by Konstantin Grismann

The most popular free REAKTOR ensembles of 2019

A special round-up of this year's best user-made REAKTOR ensembles so far, including effects, synths, and drum generators.

The musician’s quest for inspiration is a never-ending one. Seeking for new sounds, new instruments, and new ways of approaching music production are the daily struggles of the creative musical mind.

For computer-based music production, the Reaktor User Library is a great way to find those creativity sparking gadgets and instruments for original sound creation. Get lost in a wormhole of weird, unconventional sonic research and check the round-up of this year’s most notable user-made ensembles so far, including effects, synths, and drum generators.

The infamous red knob

Not a single electronic music studio in the late 90s came without this magic wavetable box with the big red knob built in their racks. Wavetable synthesis was, and still is a big influential part of electronic music’s sound design. Based on various wavetables from the Nanowave, Waves XT and PPG Waves, the MWave is equipped with four banks of snapshots that are easily tweak- and editable by using the hands-on user interface.

Download yerry feldstein’s MWave here.

Quick drum sound design

Apart from the impressive name, the Source comes with two drum voice sections with multiple modulation possibilities and drum sounds to choose from. On top, it features two effects sections and a compressor. You can trigger Source via piano roll or use it as sample fodder for external samplers and sequencers.

Check out the Source here.

Spatial movements

Unit 4 is an FM/additive synthesis-based, eight-voice polyphonic synthesizer with a dedicated effects-section, and rich sounding filters. As OreKore, the creator of this synth, explains, the instruments’ focus lies on spatial modulation and movement.

Check out OreKore’s Unit 4 here.

Beefy filter with random LFOs

James Peck’s VHS Audio Degradation Suite is one of the most downloaded and heavily used REAKTOR ensembles of all time. His follow-up unit might be another contender for this year’s most popular effects processing tool from the User LibraryLittle Beef is a 2-pole filter with built-in compressor, saturator, and pitch-modulation which is shaped by small amounts of random LFO envelopes.

Download Little Beef here.

Paule’s percussion set-up

Paule’s Blocks-based pandoro ensemble is a drum generator and sequencer with a built-in reverb and delay section. pandoro comes with numerous snapshots, in case you get overwhelmed by the possibilities when opening up this rhythmic monstrosity.

Listen to pandoro here.

The doppelganger

MONOVOKS is the return of the Russian, analog mono-synth classic, albeit in digital form. Emulating the legendary 80s Polivoks mono-synth, rarely available in good condition nowadays, MONOVOKS comes very close to its real-life counterpart. The filter in particular sounds incredibly warm and rich.

Listen to the soundclip by David Frappaz himself and let the filters sweep.

Check out MONOVOKS here.

Experimental frequency modulation

As only few really understand FM synthesis and know how to program it correctly, Atmorph’s inclusive 180-snapshots make it a lot easier to find your way into this powerful additive/FM synth-engine and explore its vast sound possibilities. Equipped with two oscillators, four envelopes, four LFOs, a sequencer, an effects-unit with filter, chorus, delay, and reverb effects, the Atmorph is a sonic wormhole of potential sound creations.

Download Atmorph here.

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