The Euro Reakt Thread

Discussion in 'REAKTOR' started by Michael Hetrick, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Michael Hetrick

    Michael Hetrick Member

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    Yeah! I agree with a lot of Christian's points.

    I have a Nord Micro Modular, and I'm getting ready to sell it soon. It has a great mid-90's mid-fi sound, but it's such a pain to use nowadays (no USB, tightrope "will my next OS update break the editor" compatibility, having to remember which patch is assigned to which number, no power switch, etc.) that it doesn't make sense to have unless I specifically needed it for live shows. Plus, the Axoloti makes for a pretty solid, more modern replacement at a much lower cost (http://www.axoloti.com/), especially with the Music Thing Modular control surface (http://modularaddict.com/musicthing-axocontrol-kit).

    The Jim Clark book is actually meant as an extension to the Rob Hordijk book: https://rhordijk.home.xs4all.nl/G2Pages/index.htm
    If you haven't read that one, it's a better place to start!

    I haven't read the Roland Kuit books before. The pricing is out of reach for me (and my students). Plus, I think the Nord Modular can be a pedagogical nightmare. Take a look at the "Logic Matrix Loop" image at the bottom of this page: http://rolandkuit.com/Laboratory.html
    That's not to dismiss Roland's massive accomplishment at all. It seems like an absolutely incredible resource! I just think that the Nord Modular's interface and sense of scale leads to massively confusing patches once you get anywhere past the basics. I've opened up a few of my patches from a month or two back and find them to be completely inscrutable.

    Same goes for aspects of the Jim Clark book, despite how much I love it. Look at some of these logic patches: http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~clark/nordmodularbook/nm_logic.html#logic_functions
    At points, learning a Nord Modular feels more like Computer Science than Music. He's putting together patches that remind me of CPU architecture lectures.

    I find Eurorack modules to be the most intuitive way to learn, but they're just so expensive and it's really easy to make a costly mistake when designing a system. I'm hoping that more schools will start to develop small teaching systems so that you can have that actual physical experience of re-routing a patch.

    I think the absolute best way to learn, though, is simply working with other musicians! I learned a lot from Richard Devine when he visited my school, and we spent a few of the days developing patches. One of the most important things that I learned about putting together generative patches is that I massively overthought the setup process. There's this feeling of wanting to plan everything out in advance, and it ends up leaving you with a blank page.

    The best thing to do is to start with the most stereotypical patches ever: 4 on the floor kick drum, basic arpeggiator, boring ADSR-based subtractive, etc. Then, manipulate or replace one element at a time. Even something as simple as massively dropping the tempo can take you into great territories. For instance, I showed Richard a Machinedrum patch that I had been working on that hadn't quite come together. He turned a knob, dropped the tempo down from 120 to 20 BPM, and suddenly the patch was magic. I've tried to show this "start simple and evolve" technique in this patch: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/entry/show/9675/

    Which brings me to another great generative strategy: stop tempo syncing things, and use slow modulation. You'd be surprised at how much complexity you can get out of two slow, unsynced LFOs! The Wavetable LFO that I ported from Sandy Small's oscillator is terrific for this sort of thing.
     
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  2. JoHe

    JoHe New Member

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    Of course! Every answer and opinion concerning my post is very welcome. Thanks for the replies.
    @Exiannyc Thank you very much for your kind words and detailed suggestions! That's a lot to check out and digest :) Did I mention the Euro Reakt blocks already blow my mind? ;)
    I know the Nord Modular Demo and I got it running on my Macbook using Wine. Already had some fun with it. But the sound can't reach the blocks quality I guess. To my ears, some blocks even sound better than my hardware synths... But I thought there is a difference in sound quality between the G2 demo and the Hardware... Am I wrong? I think the patching maybe is more fun on the G2 Demo. The jumping between Panel and Structure when patching blocks, is a little awkward. But there is some advantage, since the finished patch looks tidy without the cables everywhere.
    I've read about ampere some time ago, thanks I'll check it out for sure.
    Never heard of WREN. I'll have a look!
    @Michael Hetrick
    Thank you for your post and the tips about generative patches. I'll keep them in mind. I think I'd like the nord sound, I have a Nord Rack 2x, and I adore Autechre and I know they used the Nords a lot. The Eurorack stuff is amazing, but as you mentioned so expensive. I think I'll try to stay with software in the case of modular. But I'll check Axoloti :)
    I think I'll have to spend quite a lot of time to learn how all these modules work. Especially for complex sequencing and modulation. Video tutorials about the eurorack models help me a lot. And I'll read the Rob Hordijk book. Thanks. Some of the J. Clark patches are crazy confusing for me to look at... all those cables ;) But it encourages me, that someone who knows so much about Dsp and stuff thinks learning a Nord Modular feels more like Computer Science than Music :) I had the same feeling, when I tried to start learning Max/Msp.
     
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  3. Exiannyc

    Exiannyc NI Product Owner

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    173
    @michael @JoHe it is SUCH a relief to me that you both get confused looking at Nord patches - sometimes even your own. Those 3 books (Hordijk, Clark, Kuit) gave me the impression that everyone else in the world but me can look at a huge Nord patch and nod and just say "Mm hmm."

    A good friend of mine who's put out a lot of modular synth CDs said, "Half the time I don't understand how my own patches do what they do." I was stunned, and then overjoyed. And much more willing to just put my hands on something and start patching.
     
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  4. JoHe

    JoHe New Member

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    9
    @Michael Hetrick: Can't wait for your book, too :) Or is it just for your students?
     
  5. Exiannyc

    Exiannyc NI Product Owner

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    173
    Hey, all of Madrona Labs' beautiful synths - Aalto, Kaivo, and Virta - are on summer sale, 30% off until September 1. http://madronalabs.com/ They all have free demo downloads for you to try. If the words "Buchla-esque" or "granular physical modeling" make you prick up your ears, take heed.

    My favorite thing about Madrona is that every module can have unlimited outputs AND inputs. I wish Reaktor could do that. You can make intricate intermodulated spaghetti without slowing down. Very few synths can do that, whether soft or hard.
     
  6. Aaron McPherson

    Aaron McPherson NI Product Owner

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    99
    Does anyone have an example patch using the Squid Axon block? I can't figure out how to use it.
     
  7. Michael Hetrick

    Michael Hetrick Member

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    84
    Try this melodic example out: https://www.dropbox.com/s/igti3n0dp0nxnjc/SquidAxonMelodicExample.zip?dl=0

    Squid Axon is very similar to the Analog Shift Register Block. It needs an input and a clock.

    The ASR Block immediately shifts Stage 1 to Stage 2 whenever it receives a gate (and Stage 1 acquires the next signal).
    Squid Axon differs in that each acquired voltage shifts through all four stages before a new one is acquired.

    The coolest aspect of Squid Axon (and the reason it's classified as "Chaos" and not "Sequencing") is the non-linear feedback knob. It also has a three channel mixer. It's intended a lot more for unpredictable signal generation instead of the oddly melodic example linked here, but I think this example provides a better explanation of how it works rather than throwing a whole bunch of noise at you :)

    Try that patch, and then try replacing the Squid with a classic ASR to see the difference.
     
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  8. Michael Hetrick

    Michael Hetrick Member

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    84
    Hey everyone! Haven't forgotten about ER. It's the focus of my dissertation on modular design that I'm defending on December 9th. The modular book is no longer happening (for the time being). However, my dissertation will soon be packaged with ER. The last 200 pages of the dissertation document every Block, including every control, input, and output. It's going to be a huge upgrade over the current documentation.

    There are tons of bug fixes and Block upgrades coming as well. I plan on releasing all of this in late December.
     
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  9. Exiannyc

    Exiannyc NI Product Owner

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    173
    Thanks for the update Michael and best wishes on your dissertation defense. If you have a good relationship with your committee members and you have had good communication all along, it can be a very enjoyable discussion of your significant work. Take care.
     
  10. fusionid

    fusionid NI Product Owner

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    182
    Any update on a pitch shifting block?
     
  11. Michael Hetrick

    Michael Hetrick Member

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    84
    No, not yet. I'm working around the clock to get 4.0 finished with my dissertation, which I'm defending on December 9th. 4.0 won't feature new Blocks. It's all about adding polymorphism to existing Blocks by tapping outputs that are already being generated at no additional cost. Next year I have a batch of microsound Blocks that I want to release after polishing them up (and taking a much needed break; this dissertation is over 350 pages now). The pitch shifter would be part of that, as it's just a windowed granular delay (I'm not going to do an FFT based pitch shifter in Reaktor... it's just too fiddly to do in Core). For reference, my company Unfiltered Audio has two pitch shifters. Fault's is FFT based, Sandman Pro's is a windowed delay.

    Here's a preview of 4.0 so far. Still more to come:

    - UPGRADE: Added three additional oscillator outputs to VOSIM (at no additional CPU cost).
    - UPGRADE: Added three dedicated noise and envelope outputs to Resonating Bar and Resonating Wood.
    - UPGRADE: Added three dedicated outputs and a mix output for the internal oscillators on the SumSyn Oscillator.
    - UPGRADE: Added a Phase output to Burst Generator.
    - UPGRADE: Added Amplitude and Reverb Envelope outputs to Clap, along with a dedicated output for the reverb tail.
    - UPGRADE: Added Noise and Osc Envelope outputs to Snare.
    - UPGRADE: Added a dedicated Saw output to Comb Oscillator.
    - UPGRADE: Added individual bit outputs to Entropy Filter.
    - UPGRADE: Added positive and negative outputs to Waveform Processor. Also added an optional DC filter.
    - UPGRADE: Added a 1x2 output to Triple Ring.
    - UPGRADE: Added dedicated (unfolded) sine and triangle outputs to the Fold Oscillator.
    - UPGRADE: Added filtered noise and noise envelope outputs to the Karplus Oscillator.
    - UPGRADE: Added a "Clipped" gate output to Clipper and Clipper (Stereo).
    - UPGRADE: Added a Wet output to Comb Filter.
    - UPGRADE: Added a Phase output to Wavetable LFO. Also added a phase reset trigger.
    - UPGRADE: Added a Mix output to Neuron. Also added an optional DC filter to the main output.
    - UPGRADE: Added a Mix output to Difference Rectifier.
    - UPGRADE: Added an In Mix output to Squid Axon.
    - UPGRADE: Added an optional DC filter to Trigonometric Shaper's main output.

    - FIX: Removed an unnecessary SVF from inside of Twin Peaks.
    - FIX: Fixed a potential click in the probability function for Pulsar Oscillator.
    - FIX: Final Out would only use In L unless Contrast was enabled.
    - FIX: The indicators on Waveset were amplitude sensitive and would not light up when they should.
    - FIX: Added a smoother to Comb Filter to prevent clicks from occurring when switching between REG and INV behavior.
    - FIX: The Comparator output on Neuron is no longer affected by the OUT gain control, as it is already affected by RESPONSE.
     
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  12. fusionid

    fusionid NI Product Owner

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    182
    looking forward to updated version. thanks for sharing
     
  13. Michael Hetrick

    Michael Hetrick Member

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    84
    4.0 is now available! I hope that everyone enjoys this release. Most of the oscillators and generators have been overhauled for polymorphic behavior.
     
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  14. Kymeia

    Kymeia NI Product Owner

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    5,902
    Awesome - thanks Michael - I have all your plugins too - great stuff
     
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  15. Michael Hetrick

    Michael Hetrick Member

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    84
    Much appreciated! Thanks for the support. We have some great free updates coming for those early next year.

    Just got to my hotel room in Santa Barbara. Preparing for my defense tomorrow... It's hard to believe that this is finally happening!
     
  16. fusionid

    fusionid NI Product Owner

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    182
    best of luck michael and thank you for sharing the joy.
     
  17. Kymeia

    Kymeia NI Product Owner

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    5,902
    Good luck - I have my viva coming up too....in maybe 5 years :D (part time research doc)
     
  18. Michael Hetrick

    Michael Hetrick Member

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    84
    The defense went very well! It looks like I'll be Dr. Hetrick in January.
     
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  19. Kymeia

    Kymeia NI Product Owner

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    5,902
    Congratulations Dr. Hetrick
     
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  20. Big Gnome

    Big Gnome NI Product Owner

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    441
    (If ever there were a thread worth necro-ing...)

    Hey, Michael! I had kind of an autopilot day at work today, and spent the last couple of hours on my laptop adding mu-law compansion to your ADC/DAC blocks. I took the liberty of tidying up the internals a little too while I was in there--it's a negligible difference to the DAC, but the ADC runs a tiny bit more efficiently. Thought you might be interested.

    Grossly belated congratulations on your doctorate, by the way!

    Edit: Added A-law and a quick n' dirty example .ens
     

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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019