Inside the Mind of Stephan Schmitt: A New Synth, and Thoughts on Playability

A synth interface, on the surface, is just more knobs. So we look to creator Stephan Schmitt to find out what makes his synth invention tick – and his thoughts on synth-building philosophy. Click for larger version of the UI, which you can access to create your own sounds if you have a copy of Reaktor. If you think there aren’t still exciting things happening in synthesizer design in the age of software, you haven’t met people like Stephan Schmitt. Schmitt, founder of Native Instruments and the “mastermind” of Reaktor, could be seen as a mad sonic scientist behind NI. …

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Using Kore: Our Guide, Plus Mouse-Free Hardware-Only Control

Photos from Berlin’s fantastic Dense Record Shop by MPC2000xl / MIDI Mechanics, from his blog. To me, the ideal kind of music tech writing is when you get to spend quality time with tools for musical reasons – not simply to talk about the technology, but to make stuff. Over the past weeks, we’ve been gradually assembling ideas, sound designs, knowledge, and tutorials into a string of blog-style posts on the CDM Kore site. I’ve organized those into an evolving guide to working with Kore as a musician, from getting a handle on the basics (including some stuff that initially …

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Learning Reaktor: 10-Step Path to Building New Sequencers, Beatboxes, and Effects

“What if you had to take just one software instrument with you to a desert island?” It’s not an entirely silly question, with so many choices in software potentially distracting you from real music making. I say, cheat: take a tool that lets you build your own tools, specific to the job. Reaktor immediately springs to mind. On the Kore @ CDM site, one of my goals has been getting deeper into making musical tools in Reaktor. We’re lucky to have Peter Dines onboard, who had already been dabbling with documenting the basics of Reaktor construction before we got some …

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Exclusive Behind the Scenes: Interpol’s Live Rig

You’ve seen plenty of live rigs with mile-high stacks of keyboards and sound modules. But this setup is different: one of the world’s best bands is using an elaborate setup of software synths. Binding it all together is one of the most sophisticated software configurations I’ve ever seen, the fruits of labors by of our friend Jonathan Adams Leonard – a talented musician and technologist – in Kore 2. I wouldn’t exactly recommend this kind of setup to anyone else; it involved pushing Kore to its bleeding edge. But Jonathan’s walk-through of the hardware and software programming for this show …

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kore@noisepages: Free DIY Grain Delay Reaktor Tutorial, plus Making Sense of Kore

Building and Using a Reaktor Grain Delay in Kore 2 from Create Digital Media on Vimeo. Let’s cut straight to the reason we use this stuff: we want crazy-sounding delays we can play with. Reaktor guru Peter Dines shows just how you’d build such a thing in Reaktor from the ground up for CDM’s Kore site. He also takes it one step further by creating not only the Reaktor ensemble, but also a Kore performance preset to match. The advantage of going this route: Kore provides a way of organizing parameters for control, performance, and automation. This is another all-free …

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Download Free Reaktor-Powered Step Sequencer; Reaktor, Kore Performance Tips

We’ve been busy at kore.createdigitalmusic.com hacking away on Native Instruments’ software to share more playable tools and tips. Peter Dines has built a really fantastic tool called Frankenloop. It’s a "step sequencer with a twist" — probability settings for each step so that it sounds different each time. Peter has released it under a ShareAlike Creative Commons license, so we actually hope you’ll take this and customize it to do whatever you want, and release it under the same license. Here’s what it looks like in action: Introduction to Frankenloop from Create Digital Media on Vimeo. Download and explanation of …

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Kontakt Creative Abuse and Scripting, Modular Reaktor Goodness, More On Kore@CDM

If you haven’t been following the Kore @ CDM site, we’ve been picking up some great tips from contributors Peter Dines and Eoin Rossney. This video has inspired me personally to dive a little deeper beneath the shrinkwrap on Kontakt 3, particularly with its scripting capabilities: Creative Abuse of the Kontakt Sampler Peter Dines’ tutorial on scripting and modulation in Kontakt 3 from Create Digital Media on Vimeo. Kontakt Tutorial Video: Creative Abuse with Modulation, Scripting Kontakt 3 users, we’ll be curious to see what you do with that one. User-Created, Free Modular Reaktor Powers in Kore Also in the …

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KORE Soundpacks, Plus Free KORE Player with 300M Sounds

Native Instruments has released their free KORE player software and the first packs of sounds for the KORE platform today. It’s part of their play to get soundware addicts onto KORE, their all-encompassing instruments and effects package. First, here’s a review of what KORE actually is, as it’s expanded from even what it was when first announced at the beginning of 2007. KORE is… KORE software, a tool that can act either as a plug-in or a host for plug-ins, which provides sound browsing, internal effects, and performance controls for combining sounds and effects in semi-modular fashion – ships as …

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Exclusive: Visual Tour of Native Instruments KORE 2 “Super Instrument”

Computers are endlessly flexible for music — but how do they function as actual, playable instruments? As computer software matures, finding a way to make these tools more fun to play is increasingly the aim. Native Instruments’ first crack at a “super instrument” with KORE 1 had some fans, but was a disappointment to many others (myself included, even as a fan of NI’s terrific instruments and effects and Reaktor platform). But a lot of us still believed in the potential of what it was doing. That’s why it’s really exciting for me to have caught a first glimpse of …

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