

The fix is very simple and uses part of the same structure we used to send MIDI out from Krypt – a note-off macro.

There’s also a NoteLen control, unlike the earlier version in Krypt. This control determines the length of the triggered note, so it doesn’t require a new note to turn off the previous one.

Now let’s have a look inside the NoteOff macro:

It’s a bit complex, but the gist of it is – the Value modules on the right, just before the merge modules and P and G terminals, hold the value of the previous note and a zero. The Order module is wired up so that when a new note is received, the macro first sends out the pitch of the previous note with a zero velocity. That’s one way to send a note-off. The macro then sends out the new note with whatever velocity came in through the G terminal.

The Hold module holds the note on for however many milliseconds you’ve set as the length of the note, then drops the value to zero, which again sends out a note-off.

You can download the updated ensemble here and experiment with it yourself.

Update: here is a version of the note off macro that is more suitable for popping into other sequencer ensembles, which often have trouble with stuck notes when sending to external synths and hardware.

Memory Stick 20 – Free Reaktor Groovebox from Boscomac

Boscomac is at it again and has released Memory Stick 20, a sequenced sample based beatbox for Reaktor.

These aren’t just any samples either – the source is a Korg MS-20 and its audio was routed through some mighty fine analog hardware processing on its way to the analog to digital converter. Says the creator:

MEMORY STICK 20 is a beatbox sample-based on MS20 mini analog synth. Sounds from the legendary synthesizer were carved to get a kick, a snare, a clave, etc.. Every sound has been treated through analog peripherals worthy of the name: Preamp Cartec Audio, Eq Chandler Limiter, Compressor Shadow Hills. Then they were arranged in Reaktor to give birth to an old school drum machine, simple to use and really fun in the style of a TR808! According to sources, you can set the Tune, Decay, Tone, Drive or the Reverb and put everything in a Tape Saturation. The drum machine is compatible with the GM standard and can be used in multi-out.

 As usual with Boscomac Reaktor ensembles, it looks as good as it sounds. Get it here.