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The mighty Native Instruments made a pretty major announcement today – an update to the engine in its Reaktor software, the first in a decade.

The most enticing aspect of this has to be the new ‘blocks’ interface. Reaktor now functions as a digital version of a rack module, with the same routability. This brings it a little closer to Max/MSP territory, the major difference being that Reaktor has always been designed with audio in mind, meaning that the designers have made some UI choices that reflect the audio based leaning of the software. Anyone that’s already played around with Molekular will know how fun it is to mess with your signalflow in real time, and that just got a lot more customisable.


30 ‘blocks’ come bundled with the software, each with its own specific functionality, but you can guarantee it’ll be a matter of hours before a whole swathe more surface in the NI communities. Reaktor 6 also makes it easier to get a bit deeper into the software, with new cable bundling and wireless bussing, which should help to tidy up the backend of your own custom synth behemoths.


If you’re a newcomer to Reaktor, or synthesis in general, there’s good news for you too. Online learning environment Kadenze (think Coursera for the arts) have announced a partnership with NI, and will be teaching “Sound Synthesis Using Reaktor”.

The course will be taught by CalArts professor of Music Tech Owen Vallis, and aims to provide a basic introduction to the software. While the course won’t go as deep as DSP level, it will thoroughly examine the history of synthesis and its application in digital synthesis. Basically, you’ll be learning about the most famous synths in history, and recreating your own digital versions for homework! You can get online with Kadenze for free, or if you want to join in with the homework assignments it’ll cost you a measly 7 bucks a month. Not bad at all.

For more info head over to NI’s site now. And info on the course can be found here:-

James Brown

is a musician/producer from the north-east of England, now residing in a charmingly frenetic area of north London. He is generally engrossed in music production under his Plainview moniker, and has a soft spot for old-school sci-fi novels with badly drawn covers. You can find him out and about in Dalston and Stoke Newington most weekends, or Djing at his residency for club night French Cafe. Feel free to contact James at james_philip_brown@yahoo.co.uk