by Native Instruments

Metrist and Akiko Haruna:
Top 10 REAKTOR Instruments

The production duo selects their favorite ensembles for unorthodox sound design.

Brighton-based, alternative-techno and Timedance producer Metrist, a.k.a. Joseph Higgins, along with experimental audio artist Akiko Haruna have recently been working together on a new project that combines the two producer’s relative attributes, entitled KCOSAINT. With both producers having earned a reputation for unorthodox sound design aesthetics and out-there, forward-thinking beats, we decided to get in touch to find out what particular tools go into their creative process.

Red Bull Music Academy alumni Akiko Haruna, whose recent work resides on Where to Now? Records, has created a particular style of music informed by her experience in visual arts and her classical-music upbringing. Teaming up with Metrist, whose bassier and avant-garde techno productions have heralded him as a top producer within the UK scene, the duo have recently been DJing together at various gigs, with collaborative releases soon to see the light of day.

Selecting their favorites from the REAKTOR User Library, along with some additional instruments for REAKTOR and the free REAKTOR Player, the duo gives us a look into how they make their experimental sounds – complete with audio demos.


Akiko: This is a good tool for when you have creative block. I can gather some lovely textured sounds together if I’m a bit stuck, thanks to the randomize button. Then drag in your own samples if they’re sounding a bit stale, and bring them back to life.

Download here.


Joseph: The title is basically sums up its entire function. This ensemble essentially randomly step-shifts your sample.

Akiko: Just hit record and let it do its thing. There’s probably something in there you can use.

Joseph: Smash an Amen break into the project, and you’re set to go.

Download here.


Akiko: We’ve never used it for all the drums together, but we use it for honing a groove on a single drum before bouncing into audio.

Joseph: Long live the swing knob, and respect the dirt one.

Download Limelite here.


Joseph: It’s a cheat code for bleep techno. It’s how my cheese-dreams sound if used haphazardly.

Download here.


Joseph: I’m here and using it when it’s tame, but when not tame it’s one of my least favourite ensembles. It needs a panic button.

Akiko: It probably does have one but we haven’t found it yet. We’re still at an early level.

Joseph: I just need a personal panic button, though those dual-wield FM Oscillators got me feeling like Chief in Halo 3.

Download here.


Akiko: Piss your neighbours off by sitting in your room for hours while you sound like a deflated whoopee cushion, until you land on something savage.

Check it out here.

GRIP 1.8

Joseph: We’ve got this saved as Grip Grain Cloud Synth, but have no idea if that’s its real name. It’s essentially a free version of Cataliz and it absolutely bangs. Really intuitive UI, and massively recommend from us!

Check it out here.


Akiko: We’ve used this in a few of our KCOSAINT tracks. Its got options which provide a lot of freedom, but I recommend either hitting record while you fiddle around or keep exporting the audio as you work. It’s hard to go backwards to something that sounded good if you move on.

Download here.


Joseph: Until TRK-01 showed up, I used to use audio for kick drums like a philistine. Now this has changed everything.

Check it out here.


Joseph: I just bought this one as a birthday present to myself. I’ve used loads of granular synthesis over the past few years (especially in Reaktor), but Cataliz is like the final boss of grain. I’m currently having a lot of fun putting samples of 90s drum & bass reese-basses into the granular engine and let it eat them alive.

Check it out here.

photo credit: Edward Bishop

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