Native Instruments releases SKANNER XT

Native Instruments SKANNER XT

Native Instruments has introduced SKANNER XT, a unique and highly distinctive KOMPLETE instrument, designed by the expert team behind REAKTOR.

With a strong focus on unconventional tone and genuine musical expression, SKANNER XT is both an exceptional library addition for REAKTOR 5 users as well as an excellent sound resource for the free REAKTOR 5 PLAYER.

Part sampler, part synth, SKANNER XT utilizes a unique synthesizer architecture to create a wide variety of intense and cutting-edge sounds for contemporary electronic music production and sound design.

Two oscillators ‘scan’ a sample, which at low frequencies deliver a scratch sound. At higher frequencies the oscillators, shaped by the sample waveform, become the dominant force. In this way, SKANNER XT provides a broad range of highly distinctive sounds – from heavy and dirty bass tones to morphing soundscapes and organic pads.

Native Instruments SKANNER XT

Developed together with NI synthesis mastermind Stephan Schmitt, SKANNER XT offers two interface views for different levels of interaction with the complex architecture under the hood. Besides a simplified page with a preset morpher and four macro controls, a second view provides access to more detailed parameters in order to further explore the sonic potential of the instrument. A morph control option allows for convenient switching between eight different snapshots – producing unpredictable, evolving sounds that range from the ethereal to the extreme.

SKANNER XT runs in the free REAKTOR 5 PLAYER or the full REAKTOR 5 version, and is also optimized for easy browsing from the MASCHINE hardware.

SKANNER XT is available to purchase for $59 USD / 49 EUR. Users of the previous free version SKANNER, are entitled to crossgrade to SKANNER XT for a special price of $29.50 USD / 24.50 EUR until May 31st.

More information: Native Instruments / SKANNER XT


Native Instruments releases free SKANNER Holiday Gift

Native Instruments has released SKANNER, a free synthesizer by Stephan Schmitt.

Native Instruments SKANNER
Native Instruments SKANNER Wave Scanning Synthesis for Reaktor / Reaktor Player

Stephan Schmitt – the father of REAKTOR, always brings something new to the table. This time it’s SKANNER – a powerful REAKTOR synth built on unique synthesis architecture.

SKANNER ingeniously mixes sampler and synthesizer. The two oscillators ‘scan’ a sample; at low frequencies you get the ‘scratch’ sound of the sample being read back and forth, while at higher frequencies the dominant force is the oscillators being shaped by the sample waveform. The resulting sounds are raw, dirty and highly unpredictable – from simple sine waves to walls of noise.

Skanner for Reaktor 5 Player and Reaktor 5 (requires version 5.6.2 or higher) is available as a free download.

More information: Native Instruments / Skanner


Native Instruments Komplete 7, bundle gets 17 additional instruments and effects

Native Instruments Komplete 7

Native Instruments has introduced Komplete 7, a significantly expanded version of its studio-standard software bundle.

The next generation of KOMPLETE now combines 24 instruments and effects – including five entirely new products – with over 10,000 sounds and 90 GByte of samples, resulting in a comprehensive suite with unparalleled versatility for music production and performance.

KOMPLETE 7 includes the latest versions of Native Instruments’ acclaimed full-featured instruments and effects, ranging from ABSYNTH 5, BATTERY 3.1, FM8, GUITAR RIG 4.1, KONTAKT 4.1 and MASSIVE to the upcoming REAKTOR 5.5. As the next generation of the legendary modular synthesis studio, the new REAKTOR version adds powerful modal and additive synthesis, a revised user interface, the unique “Lazerbass” synthesizer and many enhancements for both instrument builders and musicians.

KOMPLETE 7 also integrates a wealth of instruments and effects based on KONTAKT, KORE, REAKTOR and GUITAR RIG. Products added to the bundle include the acclaimed ABBEY ROAD 60s DRUMS vintage drum library, the radical performance effect THE FINGER by Tim Exile, the sampled electric bass SCARBEE MM-BASS and all four electric pianos from the SCARBEE VINTAGE KEYS series by sampling mastermind Thomas Scarbee, all four acoustic pianos of the CLASSIC PIANO COLLECTION, the cinematic ACOUSTIC REFRACTIONS instrument and the distinctive REAKTOR SPARK synthesizer.

KOMPLETE 7 also incorporates five completely new products that further expand the creative potential of the bundle: The powerful studio reverb REFLEKTOR with its advanced zero-latency convolution engine; the highly expressive REAKTOR PRISM modal synthesizer designed by NI founder Stephan Schmitt; the performance effects suite TRAKTOR’S 12, derived from Native Instruments’ leading DJ software; the new VINTAGE ORGANS instrument with its comprehensive arsenal of painstakingly sampled electromagnetic organs; and the new RAMMFIRE amp emulation that was developed in close collaboration with one of Rammstein’s guitarists, Richard Z. Kruspe.

Every copy of KOMPLETE 7 also includes an NI Online Shop voucher worth $60 / 50 EUR, valid towards any product from the KOMPLETE Instruments and Effects range that is not included in the bundle.

Komplete 7 will be available in September 2010 for a suggested retail price of $559 USD / 499 EUR. An update for owners of Komplete 2/3/4/5/6 will be available for $229 USD / 199 EUR.

More information: Native Instruments / Komplete 7


Native Instruments Reaktor 5.5, public beta of modular sound studio available

Native Instruments Reaktor 5.5 - Lazerbass

Native Instruments has announced version 5.5 of Reaktor, the latest version of its modular sound studio for Windows and Mac.

Stephan Schmitt writes on the NI forum:

Version 5.5 will be a free update, and it is based on many improvements that we have made to Reaktor recently. It also has significant new synthesis capabilities that can literally take a lifetime to explore – both conceptually as a builder, and sonically as a sound designer and musician.

It has been quite a long while since we have released the last “big” update of Reaktor, but it has always remained a very central part of the NI instrument range. Last year it was the platform for some very well-received and successful instruments: the Spiral sequencer by Lazyfish, my own Spark synthesizer and Tim Exile’s “Finger”. The new Reaktor version will be the basis for even more of these instrument releases from us in the future.

Changes in Reaktor 5.5 (public beta)

  • Additive synthesis capabilities (based on new “Sine Bank” module).
  • Modal synthesis capabilities (based on new “Modal Bank” module).
  • Instruments can now be loaded as ensembles and vice versa.
  • Revised one-window GUI with flexible “split” view.
  • Unified interface layout for standalone and plugin operation.
  • New full-screen view in standalone mode.
  • New “structure bookmarks” feature.
  • Improved instrument header, properties and sample map editor.
  • Improved audio player with browser integration, drag&drop and auto-mode.
  • Improved preset handling with bank list and “snapshot master” function.
  • Global master volume controls for audio input and output.
  • Improved functionality of send/receive modules.
  • Audio I/O channels increased to 40 in standalone mode.
  • Improved handling of audio I/Os and ports.
  • Improved auto-save in plugin mode.
  • Improved sample rate conversion.
  • New “Lazerbass” monophonic additive synthesizer by Mike Daliot.
  • All ensembles from Electronic Instruments I + II now included.
  • Additional keyboard shortcuts.
  • New “application reference” manual with integrated tutorials.

The Reaktor 5.5 public beta is now available for registered Reaktor users.

More information: Native Instruments / Reaktor


Review: Native Instruments REAKTOR SPARK

Native Instruments REAKTOR SPARK

Native Instruments keeps the fresh KORE content coming with its latest release REAKTOR SPARK.

As its title suggests REAKTOR SPARK is a Reaktor-based SoundPack.

REAKTOR SPARK is based on a new and unique REAKTOR ensemble, resulting from three years of design and development work by Native Instruments founder and conceptual mastermind Stephan Schmitt. This KORE SOUNDPACK breathes new life into the concept of the subtractive synthesizer, adding a dynamic and unpredictable element that causes sounds to ignite into living and sometimes chaotic entities. As the father of REAKTOR, Stephan Schmitt has designed REAKTOR SPARK as his very own statement in synthesizer design.

Stephan has his own ideas when it comes to what makes a good synth — you can read more on that at CDM — character, playability and expressiveness are key.

The main concept behind Spark is to allow dramatic real-time influence on the sound source.

Spark is basically a 2 oscillator (pulse and sine) synth which gets its interesting character from a signal path that lets the feedback signal control the oscillators by frequency modulation and/or by hard synchronization for the pulse osc.

To influence Spark’s sound in KORE you get four pages of parameters:

  1. Synth Essentials, provides access to the Spark Ensemble’s most important parameters.
  2. Mix & FX Essentials, holds a set of effects and mix controls.
  3. More Synth & FX, holds controls that let you fine-tune your synth and effects settings.
  4. Macro Controls & LFO Page, holds macro controls that let you tweak two parameters at once.

In these four pages you can control many of Spark’s parameters. If you want even more control over the synth you’ll a copy of Reaktor.

Native Instruments Spark
Reaktor users get a the full interface of the Spark synth

There’s a ring mod/filter, waveshaper, cabinet saturator, 8-pole filter, modulation delay and reverb. It has envelope sections for amplitude of the oscs and for the modulation (you can also control the amount of modulation for various parameters), LFO controls and a mixer panel to control what gets routed to the external effects chain.

A Special Section is available for the signal feedback controls which make up much of the sound.

The Modulation Macro Controller section lets you assign up to 3 sets of sources and destinations for modulation, which can be controlled by 3 sliders. These macro controls are also available in your KORE (Macro Controls & LFO Page).

Blackbox Recorder

Note: Peter Dines created BlackBox Recorder, a handy motion recorder for use with KORE.

It’s a Reaktor motion recorder designed especially for use in Kore in conjunction with Spark. The three knobs are mapped to the three macro controls in Spark, and record your movements, then play them back. Since the motion comes from you, from your reactions and musical intuition as you play, it’s a live and human kind of modulation source – but it also gives you three extra hands to perform.

REAKTOR SPARK comes with 200 KoreSounds and 1,400 sound variations. The product page lists aggressive leads, lively keys, snarling basses, fast percussions, enchanting pads and evolving soundscapes as the types of sound to expect from this Sound Pack.

Visit the REAKTOR SPARK product page for more details and audio demos. Also be sure to check the video of Stephan Schmitt on REAKTOR SPARK.

So what do I think?

REAKTOR SPARK has a lot to offer to KORE 2 and KORE Player users, especially with 4 pages of parameters that let you transform the 200 presets it comes with into your own sounds.

I really like the type of sounds Spark does. It can be extremely raw and unpolished but it also has a real gentle side to it. I think it only took a few minutes with Spark before I knew this was going to be my new favorite SoundPack (I won’t forget you FM8 Transient Attacks, I promise!)

Now it may be good to know that Reaktor is probably my favorite piece of software. The sonic palette of Reaktor is truly mindboggling. You only have to take a look in the NI Reaktor User Library to see how versatile it is. Actually, the ensembles included in Reaktor 5 already show this.

I have used hundreds of ensembles yet nothing sounds like Spark does. Stephan really managed to create something new and exciting, so well done!


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Native Instruments releases REAKTOR SPARK

Native Instruments has released REAKTOR SPARK, a new SoundPack for KORE. REAKTOR SPARK is based on a new and unique REAKTOR ensemble, resulting from three years of design and development work by Native Instruments founder … read more