Building a resonant EQ in Reaktor Primary, taking inspiration from the Serge Resonant EQ’s unevenly-spaced frequencies and nonlinear controls.
In my regular journeys across the internet, I came across the Random*Source Serge Resonant EQ, a reissue of the resonant EQ from the Serge Synthesizer, and became a bit taken with its implementation and ideas. $400 is a bit too much for an impulse buy, so let’s see what we can do in Reaktor.
Even if we don’t end up with something that sounds perfect, we can use this as an opportunity to think more about subtractive synthesis, and talk about “parametric support” in our control schemes.
0:00 Purchase Your Way to Music Proficiency! 0:43 Random*Source Serge Resonant EQ 1:14 What’s interesting about this? 2:59 Disclaimer 3:22 Reaktor Primary Peak EQ 5:00 “Boost” vs. “Resonance” 5:53 Making Selectable Sound Sources 8:18 Throwing in an Oscilloscope 8:49 Starting the Resonant EQ Macro 9:28 Creating a Single Band 11:24 Level Controls to Avoid Clipping 13:13 One Knob for Resonance and Boost 14:28 “Funny Math” 21:13 Recapping the Flow / Fine Tuning 22:49 Duplicate! (for each frequency) 23:23 Setting the Frequencies 25:09 Adding a ByPass Switch 25:53 Sound Test 27:14 Saturator 28:04 Waveform Variance Across Instrument Range 29:38 Feedback 35:30 Next Steps
Subharmonics are frequencies that are whole-number divisions of a given frequency (in contrast to harmonics, which are whole number multiples of a frequency). While harmonics naturally occur as part of the timbre of a sound, subharmonics, when introduced, sound like distinct pitches, allowing you to create chords of harmonically-related notes.
This tutorial walks you through making a set of subharmonic oscillators and envelope filter like the ones on the Moog Subharmonicon.
Using Reaktor 6 Primary to create some generative Sci Fi music inspired by Todd Barton’s “Krell Music” patch on the Buchla Synthesizer.
As I mentioned last week, in my regular journeys across the internet, I came across the concept of a “Krell Music” patch–a self-generating patch created by Todd Barton, inspired by Bebe and Louis Barron‘s soundtrack to the 1956 film “Forbidden Planet.” The Barrons’ soundtrack to the film is amazing, and a bit beyond what I can get into here (see links below). Barton’s Buchla patch tries to capture some of the dynamic timbres of that score.
My oversimplification of the idea is this: a note has an amplitude envelope–attack and release–and when that amplitude envelope ends it triggers the next envelope. At the same time, that trigger selects a new (likely different) attack and decay time, as well as a new pitch and timbre for the next note. So we create a continuous series of musical tones, each distinct from the one before it. So let’s make that in Reaktor 6 Primary.
In this week’s video, we make a wavefolder in Reaktor, slowly adding features, and testing out some different types of waveforms.
It’s not terribly effective to filter sine waves, since they only consist of a single frequency, but, using a wavefolder, we can add harmonics, and create a rich, customizable sound.
Wavefolding is distortion of a waveform where, when the input amplitude exceeds a threshold, it becomes inverted. This adds harmonics to the sound (specifically odd harmonics), and, by controlling the amount of fold, we can modulate these in real time.
I’ve put together a series of beginner tutorials for getting started designing your own synths in Reaktor 6 Primary.
Over the course of this series, we put together a synth with selectable oscillators, filters, and multiple options for modulation. This can serve as a good hands-on introduction to synthesis in Reaktor or any other synthesis environment.
EDIT (1/4/22): If you’re ready for more, here are some intermediate tutorials too: