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Multi-function gating block

(6 Votes)
1.3 (Updated 2 years ago)
October 27, 2019
Reaktor 6



ROUND the CLOCK was a project I conceived soon after starting to use Reaktor. I imagined that it should do just about ‘everything possible’ to provide flexible clocking in Reaktor. And I did want more flexibility than I was able to find easily at hand. Fortunately, after a few searches through the User Library I found a really good place to start.

ROUND the CLOCK is based on Mitch Burton's enhancements (Clock Deluxe & PHIL) to the Factory Clock block, and adds many new features, though like Mitch's block it removes the Internal clock mode. Thus ROUND the CLOCK always runs in sync with your DAW or Reaktor timeline. (It removes, too, Mitch's PHASING section.)

(Besides the direct influence taken from Mitch Burton, credit goes to the following, but also no doubt to many others: Colin Brown, Thala Estra, Michael Hetrick, Herwig Krass, salamanderanagram, Mark Wadewitz, Native Instruments builders...)

The name 'ROUND the CLOCK' has 2 meanings:
1) this block, however flawed and buggy (I want to know!) will work hard for you;
2) let's try to put a little curviness into our gating systems.

SHUFFLE, RESET, and the BPM display are retained from the Factory Clock block. The previous gate parameter is now called BASE, and in ROUND the CLOCK there are 2 of them, enabling built-in polyrhythms. Each BASE has an extended range from whole notes to 64th notes. There are 2 RATIO controls as well, one for each BASE. (This built-in polyrhythmic possibility was the premise of an earlier mod of Clock Deluxe I called ‘Poly Clocks +’.)

Each RATIO's controls indicate both a multiplication of the BASE (right hand number) and a subdivision (left-hand number), creating all manner of rhythmic-values: triplets, dotted notes, and 'infinitely' more exotic clock timings as well.
Read the RATIO "3:4" as "3 in the time of 4 BASE values."

The gates generated by each BASE/RATIO combination have variable duration, controlled by GAT1 and GAT2, each of which indicates a percentage of the total gate during which it is on. Gates can be moved ahead of or behind the beat using the OFFSET control. The gate sequences can be slewed by the SHUFFLE control.

In the upper right are 2 LED lamps indicating each BASE/RATIO's unaltered gate stream, in lieu of the Factory block’s circular clock display. Under the gate lamps are 2 Clock Dividers per BASE/RATIO combination. Under the dividers, each gate stream, after division, can have its gates filtered, via its own random Probability knob. The higher the probability setting, the more likely the divided-gates will be allowed through. (There are outputs for each of these combined streams as well as for all dividers individually.)

First, the A/B controls for modulation (such as it is) are on View B. The controls offering modulation are: the 2 Probability knobs on View A, as well as the PrbMsk probability control on View B, and the 2 knobs which control a range of repetitions of gate-cycles using the currently generated or retrieved (from recent generations) mask. More on these below.

Also on View B are the controls for a Multiplier of gates for one of the sources: BASE1, BASE2, DIV1, DIV2, DIV3, and DIV4.

The Multiplier keeps track of incoming source gates, and iterates new gates across them according to the value of the Multiply control. Because it takes a little time to calculate the current source gate timing, a little patience is necessary. (For users in ‘live’ performance this may prove a drawback.)

The MASK switch enables you to filter out some of the output gates, by generating bit-masks, whose density of bits is based on the PrbMsk probability control. (A ‘1’ in the mask means the gate will be sounded, a ‘0’ means the gate will be suppressed. Masking gates is an important feature of ROUND the CLOCK: with respect to rhythm, the attacks that are left out are equally as important as the ones that get sounded.)

The HISTORY-MODE switch allows ROUND the CLOCK to consult its history of incoming clock timings, and to determine the current clock timing for multiplication by either: averaging them (AVG), selecting the longest (MAX) or shortest (MIN), or just using the most recently calculated value (BACK). The algorithm depends on the setting of the DEPTH knob. Larger values of DEPTH mean more prior clock values will be taken into consideration. Varying the HISTORY-MODE setting can make for interesting variations. (This assumes prior incoming gate patterns were not all the same. For example if SHUFFLE is in use then there will be an alternating pattern in the History.)

As mentioned above, two more knob controls articulate a variable range of Repetitions of the current pattern of masked gates: RpRng1 and RpRng2. A randomly generated number chooses a repetition counter between the lower and higher of the 2 values.

There is a MASK-MODE switch (GEN or HIST) which determines if ROUND the CLOCK should generate a new mask or use one from the recently generated history.

Finally, beneath the Multiply fader is the VARY control, which allows for Triplets, Dotted values, or Accelerando/Ritardando (ACRT) variations of the Multiply-Gates. N.B. it is best to start varying with the control set to OFF, as far as the Accel/Ritard setting is concerned. Run a few cycles with VARY = OFF before choosing ACRT.

(This variation makes use of an equation that, depending on its single coefficient, can generate exponential or logarithmic curves. A randomly generated number influences the coefficient, and thus the sequence of variations will be unexpected. The repetition range values will apply, as will Masking, if MASK is ON. If all attacks are desired, turn MASK to OFF.)

Reset, Play from Factory
Org1 and Org2: BASE/RATIO pairs, undivided and no random applied: just the clocks, ma'am.
Div1 & Div2: BASE1/RATIO1 clock dividers 1 & 2
Div3 & Div4: BASE2/RATIO2 clock dividers 3 & 4
Main1 & Main2: Each BASE/RATIO through division and random filtering, combining both of the Base's dividers.
Multiply Gate supplies the gate stream for the Multiply process.

I hope you enjoy using ROUND the CLOCK!


Catman Dude
2 years ago
Thanks, Paule, good suggestion; I have done that!
2 years ago
David, copy both in a folder and zip it.
Catman Dude
2 years ago
I want to upload a version with a bypass switch on the Multiplier section, just finished and tested. What's the best way to do that? Can I overwrite the current .ism with the new one, or do I have to have 2 different ones? Thx.
Philippe Loiseau
2 years ago
Will try tomorrow, thx !
Jonathan Tremblay
2 years ago
Catman Dude
2 years ago
Hey, Paule, enjoy!
2 years ago