Looking for non subtractive Reaktor ensembles and esoteric sequencers

Hi all,

I will have a light talk about Reaktor in workshops about synthesis and I would like to focus on more esoteric ensembles so I could show people that synthesis does not end on subtractive synthesis and sequencers do not have to be 16 step linear X0X sequencers.
I will definitely want to show:

  • Vectory (to tech people about slicing and morphing effects settings)
  • Spiral (as a alternative to X0X step sequencer)
  • Steam Pipe 2 (as a example of physical modeling)
  • Grain Perception (as granular effect example)
  • Newscool (cellular automata)
    Does anybody have some favourite Reaktor ensembles that might be interesting even to people that are not using Reaktor?

Weedwacker is technically subtractive, but it’s such a unique ensemble that I would still consider it essential for your list. It’s pulse waves where the output is fed through a bandpass filter and back to PWM. It’s possible to get extremely interesting harmonically tuned chaotic feedback, there’s just nothing else like it, I’ve been toying with the idea of making a hardware version, but I don’t know, it sounds so good in software, really upsetting the idea that only analogue can be “organic” that it might be disrespectful to do so!

You should also check Adlais by David Elson. I think it’s original inspiration was the Scott Stites Klee shift register sequencer, but it’s something different. Really interesting semi generative evolving patterns.


Thanks for your recommendations, I will check both of them. I probably won’t have time to show a lot of ensembles but I want to give people tools for further exploration (for example I only started to appreciate how creative slicing can be after learning how Vectory works and I started to use techniques that I learned using them even on other synths/daws etc.)

There are some excellent recommendations on the blog section of the NI website:


under various categories:

-Top kickdrum synths
-Top ambient music ensembles
-Deadly hip-hop weapons
-Top grooveboxes
-Best tape & lo-fi effects
-Secret weapons for film scoring
-Top 10 IDM ensembles
-Outer edges of the user library


Thanks, I know about their lists but I also would love to hear community opinions about their favourite weird ensemble. Reaktor user library is vast and there is a lot of underappreciated gems that implement some esoteric synthesis methods/effects and I would like to show them to people. For example by chance I found this granular effect https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/entry/show/5063/ and now I use it a lot.

Never been a huge Reaktor user, but Metaphysical Function fits your criteria. I found its approach very inspirational back then…

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Metaphysical Function and Space Drone are two of my favorites

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One of my “secret weapons” is Processed, an “audio beautifier” that is a slew of things, but essentially meant to process and loop live incoming audio. It’s granular, glitchy, pitch-shifting, and capable of creating huge, lush, swelling walls of sound very easily. The author made an album with Processed and harp that’s quite gorgeous and worth checking out. I also look to Processed as an example that Reaktor ensembles can be colorful, and visually and aesthetically appealing, and have interfaces that are well-thought and are pleasing and easy to use.


Skrewell (in the 5 factory library) is pretty far out, and sounds great.

Boscomac has some really nice ensembles too (some karplus strong stuff etc).


I think that I might include Skrewell as an example of synth that is not played traditional way (using keyboard or sequencing it). And about Boscomac - I recommend floodverb to anyone looking for ambient wall of sound reverb :wink:
@naxuu this Processed ensemble looks great, thanks.

very very old school reaktor that i got deep into, ripped the (worth including in a seminar) audio guts out of and used for everything i could:


also available for pd!

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I’m pretty new to the whole reaktor thing having bought 6 a couple of months ago. One thing that kinda stinks is that people constantly recommend blocks/ensembles that are tested for reaktor 5 and lower. Does anyone have a trick for getting these to run in 6 or are most people just still running 5 waiting for the updates?


I don’t know if this link will work, being a search result, but Dieter Zobel is an absolute gem of a weirdo Reaktor mad scientist. With over 170 ensembles, you’ll find things. Oh you will. https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/all/all/all/8850/

Also Trevor Gavilan out of Mexico City focuses on ports of existing instruments, but his Buchla ensembles are absolutely top notch.


They should just work ‘as-is’… are there any specific examples where you’re having issues?

Oh yeah, Martin Brinkman is another amazing Reaktor builder. There are so many Reaktor legends. Rachmiel is another one: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/all/all/all/7974/

To the OP: sorry if this thread has digressed into “awesome Reaktor things”.
The world of Reaktor really is so huge, though, that you can go very deep in terms of finding “good” ensembles.
Perhaps that is exactly what is so fun to teach about Reaktor in a workshop: the amount of things on tap actually encourages people to start blurring the lines between east/west coast, subtractive/additive(/granular/phase/vector/etc…), and the rest of the false dichotomies that structure the world of synth categorization. What you’re left with are a bunch of cool ideas that are better sorted in terms of the creators themselves than by preexisting synthesis categories.


I’ve not use Reaktor for many years but can remember being inspired by orange grains and white grains https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/all/all/all/103136/

Igor Shilov also Colorstrip and especially Flakes https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/all/all/all/309332/

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I got a copy of Reaktor 6 a while ago and haven’t really played around with it much as I want to concentrate on Pd. I was curious about Vectory from this post, but can’t seem to find it anywhere, nor any information on the web about what it is or where to find it. What is this mysterious thing?!

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Vectory is a Reaktor Groovebox based on slicing. It can be found in factory library under grooveboxes category.
Thanks all for your suggestions I have more than I need to to show to people, but we might transform this thread into general Reaktor recommendation thread :wink:
There is so much good stuff in Reaktor library that I will probably have more than enough to make good music for my whole life.
When I will have my final list I will share it here (presentation unfortunately will be in polish but if it will turn out well I will also try to translate it). My main goal is to give people some pointers and show how different things sound (and why they sound such way) so they will be able search for their own sound in other spaces than subtractive synthesis which is the most popular right now.

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Sounds cool!

I’d love to continue a general chat on Reaktor (and the gems hidden in the library).

I find it really fun to use. My ensembles are here if of interest (one of them, ‘Tape Mate’ seems pretty popular).

I’m working on a sequencer at the moment, as I couldn’t find anything simple ‘in the box’ that did what I am after (a main melody sequencer transposed by another for chord progressions etc.).


One of my favourite ensembles used your ensemble (https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/entry/show/11003/) so thanks for making it happen <3
Some other ensembles that I use frequently and could recommend:

This melody sequencer that you want to do sounds very interesting, it would be great tool to creating backbone of composition by creating chord progressions.
I also would like to port some sequencers that I did in processing.org to Reaktor, especially my genetic algorithm sequencer. There is contest right now at NI https://blog.native-instruments.com/build-with-reaktor-and-win/ so maybe that should be my motivation to finally create some ensembles :smiley:

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