Reaktor 5 full review

Have you ever wanted to build your own synthesizer, sampler, drum-machine, or digital effects unit that works just how you like it and makes just the kinds of sound you want? If so, Reaktor 5 could make your dreams come true.

Basic analogue synths, large modular systems, one-shot sample players, exotic granular resamplers, simple delays and full-featured reverb units – Reaktor 5 can create all these and more. It provides hundreds of basic modules and functional blocks, including filters, samplers, sequencers and delays, that you can cable together to create instrument ‘Ensembles’.

The new Reaktor Core level, consisting of core cells, macros, and modules, lets you design much more sophisticated signal-processing structures than before. There are also lots of new functions, and many existing ones have been changed. For example, several new primary modules focus on the user interface, data storage, voice routing, MIDI input/output, and internal connections.

Of course, most people will be more interested in making music than ‘rolling their own’ plug-ins. With its library of over thirty virtual instruments and effects, Reaktor 5 does not disappoint here. “Steam Pipe 2” uses physical modelling to create bowed, blown and plucked sounds – producing wonderful Tomita-like flute sounds, for example. “OKi-Computer” does exciting things with waveforms to produce interesting new sounds in the tradition of the classic Moog and ARP modular synthesizers. The “Aerobic” groovebox is a step sequencer that controls a virtual analogue drum synthesizer – perfect for creating smooth dance beats. If you are looking for something a bit harder, try the “Massive” groovebox with its instant house beats. For some truly ‘nasty’ beats, try the “Vectory” sample transformer. To calm you down afterwards, try the new “Space Drone” sound generator’s ‘Solar Wind’ preset.

Reaktor 5 can also be used as an effects unit with devices such as the Banaan Electrique guitar and bass amp simulator, Echomania vintage delay effects simulator, a Classic Vocoder, and the SpaceMaster reverb with its stereo, Quadraphonic and 5.1 versions. New effects include “FlatBlaster” multiband dynamics (a Finalizer simulation); “SpaceMaster 2” with a whole new set of reverb algorithms; and the “Lurker”, which can create backdrops of interesting sound patterns.

Reaktor 5 works either as a standalone device or a VST 2, AU, or RTAS plug-in, but, unlike Reaktor 4, not as a TDM plug-in – disappointing news for Pro Tools users.

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