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Suggestions to replicate base Eurorack setup using EuroReakt
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Author Suggestions to replicate base Eurorack setup using EuroReakt
tsferro
hey all -

I am new to modular synthesis (not regular synthesis) via the software route - Reaktor Blocks specifically.

I am looking to eventually create some generative patches and I've downloaded Euro Reakt and am trying to learn everything I can in terms of piecing modules together etc. by watching videos, askaudio classes, reading Michael Hetrick's detailed dissertation, etc.

I have built basic patches using ie Turing machine, Sample and hold, etc, but I would like to take it to the next level in order to create more complex patches. It then dawned on me that a good approach might be be to create a template ensemble that is a a virtual modular case, instead of throwing together a few blocks from scratch every time I sit down to make something. This way I can also have a better idea what I need to learn because as is, it is a bit overwhelming trying to think where I should allocate my time with literally 100's of blocks to choose from.

That said, what modules (blocks) would you guys recommend I put into my first "virtual Eurorack"?

I suppose it would start with:

-Clock
-Clock Divider
-Some VCAs and LFOs
-Some OSCs
-Turing Machines
-Sample & Holds
-Logic gates
-Sequencers

what else might I need, and also, are there any specific blocks from my short list above that I should look to use?

Thanks so much for any insights!
Ramases
One thing you're missing on your list is some form of envelope generator.
tsferro
yeah good call I realized that after I posted this
thelizard
What sort of generative sequencing are you looking to do?

If you're going for algorithmic drum sequencing, I have an example patch and mini-tutorial here: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-l ibrary/entry/show/9675/

(I suppose that's already in the dissertation as well!)

Richard Devine has two really nice generative ensembles: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-l ibrary/all/all/all/422689/

If you're just getting started with modulars, the NI Blocks are a great place to start, probably moreso than Euro Reakt. The Blocks Ensembles that come with R6 are worth studying.

A lot of generative behavior can be achieved with very simple measures. For example, just using two LFOs with slightly different speeds with a little cross modulation between them can set you into great territories.
tsferro
hey Michael! nice to hear from you, and thanks for the immense effort with ER

my main interest is creating ambient/generative, stuff like r beny & ann annie
but maybe with a bit more melody and tempo

you're right that the main blacks can be good - I took a blocks course on AskAudio that was very informative, but now I would like to set up nice slowly evolving melodic patches, so may main interest is in changing/evolving sequences (and interesting techniques to create evolving and repeating melodies) ...which reminds me i'll need a quantizer

i will check out the drum sequencer you made, thanks - I have the Devine ensembles but havent really poked around under the hood, which is another good idea
thelizard
Yes, for sure you'll need a quantizer. Thankfully, the standard library one is great.

Some fun tricks to try:

- Use two LFOs as mod inputs to a sequencer. Leave most of the sequence alone, but modulate the value of one step.

- Use a mixer to generate melodies. For instance, plug the gate outputs of a clock divider into the mixer inputs. This can generate very surprising melodies.

- Plug two different sequences into a crossfader (or a mixer). Use an LFO or two to modulate between the two, essentially interpolating your melodies.

- This is one of my favorite Blocks in the whole User Lib: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-l ibrary/entry/show/9583/

- A great tool to study is Metaphysical Function (not a Block, but a full Ensemble that is free with Reaktor). It seems really complicated, but it's essentially 12 oscillators with modulation recording of amplitude. The two banks of six oscillators are then connected between a crossfading mixer (A+B) or ring modulator (A*B). A lot of complexity can be derived just from having unsynced modulations.
tsferro
ok thanks I'll look at all of these suggestions - Langton's Ant is pretty interesting - at first I was struggling to tame that beast! it has such a wide range of octaves - luckily I discovered the Level button on the Quantizer block

one question with "using mixer to generate melodies" (with a clock divider) - assuming I need a sound source at some point, does that come after the mixer and the mixer is modded to change up the clock divisions?
thelizard
tsferro wrote:
one question with "using mixer to generate melodies" (with a clock divider) - assuming I need a sound source at some point, does that come after the mixer and the mixer is modded to change up the clock divisions?


This is one of the first patches that tends to trip up students in my modular class. I like to assign it early, as it emphasizes that voltages are just voltages. A lot of times it's easy to fall into a trap of "this is audio, this is CV, and this is a gate"... but it's all the same!

The patch would be as follows:
Clock Divider outputs->Mixer inputs
Mixer output->Quantizer input
Quantizer output-> Oscillator pitch input

An easier way to think of it...

- If you just plug a clock divider output into an oscillator's pitch input, you'll have the base pitch when the gate is low (i.e. 0 Volts), and a much higher pitch when the gate is high (likely around 5 Volts, so 5 octaves higher).

- If you place a single attenuator between the gate and that pitch input, you're reducing the amount that the pitch jumps when the gate goes high. For instance, if you reduce it down to one volt, you are just doing back-and-forth octave leaps.

- By using multiple gates and a mixer, you are creating a more unpredictable generative sequence through the interactions of the various gates at different amplitudes.

Advanced studies: if the clock divider has a Reset input, you could ping that a regular interval to provide more periodic repetitions. The "length" of the sequence will depend on which clock divider outputs you use. For even more unpredictability, you can use one of the clock divider outputs to modulate one of the level knobs on the mixer.
tsferro
[quote=Advanced studies: if the clock divider has a Reset input, you could ping that a regular interval to provide more periodic repetitions. The "length" of the sequence will depend on which clock divider outputs you use. For even more unpredictability, you can use one of the clock divider outputs to modulate one of the level knobs on the mixer.[/quote]

wow this is really interesting - thanks for the detailed explanation - I can't wait to try these methods out

I am still reading through your dissertation and am currently in the ER Mixing section, so I still have much to learn - I have really enjoyed it thus far though as I havent really found many other resources that go over modular components in such an exhaustive manner - you might want to consider publishing a revised version!
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