Hack a track in Track Hacker. Wheee! Ahem.
PLEASE READ THIS: This ensemble is NOT an instant gratification ensemble. You can NOT just open it, hit a button and off you go. Just so you know, and I don't get slammed for not telling you. There is a 9-page PDF tutorial included with this ensemble. An important file called Readme_FIRST.txt is also included with this ensemble.
You need three things before you can use Track Hacker:
1) You need an audio track in a file format that can be opened in the Reaktor Tapedeck (.wav or .aif). It could be tracks in your sequencer that you've bounced to a file. It could be a ripped CD-track from your sister's or brother's or other's collection of over-compressed POP albums, or from one of your own CDs. Be aware that "quantised" music is what Track Hacker thrives on.
2) The track has to be prepared in a sample edior, because it has to start right at the beginning of a bar.
3) You have to know the tempo (BPM value) of the track, since this has to be entered in Track Hacker. It has to be very exact.
The first part of tutorial shows you how to prepare a track in Sound Forge 6, and hopefully you will be able to do similar things in your sample editor. The second part shows you the basics of Track Hacker. The final page in the tutorial may be of interest to builders, as I say a few words about a few of the macros.
But what the hell is this thing!?!?! It is not so easy to explain what Track Hacker does as I thought it would be. First a general and vague ball park description: Track Hacker is primarily meant to be an entertaining toy to entertain friends and/or yourself with! Track Hacker wants to ask you: why be a disc jockey when you can be a track hacker! But when you have used it for a while, I'm sure you can think of other uses, like "rethinking" a track, to put it rather vague.
Here is what happens: When you load a prepared track in Track Hacker and start it, one of the two hacking buffers (audio tables) is filled with the first bar of the track, and you won't hear anything since it is the first bar and the buffers are empty. Then, when the buffer is full, it is played back in slices of 1/8 of a bar by the very flexible Hackvenser. WHILE this buffer is being played back, the next bar is written into the other buffer. When this is full, it is being played back by the Hackvenser. And again, while this buffer is being played back, the following bar is written into the other buffer. And round and round it goes. Now, this is an entirely smooth operation. The whole track is written and read in the buffers in delayed real-time (delayed by one/two bar(s)), and while the whole track is played back, you can use the Hackvenser in all manner of ways to reshuffle, reverse, and silence beats on a per bar basis, all while the track is being played. You can also record the result. I should add that I have ripped and prepared tracks by Aphex Twin, Alva Noto, Boards of Canada, DJ Vadim, Herbaliser, Klute, Pan Sonic, Murcof, Teebee, Snd, and Spice Girls (haha). It's just so much fun, but then again, maybe I'm just easily amused... :)
The MP3 is from a track used in the tutorial. The first 4 bars you hear, are played normally. The rest is messed up with Hackvenser. But everything you hear is audio tables being played.
SESSION USERS: You must be able to open the Properties for the audio tables by right-clicking or Ctrl-clicking the table view (you don't have to open any structures), and I don't know whether you can do this, just so you know. It is not absolutely necessary, but it is very helpful if you can do this.