Reaktor 3 Review (4u)


This week’s technoscape has been customised just 4u. Cute boy across the table is reading a technoscape about amphibious violins, and the cute girl reading 3D on the bus had one about sounds systems for mountain bikes. The column decided most suitable for you right now, based on your current needs / excitements / fetishes / data profile, was a review of the fat new Reaktor synthesis and sampling software.

Why You Will Love Reaktor 3
a) It’s modular structure allows a breathtaking array of sheer possibilities for creation of musical instruments and sound effects.
b) It has a ridiculous amounts of presets and a thriving community of people swapping their Reaktor made ‘instruments’.
c) It’s easy to get under the bonnet and add or subtract to any of these existing Reaktor instruments, or just to customise your own piece of sound manipulation.
d) It can run as a stand alone app, or supports the following formats: VST 2, DXi, ASIO, DirectSound and MME meaning you can run reaktor within other applications easily.
e) It comes in a nice box.

How It Works
In a nutshell Reaktor is modular real-time software for synthesis, sampling and effects processing. This means you can use the ‘instruments’ provided to perform a huge range of tasks, and it does each of there really well – but what makes Reaktor really shine is it’s ability to mix and match any combination of these existing instruments or capacities, or of course also build your own instrument from scratch. Each instrument comes with a neat rebirth styled interface, but different to that application Reaktor also offers a window showing the sound principles underneath. This allows you to chop and change the arrangements, or add elements to the chain o f sound processing events under the interface, then to switch back and enjoy the interface to process you sounds with your customisation built in.

What’s New in Version 3
Reaktor 3 features an optimized audio engine optimized for Pentium II and 4 chips on PCs and for G4 altivec on Mac. It has a smoother interface, with new layout options, easy drag and drop of audio files into modules you’ve built, plus great X/Y controls – by moving the mouse within the XY control area, you can control two parameters at once, while an oscilloscope, waveform, or pattern is displayed underneath. You can also draw your own envelopes, sequences and waveforms with the Audio/Event array. New modules including the granular synthesis module, which allows extreme sample manipulation, and one called ‘event storage’, which enhances sequencing support and some modules that support graphical editing of waveforms and shapes. There’s also several new filter types and a new communication protocol that is based on OSC, which allows high-speed data transmission between separate computers.

If you’re at all interested in digital manipulation of sound, or in developing a customised sound or approach, Reaktor has a powerful range of tools to play with, but more importantly, offers a powerful range of tools to build your own tools with. Well wicked~!

What you Need
Mac – 128Mbram, and ideally a G4, min 300mhz, but still ran well on my g3/333, although it’s capacity to develop instrumetns as complicated as you like means that eventually you run into limitations of your machine on either platform.
PC – Net reviews recommend at least a pIII, preferably p4 with quite strong performance of the app as a VST plug in within other apps such as Cubase or Fruity Loops.
Money: $US 499.

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