Friday, July 16, 2010

New Reaktor in Free Beta

Reaktor 5.5Rarely am I as happy to see a software release as the new Reaktor 5.5 Beta version. Reaktor is a complete modular synthesis and audio processing workstation and has been the mainstay of my work for some time. Released in April 2005, Reaktor 5 has become rather long in the tooth. Now, anyone who owns that current version is entitled to become a beta tester for 5.5. Not only that, this version will be a free update once it is out of testing.

And we only had to wait five years!

These are the improvements, taken directly from the press release. First, there are two new modules that open up synthesis possibilities:
  • "Sine Bank" module for additive synthesis
  • "Modal Bank" module for Modal synthesis

Then there are new ensembles:
  • "Lazerbass" monophonic additive synthesizer by Mike Daliot
  • Everything from the previous products Electronic Instruments I + II

Most of the changes are in terms of the user interface and workflow:
  • Instruments can now be loaded as ensembles and vice versa
  • Revised one-window GUI with flexible "split" view
  • Unified interface layout for standalone and plugin operation
  • New full-screen view in standalone mode
  • New "structure bookmarks" feature
  • Improved instrument header, properties and sample map editor
  • Improved audio player with browser integration, drag & drop and auto-mode
  • Improved preset handling with bank list and "snapshot master" function
  • Global master volume controls for audio input and output

And then there are functional improvements:
  • Improved send/receive modules
  • Improved handling of audio I/Os and ports
  • Improved auto-save in plugin mode
  • Improved sample rate conversion
  • Audio I/O channels increased to 40 in standalone mode
  • Additional keyboard shortcuts

Finally, documentation:
  • New "application reference" manual with integrated tutorials

All of these incremental benefits are very welcome, even if none are decisive. If nothing else, it shows that NI are still committed to this serious audio creation tool.

Reaktor 5.0Here is how my modified version of the ensemble ManyMood (a MiniMoog clone) looks in Reaktor 5. Compare this to the screen shot at the top of my post to see how the UI has evolved. Please click on these to get 100% sizes in Flickr.

The full announcement is available on the NI forum. Sign up for beta here. Please note that this will overwrite your current version 5 installation; it cannot be run in parallel. It must (still) be used in a 32-bit host environment, though this can be on a 64-bit operating system. Ensembles and so on that you create in the new version are not backwards compatible.


1 comment:

robin said...

In case you are looking through the library for new content, here is where you will find it:

Factory -> Instruments -> Synthesizers -> Laserbass
Factory -> Ensembles -> New Additions -> Tutorial Ensembles -> New Modules Demo -> Modal bank Demo.ens, Sine Bank Demo.ens
Factory -> Ensembles -> Electronic Instruments Vol. 1 -> 10 ensemles
Factory -> Ensembles -> Electronic Instruments Vol. 2 -> 11 ensemles

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