Modular software & programmingMaxMSP, Reaktor, Pure Data, Jeskola BUZZ, and other modular programs. Any questions relating to these programs (patching, favorite ensembles) should be posted in this forum.
I bought reaktor, (well komplete, but mostly for reaktor) and I have been through the demos, made a couple crappy va sythns with it, and have begun reading the monster that is the manual. Everyone seems to swear by this synth on this forum, the professionals too (simon postford and the crystal method come to mind). and seeing all the modules and whatnot I can begin to see the potential as it does have EVERYTHING. but I dont know where to go. what kind of synths do people make with it? do they make awesome sounding fm or additive synths? I hear that a lot of people use simpler patches to create fm or glitch style percussion sounds. Im new to this and dont expect instant gratification or anything but i'd like to know what direction to go in.
I guess Reaktor and other modular tools really shine in "when there's no other tool to do it" and "mess around until you find something interesting and expand from it". It's all about customization and exploring unheard territories. When there's something that you cannot accomplish with your existing tools or you want to explore possibilities not possible with your existing tools, then you can use Reaktor to construct that. Or see if someone else has thought of the same thing and reverse engineer / customize it for your needs/taste.
Of course many people also use it just as an multi-fx, because there's loads of stuff in the user library that isn't available elsewhere, at least pre-constructed.
I have Reaktor 5 now and I admit that I'm confused. I read the first 30 pages of the manual and...I'm lost. I really don't understand anything it says. Way too complicated, too technical for me. With Absynth I at least could play from the start and feel my way around the software. With Reaktor I really don't understand ANYTHING about the set-up,. how top connect my keyboards, what 'ensembles' mean etc. etc. It's not that I'm stupid, but this software is not something I get a 'feel' for. I tried loading all the VST-folders into Mixcraft but they don't work either. So I'm really dissapointed at this moment. Anyway, someone, will give me some advice about how to get started?
If you want to learn to construct your own stuff, then start from simple things. It may not be necessary to read the manual from start to finish, I'd rather just start building and reference the manual when you don't know how something is done (i.e. what module to use, what are its parameters, what does it do). If you don't know how to start, then follow a tutorial or tutorials about constructing a simple monosynth, so you can't get lost.
Just a few very simple stuff that could get you started:
Add a simple oscillator that generates a wave, connect it to output so you can hear it, add something to scale the amplitude (knob, fader, envelope), change the oscillator waveforms, add modulation to the oscillator (for example another oscillator to control its frequency), change the oscillator to generate noise, add filters to filter it...
Continue modifying existing and just adding more things for certain functionality, try to achieve different synthesis techniques (simple additive, FM, AM etc.), try to add more complex modulation.
Thanks for taking the trouble to react. I'll give it a try, but even your 'simple' startertip is way beyond me. I'm used to VST-instruments that I load into my software and play/record/mix and add effects. This works for me. I got Reaktor because I thought it was another INSTRUMENT, like Absynth. But now I understand it's complicated software to BUILD synths. I'm afraid I'm not equipped for that. It will take too much time before I can play music. It's like building a piano from scratch before u can play Fur Elise. By the time it's ready, I have forgotten the melody. Maybe I'm not interested enough in the technique of things (how they work) and more into the user-end of it. I'll give it one more try but to be honest - Reaktor 5 is now opening on my left screen - I can feel instant desperation creeping in.
I still don't have a clue. Not one. The manual - badly written by the way - is referring to terms end panes I can't see on my screen and they don't appear whatever I do. Also, enclosed pics in the tuturial don't match with what I'm seeing on my screen. I mean Reaktor 5 is Reaktor 5, not Reaktor 5.1 or 5.4. Or am I missing something? Anyway, I'm giving up. Reluctantly and irritated beyond comprehension. This really makes me feel stupid and the agony is counterproductive. Guess I'm not savvy enough, though I - thank God - noticed several posts on this forum that mention the same problems with this package of software. I really don't see the point in recommending Reaktor 5 (or any kind of musical software) without adressing the - in my eyes - enormous technical complexity involved. The beauty of the internet is that - I'm quoting Francis Coppola here - we can end the 'socalled professionalism' of musicmaking (in his case moviemaking) by making understandable instruments available to the masses so that this '16 year old fat girl from Ohio can turn out the be the new Mozart'. This won't work if you have to be a computernerd first before you van start composing. This way we're bringing it back to an 'elite'-thing. I think software should be intuitive, not overwhelming.