Tag Archives: drum sequencer

Adding MIDI out to Reaktor Krypt (and other sequencers)

Someone on the Reaktor forums asked about adding MIDI out to Krypt, so I thought I’d post up a quick guide and a macro for adding quick and dirty MIDI send capabilities to it or most other Reaktor sequencers that otherwise send their signals through an event rate wire in the structure.

Here’s the finished product:

The numbered note pitch controls correspond to each drum sequencer to determine which MIDI notes the sequencer will send on. In this example I’ve set them to the note pitches for the first six drum synths in Drumspillage but a click and drag will set them to something else. You could also send the output to a melodic instrument and create 6-pitch phrases… might be nice for gamelan type sounds.

Here are the MIDI out macros connected inside Krypt’s SEQ instrument:

…and here I’ve drilled down into one of the MIDI out macros:

…and finally into the NoteOff macro inside that:

The point of the NoteOff macro is to send a MIDI note off before sending a new note. Some polyphonic instruments don’t react kindly to having too many notes activated at the same time, and will eat lots of CPU and make your computer sad and crackly. Don’t worry too much about the structure inside here for now. I’ll explain in a future post.

Finally, you will want to make sure that the SEQ instrument (or whatever instrument you’ve added MIDI out to) is actually directed at something. You can do that in the SEQ instrument properties on the connect tab:

If you’re using Reaktor in a host, use the “plugin” output. Note: Mac people, do this with the VSTi version of Reaktor. The AU version, as is the case with all AUs due to the plugin specification, has no MIDI out.

You can download the MIDI out macro here. Note that the Krypt sequencer sends velocities between 0 and 1, which is perfect for this macro. If you have some oddball sequencer that sends a different range of velocities you’ll need to scale it with a multiplier module.

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.

ParamDrum 3 is Here!

ParamDrum 3 has arrived.

ParamDrum is a fun and fast way to create unique sounding beats in Reaktor. It’s based on three granular samplers with built in parameter automation and variable length and speed step sequencers. The value of a step gives the probability that the step will trigger as the sequence plays, creating endless variations.

The third edition adds several carefully selected refinements.

  • All recordable parameters are now mouse-automatable by clicking and dragging on the indicator, perfect for when you’re stuck with a laptop but no MIDI controller.
  • The GUI now matches Frame, Loupe and Mirage with a clearer layout that is easier on the eyes.
  • Smooth and swing are now static parameters, making room for envelope decay and sample start as recordable parameters. Try modulating sample start with a melodic sample to build the foundation of a track right in ParamDrum.
  • A “Max Vel” switch for each sampler allows full velocity for each step, so step value affects only probability.
  • A virtual analogue “sub” kick unit has been added for layering a little extra earthquake with your sampled kicks.

Aside from these improvements the rest of the instrument will be familiar to previous users and retains the ultra fast and fun workflow of earlier editions. The PDF manual still applies, and new users are also advised to watch this video to get an overview of the instrument:

ParamDrum TR Edition from Peter Dines on Vimeo.

(the video features an older version)

ParamDrum 3 is a free upgrade for anyone who’s already purchased a license and can be downloaded here.

If you don’t already have ParamDrum, what are you waiting for? It’s 15 bucks and you can get a license here:

ParamDrum Add to Cart

Requirements: A computer capable of running Reaktor 5.5. ParamDrum is extremely CPU efficient and unless your computer was hewn from flint by neanderthals you should be more than fine. It takes 2.7% CPU on my 2009 3gHz iMac.

Mac users take note: I now recommend SimplyRar for unarchiving password prrotected RAR archives on OS X. Newer versions of The Unarchiver sometimes give error messages when dealing with password protected RAR files.

The Tunnel Sample Pack

I recorded a bunch of samples in a stone tunnel on Mt. Royal here in Montreal a while back – stomps, tin cans, bottles, plastic containers, sticks and stones and etc. clanking and knocking around. Here are some of them cut up into individual hits for your percussioneering pleasure.

And here’s a beat I made with them, loaded into a new version of ParamDrum.

The new version will be available this week as soon as I make a few more demo presets. Notable additions are: a sub bass control to add some extra oomph to your bass samples, and decay and sample-start controls.

UPDATE: daaaamn, I have to stop working in headphones. The bass ain’t what I thought. I have to redo this with a better kick that kicks.

ParamDrum TR Edition now available

The main idea behind ParamDrum is to have a fun and fast way of not only prototyping beats, but of creating variations that can be saved and recalled either in live performance or recorded and arranged into the backbone of a track.

ParamDrum TR Edition from Peter Dines on Vimeo.

Changes in this edition:

  • it’s red. Wow, is it red. Say, did you notice that it’s red?
  • new core-based probability macro (I’ve been meaning to clean that thing up for a while)
  • new morphable sample sets. Morphable? Yes – they’re grouped into sets of ten to twenty samples that gradually fade between two sounds, perfect for using with the sample select automation recorder.
  • new snapshots
  • saturator macro on panel B to add some boules
  • pan controls for middle and top samplers
  • it’s red.

It’s available here. The password is the same as for the other files.

You can also download a PDF that explains the MIDI controller mappings and other details. (note: PDF is not password protected)

Don’t have a password yet? It’s a measly old $15.00, a bargain, a steal. New to ParamDrum and Reaktor instruments? Keep in mind that this instrument requires you to have the full version of NI Reaktor.

You must enter a valid email address so I can send you a password for the file.

Paramdrum Add to Cart

Update: Here is the previous version of the instrument, using some of the default samples that ship with Reaktor (from the Massive ensemble, actually)

Reaktor drum machine with parameter locks from Peter Dines on Vimeo.

Earlier version available here.