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Alogrithmic Loop Sequencer

Discussion in 'REAKTOR' started by Parhelic, May 14, 2020.

  1. Parhelic

    Parhelic NI Product Owner

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    Although I thoroughly enjoy the sound design process, (creating abstract drum patterns, sound textures, soundscapes etc), I struggle to enjoy composition using traditional timeline methods. Therefore, I am attracted to generative systems for their potential to manifest endless unpredictability during the creation process.

    Something Brian Eno wrote resonates in me;

    "One of my long-term interests has been the invention of 'machines' and 'systems' that could produce musical and visual experiences… [T]he point of them was to make music with materials and processes I specified, but in combinations and interactions that I did not." - From “Generative Music” in A Year With Swollen Appendices.

    A recent software release exploring this terrain is Cycles from Slate and Ash, https://slateandash.com/products/cyclesserves it offers loop and trigger-style functionality, with further capacity for granular sequenced transformations. You can take a loop, slice and splice, re-sequence, reassemble and mangle with various granular states, to create generative abstract evolutions or subtle variations.
    Its creators describe it as "a mix of the [Make Noise] Morphagene, [Qu-Bit] Nebulae and [Make Noise] Rene". It looks to have great sonic potential, but unfortunately beyond my budget for now.

    Looking at Reaktor ensembles that operate in this realm, although not as feature rich as Cycles, I'm aware of Black Rectangle and Swan Song, but these are no longer in the Reaktor user library.
    There is also Tim Exile's algorithmic loop sequencer, FLOWs. But unfortunately it isn't designed for user sample import.
    Yet, an amalgamation of FLOWs with another creation by Tim Exile, Flesh, is an idealised example of what I'm seeking...their respective engines working in tandem to produce samples that morph and evolve to stochastic modulation, whilst probabalistic resynthesis imbues them with dynamic transformations into harmonic, melodic and bass territories.

    Are there any alogrithmic loop sequencers either in the Reaktor user library or paid for, that offer the desired aforementioned functionality? A cohesive loop 'remix' environment, where samples can be randomised, cross-modulated, mutated and layered to form an arrangement.
     
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  2. Paule

    Paule NI Product Owner

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  3. p1afff

    p1afff NI Product Owner

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    May be have a look at Grainses in the UL. Or Neuvage.
     
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  4. colB

    colB NI Product Owner

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    If that Eno quote resonates, why are you looking for machines that someone else has made? Surely the whole point of his statement is that you create them yourself? The fundamental thing being the invention of machines, more important even than the resulting music.

    Fortunately, you are in the right place;) Reaktor is a pretty good tool for inventing music machines.
     
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  5. Paule

    Paule NI Product Owner

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  6. Parhelic

    Parhelic NI Product Owner

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  7. Parhelic

    Parhelic NI Product Owner

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    Thanks, I'll see how I get on with these :thumbsup:
     
  8. Parhelic

    Parhelic NI Product Owner

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    I understand and in essence agree with you. Its certainly something I have a desire to try at some point in the not too distant future, when time permits. I'd like to think that by exploring existing systems / creations as a starting point, I can then progress from there.
    I've recently been looking into the available tools in this area, from traditional coding to visual programming languages. I'm yet to explore Reaktor from a building or even tinkering perspective. I am considering Reaktor Blocks as an option for this too. But whether I achieve this goal in Reaktor or something else, if at all, Only time will tell!

    Or perhaps, maybe more realistically in the short term, I can find / hire someone who could custom build such a machine to my specifications! :D

    I wonder if Native Instruments have plans to release products of this type?
     
  9. Paule

    Paule NI Product Owner

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    An upload to the User Library does not have Tim Exile's permission. If you ask him and he allows it, I'll be happy to upload my version.
     
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  10. colB

    colB NI Product Owner

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    3,251
    I've found over the years that a successful approach is not to look too deeply into other applications!
    So I find out that they exist, and also what they do at a very general level, then I start to imagine how cool it would be if I could do X,Y & Z with them. Then try to build something myself that fulfils some of those features.
    What tends to happen is later I find that the original application was in some ways quite different than I had imagined, and I end up with something original and unique. If I had explored in too much detail, that would have restricted my imagination, and I would have gone down a more derivative path.
    Blocks could be a good choice - they are atomic enough to use as building blocks for machines (at least some of them are), and adding functionality should be easier because you can build a single function into a block rather than having to create a whole instrument. Assuming you can get over the initial learning curve of understanding the Blocks framework and specifications - it's somewhat harder than basic Reaktor coding.
    Coding is difficult, programmers get paid well, It's really only an option if you a rich, or can do a lot of the work yourself. A non-trivial application is going to be tens or hundreds of hours of work, at maybe £50 per hour... (even at minimum wage, it's still likely to be significant - folk who will work for less usually cant do as much per hour, and the result won't be as good). Or you could get someone enthusiastic to the idea to do it for a token fee, but in that case, I imagine they would expect some level of creative control over the project.
    It might be cheaper to start building a Eurorack modular system with a morphagene and a Rene (I'd skip the Nebulae because of the awful latency, and the extreme power requirements), and some utility modules - Maths/Rampage, a matrix mixer, clock divider, S&H, and a nice filter, sequential switch and a disting - Boom! lol. At least you can sell the Eurorack stuff when you get bored.

    Best would be to just jump in an build something in Reaktor.
     
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  11. Parhelic

    Parhelic NI Product Owner

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    38
    I appreciate your thoughts.

    Yes Blocks looks appealing, I have purchased a few 3rd party blocks so will endeavor to make time to explore the possibilities here.

    I've done a little bit of coding in my career working in software development environments (Test Automation frameworks), but no doubt programming a system of the specification I desire is many levels above - a massive undertaking and beyond my capabilities.

    I actually have the Morphagene. I've had an ambivalent relationship with it...'taming' it can be a challenge from a sequencing perspective but yes the Rene or the new '0 Control' might be an option here! I'm still in the early stages of building up my Eurorack system.
     
  12. Parhelic

    Parhelic NI Product Owner

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    38
    I have now obtained Tim's permission, very kind of him. I tried to send you a private message regarding this using the forum but it prohibits me from doing so.
     
  13. Paule

    Paule NI Product Owner

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    Now it is possible. The door is open for you. So please start a conversation

    FLOWs with sample input

    The permission by Tim Exile is the screen shot.

    The input mouse area is the small orange quare in the left bottom edge.

    Parhelic: I reached out to Tim Shaw after your suggestion and he was happy for a modified FLOWs to be uploaded to the user library. I have attached a copy of his email reply.
    https://www.native-instruments.com/de/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/entry/show/13535/
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
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  14. colB

    colB NI Product Owner

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    3,251
    Looking again at the thread title, have you checked out Monome Teletype? It's something I'm interested in. Definitely a powerful thing for developing algorithmic music in a hardware context.
     
  15. Paule

    Paule NI Product Owner

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    FLOWs:
    For a proper recall of your own snapshots included samples Reaktor prefer a fix sample path.
    As in FORM or FLESH Reaktor requires a folder called "Samples" in the ensemble path. You can create subfolders.

    Original FLOWs by Tim Exile is here:
    http://timexile.com/2016/12/07/819/
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
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  16. Parhelic

    Parhelic NI Product Owner

    Messages:
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    Nice, this looks interesting, thanks! I've discovered some good introduction videos on YouTube for the Teletype so will go down the rabbit hole!
     
  17. colB

    colB NI Product Owner

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    3,251
    Thanks for the heads up :)
     
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  18. Paule

    Paule NI Product Owner

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    BTW with FLOWs original there is the samples folder beside also and a huge flock of subfolders.

    Colin I thank you for your "Simple Sampler" thread and the files in U/L to create a FLOWs with input.
    Thank you Brett for a gui to reach all functions at once.
     
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  19. Paule

    Paule NI Product Owner

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  20. dcoffin

    dcoffin NI Product Owner

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    Thanks for the Cycles link; a fascinating tool to be sure:)
    Fresh off a few hours of watching YT demos of it doing its loop thing, I just tried to a new UL upload, a free, reduced features version of a commercial ensemble, Deep Minimal Trax Maker. It's reduced only in that it's only got one loop mangler, not 6, but I was struck by how you can use it to do very similar stuff to a loop as you can in Cycles (except for granulation), especially if you take the time to modulate the many knobs that rearrange and re-think how the loop plays, including which loop plays. You can even drag loops straight into it, as with Cycles. Of course it doesn't have the deep graphic elegance of Cycles, but you get what you pay for:)

    Frankly, trying it out has considerably reduced my GottaGotta! Lust for Cycles.

    And there's always UltraLoop.

    Loop re-assembly is nothing new to the User Library:
    https://www.native-instruments.com/de/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/all/all/all/all/loop slicer/latest/1/all/?q=loop slicer&t=userlib

    Nor is granulation:
    https://www.native-instruments.com/...ulation/latest/1/all/?q=granulation&t=userlib

    https://www.native-instruments.com/...all/all/grain/latest/1/all/?q=grain&t=userlib
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
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