You don’t have to be a Native Instruments programmer to build far-out instruments in Reaktor — you just might need some assistance.

If you’ve got Reaktor but haven’t had the chance to get deep into build your own instruments and effects, CDM forums contributor Peter Dines has some terrific resources for you. These should be particularly useful if you’re interested in building your own sequencers and such, which isn’t fully explained in the Reaktor docs.

Reaktor in Print

First, you should run to your local newsstand and see if you can catch the Aug/Sept issue of the new magazine Virtual Instruments; Peter wrote a great starter tutorial in there on clocks, tables, and sequencing. October’s issue should be out soon, but I still see VI at my local Wall Street Borders. (CDM’s own Lee Sherman also writes for VI.)

You can also buy a download-only subscription, handy not only for our overseas readers but those of us fighting a life-or-death battle with city-devouring stacks of paper magazines. (Some call it a clash of civilizations. I say it’s a battle for civilization.)

Online Tutorials and Files

It’s hard to fit a program the size of Reaktor into a book, let alone a magazine, so the better news is that Peter is continuing to post tips and tutorials online. He’s started up a new Reaktor blogspot blog, so head over there and encourage him. First up: PDF and ensemble on clock and modulo operations and building a sequencer to sync to host. (Get ready for Reaktor running inside Ableton Live, for some true computer music bliss.)

You can’t make music with this example, but you can learn something about Reaktor clocks for building your own custom sequencers and sequenced instruments/effects.

Peter says:

I was going to work some of this into the first chapter of a book – I still might – but decided I want to have this info freely available. That way people who want to write tutorials or instructional material on Reaktor don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel to teach the basics.

Comments and questions are welcome. If you already know this stuff, keep an eye out anyways because I’m writing some more advanced tutorials and will be posting them in the coming weeks.

The tutorial is written with the expectation that the user will have at least some nodding acquaintance with the program, has done the very simple build-a-synth tutorial in the manual, and has already configured his audio out and so forth.

There hasn’t been a book on Reaktor since Len Sasso’s reaktor 3 book, which was good but is now clearly well outdated. I hope ebooks and online information will fill the gap, because they’re more easily updated and better-suited to marketing to the niche audience of Reaktor users. Stay tuned.

More discussion on learning Reaktor with Peter and others on the forums:
Head count – Reaktor users?

And, as pictured at top, Peter offers another ensemble via the NI forums:
Phun with polyphony

… offering a different take on polyphonic synths using separate channels for data.

Thanks, Peter!

Okay, other Reaktor users: tips or questions about using Reaktor? Favorite user ensembles? The NI forums are vast and wonderful, but it’s nice to get the more-manageable CDM reader take on Reaktor.

  • I've been waiting and waiting for a book on Reaktor 5. I'm definitely gonna check out these links. I don't really have much knowledge of DSP and synthesis and all that good stuff, hopefully this can help me out. I think Reaktor is an amazing program, all I've been doing is playing with pre-loaded instruments, but have yet to really do much with it's full potential. Looking forward to all this.

  • Thanks Peter

    Much appreciated

  • Great to see more tutorials popping up! Reaktor is the most fun, most used music program ever for me, and I’ve been through dozens, and $$$$$:(

    Reaktor is not only a music-making monster, it’s the FX device I’ve always wanted, single-handedly responsible for allowing me to sell off all my hardware FX, including the Eventides, tc’s and Kurzweils. Only things I kept are guitar modelling devices. There’s a LOT of chat, ensemble recommendations, etc. on using Reaktor with guitars in the NI Reaktor forums, but be sure to check out Vierring, the ultimate Adrenalinnesque rhythmatizer, Blackbird (the poor man’s harmonizzer), Amor (a Vortex emulation), and my 40-page FX tutorial, all in the user library. And if you want audio demos of Reaktor FX on guitars, send me an email from my blog and I’ll set you up.

  • Damon

    Personally, I am waiting for Reaktor For Dummies.

  • Lew

    I have just started using Reaktor 5. I had a quick gander at the Operation Manual and did find it quite helpful, even for a Manual by the company.

    I have started making my own synths and that, but some messing around is needed to get the sound i really truelly want.

    The one main thing i would love to know is Drums, programming drums in then messing with them. I have no idea how.

    I want to know as much as possible on the drums.

    I use Reason 3 at the moment, because my Mac is not powerful enough to run Logic. Plus Reason has a really good drum machine, and the synths are pretty good when you work at them.

    But i have created a lot of music on that with great ease, and learnt my own method of making music on it.

    But Reason 3 is not really a program i want to use forever and in a lot of senses is quite limited to what i want in the end. But once seeing Reaktor 5 a while back, it gave me even more ideas on what i could do and seemed to open many more doors for me.

    But if anytime you are, or know of any methods of building your own drum machine or manipulating one, please let me know.

    I would like to end up playing my music live with complex results

    Anyhow, i've looked at your postings and they are groovy. Helpful, like a Scout helping an old lady across the road.

    Keep it up

  • tek

    How about instructions for importing a .TUN file into Reaktor 5 for microtonal playback! Can't seem to find this anywhere…

  • mc
  • Mats C is now charging money to access his tutorials 🙁

    The London College of Music has some free tutorials here: