This tool can generate 3 LFO's and outputs them to MIDI CC

(9 Votes)
v1.2b (Updated 8 years ago)
April 20, 2014
Reaktor 5 or lower


This tool can generate 3 LFO's and output this data to MIDI CC channels. Each LFO has 6 outputs, assignable to any desired MIDI CC channel (0-127). The LFO's can be crossmodulated, even in a closed loop (LFO2 -> LFO1 -> LFO3 -> LFO2 -> LFO1 ...).
Each CC output channel has an amount (depth), offset (modulation midpoint), and rotation (0°, 90°,180°) selection.
The LFO's are tempo/beat synced (from 64 bars all the way down to 1/64T). Waveforms are standard sine, saw, triangle, pulse and noise with phase and width settings available. It is possible to smoothly transition between all waveforms, and this can be modulated internally. It is also possible to modulate the LFO speed internally.

LFO-to-CC allows you to modulate parameters that otherwise can not be modulated natively (eg. synths that lack an LFO, synths that only have free-running LFO's where you want to temposync the LFO, limited LFO modulation destinations on your vintage synthesizer...) and opens up a world of technical possibilities that are otherwise very time-consuming to program or record manually.

An example:
• LFO2 waveform is a rising 16 bar sawtooth -> output 1 (LFO 2) modulates the rate of an arpeggiator, output 2 (LFO 2) modulates the gate of this arpeggiator: the faster the rate, the shorter the gate. Output 3 (LFO 2) smoothly opens up the cutoff frequency of the lowpass filter while output 4 (LFO2) rotated 90° modulates delay feedback for a climactic washout.
But no need to stop there, we can take this further...
• LFO 1 waveform is a 1/2 bar sine wave, of which the speed is modulated by LFO2 -> output 5 (LFO 2) modulates the pitch and cutoff frequency of a second synth to create a riser, output 1 (LFO 1) is modulating this synth's pan position. Output 2 (LFO 1) slightly modulates the amplitude of this sound, creating a subtle gate effect.
You can imagine where this is going.

The beauty of LFO-to-CC is that all LFO's are tempo synced to match the track BPM and the LFO's are synced together as well, starting at the same point every time you press play. Set up the corresponding MIDI CC channels, tweak to perfection and record all CC data into your DAW.

CPU load on my Macbook Pro from mid 2010 was on average under 6%, maxing out around 10% with all 3 LFO's and all 18 outputs active.

I basically designed this after I got stuck on a small Reaktor synth, Mr. Mono (designed by Stephan Becker), a very neat 303 emulator, unfortunately it lacks some LFO modulation capabilities : http://www.native-instruments.com/en/community/reaktor-user-library/entry/show/4493/

Please rate and share your comments. Contributing your snapshots is encouraged. LFO-to-CC is tested primarily in native Reaktor and Live 8 on OS X Mavericks, if you experience problems please report them here or write me an email (jorimvanhove A T gmail DOT com)

- fixed duplicate outputs on CC 15 when CC16 is selected as output (credit to Chris Gibson for debugging this)
- fixed rubbish output on random CC channels
- added custom time signature selection: any combination from 256/1 to 1/256 is possible!
- slower and faster 'Free' LFO rates
- added 128/1 and 256/1 time signatures to 'Beatsync' LFO rates
- expanded Speed Modulation depth
- minor GUI enhancement: 'Active' switch on output channels is now a big button


Joeri Van Hove
5 years ago
Hi Jamie, thanks for your interest. There are three different modes to control the LFO speed. Which mode do you want to speed up? Each mode requires a different approach. Email me at jorimvanhove@gmail.com, it communicates easier.
jamie munro
5 years ago
how to make the lfo go even faster? thanks for the work
jamie munro
5 years ago
nice 1 ;-o
Joeri Van Hove
6 years ago
@Bhavya Vt The simplest workflow is as follows: Start up Reaktor as stand-alone application. Configure the MIDI out to use Reaktor 5 Virtual Output Load up your DAW (Ableton Live, Cubase,...) and create a MIDI track, load a synth or sampler in that track and select Reaktor 5 Virtual Output as MIDI input (MIDI From...) for the track. In the synth GUI right click on a button/controller and select Midi Learn. Make sure only the desired automation LFO output is active at this time (deactivate all other outputs in the Reaktor ensemble). If the automation link succeeds, the controller should start moving. The above is for Ableton Live, Cubase and other DAW's might be more tricky. A different method is to run Reaktor on a seperate computer, while routing Reaktor's MIDI Out signals into your DAW's MIDI IN. email me at jorimvanhove AT gmail DOT com if you can't figure it out.
Bhavya Vt
6 years ago
I really cant figure it out how to make this plugin work. I read Joeri Van Hove steps but I am confused as to how to use it. Please anyone help ! I really want to use this plugin. Thank you.
Joseph Guisti
6 years ago
This is so rad! Thank you. For some reason I'm getting really big spikes in CPU (2015 mbp, maxed running this in Reaktor 6 vst within Ableton). The weird thing is that the CPU spikes aren't showing in either Reaktor's CPU monitor (upper right of window) or Ableton's, but Live is pegging 98% of cpu in OSX's activity monitor. I'm using this to control Massive (as a test), not running any other programs on my computer. Will test with hardware keyboard for midi input (was using computer keyboard to play notes, which were hanging) and external hardware synth as recipient source. Not sure what that would fix, but who knows...
John Whitaker
7 years ago
Incredibly useful. Thank you.
Joeri Van Hove
8 years ago
@ Christopher Dupre: LFO-to-CC does not produce nor process any sound data. It generates only MIDI CC messages, which can be used to modulate any parameters in your DAW or on outboard MIDI enabled devices that can receive MIDI CC messages. Using it as an effect on top of Massive (or any softsynth/effect) is not the proper workflow. Instead it is advised to create a new midi channel in your DAW, dedicated to Reaktor, holding one or more instances of LFO-to-CC. Then route the MIDI CC output of this dedicated Reaktor channel to the instrument channel that holds Massive. Select the desired output channels on LFO-to-CC, activate the proper switch and in Massive select "Midi Learn" from the right-click menu on the parameter you want to automate. Perform this step for each parameter you want to automate (disabling all channels except the desired one while "Midi Learn" is activated). My apologies for the delayed response, I do not frequently visit this user library. If you need more help or information I suggest you send me an email jorimvanhove AT gmail
Christopher Dupre
8 years ago
I'm using LFO-to-CC in Logic X, as an effect on a software vst/AU instance of Massive. So far I have been unable to get any sound out of the channel while Reaktor is active and this tool is loaded. I think I'm missing something important. Help please?
Chris R Gibson
8 years ago
Thanks for the fixes and great additions Joeri! I have already spent the afternoon playing with new version and it is exceeding expectation, this will really be useful for me ;-)
Joeri Van Hove
8 years ago
This behaviour is now fixed as of version 1.2b, together with some minor adjustments (see changelog). Thanks to Chris for helping me debug.
Chris R Gibson
8 years ago
I set it up initially in Reaktor standalone sync'd to Logic Pro 9. With ONLY 1 output active (and al other modules off) I get a steady stream (about every 100 ticks) of CC's 113, 97, 81, 65, 17, 33, 49 with a value of 64, plus whatever the one active out is (which produces expected LFO/CC per settings). Is this expected? Its a lot of extraneous information. More problematic, turning on more than one out I get a burst of information of too numerous CC;s to list, with the actual set CC outs only producing a short burst of changing values, then going blank for many bars, then another burst! In other words, not expected or usable behavior at all. I checked for a MIDI loop but I don't have Reaktor's MIDI IN even enabled. So at this point, can't use it for creating/recording CC's into Logic…can you? (I see you are on Mac, do you use Logic?) Thanks in advance
Chris R Gibson
8 years ago
Excellent :) I am constantly using discreet MIDI CC generators to experiment in interesting real time soft synth modulations and will probably get a LOT of use from this, thanks for sharing ;-)