by Ronan Macdonald

Download these free REAKTOR picks from rising electronic producer Azu Tiwaline

Discover the free synths and sound generators behind her unique blend
of musical genres and traditions.

Born in France, then raised in the Ivory Coast by a Tunisian mother and Cambodian father, producer Azu Tiwaline‘s unique origins are reflected in her equally unique fusion of techno, dub, and bass music. Though Azu’s career is seemingly just beginning, she has already released the stunning Magnetic Service EP on Livity Sound, followed by her equally impressive debut album, Draw Me a Silence, on I.O.T. Records. Playing to both the basement dancefloor and the early hours come-down, Azu’s sublime sonic stylings combine tightly controlled low-end rumblings and understated percussion with epic soundscapes, grimy breaks and soaring feedback delay washes, and demonstrate a profound North African influence in their composition and instrumental sound design. Evoking vivid images of landscapes both urban and desolate, hers is a musical world to get lost in – and REAKTOR has long played a major part in its construction, as she explains.

“When I discovered REAKTOR around 2005, it really opened up a crazy amount of new doors,” says Azu. “My sound really changed at that moment because of it, and today, I’m still a REAKTOR addict. I can’t imagine making music without it.”

Key to Azu’s deployment of our modular DSP workstation is the REAKTOR User Library, an ever-expanding database of community-built free Ensembles that takes in synthesis, sampling and effects of all shapes and sizes. Here, she reveals three of her favorite User Library discoveries from the thousands on offer, as well as a couple of REAKTOR Factory Library classics. She’s also created a short demo track for each ensemble, offering a glimpse into how she puts them to work in her music. “It’s fantastic that people can contribute their own ensembles to the User Library, and exploring new ones is so exciting every time!”

Auto Harmony

This innovative (15 years ago, when it was built, anyway!) multi-discipline synth lets you design custom four-part harmonies to be triggered by each of the 12 keys from C to B, with each part set to any number of three simultaneous synthesis types: Analog, FM and Organ. Just the thing for dense background chords. “I’ve used this one for a very long time,” remembers Azu, “I mean, almost 15 years! It’s very useful for working sweet harmonies into an arrangement. The sounds are really dramatic and quite cinematic.”

Download Auto_Harmony


Azu’s first selection is a weird and wonderful four-part sequencing synth with self-evident techno viability, that she uses both in the studio and on stage. “I think this is the one I’ve used the most in my live sets,” she says. “I love its voodoo style sound – very rough and cavernous. And it’s very easy to use and improvise with.”

Download Umox


Another sequencing synthesiser, Synthoid centres on a bank of touch-automated faders with which an extensive array of presets can be manipulated and set in motion. The dub is strong with this one. “I love these sweet little pops and drops, and the random programs,” Azu enthuses. “I record long sessions with Synthoid, then edit the results as audio in order to sequence it more precisely.”

Download Synthoid


Azu’s final two picks aren’t from the User Library, but they are still free. Included with REAKTOR 6, and available as a REAKTOR PLAYER instrument in KOMPLETE START, Space Drone is a self-playing synth with 96 parallel voices that’s all about celestial pads and atmospheres. “I love this one for textures – they’re drones, for sure, but liquid, mysterious and unsettling… Perfect for sound design and ambient stuff.”

Get Space Drone in the REAKTOR 6 Factory Library or as part of Komplete Start

Titan R4

Originally part of the Electronic Instruments Vol 1 collection of Ensembles, released way back in 2002, this versatile three-oscillator synth is now included in the REAKTOR 6 Factory Library as, simply, Titan. A stalwart workhorse, it excels at huge basses, imposing leads, colourful keys and much more. “I use this one a lot, especially for chords,” Azu affirms. “Very simple to use and with a big sound. The filters, FX and oscillators are really nice.”

Get Titan in the REAKTOR 6 Factory Library

Sound design: Azu Tiwaline

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