Modular software environments have taken off over the last couple of years, providing the flexibility of custom instruments, effects and routings without the pricetag of hardware modular equipment. Native Instruments were an early adopter with the ‘Blocks’ modular functionality added to their Reaktor 6 software back in 2015. Now, with the 6.3 update, they’ve introduced front patching on the Blocks, meaning you don’t have to dig into the less-user-friendly back-end of Reaktor to customise the routing. NI have also added a basic but capable pack of Blocks called Base, now available to use with the free Reaktor Player (included with the free Komplete Start).
Reaktor has become one of the mainstays of the music software world since its introduction on the late ’90s, and Native Instruments are clearly in no hurry to cease its evolution. The 6.3 update for full-version users also adds a free set of advanced function blocks called Primes, however Reaktor Player/Komplete Start users can actually upgrade to simply buy Blocks Primes, without upgrading to the full version of Reaktor — as well as various Reaktor Player compatible modules made by third parties.
The other main update is the introduction of a ‘rack’ preset, that saves your custom modular rack with your DAW session – rather than having to save a separate Reaktor instrument every time you patch a cable. Reaktor is an incredibly complex and broad programming environment, so adding these functions really does help with the overall user friendliness of the whole platform. That said, if you want to dig under the hood, you still can, the Native Instruments Reaktor User Library is a gold mine of custom made instruments and effects made by users, all available for free to full version owners. Check out some of our favourites from the user library here.
Download Reaktor Player or Komplete Start, completely free, via Native Instruments. If you already own Reaktor, the update with be available in Native Access.