Subtractive Synthesizer

(64 Votes)
James Peck
1.0 (Updated 5 years ago)
April 11, 2017
Reaktor 6


Subtractive Synthesizer
by James Peck
April 2017
Version: 1.0
Size: 127.5 MB

To make a subtractive synthesizer that sounds awesome, looks awesome, is CPU friendly, and is easy to use. Also trying to increase the general waviness of life with some very emotional and understanding snapshots.

All controls are up-front and there is no panel switching. Most knob values are hidden. The design is based in both primary and core, in order to optimize CPU efficiency.

NOTE: This is still very much a WIP. There might be a few bugs. Careful when switching snapshots as it can cause spikes in audio. Also don’t hold any notes when switching on Mono or Glide mode. Please leave any bug reports/suggestions in the comments!

8 voice polyphony
Can be increased in settings; will increase CPU
3 variable shape oscillators (Sine, Tri, Saw, Pulse, BiSaw)
Frequency division-based sub oscillator
HQ switch to alter between primary and core-based oscillators, turn off to save CPU
Oscillator on/off switches; turn off unused oscillators to save CPU
OSC3 can be used as FM and mod source, or inserted in audio-path
OSC3 can be key-tracked or fixed pitch
Variable type low-pass filter, utilizing new Reaktor 6 filters
Key tracking, saturation and overdrive
Filter types:
Primary Ladder
Primary LP2+LP4
Core Ladder LP2+LP4
Core Ladder NLB LP4
Core Ladder NLA LP4
Core Butterworth LP2+LP4
Core Ladder Diode NLA LP
Butterworth non-resonant high-pass filter
3 velocity sensitive ADSR envelopes
2 Dual multi-destination LFOs
Variable shape (Sin, Tri, Pulse, Random, Etc..)
Hybrid primary/core design to optimize CPU
Separate vibrato controls
Tape wow and flutter
Bit crusher + clipper
Noise generator
Choose from wicked settings like “Beach” and “Mall”
Choose from wicked tape noises like “Hiss” and “Hum”
Noises are not gated. They will just kind of keep going unless you switch the section off.
Chorus section
No rate control, because you won’t need that where we’re going.
Oscillator pitch drift
Switchable between Poly and Mono voice modes, with controls for Pitch Bend range and Glide time It is still recommended to change voices to 1 within the ensemble to maximize CPU efficiency
Customizable background with separate layers for BG colour and image overlay

CPU Usage
Minimum: 8% (Only 1 oscillator, non HQ, primary filter, no effects)
Maximum: 26% (All oscillators, HQ, Core Ladder Diode NLA LP, All effects, saturation)
Average: 17% (Based on current snapshots)
Test System: 2011 iMac 3.4GHz i7-2600, 8 voice polyphony


5 months ago
Harry Fields
9 months ago
Albert Pibernat Mas
1 year ago
wow, amazing sounds! thanks!!
1 year ago
Thanks! Fantastic.
1 year ago
Fat & Beautiful, thank U !
Lewi Glenis
1 year ago
Wow great sound for Reaktor more dense than usual.
1 year ago
This is one of my favorite Retrowave inspired Reaktor ensembles out there. I love the simplicity of the design and the noise mechanic is genius. I love to put the mall background on and just tweet sounds. Superb synth.
Anselm Meyer
2 years ago
thank you, Dave
Claus Winther Jørgensen
2 years ago
Fantastic - just fantastic
F. Fruklushnube
2 years ago
2 years ago
Amazing sound, love this ensemble, thank you!
Richard Figone
2 years ago
This legit challenges my DSI Rev 2 at times.
renoizer jerome
2 years ago
Wow, this synth has a very nice caractere !! It's perfect for lo-fi style and other ! Great job !
Simon Rauterberg
3 years ago
Just tried it for the first time, works with latest Reaktor 6.3.1. Great Job!!
Ian Keaggy
3 years ago
This no longer works with newest update of Reaktor 6. I'm pissed, why does NI do this? Is it possible to create an update to fix the ensemble so it opens?
Tong Kim
3 years ago
I absolutely love this....I close my eyes and I can feel like im back in the early 90s again...amazing. Thank you.
Pedro Eustache
3 years ago
...BRILLIANT!!!! Thanks James!!
3 years ago
Used here quite a bit in the middle section: Thanks for your work!
Tao Ndanga
3 years ago
This is a very good synth for making soundscapes. thank you!
4 years ago
Stefan Rolá
4 years ago
Perfect! Thanks for this!
Ben Ruiz
5 years ago
awesome synth!
Glenn Muller
5 years ago
Great sounding synth. For anyone having cpu limit issues on Windows go get Process Explorer. There you can set the affinity of Reaktor to only use 1 cpu core. This will solve a lot of jitter noise as well. Thanks.
Kai Handberg
5 years ago
And the best snapshot naming award for 2017 goes to....
Cezar Cazan
5 years ago
Inspiring, novel, and great output! One of my favourites already.
Arnaldur Bjarnason
5 years ago
Those snapshots crack me up and sound amazing. 5 stars.
martin neville
5 years ago
Awesome 80's vibe maker, thanks.
5 years ago
@François Gibout-Lourmais 17 hours ago Yes! Just checked!
François Gibout-Lourmais
5 years ago
Does it work with Reaktor 6 player? I only have the full version of 5.
chris davis
5 years ago
So, so good and inspiring. Instant vibes.
Mary Jean-Philippe
5 years ago
Rick Duff
5 years ago
Wow I love it too, I enjoy the sound and eye candy. Don't let others dreamcrush because someone used their imstrument in someone elses video, BFD. I honestly don't understand why the negativity, can't both be awesome, How much did you charge for this likely dozens, if not hundreds of hours of work? INSANE VALUE. 5 stars man. I also enjoy the great descriptions for the patch names :D
Jerome Santiago
5 years ago
Boards of Canada here I come, Love it. Sounds like a old unstable 80s synth.
Andrew Madden
5 years ago
This thing has so much potential. I'm working on a snapshot bank for it ;) and it's gotten real weird.
GG.G SakabeaT
5 years ago
i change my minds it doesnt sound nice it sounds WONDERFUL -¨!!!!!!
Klas Linder
5 years ago
Dude! I totally love this as much as I love and use your VHS plugin. This is so Boards of Canada!!! And the change of setting thing... wohoo! Much appreciate this! /Qlas Beats (Sweden)
GG.G SakabeaT
5 years ago
sound nice
Brett Lavallee
5 years ago
It's cool. I like the setting and mood idea. I keep in high quality mode, CPU efficiency is good.
5 years ago
Where are the creatures of Anton Crowley?
5 years ago
Anton look here:
David Coffin
5 years ago
Fun and interesting—I like the Mood and Setting changes; thanks! (Marco: Just uncheck Include in Snapshots for both on the Function tab in Properties)
Anton Crowley
5 years ago
"An eyecatcher only" says the person who keeps uploading the most useless pandora's box piece of junk over and over again. Well I like this a lot, many very useful sounds. thank you
James Peck
5 years ago
And Marco the intention was for it to be different per snapshot
James Peck
5 years ago
Hey Paule. Any feedback on the actual sound of the synth?
Scott Harris
5 years ago
I'm very impressed with the sound of this. Thanks for sharing. Instant inspiration.
5 years ago
An eyecatcher only
Marco Scherer
5 years ago
Very nice! Would just love to lock the Mood and Setting knobs to prevent the background image from changing with every preset. Is that possible?
5 years ago