A first look at the Reaktor User Library is a baffling proliferation of sounds and tools that are visually incongruent and hard to understand. Even the factory content that comes with Reaktor, alone, is a massive pile of ensembles that are hard to figure out and get through–I think this is one of the main obstacles keeping people from diving into using Reaktor.
I tend to focus on practical usefulness in the ensembles I’ve selected, because Reaktor can rabbit hole that you emerge from 10 hours later after endless whacked-out sounds and no new material produced. Below are many of my favorites in different categories, including factory content mixed in with all kinds of stuff i’ve gotten from the User Library. This is just the tip of the iceberg for reaktor. One way to find quality ensembles is to look at the different authors–some of them, like programchild or dieter zobel, have truly impressive work in the library.
Like I said before, this is just a selection that I have settled on for my purposes. A starting point really, if you’re looking :). The stuff i’ve chosen is biased towards techno and ambient sounds. Some of the Reaktor ensembles are very flexible and capable of so many sounds that i’ve tried to narrow them down and remove redundancies from my collection in the interest of productivity.
For this post I’m focusing on Synths and Effects that I use and like. Next post will be samplers other devices.
Wabbel Echo by Dieter Zobel: Excellent and far-out sounding Dub Delay by one of the UL’s mad geniuses.
Electronic Instruments Vol. 1 EnFX Delay and Longflow: The Electronic instruments ensembles are great, and are now free with Reaktor.
Grain Shuffler by Kassian Troyer: Grain Delay with Super-simple interface and great sound
Lisa FX grain delay, Dieter Zobel: excellent grain delay with supercool liassjous visualization and control.
Rev6: included in the “legacy” library that comes with reaktor, this is the precursor to SpaceMaster, and has a different sound.
Phi-Master by Barry Galloway: Awesome huge sounding verb. And apparently uses the GOLDEN RATIO, how could I not like that?
Kraftverb by Gabriel Mulzer: room simulator that is great for drums and spatialization
Laserbrew by Tim Schwerdtfeger: excellent verb for unusual spaces and resonances
Draincloud by Programchild: Unique sounding reverb concept.
CYAN chorus/delay: comes with Electronic instruments and is a very good chorus effect.
Fusion Reflections: Another great chorus, part of the factory content.
Bit Designer by Adam Hanley: Digital distortion based on OTO machines’ biscuit. Amazing dirty sounds.
Fugly by Josh Hinden: Dirty/Evil distortion
Drev Phase Phucker by Jess Hewitt: Delay/Disto with a unique sound
Acoustring by Kristian Thom: Melodious karpluss string emulation.
The Beast by Michael o’Hagan: Huge sounding wavetable synth that can get you those wabbel sounds.
Chimaera by Rachmiel: Anything by Rachmiel is great, and especially the ambient/noisy stuff.
Trautonium Synths by Johann Meier: Trippy, very electronic sounding synths.
Eminent Strings Ensemble by Hugo Portillo: A useful vintage electronic string sound emulator
Rubiter Ate by Robert Solheim: one of my favorite pad synths in Reaktor, heard in many of my tracks
Weedwacker by Barry Galloway: A Chaotic and huge sounding pad and texture synth
Grobian: A Bass synth that is fast to use and good sounding, comes with Electronic Instruments
Titan: Another nice synth from electronic instruments
PolyAdd: an interesting additive morphing synth. Heavy on CPU though.
Prophet-2010 by Stephan Becker: One of my favorite “va” style ensembles.
Hallelujah By Martijn Zwartjes: A vocal/choir synth
icePad by Rick Scott: The name says it all, and sounds great.
Lazerbass: included with the factory library–great mono bass synth based on a cool additive concept.
Quantum Radio: An interesting noisemaker synth that is based on “quantized modulator” or aliasing synthesis.
Sky Warp by salamander anagram: Fascinating sounds from an additive type synthesizer.
Soundforum Synth: Included with the classic ensembles, this has been around since reaktor 3 and still sounds good.
Versus by ProgramChild: badass sounding wavetable modulation synth
We are glass by Gabriel Mulzer: glass harmonica physical modelling
Wondervox Plus by Dieter Zobel: Sounds like the Delay Lama synth if you remember that one ;).