Looking for some feedback on a new synth

Michael O'Hagan
Michael O'Hagan Member Posts: 93 Helper
edited July 2023 in Building With Reaktor

I've been working on this new additive synth for a while now, I wanted to pick up where razor left off.

Razor is an amazing synth but it didn't really explore the full range of additive possibilities.

I wanted to create the next additive experiment that did all the thing I'd never seen another synth do before.

As of now it's called Organicus.

The videos kinda long, I got carried away and did demos of all 30 presets so far, about a minute each showing all the macros and options.

Let me know what you think and give me some feedback.

As it stands now the synth is like this...

1 or 2 wave additive oscillator.

Drag and drop single cycle waveform import with harmonic extraction and 5000 waves already in it, plus room for 5000 more, uses 2048 sample single cycle waveforms.

Full polyphonic 8 voice stereo architecture.

All modulations can be spread out to different values across the 8 voices, the main

oscillator/harmonic modifier parameters can be spread between the left and the right.

64-512 harmonics per wave in 1 or 2 wave mode

25 harmonic modifier modules

LP - Low Pass

BP - Band Pass

HP - High Pass

Dual Band - Dual Band Pass Filter.

Harmonic Shaper - Multi breakpoint harmonic shaper/subtractor/creator.

Stack - Creates 4 transposed copies of the waveform.

Ripples - Creates rippling movement in the harmonic spectrum.

Vowel - Select from 500 Harmonic Vowel signatures and morph between them.

Wavetable - There are 625 8 frame wavetables that can be mixed with the main oscillator.

O/E/D/N - Odd/Even harmonic balance and dispersion with harmonic noise mixer.

Harmonic Roller - Creates rippling movement in the harmonic spectrum - Different from Ripples.

Sync - Emulates Oscillator sync

Move - Adds random movement to the harmonic spectrum.

Amplitude Shuffle - Re arranges harmonic amplitudes in a logical pattern.

Flange - Creates movement similar to a flanger.

Phaser - Creates movement similar to a phaser.

8 Notch - 8 notch filters the amplitude values creating sweeping movements.

Detune - Allows you to detune harmonic orders. I.e. every 3rd, every 4th, 5th, etc...

Organ - Strips away weaker harmonics leaving only the stronger ones creating organ style tones.

Warp - Warps harmonic ratios in different patterns, lets you detune the odd and even harmonics separatley

Resonant signatures - Captured and re created the harmonic resonant signatures of various different filters and made them play like wavetables.

PM FX - Uses a phase mod system to create alternating waves in the harmonic spectrum.

Harmonic Remixer - Places harmonic values in various different orders essentially remixing the harmonic content of the waveform.

Damper - Dampens higher harmonics over time like an acoustic instrument.

Stereo Ratio Modifier - Allows you to adjust the left and right harmonic ratios independently of one another and the flip flop the ratios back and forth between the left and the right.

18 True audio filter models with multiple modes per type.

4 Envelopes - AHDSR with looping modes.

4 operator phase mod morphable LFO bank.

2 complex pattern performers with 8 patterns and wavetable style morphing.

2 multi breakpoint envelopes (Msegs).

8 Macros.

MPE support.

XY harmonic morphing, the 4 harmonic modifiers can run in series or in a 4 cornered XY morphable mode.

It's a hell of a CPU hungry beast, but it's worth it.

My main concern right now is the interface, the central window with the 4 selectable harmonic modifiers is really crowded but it's also really efficient.

The harmonic modifiers look like this, there are 72 total controls in this one little area.

The black knobs are your main parameters, the whitle lines on the sides are you spread controls.

Left side spreads the parameter across all 8 voices and the right side spreads the parameter between the left and the right stereo sides.

The 3 little knobs next to each main control are your 3 modulation slots per parameter.

Below that are the three modulation selection menu displays, the white lines.

Below that the orange buttons will invert the modulation signal between the left and the right side.

This is what it looks like when a bunch of assignments are there.

Dos this look to cluttered to you.

I find it a breeze to work with because everything thats happening is right there in front of you, there is minimal menu diving to see whats assigned to what as far as modulation goes, but a few people said that they thought it looked cluttered.

Admittedly GUI design is not my greatest strength, so I wanted to get some general feedback about the look and design/organization of the synth.

How would you feel about working with this interface?


  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 795 Guru

    Dos this look to cluttered to you.


    How would you feel about working with this interface?

    I wouldn't try (just being brutally honest here). I have the same reaction to many Reaktor synths though, so it's probably just me :) ...too many knobs just looks like a lot of work rather than fun.

    Razor looks like fun, it has the complexity, but that is partially hidden, so it can be uncovered over time without seeming initially confusing or intimidating. The main basic interface looks manageable.

    I suppose another way to look at it is:---------------------

    If the designer takes the time to find all (or just some) of the good settings the engine has, and present an interface that makes it easy to explore those and avoid the less good settings, then I'm happy.

    If the designer just gives me direct access to all the parameters, then it's up to me to find all the tiny sweet spots amongst the banal samey sounds that all synth engines are capable of generating... That's a lot of work that I want the designer to have already done for me ;)

  • Bolle
    Bolle Member Posts: 349 Pro
    edited July 2023

    Looks neatly organized enough for a synth with that many controls.

    I would, and this is just an opinion, divide the control panel up into separate panels. More space for everything. Clarity and focus. View A would be the 'main' panel with the most important features readily available. View B would be the "going deeper" section with all the other sections in separate stacked macros.

    Kind of an example could be the way some companies recreate vintage synths with a huge amount of added, modern features. Main view then is just the synth. Everything else is "under the hood" and accessible via menus and hidden panels / alternate views.

    A lot of Reaktor users seem to relish complexity and a bazillion controls, though.



  • Michael O'Hagan
    Michael O'Hagan Member Posts: 93 Helper

    Alright fellas, here's what it looks like with all the extra controls hidden away...

    Personally, I absolutely hate it, it looks too empty and there are now all these extra menus to jump through.

    I think a busy/full interface that takes a few days to learn, but lets you work faster forever after that is better that a synth that's easy to learn but has a slower workflow for life.

  • Michael O'Hagan
    Michael O'Hagan Member Posts: 93 Helper

    As far as the parameter sweet spot aspect of what your saying goes, I agree, I've dialed in the sweet spots for all the major parameters of the harmonic modifier modules, everything else is just the modulation.

    Think of the design as something of a channel strip style layout, learn what one strip does and you've learned them all.

  • KoaN
    KoaN Member Posts: 104 Advisor

    I think the layout is fine,it is somewhat clear,you have tried to group parameters etc.

    Personally i like synths where you see all controls at once,it is easier to memorize the map of parameters and quickly access them,i am not a fan of menu diving,menu clicking,hidden stuff.

    But i think things could be more clear,i think it lacks some outlines,divisions between sections,you have grouped the knobs but they are kind of in the same space everywhere.

    So i would make the space a bit bigger and add outlines,sections and a tag,category on top of the section.

    Also not sure about the choice of colors,i think it makes everything a bit dark and similar.Maybe add another color,and maybe something different than brown,or make the knobs light grey so they stand out a bit more from the background.

    So yah,i think the main issue is no sections,delimitations,you have aligned all the knobs on the same canvas pretty much. If you look at better interface they are grouped,delimited by lines,squares etc.

    Your other ensembles suffers from that too i think,i know it's not easy if that's not your strength,like everything it takes practice,learning,advices etc.

  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 795 Guru

    Personally, I absolutely hate it, it looks too empty and there are now all these extra menus to jump through.

    It doesn't make sense to just remove the controls and leave the space blank. A simplified design would require a redesign to make sense, not just blanking out controls and leaving the rest in the same positions.

    Seems like you already made your mind up though ;)

    A lot of Reaktor users seem to relish complexity and a bazillion controls, though.

    That might be true, but how many of them actually spend the time to learn those 'exciting' busy control panels, and how many just play with the presets?

    In the end probably >90% of users mostly just use presets, and maybe tweak them a little. Maybe for them, the complex control panel is a draw, because - "it must be a really powerful synth, look at all the controls!"?

    I guess if the presets are ****** hot, then it doesn't really matter one way or the other.

  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,546 admin
    edited August 2023

    Light organ tones from 3:20 - 5:20 are just beautiful

  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,546 admin

    Would love to hear what the creator of Razor himself thinks @errorsmith 😃

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