Here’s an early Christmas present for Mac and Windows synth lovers: Native Instruments is giving away a simplified version of its Prism instrument for Reaktor as a free (as in beer), self-contained synth. You’ll get access to Prism’s lovely “modal bank” synthesis method, which creates some unusual, shimmering timbres. (In fact, having a simpler version may be the best way to get a taste of what Prism’s deep sound engine can do.) You also get 70 sound, including what NI describes as “seasonal” bells and chimes – perfect for any last-minute holiday music projects – plus bass, more bells, keys, mallets, leads, pads, plucked sounds, and abstract, ambient “soundscapes.”

There’s also access to enough sound parameters that you can create some unique variations of the sounds, including built-in cabinet simulation, filter, flanger, echo and reverb effects, and modal bank and exciter parameters. So this is hardly a “rompler” or simple preset player; you can actually get a lot of different sounds out of it.

Mikro Prism, Free Reaktor Synthesizer [Native Instruments]

If you’re not a Reaktor owner, this instrument runs in Reaktor Player, which lacks its own preset storage but runs inside supported Mac and Windows plug-in hosts.

Thanks to Dave Ryan for the tip!

  • Though it was a massive (i.e. typical Native Instruments) pain in the cock to get licensed, this is really good.

    One wonders what NI could achieve if they spent even half the time they waste on copy-protection doing more product development…

  • brain_powered

    @echolevel, I actually find NI's service center registration system to usually be fairly pain-free. After some of the idiotic hoops I've jumped through over the years with USB/dongle protection schemes (an idea so stupid that it actually encourages piracy) the NI licensing tool seems pretty OK by comparison.

  • Lucius Bono

    Agreed, the NI licensing scheme is a dream and I wish everything utilized it. I'm free to install software that I bought legitimately on multiple machines and I know that when I fire up my laptop, I can pull up Maschine or Kore 2 without any hassle, internet or no internet, without bringing extra hardware. No issues with Service Center at all with Kore 2, Komplete 6, Maschine and Traktor Duo and The Finger. 

    I really like NI stuff and they give out a surprising amount of freebies. Their support of Maschine alone has made me a loyal user. 

  • Apoclypse

    This thing sounds really nice. it has a lot of depth and motion in its sound. Kind of make me want to upgrades my komplete license to ge the full version. 🙂

  • Ah, well you've had good luck and I had bad luck… And the bad luck I'm talking about is when, for instance, their own scripts that are supposed to trigger key-response downloads for logged-in users who've sent key-requests to the website just *don't work* and the relevant NI forum queries have been left unanswered for years… Even more depressing when – at the expense of your own time and effort – you realise the reason for the problem is that the scripts don't work under https; only http.

    Sure, it's usually fine when you've got a connection on the machine in question, and one always thinks to oneself "only a total backward-ass hillbilly would *not* have a netconnection", but shit happens and sooner or later you find yourself on an isolated studio machine whose owner doesn't want it anywhere near the outside world…or you're on a long plane flight before which you only had time to grab a freshly-installed laptop and a USB drive full of your license bumf…or whatever.

    My point is that copy protection is fine as long as it works without fail for 100% of users. If it works for 99%, that 1% can feel legitimately hard done by because the company – who's taken their money – is prohibiting them from using the product. And if I were one of the 99% I'd have no complaint, naturally.

    Blahblahblah, anyway – I wouldn't be so gauche as to complain about a freebie, but I have paid for other NI stuff so felt like having a bit of a vent. So for *this* customer, 'free' actually meant 'costs a chunk of your spare time'. Makes me all the more grateful for all those lovely free VSTs that come as a .dll in a .zip which you just drop in your VST path o/

    Anyway, the current Komplete package looks like a good deal, so I think I'll risk a potentially irritating setup phase so as to enjoy some of that.

  • Oh, brain_powere – dead right, on the dongle thing. Nothing would send me torrentwards faster than the necessity for one of those (if I actually wanted to use any of the crappy DAWs that require them, of course).

  • Piesi

    Copy protection is an interesting topic if it comes to reaktor ensembles. Just save a protected ensemble to a new file and the protection is gone! This is inherent in the nature of reactor as you always have complete access to the ingredients, the ensemble consists of. I hope reactor will remain open like this. In Kontakt, for example, it is possible to lock scribs, making them unaccesible, which is very annoying. 

    As for the Mikro Prism: it is a full version of Prism, just with a reduced gui. So I spent a night by rebuilding the gui, making all remaining controls visible and arranging them on the surface. It was a lot of work, but now I know this synth pretty well and have learned a lot of the way it functions:-) 
    I would share this with you, but I´m not sure if this is legitimate or even legal. I mean, wouldn´t it be an abuse of the openess of Reaktor? On the other hand, isn´t it sharing, what open platforms are supposed to support? How much should I change a comercial Reaktor ensemble to justifiable upload it to the Reaktor User Library? What do you guys think?

  • Majik Sznak

    I don't know about NI's copy protection. It seems unwieldy to me. I installed Battery 3 recently and their copy protection software just crashed. I went to the NI website to download the latest version on a whim and that seemed to work.

    On another note, the Battery 3 install failed: it never asked me for the second disk, resulting in missing samples.

    So yeah: I'm on the list of people who aren't impressed. I'm much more impressed with Ableton Live, for instance.

  • Piesi: I also noticed that you can go in and activate hidden controls. I consider this a nice little bonus for people who have the time and ability to explore further, but I wouldn't abuse it by uploading modifications of an ensemble NI is selling as a separate product.

    The Electronic Instruments 2 pack used to be sold separately and modified versions were deleted from the user library when people tried to upload them. Several years later (5 I think?) EI2 was bundled with Reaktor 5.5 and people can now upload their mods of Metaphysical Function etc. Maybe it will be like that with Prism eventually, but for now you should keep your mods to yourself.

  • It does sound wicked thats why they are backing themselves and giving it away for free… I'll be upgrading!

  • wentbackward

    @Piesi, if this is truly free (as in beer) as claimed, then you would have to be able to publish your modified gui version or else it's just free (as in didn't cost anything).

  • The Hercules RMX, accomplishes two feats: material operation owing to a USB audio name for routing 16-bit, 44kHz audio to and from your Mac or PC again certain works as a MIDI hardware interface for your DJ software.