System Flow for Reaktor 6 features a 32-grain, two-sample-slot granular engine for producing drones and textures – and it’s completely free. It was all born at Synthesizer Studio Berlin, a rentable studio full of classic vintage analog and early digital synths. System Flow, meet Week of Free.

Note that you will need Reaktor 6.5 or later make this work – Reaktor Player won’t cut it. Then again, if you’re a fan of experimental sounds, crackling drones, and rich experimental textures, there’s a good chance you’re in the Reaktor club already.

While it’s free and has a slightly wacky-looking UI, System Flow can stand up well against other granular tools (like Robert Henke’s excellent Granulator, also Berlin-crafted, of course). There’s a solid feature set, with tons to tweak – not just for drones (though crank the reverb up and you’re in drone territory in a hurry):

  • Chords of up to 4 notes
  • Up to 32 grains with modulation
  • 2 granular sample slots
  • 40 samples in 48K from the synth collection and field recordings, or –
  • – load your own samples
  • Modulate pan, frequency, position, etc.
  • Four LFOs – two random modulation sources, two LFOs with switchable waveforms and free and synced modes
  • Two filters
  • Randomization
  • Spread and unison
  • Reverb

The studio in question has a heck of a collection – Yamaha CS-80, Roland JUPITER-8 and System-100 + System-700, Sequential Prophet 5, Moog Memorymoog and Prodigy, Oberheim Matrix-12… and then newer stuff like the Nonlinear Labs C15. And the list goes on.

That’s earned them some video tours:

But then again, maybe you don’t need all those synths because you can produce your entire ambient album with just this Reaktor ensemble! (Whoops!)

System Flow