Why are the patching connections hidden in user blocks?

stingray2
stingray2 Member Posts: 5 Member
edited March 2023 in Reaktor

Anyone know why I can't see the front panel patching connectors on user blocks? I see them in 'Compact' view but they are not usable in this view! I don't see them when I select 'Port and Wires' view. What's going on with this? Seems completely counter intuitive.

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Answers

  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 755 Guru

    Front panel patching was a later addition to Reaktor. Blocks made before that don't support it.

    It's up to the individual builder if they want to use their precious time to update some old thing that they released to the wild months or years ago.

    You also need to realise that in the weeks and months after Block were first released, there was a lot of excitement. And many builders rushed to try out the new concept. That didn't happen to the same extent when front panel patching was released, so there are a lot of OG blocks out there.

  • stingray2
    stingray2 Member Posts: 5 Member
    edited March 2023

    Thanks for your reply.

    That is exactly what I was trying to do. I simply have a module which is part of an ensemble. I saved it as an .ism instrument file and then opened this in a new rack. It has inputs and outputs but these are not visible, as explained. I understood that we can create a block from an instrument (.ism) file, maybe wrongly.

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'OG' Block ...

    Is there a way to update an instrument file in order for it to display the front panel inputs and outputs correctly when displayed as a user block in a new rack? Or is this simply not the way to do it?... I can't quite work out how we are meant to create a user block with audio inputs and outputs on the front panel - seems to be a secret. I saw a video where it was suggested that this is one of the advantages of a user block. Do I assume that this was wrong and is actually impossible to achieve?

  • stingray2
    stingray2 Member Posts: 5 Member
    Answer ✓

    For anyone else who might encounter this, I just did a lot of searching and found the following very helpful tutorial:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78JFNog3k1g

    Thanks to Nicky! Great tutorial. This solved the issue.

  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 755 Guru

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'OG' Block ...

    OG = original gangster

    To make inputs and outputs available you need to go to 'view' their properties pane and check 'visible':

    ...however, in general there's a lot more to building a Block than that. Blocks are instruments, but not all instruments are Blocks ;)

    To build a legit Blocks, there are various other rules that you need to comply with. E.g. every input and output signal should be an audio signal, all should be within (or close) to the range -1..1 or 0..1. There are a bunch of other rules and guidelines.

    If you download the template pack from the user library, there is a manual, and also a whole bunch of readymade widgets to use.

    https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/entry/show/8705/

  • stingray2
    stingray2 Member Posts: 5 Member
    edited March 2023

    To make inputs and outputs available you need to go to 'view' their properties pane and check 'visible'

    Yes, I'd already done that. However, I found that the only way to make them visible on the front panel of a block was to follow the video I quoted above where Nicky states that your block needs to be set to the B view in order to be able to see the front panel connectors. This is the only thing that worked for me.

    I am indeed a novice user of blocks and to be honest so far I can't say I'm particularly impressed, although this might be due to my lack of know how. I did look at the manual before. Based on your recommendation, I also took a look at that Blocks Frame work manual. One of the things that puts me off blocks is indeed all the rules you're supposed to comply with. The basic framework seems way too complicated, even for someone who has done an amount of building to create Primary and Core based ensembles. The basic framework structure seems like some kind of crazy logic conundrum with no way to get into or come out of the maze. It has obviously been put together by some VERY clever builders / programmers but seems to not take into account that mere mortals may not be able to make head nor tail of it. All the rules feel like quite an alienating kind of strait jacket. It could be that blocks are beyond my capability or just not for me, although I may continue to explore a little when I get the time and inspiration.

    Thanks for your guidance on this. I do appreciate it.

  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 755 Guru

    Building Blocks is definitely intermediate to advanced. But the rules really are important. You need rules and standards for compatibility, and you need compatibility in a modular context.

    e.g. all signals being audio is crucial to guarantee the anything can be a modulator, and anything can be an audio source approach that mirrors the hardware modular paradigm.

    It's also crucial to maintain high quality modern DSP, hence the insistence that core is used - some of the legacy primary level oscillators and filters are really showing their age, so much better to enforce using only the modern core library components, or custom DSP.

    Really, it's a case of Building Blocks being more difficult to ensure that using Blocks is more intuitive and musical... also looks better and is more flexible.

    The Blocks (at least the Factory Blocks) sound quality really is good, Some of the Blocks in the UL might not be so good, but the Factory stuff, and things like Toybox are excellent.... once you have spent some time getting to grips with a modular approach to synthesis anyway... here's a link to a post with an example https://community.native-instruments.com/discussion/comment/6593/#Comment_6593

    The thing here is not so much the final result (definitely an acquired taste), it's more that I was able to easily and quickly take a concept from a Eurorack hardware tutorial, apply it to Blocks and get a result with a good sound quality - no messing about! That would not be possible in the same way without all the closely controlled format specifications! It means that while you are making music, you don't need to constantly be tweaking the code behind the scenes to get things working. That matters!

    It does take some time to get your head around the modular thing though :)

    ...and in terms of experimenting with synthesis ideas, trying to build everything as a block would be madness, much better to do all the research in a standard Reaktor way, then work it up into a Block if the result warrants that approach...

  • stingray2
    stingray2 Member Posts: 5 Member

    Great info. Thanks again for taking the time!

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