Native Instruments has something new coming, revealed today in a teaser video. And as you’ll see, it’s something new that isn’t a DJ app for iPad. I expect you’ll even see some speculation about it online. I can’t speculate about it, as … I’ve seen it. So you can instead expect full coverage once this becomes public.

I did clear with NI the ability to say what it isn’t, just in case this video is unclear. This does not involve hardware. It’s a new software instrument. Beyond that, I’ll leave you to watch the video, which I must say includes some clever visual effects.

Since the Web is awash with teasers these days, I’m pleased that we also get some fairly substantial sound samples, and NI’s producer here did a really bang-up job on them, as well. (I know just how tough making good demos can be.) You get a sense of what the instrument sounds like, and also some genuine music, too. Let’s listen, shall we?

This is in fact the debut of the NI SoundCloud account:

Stay tuned for more on the … uh … thing. I will keep myself out of comments on this one, but I’m curious what you think.

  • Göran Sandström

    Minimoog emulation implemented in reaktor with core modules that can’t be opened?

  • Øivind Idsø

    Almost no product that promises a revolution actually delivers a revolution, and based on the quite ordinary sound examples here I am not holding my breath.

    Sorry for being a cynic.

    There’s obviously (based on the video footage) some sort of Reaktor-style/Kyma-style patching process at heart, but without the sample mangling? We shall see. I am getting too old for hype. 😉

    • Peter Kirn

      Well, I promise a hype-free look at what they’ve done and how. Put it this way: marketing aside, I look forward to using what they’ve built. I can at least say that. And I’d say you can judge these materials for what they are – ignore the slogans.

      We have at least seen a number of genuine revolutions in music tech over the years, things that had a pretty big impact on the world. (Digital synthesis’ invention, for one!)

    • Øivind Idsø

      Yeah, sorry, I wasn’t referring to your article, which is sober enough. I just noticed the “A revolution is coming” as the tag line on the YouTube video.

    • Obscure Robot

      It has knobs. Knobs turn. Thus, a revolution.

    • Yanakyl

      Maybe they just mean they came right back to the beginning hence they did a revolution.

    • markLouis

      “We have at least seen a number of genuine revolutions in music tech over the years” — That’s an interesting thought, but is it really true? What I mean is, in the arts do we really SEE revolutions when they happen? Or in the arts do revolutions happen off in the shadows where really cool and passionate people with interests all their own are working away like mad scientists and then somehow usually along some unthinkable twisted path, the “revolution” finds its way out into the world at large? I think the comment from Øivind Idsø is right on. Revolutions happen, they don’t get talked about and then marketed. (Even the Beatles, certainly a revolution, came after, really, people like Zappa and Beefheart playing with technology and all the great blues artists who wrote the kind of heartfelt music pop copied.) It just doesn’t seem like a good idea to talk about a “revolution.” Guys in suits and girls with sprayed hair all drinking redbull and plotting don’t really make revolutions.

    • Peter Kirn

      The personal computer wasn’t a revolution?

      And revolutions don’t have marketing? Generally, taking a broad view of what marketing is, revolutions almost always do get marketed.

    • papernoise

      I agree with markLouis, revolutions in technology and art become visible after they happen and most of the time it’s not the product of a well thought out business model or marketing strategy. They get marketed once they become visible, sometimes they get marketed to death as wel… anyway, I think the main point here is that a claim like that has stopped to be credible since everybody seems to use that in their copy lately. Also I don’t think the whole discussion does have much to do with the fact that this might (or might not) be an interesting new synth to look forward to.

    • papernoise

      There should be an international law against the abuse of world like “revolution”. I mean revolution used to be something where you would throw stones and molotov cocktails at the police, where you would fight an oppressive force and try to make the world a better place! Now it’s just become marketing thing… 😀

  • Samuele Cornell

    Thank you Peter for clarifying the video, createdigitalmusic is always one step ahead !

  • Metachemical

    I am genuinely very excited. NI knocks pretty much everything out of the park IMO, so a new synth that appears to be an analog emulation is just what I am looking for.

  • Radiophobic

    I see some reaktor patching in there. Reaktor 6? I hope its just not another reaktor instrument like razor. While they seem to release some cool ones, it doesn’t have quite as much magic as one of their plugin releases. Simply because you can feel the compromises that were made in the interface, and you can open up the modules and play with the insides.

    • Krzysztof Cybulski

      that’s what I thought, too – Reaktor 6 (some core modules were shown)… But at the other hand it could do much more than just synthesis, like that shown in the demo tracks, so I’m not convinced…

    • Øivind Idsø

      A new (revolutionary) Reaktor would be nice, but wouldn’t there at least be some focus on sample synthesis etc. if it was? The only focus here is on (analog) synthesis, and the sounds wouldn’t have been unheard of in a 70s synth demo.

    • Radiophobic

      Maybe the revolution is that it isn’t made for the dubsteps, like everything else since massive came out.

    • Radiophobic

      So they finally unveiled what they were teasing, and its just another reaktor instrument. Feel severely let down here. I don’t care how much work went into it, its still just a reaktor patch.

  • Tony Scharf

    My guess would be that its another crappy reaktor ensamble turned into its own product. Call me when they do something that doesnt sound like garbage truck farting.

    • Metachemical

      Really? You understand if it sounds “like garbage truck farting,” your extremely lame dig at styles of music containing fast filter modulation, that’s a result of the programming of the individual patch. You see, synthesizers need to be programmed, and they can in fact produce a very wide variation in sounds. Those little dials and sliders, that’s what they are for. Next time you use a synth play with them and you will understand what I mean. (Make a stupid comment, get spoken to as though you were stupid).

  • Chris R Gibson

    I am also not meaning to be a cynic but the demos mostly do not do anything for me as to the ‘revolution’ (some of them could have come on a ‘Flexidisc in an 80’s issue of ‘Keyboard’ magazine!). One or two at least ‘hint’ at a more modulor boutique hardware sound so that’s at least somewhat encouraging.

    Maybe it is HOW the sounds can be built? As a longtime NI fan/multi-product user I welcome something new from them and will anxiously wait to see (it wouldn’t be the first time a NI demo didn’t impress me whereas the actual product blew my mind ;-))

  • terry butterbeans

    Sounds like a nice synth.

    If this wasn’t NI it would be getting much more positive reaction. Why is that?

    • Metachemical

      Because Native Instruments is the big boy on the block. Because it’s software, because they tend to use “bass music” presets in their ads. It’s more hardcore than thou snobbishness.

    • kore

      Because Native Instruments has a very very poor history their customers. Poor support, dropped products with no notifications. They make great tools but the company is run by scumbags so it’s hard to really trust them.

    • Radiophobic

      All the times I have dealt with them for support I have been satisfied. I understand they may have a bad reputation, but I think that may have more to do with not having enough staff on hand to deal with support issues when they have their regular fire sales.

  • museumoftechno

    Distortion sounds nice – assuming it’s onboard… sounds like a nice, tight, tough virtual-analog thing.

  • Cliff Baldwin

    I’m with Tony and the garbage truck comment.

  • Metachemical

    I wonder if the dubstep haters who invariably show up in these threads understand synths can be programmed to sound however you would like. You guys are so predictable and grumpy. Like old men shooing children from your lawn.

    • Øivind Idsø

      I wonder if the sound designers who design these sound demos are aware that their products can make other sounds than dubstep sounds?

      Chicken. Egg. Etc.

    • Metachemical

      It’s called good marketing. It may be annoying, but most marketing is.

    • Øivind Idsø

      I’ll agree with you that it’s marketing. I disagree that it’s “good”.

    • Metachemical

      Good in the sense that it increases sales to their target market.

    • Øivind Idsø

      Ah, *effective* marketing. Perhaps it is. Doesn’t make it any less predictable (and sound like most other softsynths on the market), but I understand that they want to sell their product to a particular demographic.

    • gwenhwyfaer

      If there’s only one demographic buying widgets, that’s the demographic you package your widgets for, whatever you’ve put in them. I’ll readily agree that market economics isn’t conducive to quality or diversity at its commodity end, but… them’s the breakbeats.

    • Mike Stannard

      Ha! I think while most of NI’s offerings while geared towards “bass music” producers, me obviously being one of them as a breakbeat and dnb guy, their synths are very versatile. Massive dosen’t have to sound wobbly, some of it’s features just make it easier than other synths. As a whole, NIs stuff can sound however you want it too – when it comes to marketing videos you have to do what sells the most units. That’s capitalism baby.

    • papernoise

      marketing is always good for the company and lame and annoying for the rest of the world.

  • ButterBeanz

    I think the NI Mailout just crashed Sound Cloud. LOL ! ! !

  • Tomislav Rupić

    my bet is on the Analog Emulation reaktor synth… and judging by the sounds its sounds like a really nice emulation… I bet it will be fun :)

  • gLOW-x

    It sound nice (distortion wise). Remembers me M-Audio Venom or something like this (modern distorted aggressive tone).
    A good synth is not HOW it is made, but HOW ppl use it.
    Remember TB 303 ?
    It was a toy not a single “serious” musician would have ever used on his tracks.
    Now we know history 😉

    And about dubstep, don’t blame NI because they make good synths used in those tracks.
    They never launched dubstep hype (even if, of course, they used it).
    Blame music industry and music listeners who treat music like fast food : too much, too badly made.
    Now we hear stupid wobble basses everywhere…the last (dub)step may be a toilet paper ad.
    Like we heard stupid vinyl scratches everywhere in the 80’s (hip hop was in the same position than dubstep).

    Now, i return to a goa/psytrance track (don’t care about trends) 😀

    • gwenhwyfaer

      “Remembers me M-Audio Venom or something like this (modern distorted aggressive tone).”

      Oh god, that doesn’t augur well. I have a Venom. Turns out what “modern distorted aggressive tone” actually means, in practice, is “our synth designers didn’t know the first thing about synth DSP and made a heap of elementary, avoidable errors that render the synth almost unusable for all but the most basic applications, all of which are better covered by any old rompler on the market anyway”. That much aliasing on a synth launched this decade is just unforgiveable.

      (This might be a bad time to mention it, but – anyone want to buy a lightly used Venom…? 😉 )

  • david

    Sounds like it has a harmonics generator. VERY interested in this synth. :)

  • Todd Keebs

    My prediction/hope: this is a modular synth platform with “second screen” control. I.e. the synth lives/runs on the computer but can be used in conjunction with an iPad/Android/Windows 8 app that is configured to control the synth from within the same modular environment that you use to build the synth in. Basically Labview + Reaktor + a touch interface.

    I think/hope this because:
    -it’s an area that I think is just dying to be explored yet no major manufacturer has touched it (no pun intended)
    -the M in the video
    -3D knobs and controls in the video


    -Peter’s vagueness about it being 100% a normal synth.

    *crosses fingers*

  • eXode

    My guess is that it’s analog modelling. Seems very detailed from the demos, sounds nice/capable. One of the images from the teaser video shows the waveform selector from a MiniMoog Model D with the characteristic “Sharktooth” waveform.

  • Andreas Wetterberg

    Sounds… exactly like reaktor 3. Like, exactly. There were several lovely fried-sounding community-made downloads (SOFA springs to mind) that sounded precisely like this. So yeah, I’m guessing new Reaktor with a crunchy set of new synth patches in it. OR something that sounds exactly like it…

    • Jack Mazzotti

      sofa really impressed me

      what i would like to see is all the ni synths broken down and recreated inside reaktor
      razor osc inside absynth ect…..

    • Robin Parmar

      SOFA sounded BETTER than this. And still does!

  • SyntheticJuice

    I’m guessing it’s going to be an additive/partial based osc with an unique-for-ni filter and overdrive section (analog inspired?) , wrapped in a hardware sound module box of knobs look/interface (waveform, octave, filter settings, env’s, lfo’s, routing, etc). I wonder if it’ll have a arp/sequencer built in too?

  • Alex Buga

    I spot an M in the video. It’s Massive 2 I guess, since they gave the 1st for free for Maschine users 😀

  • Pete K

    i poked around the source of the page …and it looks like the synth might be called MONARK …also dovetails with the M in the video

    • Robin Parmar

      Nice detective work.

  • pat

    reading this article + the anticipation from NI is making me feel like a little kid in a music store, tweaking on some synths.

  • GEoff

    Not exactly a fairlight sized revolution 😉 sounds pretty standard at the moment but that just reflects the use in the demos I suppose

  • Imbie

    stop at 0:04 pretty sure it’s a new ensemble for reaktor and reaktor player

  • RJ


  • punkt

    i really wish these guys would make hardware instruments.

  • danger

    It will be a modular analog (moogish) synth, called Monark. That’s my bet.

  • Robin Parmar

    Do we really need posts like this that are content-free? Or has NI paid to have their advertisements carried here? This synth sounds like most others these days. It’s got some sort of a feedback oscillator system, yeah. It most certainly is not “revolutionary”, whatever that over-used term could possibly mean. Now excuse me while I get back to some Reaktor hacking.

    • Peter Kirn

      I’m not crazy about teaser posts. But answer: yes, we do, partly because of reader behavior.

      Unfortunately, the sites that do actually try to avoid these teaser-style posts tend to get blown away by sites that lead with the news first. (I’ve watched this happen.) So, since we’re doing some heavy work on actually researching this story, I wanted to make sure we’re out with the teaser so people actually read it.

      Now I sound cynical. Anyway, that was my choice. Give me a break until you read our actual article. 😉

  • Chad Clark

    Is there an ETA mentioned somewhere? Or is this just in long-term development?

  • guest

    I have a lot of faith in NI as their synths have always been rewarding (BTW Massive is a really good soft atmosphere generator if you let it). But the image at 19s just looks like another MOOG, and please god in 2013 I am so tired of the 1970s.

  • basshell

    ipad app?

  • Excitable Alice

    Here I stand all smug and grinning because a white rabbit made me realize what it is.

    Hope I’m right.

  • Godly Templeman

    ipad app.

  • mnb

    the examples remind me of sounds of a ‘component modelling’ analog emulation i heard a couple of years ago. (rendered on a gpu). maybe it is meanwhile possible to do this ‘native’
    on current cpus.

  • MLG

    For the CreateDigitalMotion readers, you can find more in-depth explanation about how this video has been done ->