The wonderful, sometimes-inspiring, sometimes-daunting capability of the computer is to make any sound you like. Give someone an open toolbox, and they really limited only by skill and imagination. Graphical modular environment Reaktor by Native Instruments has a reputation for crunchy granular sounds and elaborate, multi-layered glitches, and those are to some of us certainly a good thing. But here’s some music made in Reaktor that tends in another direction. The creatoors give us some nice tools, to be sure, but they also give us some actual music and sounds to explore.
At top, our friend Peter Dines has been continuing to iterate with his granular tools, Loupe. Here, OpenSoundControl control signals from an iPad running (recently-updated) TouchOSC translate to new sounds. Multi-touch control seems to me perfect for this sort of continuous parameter control. The download updates his $15 patch set, and there’s an extensive tutorial on using OSC and Reaktor on his Noisepages blog:
Loupe 1.5 for Reaktor – now with bidirectional OSC mappings for TouchOS [Modulations @ Noisepages]
Even if for some bizarre reason you’re not interested in this patch, the article above is a must-read for any Reaktor user hoping to experiment with OSC.
Via the ever-prodigious Synthtopia comes three other free Reaktor ensembles. For free ensembles, they’re really polished – there’s a 4-oscillator atmospheric pad synth, a 3-oscillator bass synth, and 2-oscillator “pluck” synth. If you don’t own Reaktor, there’s even a free 3-oscillator bass synth instrument for Windows VST. The results produce dreamy, dense layers of sound:
The trio, entitled “The Colorspace,” is the work of Italian-based musician Dario. He makes music under a number of identities, but I’m partial to his ambient projects Kiis and “need a name.” A Kiis release is available as a name-your-price EP on Bandcamp:
There’s also some seriously chilled-own, pleasantly-ambient (even when beats make appearances) music as “Need a Name.”
Whether this music is specifically your cup of tea or not, it’s great to actually hear some music from the person making the tool. You can take it as further inspiration, a chance to be closer to the person who makes the Reaktor patches you use, or even a challenge to make your own work with the same sonic arsenal distinctly your own.
The Reaktor patches, for their part, are available free:
Bonus – back in glitchland… As I write this, I see that there’s an updated TouchOSC control layout for Richard Devine’s GrainCube, a free Reaktor patch built by DevSnd, Rachmiel, TwistedTools, and Antonio Blanca. See previous coverage here on CDM from last year; a different video below, and a picture of the new layout (which looks nice). Of course, no reason you can’t use this same tool to make something that sounds very different…
More downloads: http://devinesound.net/
Update info / TouchOSC update [devsnd Blog]