Native Instruments has been a pioneer in making tools like Reaktor that employ unique synthesis techniques. But more recently, that power has found its way to self-contained instruments.

Tucked into the release announcement of Komplete 11 comes some very big news for lovers of creative sound design and synthesis. It’s a new instrument called Form. It’s powered by Reaktor, but it’s been built from the ground up, according to NI. And it lets you drag and drop sounds to manipulate them into playable instruments.

Form is a hybrid sample-based synthesizer. Drag and drop a file onto the interface, and then play them back using granular techniques to manipulating pitch and time and “track” through the sample at different speeds and with different gestures.

That’s nothing new in and of itself, as a fundamental idea. But Form is all a matter of implementation. It combines adjustable playback and otion with an additive synthesizer, sample manipulation with rich modulation.

You can combine the additive oscillator with the sampled oscillator using frequency manipulation. (If you’re thinking that allows for some mind-blowing results, you’re right – and NI have somehow tuned this instrument so that you can wrap your head around producing some nice results.)

You can modulate just about everything, but you can also easily combine parameters into macro controls (perfect, of course, for NI’s own keyboard line, but also your favorite controller, too). There’s a set of performance tools for saving and recalling snapshots quickly, as well.

And there are a bunch of effects.

If you want to stay shallow, there are the prerequisite presets, of course. But things get interesting with various motion curves, which you can also edit in order to create unique movements through morphing sounds.

And because it’s powered in Reaktor, you can also go a lot deeper if you have a Reaktor license handy. In fact, this really shows us some of the fruits of what was developed for Reaktor 6 – regular readers will recall I was particularly interested in granular and sampling possibilities the moment I heard about new drag-and-drop file handling and table facilities. Here we are.

I’ve just started playing with an early build, and … uh, wow. More on that soon in our exclusive hands-on. But holy crap, it sounds good and goes deep – and the demos here are just the start.

NI has provided us with some genre-particular demos showing off the sound results. I’ll have more once I’ve had more time with the build.

And here’s a look at the UI:

Drag and drop your own samples to create new sounds, with waveform selection tools at the ready. Monophonic pitched sounds work especially well with this technique.

Drag and drop your own samples to create new sounds, with waveform selection tools at the ready. Monophonic pitched sounds work especially well with this technique.

The Movement page lets you traverse that sound content.

The Movement page lets you traverse that sound content.

Curve presets give you the ability to shape sounds in time.

Curve presets give you the ability to shape sounds in time.

There are preset curves for controlling movement and modulation, but you can also design your own curves (whoa).

There are preset curves for controlling movement and modulation, but you can also design your own curves (whoa).

The sound page gives you more options, and reveals the instrument's hybrid synthesis - granular playback approach.

The sound page gives you more options, and reveals the instrument’s hybrid synthesis – granular playback approach.

There are deep effects, too.

There are deep effects, too.

Watch (and listen to) this space. I’m pretty excited about this one, as I’m sure some of you are, too.

Form will be US$99/99€ on its own, or is available as part of Komplete 11. It is a Reaktor ensemble, so for the most part you’ll be able to see and edit the underlying structure. That really magnifies the values for existing Reaktor users, because you can learn from what NI have done.

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