Develop REAKTOR Blocks?

Ulf_B
Ulf_B Member Posts: 8 Newcomer

I'm a NI user, and tried REAKTOR Blocks again and was blown away by how good it sounds, for example the West Coast module, but is so so tricky to work with, which is sad. It would be more keyboard friendly and less blip and blop, with devices that are impossible to control. There is a huge potential that Native should take advantage of and make it more user friendly?

Cheers.

Comments

  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 798 Guru
    edited December 2023

    To a certain degree, modular synthesis is all about the blip and blop, that's kinda the point!

    Blocks is a riff on Eurorack and other monophonic modular systems. As such Blocks is very user friendly, the fact that every knob can be modulated is golden, and the fact that you can get rid of all the patch cables is a feature that hardware users can only dream about!

    You can use a keyboard if you want and play it monophonically a bit like e.g. a Minimoog, but with way more flexibility. But that's somewhat missing the point of modular.

    To get a feel for what modular is about, a good place to start is Makenoise's youtube channel where they have lots of videos demonstrating their products but presented in a way that's also educational generally about modular. It is just one perspective though.

    Another youtube channel that might inspire would be Monotrail Tech Talk, very good one for modular strategies resulting in actual music :). he covers drones, generative patching, techno, all sorts, he does talk about specific modules, but he does it generally enough that the ideas can be applied elsewhere including Blocks.

    Look out for Mylarmelodies, Colin Benders, Stevio, amongst others others.

    There are way more vids relating to hardware modular, but most of them are unfortunately basically product demos, and a lot of others are not great :)

    Modular is as controllable or as uncontrollable as you want it to be, but you need to put some time in to develop some new strategies and get an understanding of it's strengths. If you approach it trying to force your existing musical strategies on to it, that won't really work, and you will miss the good it has to offer that doesn't exist elsewhere. There is a learning curve that is a little steep at the start, but it is definitely worth persevering with.

    I really didn't see the point of Blocks either when they were first released. These days I rarely use Reaktor for anything other than Blocks. And I've ended up developing quite a nice wee collection of hardware modular too.

  • Ulf_B
    Ulf_B Member Posts: 8 Newcomer

    Thanks, I will check it out!

    It's always a matter of taste, what interests me is the deep nice bass sound and being able to play with it. A guy who has exclusive blip-and-blop stuff is Alessandro Cortini, but his music is anything else than just blip-blip. I got that association when I tested the West Coast module. I think his bass sound is magnificent and also in general.

    I need to learn how to use DIV CLK and QUANT, also like to experiment with MIDI tools, but want it outside the instruments.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia NKS User Library Mod Posts: 3,716 mod
    edited December 2023

    A big part of the philosophy of the West Coast composition was not to use classic keyboards but instead rely on other methods of composition including sequencing, use of complex modulation sources and less conventional, keyboard controllers like the 223a


    It is by no means all bleeps and bloops though


  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 798 Guru

    Yeah, I love Cortini's stuff, particularly the Forse series and Avanti... Theres a great youtube of him playing a live set at Source of Uncertainty 6.28.12. Worth checking out.

  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 798 Guru

    Caterina Barbieri does do some great bleep bloop though :)

    Her 'Patterns of Consciousness' album has some amazing tracks: 'Scratches on the Readable Surface' and 'Gravity that Binds' are nice, and its clever how she interleaves fast arp based tracks with slower tracks derived from the the same basic motif... just very artful music (IMO of course)

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia NKS User Library Mod Posts: 3,716 mod

    She certainly does, Patterns of Consciousness has some sublime tracks, so does her recent album Myuthafoo

  • Ulf_B
    Ulf_B Member Posts: 8 Newcomer

    Great post. Have seen two of the videos before I think. There are a lot of videos on YT like the first one, I usually use a trick with those types of videos - close my eyes :) but it's interesting.

  • Ulf_B
    Ulf_B Member Posts: 8 Newcomer

    Agree, it's magical. My opinion is that Cortini stands out and in several ways. I will check it out.

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