Welcome to the Premium Library!

One of the reasons that Reaktor became so popular among the first generations of computer-based musicians and producers was the Premium Library. The Premium Library was developed over four years ago, and shipped with Reaktor 2, Reaktor 3, and Dynamo. It includes over twenty different instruments, ranging from loop rearranges to beat breakers, from synthesizers to samplers. Even though these instruments are now more than a few years old, they each have many unique charms. We hope you enjoy this historical perspective!

 

In this document, you can find descriptions of instruments in the following categories:

Synths - Subtractive

Synths - Sequenced

Synths - FM + Hybrid

Samplers and Transformers

Effects

Drum Machines

Synthesizers - Subtractive

3-Osc:

3-OSC is designed with the straightforward voice architecture of
classic analog synthesizers. Its strength is not the production of
extraordinarily complex sounds or unique, innovative timbres, but
rather quick access to typical, powerful analog sounds.

 

The sound of 3-oSC -- as the name indicates -- is powered by three
separate oscillators which can generate either sawtooth or pulse
waves. If the pitch setting is the same for all oscillators and the
fine tuning values are spread out, a floating but still tight basic
sound is produced, well-suited for pads as well as bass and lead
sounds. When the oscillators are tuned one or more octaves apart, a
powerful and broad sound with a typical vintage analog character
results. With the flexibility of having three oscillators, it's also
possible to set up the intervals between them to produce a chord when
a single note is played. Such sounds are well known, for instance, in
the style of house music, but the tradition goes back a long way; the
forefathers of modern electronic music -- the gentlemen with the
legendary project name Kraftwerk -- were masters at using these
possibilities.

 

Although the architecture of 3-oSC is intentionally simple, the
filter allows the sound to be shaped in many ways: it can be switched
between the classic lowpass characteristic or to bandpass, highpass
or combined lowpass/bandpass mode. For this last option, you can also
choose between a slope of 12 or 24 dB -- this determines whether the
filter acts softly or with more "bite." The filter also has its own
envelope with a modulation amount control which can be both positive
and negative. Negative modulation intensities are particularly
interesting for highpass and bandpass filter modes.

 

3-oSC is a great basic synthesizer to play and to learn with. More
complexity will come soon enough, but try out the presets (called
Snapshots in Reaktor) and you'll recognize many familiar and useful
sounds: beautiful string pads, punchy basses, brass, keyboards,
clavinets and organs, techno blips and hits. It's a good workhorse
synth that uses very little CPU power and provides a concise history
lesson in the sounds of analog synthesis.

 

Instrument: NI; Sounds: Sound Burst; Demo: M.S.Zanx; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

ManyMood:

ManyMood emulates one of the most successful and legendary
synthesizer of all time: the Minimoog. This charming instrument with
its hinged lid, wooden sides and oversized controllers is prominentin
the history of synthesizers as well as the history of electronic
music.

 

Although the aforementioned physical attributes of the original are
not available in this virtual model, ManyMood carefully emulates the
circuitry and, thus, the characteristic Minimoog sound while adding
several useful features and effects. The foundation of ManyMood's
sound is the three oscillators: the first and the third can be used
as an LFO when required. The signals from the oscillators are
combined in a mixer where white or pink noise can be added.

 

The best known and most decisive component of the Minimoog, and thus
ManyMood, is the filter: the famous patented cascade circuit used in
the original produced a lot of euphonic distortions which are largely
responsible for the instrument's warm and punchy sound. This feature
of the classic is, of course, also simulated. The filter has the
expected parameters for cutoff, emphasis (more commonly known as
resonance) and contour (the intensity of filter envelope modulation).
The filter also has a separate envelope which can be velocity
sensitive and can be used in either single or multi-trigger mode.

 

ManyMood extends the Minimoog architecture by providing options for
cross modulation of the first two oscillators as well as adding EQ,
distortion, chorus, ring modulation, reverb and a stereo delay. By
the way -- the button marked 440 in the output section produces a
"tuning fork" tone which was useful in the Minimoog because the
instrument had a tendency to drift out of tune; the ManyMood's 440
button, however, is implemented for nostalgic reasons only. Anyway,
you can always tune your guitar with it.

 

ManyMood, then, is both a replication and an update of a classic. It
has all of the characteristics that made the original legendary:
punch, warmth, great character, a thick, drifting sound and an
indefinable quality that asserts itself in a mix. The effects add
more flexibility but if you want maximum authenticity, turn them off.
Minimoogs are rare and costly beasts these days. You now have one at
the push of a button.

 

Instrument: NI, Easy Sounds; Sounds: Easy Sounds; Demo: M.S. Zanx; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

Me2SalEM:

Like ManyMood, Me2SalEM emulates -- twice, in fact -- another legend
in the history of synthesizers: the famous SEM synthesizer module
designed by Tom Oberheim. Each of the two identical modules has two
oscillators which can be synchronized, a flexible filter, a simple
LFO and two envelopes which can control the filters, volume,
frequency and pulse width.

 

One special feature of Me2SalEM is the option for mutual modulation
between both synthesizer modules via the FB Mixer (feedback mixer).
This mixer has a highpass filter which is useful for thinning out the
feedback audio signals if necessary. Effect processing is generated
with a stereo delay which is tempo synchronized and can be set to
various note values.

 

The oscillators of both synthesizer modules can be faded between
pulse and sawtooth waves and have parameters for coarse and fine
tuning. Also, both frequency and pulse width can be modulated by a
freely selectable signal source. When the switch for selecting the
modulation source is set to Ext, the audio signal coming from the
feedback mixer serves as the modulation source. The cutoff frequency
of the filters can also be modulated. The filter in both modules can
be switched between bandpass mode and a combination of
highpass/lowpass mode where you can smoothly fade between the two
modes with the LP/HP controller.

 

Although the architecture of Me2SalEM appears reasonably simple, it
can easily produce complex sounds, particularly with mutual
modulations using frequencies in the audio range. Not only is the
oscillator modulation appealing, but the filter modulation is also
intriguing, especially at high resonance values.

 

In the presets, you'll hear many characteristic and familiar Oberheim
sounds: rich string tones, thick, hard sync leads, brass, bass and
special effects. Another faithful replication of a true classic.

 

Instrument: Josue Arias, NI, John Bowen; Sounds: John Bowen; Demo: NI; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

SH-2K:

Pulsing basses, screaming hooks and hard noises are essential when it
comes to making Techno and House music. SH-2k emulates one of the
most famous synths for such musical styles and adds some useful
functions to the architecture of the original, as well as Twin Fuzz,
3-band EQ, Dual Chorus and Stereo Delay effects.

 

The oscillator's pulse width can be controlled either manually, by
the LFO, or by the envelope generator. Pulse and sawtooth waves are
combined in the Source Mixer. The sub-oscillator generates a pulse,
triangle, or sawtooth wave. It can have the same pitch as the main
oscillator or a frequency of one or two octaves below. The sawtooth
wave of the sub-oscillator can be detuned which is especially useful
when the sub-oscillator has the same frequency as the main
oscillator, because it makes the sound fatter and warmer.

 

SH-2k's filter works in lowpass, bandpass or highpass modes and can
be modulated by the envelope, the LFO, and keytracking. The amplifier
is controlled by the ADSR envelope, or by its own AR envelope. The
ADSR envelope can be used in single or multi-trigger mode, or can be
triggered by the LFO.

 

The knobs below the main modules control how much the pitch bend
wheel affects the oscillator's pitch (VCO) and the cutoff frequency
of the filter (VCF), and also how much the modulation wheel affects
vibrato amount (LFO M). Portamento can be activated for all notes or
only for legato notes, or it can be switched off altogether. Velocity
sensitivity can be switched on or off globally. Osc Sprd adds a
unison effect to the sound, Pan Sprd broadens the stereo image and
RndmPan adds random variations to the pan position set with Pan.

 

This instrument delivers essential vintage sounds that are still
commonly used in contemporary music. It's capable of fat, resonant,
raspy and sweeping sounds. Again, the effects add great dimension to
familiar vintage sounds. All of the effects have separate snapshots
to explore. The chorus and delay add spaciousness and motion and the
Double Fuzz module adds mild grit or deep fuzz. An analog classic
updated and a huge sounding instrument.

 

Instrument: NI, Easy Sounds; Sounds; Easy Sounds; Demo: Easy Sounds, NI; Test: NI, Brennan Pelosi

Synthesizers - Sequenced

Cyclane:

Cyclane is more than a single instrument. It is, in fact, a complete
production environment for interesting loops and grooves: a flexible
drum synthesizer with a sequencer, an unusual FM synthesizer with a
sequencer and a mixer with filters, resonators and a delay.

 

The heart of Cyclane is the drum synthesizer: when its sequencer is
activated, the sequencer of the FM synthesizer is started
synchronously. The drum synthesizer is based on four oscillators
which generate either a sine wave, an impulse waveform rich in
overtones, or noise. The oscillators can cross-modulate (ring and
frequency modulate) each other. You only need one row of buttons on
the sequencer to control the four oscillators; with the Min and Max
knobs you can select -- separately for each of the oscillators -- the
range of value to which the oscillator will respond. The sequencer
for the drum synthesizer has a Groove parameter for each step which
lets you shift the time position of the step forward or backward via
a delay. Moreover, there are options for reversing the direction of
the sequence (Up/Down), for playing it forward and backward in
alternation (Bidir) and for setting the start point and the length.
Taken together, this adds up to an unusually flexible and unique
sounding drum machine.

 

The FM synthesizer is based on a carrier oscillator and a modulator,
and it has ring modulation and synchronization, a resonant multi-mode
filter and two LFOs which can modulate a number of parameters. The
sequencer for the FM synth can control the pitch of the 16 steps and
the sequence can also be transposed via MIDI notes -- even with scale
correction if desired. Finally, you can mix down the drum and FM
synthesizer, filters, resonators and delay using the included mixer.
The mixer section has level, pan and fx send controls for each of the
percussion rows and the FM synthesizer as well as for an external
input.

 

Now that you understand Cyclane's structure, it's time to experiment.
No description can do it justice because there is simply nothing
quite like it. The presets demonstrate stomping, ringing, metallic
and enharmonic sounds with an ultra-modern percussion feel that
grooves like crazy. It's easy to create a huge variety of melodic
sequences with the FM synthesizer because each step of the sequencer
has a glide button, a shift knob which offsets the synth from the
drum sequence, a Scale section and a range control. This ensemble can
produce sequences which bark, bite and sing. It can also sound like
wind, rain and thunder. Once again, while checking out the presets,
be sure to change snapshots at the ensemble level (the small Cyclane
button at top right corner) so that all of the modules change to the
correct preset simultaneously.

 

Cyclane is like a groove generator from another galaxy.

 

Instrument: Siegmar Kreie; Sequences/Sounds: Rob Acid; Demo: NI; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

 

New Primitive:

New Primitive is another of Reaktor's innovative rhythm machines
controlled by several 16-step sequencers running in parallel. A
sampler and a small synthesizer with typical "analog" waveforms are
used to generate the sound. Sounds rather harmless...

 

The first row of each sequencer sends the trigger signal and controls
the velocity. Rests are created by setting the velocity value to
zero. The second row of each sequencer modulates different targets
such as filter cutoff, release, sampler pitch or distortion
parameters. The modulation targets are selected using the routing
controllers positioned below the sequencer lines. With these routing
panels, the sequencers in New Primitive are capable of extensive
control. This flexibility, together with the ease of comparing the
many possible configurations, is the distinctive feature of this
machine.

 

In a very short time you can create an almost infinite number of
different rhythms. All 32 presets, for example, were derived from
only five short samples which were then combined with the sounds of
the synthesizer. Of course, you're encouraged to load your own
samples into New Primitive. The samples don't even need to be
accurately cut: with the Start parameter for setting the trigger
point in the sample, you aren't required to meticulously edit your
samples beforehand.

 

Please keep in mind: the sound of New Primitive doesn't necessarily
have to be loud or primitive! Each user can easily create his own
sound and everything is possible: individual waveforms, effect
sounds, short rhythmic sequences, noises or vocal samples. Direct
access to all the loaded samples via the Select controller knob makes
the operation intuitive. How a chosen sample affects the resulting
sound can be easily checked by comparison.

 

This instrument can sound very aggressive and the presets demonstrate
a kinetic, frenzied and wild sound. It's another machine that can be
used conventionally or can be coaxed into serious mayhem. You choose.

 

Instrument: ear2ear, NI; Sequences/Sounds: ear2ear; Demo: NI; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

NewsCool:

NewsCool is a rhythm machine based on an innovative and effective
concept: a simple 16-step sequencer triggers four drum synthesizers
using a clever new method requiring only a few parameters. The four
sound generators can frequency and ring-modulate each other, so that
with a minimal set of parameters, you can create extremely complex
sounds and sound sequences.

 

What follows is the technical description -- but remember, these
descriptions tell only a small part of the story. Experimentation is
the key (with all ensembles) and with NewsCool, the results can be
astonishing.

 

The sequencer triggers the four drum synthesizers using the binary
principle: when the knob corresponding to the drum sound is in its
minimum position, none of the four synthesizers is triggered on that
particular step. Turning the knob slowly clockwise, only the first
synth is triggered; turning one step further, the second synth is
triggered. Next, both the first and the second synths are live, then
the third, only, then the first and third, etc. In this way, only one
knob is necessary to control triggering of any combination of the
synthesizers. This method has an important advantage over using four
lines of buttons; it's easy to control from a fader-box and,
consequently, it's a device well-suited for live performance.

 

NewsCool's drum synthesizers are based on sine oscillators. Each of
the four sounds has a parameter for pitch, a decay parameter for the
volume, a parameter for the intensity of a pitch sweep and a decay
parameter for the duration of this sweep. There are two other
controllers for each sound: one for defining the amount by which the
sound is frequency modulated by the other sounds, and another to
determine the amount that it frequency modulates the other sounds.
There are two similar controller for ring modulation.

 

The signals of all four sounds are mixed and processed by a filter
section, an amplifier with a saturator (distortion) circuit and a
delay effect. The filter can be modulated with an envelope follower
and an LFO, and features high and lowpass paths with separately
selectable frequency. The delay has a separate LFO as well as high
and lowpass filters in the feedback path, and its duration can be set
as note values.

 

So... NewsCool is remarkable for the apparent simplicity of its
design but the complexity of the resulting sounds. With only few
parameters, you can create a huge range of sounds from thumping kick
drums, resonant and metallic sounding snares and congas, chime-like
melodic sounds, pitched toms, clangs and clacks, liquid drones,
robotic noises, sweeping decay sounds and more. The modulation
possibilities and rhythmic delays beautifully complement the
instrument and everything from straight ahead rhythms to chaotic
percussive mayhem are possible

 

Also keep in mind -- although the included snapshots are in the
medium to fast tempo range, experiment with cranking the tempo down
(70 or 80 BPM range), for instance. Using the MIDI learn function,
assign midi controllers on your keyboard to control the four level
pots for real time mixing. At slower tempos, NewsCool can produce
outstanding slow, trance type beats that take advantage of the
shifting and ringing sounds the instrument can produce. The
modulation possibilities are endless and can produce everything from
punchy to liquid sounds. NewsCool is both new and cool; only the mind
of a mad Reaktor scientist could have created this unique instrument.

 

Instrument: laZyfiSh; Sounds: laZyfiSh; Demo: laZyfiSh; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

SineBeats:

SineBeats is a beatbox based on three sine oscillators and a noise
generator which can generate both a variety of classic sounds or
totally new beatbox sounds. Each of the four instruments has a
sequencer and individual sound parameters. Two flexible filters and
two delays add even more motion to the generated beats, and four
distortion effects -- one for each of the four sequencers -- can
create grittier sounds.

 

Each of the four instruments has its own 16-step sequencer with 2
tracks. The first track controls the volume. If you want to program a
rest, just set the volume of the respective step to zero and the
instrument won't be triggered. The second track sends modulation data
which can vary a number of the instrument's sound parameters. The two
adjustable sequencer tracks per instrument allow significantly more
lively rhythm programming than simple buttons.

 

The Noise instrument features a DBR envelope (decay, breakpoint,
release) for controlling the volume and, if you wish, the filter of
the noise instrument. You can activate the different outputs on the
filter and also adjust the cutoff, resonance and envelope modulation
intensity parameters. Release and cutoff can be modulated by the
second sequencer track.

 

The three sine instruments are identically structured. Each of them
has a release (Rel) parameter for the decay time, a Pitch parameter
and a simple pitch envelope (PEnv) with an intensity and a release
parameter (PRel). With these controls you can modulate the intensity
of the pitch envelope and the decay time. With a small mixer you can
adjust the stereo pan position of the four instruments and you can
send them to the two filters at variable levels. Both filters have an
LFO for modulation and there is a delay effect after each filter.


Like most of Reaktor's beatboxes, SineBeats is very flexible and the
sound is difficult to characterize. It can sound like anything from a
straight vintage drumbox to a driving, percussive maelstrom. The
range of sounds for each of the three sine oscillators is vast:
thunderous kick drums, pitched clicking sounds, resonant congas,
droning and chirping sequences, bright snares with long decays, etc.
So, in addition to plain stomping beats, the modulations and effects
create another dimension. Overall -- another innovative beat
generator unlike anything from the past or present. In fact, with a
little effort, SineBeats could probably be coaxed into sounding like
a futuristic Brazilian escola de samba on dangerous amounts of
caffeine.

 

Instrument: Mole, NI; Sounds: NI; Demo: NI; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi


Synthesizers - FM and Hybrid

Cube-X:

Cube-X gives you a broad spectrum of different sounds and is probably
the most flexible FM synth in the NI Premium Library. The instrument
has only four operators, but each one offers outstanding
capabilities: you can choose between five waveforms and can even use
any sample as a carrier or modulator waveform. Operator
synchronization and pulse width control of the pulse waveform are
also supported. Taken together, these features make rich and complex
FM sounds possible -- sounds that have never been heard before.

 

Each operator has a 6-stage time/level envelope with a graphic
representation of the envelope generator's slope for easy and
intuitive programming. Operator routing is controlled with a
switching matrix and the operators' output signals are then combined
in a small mixer. Cube-X also has separate high and lowpass filters which can be fed by
any combination of the operators and can even be frequency modulated
by the operators. The effects section has distortion, filters, a
gate, and a diffusor module for reverb effects.

 

Because of the flexible operators with their various waveforms -- or
the option of using samples as waveforms -- you don't need to
construct sounds using complex FM oscillator routings and
modulations. Instead, new and intriguing sounds can be created just
using the operators working in parallel without using FM at all.

 

Cube-X's snapshots cover a wide range of timbres: great cutting bass
sounds and hard-edged leads, pitched drum sounds, funky distorted
loops, special effects, animated pads and typical woody and metallic
FM sounds. This instrument can bite, squawk and exhibit wicked
aggression but can also produce mellow, crystalline and haunting
sounds. A versatile and classic synth.

 

Instrument: SolarX, Jörg Holzammer, NI; Sounds: Jörg Holzammer,
SolarX; Demo: Jörg Holzammer; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

FritzFM:

FritzFM generates its sounds using FM (frequency modulation)
synthesis. Six operators produce sine and parabolic waveforms and
modulate each other's frequencies. It's a great instrument for
typical FM sounds such as electric pianos, bass sounds, bells, walls
of digital sound and organs.

 

The timbre produced by the FM synthesis depends on which operators
are modulated by which other operators and on the intensity and the
frequency of the modulation. Each operator can modulate any other
operator except for itself. All operators have the same structure
with and individual volume envelope and parameters for pitch (Ratio
and Fine). An operator can either follow the played pitch or generate
a fixed frequency.

 

With the Out switch you can decide whether an operator becomes
audible or whether it only modulates other operators. With the Level
controller you can set both the intensity of modulation and/or the
volume of the operator. The FM controller determines the level of all
modulations that are affecting the operator. The keytrack parameters
LoScl, Break and HiScl influence the modulation intensity by the
played pitch: Break defines a specific note, the other two parameters
define the decrease or increase of the modulation intensity below
(LoScl) or above (HiScl) this note. With these parameters you can,
for example, prevent the FM sounds from becoming too sharp at high
frequencies.


FritzFM features a sine LFO for vibrato which is controlled from the
modulation wheel and can be activated separately for each operator.
The effects processing section is unusually flexible: the first
module is overdrive/distortion, followed by a phaser, chorus and
Leslie effect. A mix of these effects is then fed to a delay section
which includes a cross feedback option. All of the effects can be
activated separately.

 

This instrument is capable of both modern and classic FM sounds, and
the effect section adds extra dimension and character. Bizarre and
beautifully animated pads, typical glassy bell and chime sounds,
woody and plucked timbres, organs and electric pianos. A
sophisticated and flexible instrument.

 

Instrument: Fritz Hildebrandt; Sounds: Fritz Hildebrandt; Demo: M.S. Zanx; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

InHuman Logic :

The architecture of InHumanLogic is another interesting variation of
FM synthesis. Unlike Fritz FM, this synthesizer is inspired less by
vintage instruments but rather is an innovative hybrid which combines
the advantages of both FM and subtractive synthesis. This enables the
instrument to produce sounds which are audibly more modern and more
"evil" than classic FM architecture -- not least because of the
flexible interconnections between the operators.


InHumanLogic is based on a six-operator configuration. Four of them
are identical, producing parabolic and sawtooth waveforms. The other
two operators are a bit different because they can also generate a
pulse wave with adjustable pulse width. The frequency modulation of
waveforms with many overtones, such as sawtooth or pulse waves,
inevitably results in sounds that are more complex and aggressive
than sounds based on the classic sine wave. Again, all operators have
pitch parameters and a volume envelope.


There is another difference between InHumanLogic and classic FM: the
connection "algorithm" of the operators -- the way they modulate each
other -- is controlled by a switching matrix using preset options in
the Operator Mod section. Moreover, the signals of the modulating
operators may be processed by addition, multiplication (ring
modulation) or division.


A four-pole resonant filter -- with lowpass, bandpass, and mixed
lowpass/bandpass modes -- introduces an element of subtractive
synthesis. This is useful for controlling InHumanLogic's sometimes
highly aggressive FM sounds. Other elements are two LFOs with a rich
variety of waveforms which can modulate the filter and/or the pitch
of selected operators. Last in the chain is the familiar StereoTDly
for delay effects.


The instrument's clear and accessible panel structure provides an
easy to use front end for the complex and outrageous musical
possibilities within. The presets and included midi file demonstrate
the instrument's sharp, biting and enharmonic sound capabilities.
Good for sound effects, modular-like noise sequences, spooky and
deviant sounds and quite a bit more. In fact, InHumanLogic is aptly
named; it is indeed logical but there is certainly something inhuman
about its sonic possibilities. It's another beast with great
character. Have fun, beware, and don't say we didn't warn you.


Instrument: InHumanLogic; Sounds: InHumanLogic; Demo:InHumanLogic, NI; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

 

Matrix Modular:

 

Matrix Modular combines the flexibility of a completely modular
concept with the clarity of a compact synthesizer. All modules can be
freely linked via the 16x16 button matrix. Thus, totally new sounds
can be created in a very short time. Operation is as easy as can be
(at least for such a complex monster) and is reminiscent of legends
like the EMS Synthi A.


Matrix Modular is the perfect tool for creating wild, experimental
sounds. Audio processing effects include a ring modulator,
distortion, delay, pitch shifter and two filters which, combined with
the step sequencers, help to produce vivid analog sounds. If you
decide that two oscillators are not enough, you can load a sample and
modulate it with the LFO, oscillators or sequencers. Another feature
is a variable-color noise generator. One special feature of the
sampler is the option to switch between a 'normal' sample player and
a re-synthesis unit. With this implementation, the entire spectrum of
Native Instruments' sampling technology can be used quickly and
creatively. Try it out: load the same sample into both sampler
modules and compare the results.


Matrix Modular can be controlled using the step sequencers or
externally with a MIDI keyboard and a sequencer. This ensemble is
superb at creating complex sequencer structures. There are three
sequence step controls which can be connected to different targets
via the matrix. Below this section there are four rows of gate
sequencers which generate trigger signals. The first row controls
envelope 1, the second row envelope 2, the third row controls the
sampler and the last row synchronizes the LFO.


All signals are always routed via the button matrix, which is
logically laid out with the left (vertical) side representing
modulation sources and the right (horizontal) side modulation
destinations. The level controllers of the individual modules are
used for balancing the modulation and sound signals. Before you begin
experimenting, check out the factory presets for inspiration; you'll
find everything from soft to hard, from spine-chillingly beautiful
piano sequences to aggressive industrial beats, bubbling, gurgling,
cascading and chaotic sequences. You may even hear echoes of the
charming SID sound of the legendary C64.


Matrix Modular is a software implementation of the original modular
synthesizers where one patch at a time was painstakingly constructed
patch cord by patch cord. The sounds were worth it, though. Software
technology has made the process a bit easier and the sound no less
compelling. You even get patch memories, too.

 

Instrument: ear2ear, NI; Sequences/Sounds: ear2ear; Demo: NI; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

Weedwacker:


Like most other synthesizers, Weedwacker has standard components: an
oscillator, filter, envelopes, and LFOs. Weedwacker, however, is a
very special beast, primarily because its oscillator works with an
audio feedback loop. The oscillator generates a pulse wave; the
steepness of the rising and falling slopes can be adjusted
separately, therefore the pulse wave can be modified to look and
sound similar to a sawtooth or triangle wave. Next, this signal is
fed into a peak filter which is tunable in semitones and is used to
boost the selected frequency band to an extreme degree. The next
stage in the signal flow is a module for amplitude mirroring. After
passing through this module, the signal is sent to the oscillator's
output and also back to the pulse wave oscillator's input for
controlling the pulse width of the waveform. Additionally, the pulse
wave can be frequency modulated by a noise generator.


This sounds complicated, and indeed it's hard to envision what
exactly happens here, but Weedwacker delivers very organic and
powerful sounds. Its oscillator signal is very lively, similar to
physical modelling synthesizers. With the oscillator's parameters set
to certain values, it can become unstable and even completely
chaotic. These instabilities, however, can produce striking sounds
and textures and are useful for atmospheric pads and many other,
lively, organic and fascinating sounds and textures.


Weedwacker can be played polyphonically and has a monophonic
multi-mode filter with resonance and overdrive. All important
parameters can be modulated, and the modulation sources include
velocity, three LFOs and two envelope generators. The delay times of
the integrated stereo delay effect -- and the rates of the LFOs and
the times of the envelopes, as well -- can be set according to the
tempo of your song. This makes it possible to put the liveliness of
Weedwacker's sounds into a rhythmic context and to use the instrument
as a kind of rhythm machine.


As always, the technical description takes us only so far; this
instrument needs to be heard to be believed. It is capable of
producing everything from floating and ghostly pads with great
animation, massive droning basses, fragile and delicate timbres all
the way to the raucous and tortured sounds of a machine in distress.
Weedwacker is great for sound effects, underscoring, striking new
timbres and many sounds that, in the end, cannot be described but
must be heard. Another modern masterpiece from the Reaktor scientists
and an unusual sounding instrument to say the least.

 

Instrument: Siegmar Kreie, Sounds: Siegmar Kreie, Vladislav Delay,
Uwe G. Hoenig, Demo: Uwe G. Hoenig; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

Samplers and Transformers

Beat Breaker:

Beat Breaker is a very powerful tool for rearranging existing loops
or creating completely new ones. You can load the source material --
drum loops or any sample loops of your choice -- into either of the
two sampler modules Beat Loop or Resynth. It's important that the
loops are quantized to even note values and that they're accurately
cut beforehand so that they can be played in cycles over their entire
length.


Once the loops are trimmed and ready to go, you can apply a number of
processes that result in interesting musical variations. You can
rearrange the steps of the loops with the integrated 16-step
sequencer, change the pitch and volume of individual loop steps, and
even combine several different loops to create a new one. The various
sequencers can be operated with different time bases (Sub) and can
have different lengths (Length) measured in steps. If you want, you
can even transpose the pitch sequencer from a MIDI keyboard.


Once a loop has been rearranged, it can then be processed by the
SoundShaper block, which enables creative and radical processing of
the loop. First, there's a multi-mode resonant filter with a
ring-modulator at both the input and output. Next, there's an
envelope follower to control the filter, a resonator, a distortion
effect and a double LFO with an integrated rate envelope for
modulating different sound shaping parameters. There are a lot of
unusual possibilities here. But there's more...


After the sound shaping block is a stereo delay (StereoTDelay) which
-- at its simplest level -- can enhance the sense of space or, pushed
further, can add significant rhythmic complexity to the loop. At the
end of the audio chain, a recorder can be used (as it can in any
ensemble) to make an accurate recording of the new loop which can
then be exported as an audio file.


Although Beat Breaker may appear complicated at first, using it
becomes intuitive after a short time. Try out all the presets and
experiment with the parameters and you'll soon get a handle on its
enormous capabilities.


While experimenting with the presets and the example midi file, keep
in mind that each of the instruments that make up the ensemble -- the
SoundShaper, StereoTDelay, and BeatBreaker module itself -- all have
their own presets. If you switch presets with the central Beat
Breaker Ens, all of the instruments switch at once and this is
normally what you want. But Reaktor's flexible structure of having
ensembles composed of instruments allows you to experiment with, for
example, keeping the loop the same but switching delay or SoundShaper
presets independently. This can lead to unusual results. In other
words, although the presets are linked, they can be separated as well
-- often with unpredictable and creative results.


Taking the idea one step further, another important Reaktor concept
is the ability to modify ensembles by borrowing an instrument from
one ensemble and incorporating it into another. For example, why not
experiment with copying the SoundShaper block from Beat Breaker and
pasting it into another ensemble of your choice?


In conclusion, Beat Breaker -- like most of Reaktor's ensembles --
can be used in a conventional way to simply modify a loop to fit
whatever musical result you're after. On the other hand, this
instrument is capable of creating cutting-edge, warped and twisted
sounds from even conventional drum loops. Use it straight or push it
to its limits; it responds creatively either way.


Instrument: Jos van Gemert, NI; Sequences/Sounds: F.X. Randomiz;
Demo: F.X. Randomiz; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

Formantor:

Formantor is a special sampler in that it gives you the option to
control any sample's pitch, replay speed and even formant shift
independently of each other. Taking this to the extreme, you can even
"freeze" the replay at a freely selectable position of any sample.
This is made possible by the granular synthesis algorithm which lets
you loop very short sections of a sample, repeat them as often as you
like, shift them and fade between them smoothly all at the same time.


Formantor allows you to use samples in a totally new way and is
extremely useful for creating special effects. However, the
instrument also enables you to play a polyphonic rhythm loop with
your keyboard without the usual effect that the loop plays faster on
higher notes. Why not take a section of any recording you like and
play chords with it?


If you load several samples into the Pitch Former module, you can
switch between them with the Sound controller knob. With the Gated
switch activated, sample playback starts from the beginning when you
strike a note. With the Start controller you can designate any part
of the sample as the starting point. Loop Start and Loop Length
define where a loop starts and how long it lasts. Speed regulates the
replay speed. If you want to "freeze" sample playback, you just need
to set the loop length to zero and choose a position in the sample
with the Loop Start controller. The noise control knob generates
random deviations from the exact replay position and with the Smooth
control you can even out the generated sound.


The formants can be shifted using the Base controller. This
controller is a good candidate to assign a midi controller function
to because it transforms the sounds in extraordinary ways.
Furthermore, formants can be modulated by note velocity and by a
separate AD (Attack/Decay) envelope.


This instrument is capable of producing eerie, radically shifting
timbres with vocal-like textures, strange drones and ethereal sound
beds, industrial sounds and abstract textures. Many of the presets
also have throbbing and spooky rhythmic elements. Formantor simply
creates some of the most striking textures ever heard. Granular
synthesis, as used by Formantor, has the ability to reveal new and
strange dimensions in even common sounds.

 

Instrument: NI; Sounds: Danny Zelonky/Crank; Demo: Danny Zelonky/Crank; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

Plasma:

Plasma uses the extraordinary potential of granular synthesis to
change almost any sample into dense, atmospheric sounds. It works
like this; the natural development of any sound is "frozen" --
instead you can move through the sample at will. Plasma works in a
similar way to Formantor, but specializes in certain sounds, giving
it a unique character different from the more neutral Formantor.


The raw material can be any sample loaded in the Sample / Map module.
If several samples are loaded you can select the one you want to edit
with the Sample (sam) controller knob. Plasma can be triggered either
via MIDI notes or can be set to continuous operation with the Note
switch. In both cases the attack and release time of the sound can be
controlled by the A and R controller.


With the Position fader you can move to any position in the sample.
The sound at this position will then be repeated continuously.
Inertia (Inert) defines how quickly the position in the sample
follows the movement of the controller. Random varies the position
randomly and consequently makes the sounds more vivid.


The parameters in the Re-Synthesis frame influence important
parameters of the granular sound editing: the frequency or
"granularity" of this process and accidental variations of the
granularity (Random), the smoothing of the generated sound (Smooth)
and an artificial broadening of the stereo panorama (Stereofy). Of
course, the pitch can be adjusted here and random pitch modulations
are also possible.


You can choose whether Plasma's resonant filter acts in lowpass or
bandpass mode, and it has two variations, controlled by the Dirt
control knob for "grunging" up the sound. Finally, Plasma's diffusion
effect is a simple reverb which enhances the space and depth of the
sounds. The volume and high frequency content of the reverb effect
are adjustable.


As with other instruments which use granular synthesis, Plasma
produces unique sounds; it's excellent for underscoring,
unpredictable low-frequency rumbles and odd, synthetic vocal sounds.
Also keep in mind that the instrument can produce unusual sounds but
the results are dependent on whatever source material you load into
the Sample / Map section. In other words, don't assume that the demo
samples are the sound of Plasma. There are many textures and tones
waiting to be explored. That's the point. Good for special effects
and all type of contemporary abstract timbres. Granular synthesis is
outstanding in revealing hidden dimensions in ordinary sounds.


Instrument: NI; Sounds: Danny Zelonky/Crank; Demo: Danny Zelonky/Crank; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

rAmpler:

rAmpler is the native answer to high-end hardware samplers: it has a
transparent design, is easy to use, has a brilliant sound, great
filters, FM and many modulation routings. rAmpler also has a special
granular functions that allow you, for example, to alter a sample's
length without affecting its pitch.


rAmpler is a true stereo sampler. It can load single or multi-samples
into a standard sample playback module or into a special sample
module based on granular synthesis. The normal sampler module is
well-suited for bread-and-butter sample playback, whereas the
granular module allows for more complex sample treatment and special
effects. With the granular module you can play loops at different
pitches while preserving their length, for example. This allows for
smaller and less RAM consuming multi-samples -- to mention just one
advantage.


rAmpler has many of the parameters and functions you would expect to
find in a full-blown professional sampler, including a great sounding
resonant filter with extensive modulation options and different modes
and slopes, as well as a separate envelope generator, two LFO's and a
time/level envelope with extensive routing capabilities.


rAmpler offers even more, such as an additional oscillator with a
separate volume envelope, useful for "thickening" the sound or for
frequency modulating the sample. By the way, you can even have the
granular sample module frequency-modulate the standard sample module.


Last but not least, a stereo delay is included. It can be synced to
the song's tempo and can be adjusted in note values or in
milliseconds.

 

Instrument: NI; Sounds: Fritz Hildebrandt; Demo: Fritz Hildebrandt; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi


Random Step Shifter:

If you disregard the effects section, Random Step Shifter is by far
the simplest instrument in this library because it has one and only
one (!) parameter. Nevertheless, it has great potential; Random Step
Shifter rearranges the sixteenth notes in sample loops according to
an intelligent random principle, and in this way it's dead simple to
create endless variations and new loops. You only have to click the
knob of said parameter and you'll be surprised by the results. By the
way, the rectangular pattern in the display indicates which sixteenth
note from the source sample is replayed at any particular position in
the loop.


You can load any one-bar loop into Random Step Shifter. Keep in mind,
however, that you need to trim the loops accurately beforehand so
that they play correctly when they're looped over their entire
length. This is an important prerequisite, so that Random Step
Shifter can properly rearrange the notes.


For processing the sound of the new loop, Random Step Shifter has a
filter section with high and lowpass filters. The frequency and
resonance of both filters can be adjusted separately. Moreover, a
simple LFO is available for modulating the frequency at any desired
intensity and speed.


The delay effect contains another LFO to modulate the delay time.
With this feature you can generate not only crazy echoes but also
chorus effects when a short delaytime is used. Thanks to the separate
high and lowpass filters in the feedback route, you can get really
wild delay effects -- especially when using delay time modulation.
Last but not least, simple reverb effects are also possible because
the delays have a "diffusor" characteristic. The diffusion parameter
(Diffs) controls the amount of "smearing" in the delay effect.


Many of Reaktor's ensembles and instruments have -- or can be
modified to have -- random controls. Apart from the fun and utility
of adding random elements to beats or sounds, the idea of randomness
is conceptually important in 20th century music. On a simple level,
adding random (or constrained random) elements adds variation to
patterns or parameters, which can lead to fresh ideas or happy
accidents. On a deeper level, the machine becomes a collaborator in
your music making; think of it as machine-generated improvisation.
The expression 'the machine has a mind of its own' is appropriate
here and it's not difficult to imagine that the pioneering composers
of 20th century electronic music would have embraced and applauded
these features.

 

Instrument: laZyfiSh; Sounds: laZyfiSh; Demo: NI; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi


Triptonizer:

 

Triptonizer uses the unique potential of granular synthesis to create
extraordinary tone colors and instrumental timbres. This synthesizer
can not only create spectacular special effects but it's also
well-suited for generating new, striking and expressively playable
synthesizer sounds.


Any sample can be loaded into the sample map module to serve as an
"oscillator." If more than one sample is loaded, you can select the
one you want with the sample controller knob. The main granular
synthesis parameters -- position in the sample, formant shift and
volume -- can be controlled using envelopes and/or LFOs. In addition
there are LFOs for vibrato and stereo position, a
saturation/distortion effect, an extensive modulation delay for echo
and chorus effects and finally a reverb. Moreover, the timbre of a
sound can be varied with the parameters hi boost and body.


The granular synthesis algorithms can be influenced with noise
(random variation of the replay position) and smooth (smoothing of
the grain boundaries) controls. With the keytrack controller,
formants can be shifted depending on the pitch of the played note.


Any sample loaded into Triptonizer will generally lose its natural
sound -- the sound is essentially "frozen" at a position somewhere in
the sample. The position is defined with the wave slider. You can
restore the movement inherent in the natural sound by modulating the
position with the wave envelope or the wave LFO.


With the vel parameter you can adjust the amount of keyboard velocity
sensitivity in the envelopes. This results in very dynamic
modulations and therefore a nuanced and expressive way of playing the
generated sounds. The included modulation delay and reverb sections
add greatly to the sound as does the Drive control.


Triptonizer superbly demonstrates Reaktor's sound shaping and sound
warping capabilities. It's dead simple to create eerie, unearthly
sounds from common samples and this instrument is a first choice for
sound effects. Triptonizer easily creates experimental sounds, drones
and industrial noises. In common with other ensembles with granular
synthesis capabilities, Triptonizer has the ability to reveal new and
strange dimensions in sounds we thought we were familiar with; the
ability to reveal the interior life of sounds.

 

Instrument: Uwe G. Hoenig; Sounds: Danny Zelonky/Crank; Demo: Danny
Zelonky/Crank; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

Effects

Geek FX:

Geek-FX provides a wide variety of effects -- some of them quite
unusual -- for flexible effects processing of audio inputs or
samples. Apart from an input and output section, three banks of
effects processors with an incredibly flexible routing system for
triggering the effects are at your disposal. In order to eliminate
unwanted noise in the source sample, the input section has an
expander/gate with threshold, attack and release parameters.


The effects in Geek-FX are subdivided into distortion, filter and
delay banks. Each bank has several effects processors with individual
presets. All three banks can be used simultaneously but only one
effects processor per bank can be active. Each bank also has a
separate LFO and envelope follower for the modulation of central
effect parameters.


The routing system allows each effects bank to be fed a mix of the
'dry' original signal and the output signals of the other banks. With
this feature, you can create a wide variety of effects chains which
can result in wild, uncommon and dangerous types processing. You can
mix down the source signal and the output signals of the three banks
in the output section and process the sum with an equalizer.


The distortion bank offers quite a variety: classic tube distortion
with very nuanced control options, two varieties of quantization
distortion, ring modulation, simulation of radio distortions and
delicacies such as the simulation of a defective audio cable with a
loose connection. The filter effects bank features the Vowel Morph
Filter which simulates the human vocal tract, an 8-pole bandpass
filter, a filter bank with 12 bands and a resonator. Finally, the
delay effects bank has a phaser, flanger, 2 and 4-tap delays, and a
granular pitch delay for producing extraordinary delay effects.


GeekFX is capable of "standard" effects processing for sure, but
pushing it even a bit can lead to aggressive, cascading, and near
psychotic sound mangling. This ensemble is not for the timid. You've
been warned.

 

Instrument: NI; Presets: NI; Demo: NI; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi

 

Drum Machines


Drumatik:

Drumatik emulates the analog sound generation of classic beatboxes
and, consequently, it can sound like all of the popular beatboxes
from the past. As a virtual drum synthesizer, Drumatik has specific
and individually programmable instruments for kick and sub-kick drum,
snare, two toms, two hi-hats and a clap. The output signals of these
instruments are combined in a mixer where they can be distorted with
variable intensity and where the volumes and stereo pan positions can
be controlled.


Drumatik's range of sounds, however, is not limited to the simulation
of typical 808 or 909 sounds. On the contrary -- Drumatik uses
Reaktor's many possibilities to create the optimum raw material for
the programming of synth percussion full of nuance and variety.
Previously, these kinds of sounds required hardware modular systems,
such as those used on the recordings of Vince Clark or Kraftwerk.


In terms of presets, 44 bass drum sounds cover the analog spectrum
from the classic 909 to "Hard Noiz." They are complemented by 22
snare drums, including not only soft 808 sounds or typical pitch-bend
sounds but also hard-flanged snares. The sub-kick drums deliver the
necessary punch in the low frequencies. Brilliant high frequencies,
dirty electro variations and even reverse effects are produced by the
two hi-hat modules with 11 and 15 presets respectively. The 18
presets in the two tom instruments cover a complete range from
clicking percussion variants to the legendary Simmons sound. And,
last but not least, the claps deserve special mention -- they can
generate the tones of old drum machines as well as wild variations of
the "industrial" kind.


You can play Drumatik like any other drum expander. The MIDI notes
are assigned according to the General MIDI standard. For example, the
bass drum is assigned to key C1 (MIDI note number 36). Because of
this, sequencer drum tracks which you created with another GM
standard sound generator can easilybe played on Drumatik. Just don't
expect the results to sound like a typical GM sound generator.

 

Instrument: SolarX, NI; Sounds: ear2ear; Demo: Nerk; Text: NI, Brennan Pelosi


Gonzzo:

 

Gonzzo fulfills an unspectacular but nevertheless useful function:
you can assign different playback parameters to eight samples which
you then trigger with different MIDI notes. This makes it an
excellent drum sample player, but, of course, you can just as easily
load other samples with interesting results.


Gonzzo has eight separate sample "slots" with similar structures,
which are triggered by different MIDI notes. The assigned MIDI note
for each slot is displayed at the top of its frame. Multiple samples
can be loaded into each slot and a particular sample can then be
selected with the Sample control knob.


With the Start controller, you can shift the starting point within a
sample. The controllers D, S and R represent attack, decay and
release -- the controls for the volume envelope of the sample. To
achieve typical compressor effects, set a short decay time and a
sustain level of 50% or less. You can set the sample's pitch with
Pitch control, the volume with Level control and the stereo position
with the Pan control. Each sample slot can be deactivated with the
button in the top left corner. The trigger LED indicates whether a
MIDI note command is being received. With the Send controller you can
define how much reverb or delay is added to the sample's sound.


The frames in the bottom half of the Gonzzo window contain multiple
effects which are used for all samples. Here you'll find parameters
for the reverb and -- additionally -- a delay effect which can be
used in parallel with or as an alternative to the reverb. The rest of
the effects work on the sum of the signal: a three-band EQ with full
parametric midrange and shelf characteristics for low and high
frequencies, a resonant filter with the ability to fade between
lowpass and bandpass modes, and a compressor.


Gonzzo is as close to a straight sample based drum sound generator as
you'll find in Reaktor so it's great for standard drum programming.
By adding your own samples, however, it has the flexibility to create
complex drum and percussion kits, or to trigger any other samples you
choose.

 

Instrument: Uwe G. Hoenig; Sounds: Tok Tok; Demo: Tok Tok; Text: Ni, Brennan Pelosi


Contact

For more information about other Native Instruments products please visit the NI homepage

www.native-instruments.com

or contact NI at

info@native-instruments.com


Enjoy the power of Reaktor 4!


Your Reaktor Team