It’s time for some Reaktor love.

Native Instruments’ Reaktor may not get the attention of tools like Traktor or Maschine. But the software is part of the company’s DNA, still used to prototype devices (like the new drum synths for Maschine), and able to create a vast array of instruments and effects for those willing to plumb its depths.

And even if you aren’t ready to tackle Maschine patching yourself, the User Library for Reaktor is one of creative sound’s greatest gems. That Web resource was, unfortunately, looking more than a little long in the tooth, though, for all the wonders contained inside. So it’s reassuring to see this week that NI has finally given it an overhaul. The payoff: the site is now actually fun to navigate, not a chore. You can easily spot oft-downloaded favorites. Searching and sorting is more useful.

And there’s new content, too: already, they’ve got some video tutorials and Mike Huckaby talking about some of his favorites (like Frame 3, from former CDM contributor Peter Dines).

If for some reason you’ve shied away from Reaktor in the past, a deal on right now makes it basically irresistible. Reaktor 5 – and access to 3800 User Library devices, plus lots of other content, plus all the excellent built-in goodies – is now $99/ 99 € / £89 / ¥ 11,800, through May 28th.

Of course, many are surely disappointed we’re not seeing Reaktor 6. But with a best-in-breed OSC implementation, incredible DSP powers, and a rich library, I can’t really complain – and definitely not at this price.
Reaktor 5

And don’t miss Maestro Dines’ site, too:


PS – lest you think that Reaktor is all toying around and not making music, here’s a lovely record from reader Petteri Karjalainen made entirely in Reaktor… (just one synth1 bassline)

  • Gwydion

    That badloop album is *really* nice – thanks Peter.

  • jmcq

    I’d second your recommendation to check out the Peter Dines site, lots of excellent Reaktor info and tutorials. Also some good tutorials at BluewaterVST. The bad loop album is great, it really shows how versatile Reakor can be in the right hands.

  • teej

    Cool, I guess this means Reaktor 6 is right around the corner. Didn’t they do this $99 deal right before 4 and 5 came out?

    • Gan

      They did this deal last summer as well.

  • echolevel

    Thanks for the heads-up, Peter – it’s always nice to be able to spam the Reaktor sale to any poor fools who’re still without it! Don’t suppose you have any inside tip – or even just a hunch – on whether they’re likely to allow user/3rd-party ensembles to run uneditable in the free Player? If that was the big news for a v6, it would be amazing. I don’t understand why they haven’t done it yet; if it’s about protecting their revenue stream, it doesn’t make much sense. I’d guess that most people who buy Reaktor predominantly use the fantastic Factory ensembles, or they’ve got Reaktor by default having bought Komplete. There’s shitloads of excellent stuff in the user library that adds massive value to Reaktor 5, but I’d imagine that if it was possible for people to use those ensembles in a read-only (except for snapshots) mode in the free player, some would get curious about the nuts and bolts and want to buy full Reaktor in order to tweak and interconnect that stuff.

    Reaktor’s such a fantastic tool, begetting tools that are cross-platform and cross-DAW in a way that M4L can never be, allowing collaboration that bridges different people’s workflows…but only if everyone’s splashed out on R5. Twisted Tools create brilliant stuff and, along with a few other third party developers, manage to make a business of selling it, but it would be a really exciting kick up the arse for small-scale/indie audio software development if Reaktor was a viable commercial platform.

    Anyway, pipedreams… But if you have any insight on why this model hasn’t come to pass in Reaktor, I’d be keen to hear!

    / Brendan

  • Jim Aikin

    Thanks for the heads-up! I updated to 5.9 and downloaded a bunch of free user ensembles. There’s some radical stuff available. We’re living in the Golden Age of Software Synthesis, for sure.