If you’ve played with creating Reaktor patches, you know the scenario: you’ve built your insane beat-mangling instrument/effect ensemble in Reaktor, but now you’d like a way to play it without fumbling around on your trackpad. Dropping Reaktor patches in Kore (in plug-in or standalone mode) gives you a nice way to do this:
- You can consolidate parameters you want to control on user control pages, so you only have to think of eight things at a time
- You can use Kore’s sound morphing capabilities
- You get instant hands-on control via the Kore controller
- The Kore controller will even display proper parameter names, as you specify them in Reaktor
The basic steps, as a review:
1. Select a Reaktor ensemble you’ve added to your sound by clicking its slot in the matrix. Open its editor interface and drag it to where you can see both the Reaktor patch panel you want to control and the on-screen representation of the Kore controller.
2. In the Kore software, select the control page you want (or create a new user page), and click the knob that you’d like to assign.
3. Click the learn button. The knob and “learn” should begin flashing. (You can click “Assign” first to set some other options if you like.)
4. Move the parameter you want to control in your Reaktor patch.
5. Click “learn” again, and the assignment is stored.
Or that’s what’s supposed to happen. You should see the Reaktor parameter displayed in the Kore interface as at top. When I first tried this, though, I thought I’d lost my mind or was doing something wrong. Some parameters could be assigned perfectly, while others didn’t work at all. Happily, sleen aka Jonathan Adams Leonard to the rescue! (See our previous overview of his indispensable Reaktor Toolpack for Kore.) sleen answers a user query about what happens with very complex Reaktor patches:
Reaktor Parameters to Control Knobs [NI forum]
Evidently, the “automation IDs” used by Reaktor to keep track of its various parameters can throw off Kore if they’re out of range. sleen here describes IDs above 1000. I don’t have any ensembles with ID numbers that I, but I have discovered that IDs even in very simple patches can get fouled up. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix – even if you had no idea what an automation ID was before reading this.
In Reaktor, select your instrument, right-click (ctrl-click) and choose Properties. (From the front panel of your instrument, you can right-click and choose Instrument Properties.) Select the far right tab for connections; it looks like a rectangle being connected to another rectangle:
At the bottom of this pane, you’ll see “AUTOMATION.” Click the ID menu and choose “Sort And Compress IDs” and save your patch.
For the instrument, you’ll see the base and maximum IDs. Now, when you click on any control in your Reaktor patch (knobs, faders, etc.), you should see a more reasonable ID number listed under Automation.
I now just add this step before saving new patches in Reaktor and building KoreSounds around them. Click this one menu, and otherwise you won’t have to worry about automation IDs – everything else is taken care of behind the scenes. What’s really fantastic is that Kore’s hardware interface displays plain-English parameter names, as long as you’ve been disciplined about giving things good names in your Reaktor ensembles. As you can see in the top image, if you have multiple instrument macros in an ensemble, Kore even displays which macro the parameter belongs to. It takes just a few moments to pick eight parameters and eight buttons and assign them where needed. Result: powerful Reaktor patches you can use without looking at your computer screen, just working with the Kore controller and any other controller you like. To me, this was one of the biggest draws of working with Kore, just because Reaktor patches by their very nature tend to have lots of stuff I want to be able to manipulate in live performance.
We’ll talk more about how to apply this to some musical examples. If you’ve got other tips or questions as far as combining Reaktor and Kore, let us know.