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Re: [microsound] Getting started

There are too many fantastic user made resources and tutorials to list for Reaktor. Thats what user communities are for.

Just google it and see what you find... Same applies for most all apps that are well made and garner interest from uber grognards.


On May 14, 2007, at 8:12 PM, Dave Watson wrote:

I would have to agree with this completely. While I do like reaktor some, I find it practically impossible IMO to approach learning it like you would a programming language. The tutorials do nothing more than explain what reaktor can do, and are very uninspiring. And the documentation for any reaktor module is mostly worthless beyond finding out what the modules inputs and outputs are.

It's mostly worthless because it'll tell you what a module does, what it takes as inputs, what it outputs, and nothing behind that. It doesn't tell you anything at all about things like the common uses for a particular module, or what sorts of things one might be able to build using a particular module. The only way to learn reaktor is basically to look at a whole lot of other peoples reaktor ensembles and try to piece together in your own head how they made a particular element of their ensemble work. Figuring out how they did it is not made any easier by the fact that the concept of documenting (comments throughout the structure for example) is pretty much a non-existent one in the reaktor world. I'm not even sure if there even is a way to add small comments about just one particular piece of your structure.

And while I agree that the best way to learn something like a programming language (or any language i suppose) is to use it, how you start using it can be very important in helping you truly gain an strong understanding of it. The difference is like trying to learn how to speak Korean by watching old Korean movies with english subtitles vs learning how to speak it by a person (a teacher perhaps) who teaches you in a fashion that lets each learned thing be used as a foundation and building block for things learned in the future.

If anyone on here is a C programmer, I think a perfect example of what I mean is the book "The ANSI C Programming Language" by K&R.

My other gripe with Reaktor, while I'm at it, is that it's very unclear as to just how power they eventually intend to give the user. Reaktor 5 came with "Reaktor Core" which, for one is a very confusing term combined with the other terms in reaktor. And two it's still beyond me how Reaktor Core is supposed to improve reaktor since it doesn't seem to do much other than put specific requirements on how you build your ensemble and give you access to some lower level modules so you have a bit more flexibility. They make it sound like this is a really big deal, but if it is, they do a very poor job of demonstrating the amount of power it's suppose to give you. So poor in fact, that I've mostly concluded that the benefit of having reaktor is really just the _huge_ number of user ensembles that exist. It can do some cool things yes, but from my impression native instruments is mostly interested in making it do the cool things that will get them prettier and more engaging ensembles in the user library, and not much more beyond that.

No, I'm not saying that's inherently a bad thing, it is just the impression I get from using it. And in my case I just desire more flexibility than the ability to make pretty ensembles (which very well might sound good also). I find that more flexibility exists in other software because there is less design emphasis on providing the ability to create pretty soft synths and more focus on creating a tool set that has a fairly consistent and congruent set of behaviors amongst the tools provided. It's the difference between being able to program your computer to do your bidding vs being able to make your computer make sound w/ pretty interfaces that you built, which are wholly unusable outside of the reaktor environment itself.

Well that's my opinion at least on the differences between reaktor and some of the other tools out there.


On May 14, 2007, at 3:58 PM, isjtar wrote:

On May 14, 2007, at 9:42 PM, Steffen wrote:

On 14/05/2007, at 18.20, isjtar wrote:

max has better documentation

I don't want to start a flame war, but i'd like to know, preferable in great detail, what makes that statement true.

ok, to shield me from flames, i only know reaktor up to version 4 and documentation there really sucked. i know the PD docs are always in progress, but i'm still not impressed by what you can do with it. compare a max helpfile to a pd helpfile from a programming language illiterate point of view and you catch my drift. feel free to prove me wrong btw, i'd love to recommend people good pd docs.

i come from a zero mathematics background and learned synthesis, composition, max and the whole shebang by myself, which i thought impossible at the time.

so, in max, you start with the max tutorials.
they're pretty good, though a bit dated and midi oriented. if you work through them all, you get the max logic and most problems should be solvable. they really go small steps at a time, you don't need any prior knowledge.

msp (the sound part) is pretty easy if you've done the max tutorials and know you're way around synthesis and processing. if you don't know a lot about sound it's a bit hard to get into dsp but once you do, things come quickly.
admittedly, fft is a pain.

then the jitter (image, video, 3D, abstract math stuff) tutorials are pretty good, mainly because i feel the language is very well designed. better than msp, very structured and elegant. it can be a bit frustrating that it takes quite a while before you learn to play a simple movie, but you grasp the concept all the better. i need to mention that i took these on last, so i don't know if it's harder if you don't know the others first. the 3D tutorials suck btw, ours will be online soon - shameless plug i know : ) will post here soon.

then you have third party ones by peter elsea and others.

after all that, there are a lot of examples included (which you understand after the tutorials, contrary to reaktor),
there are easily accessible overviews of all the objects
and every object has a help patch which references to related objects and clearly explains the use of the object.

furthermore, cycling is doing some topic specific online tutorials and cookbook style items which are great for the more advanced user.

the mailing list is extremely active, and helpful, but if you ask people something that's in the tutorials, they will refer you to them as this is easier for everybody.

you can make simple objects in JavaScript, documentation here is ok but not great, you can find JS tutorials online everywhere. then there's java and c api's, i haven't tried those as i don't know the languages.

seriously, max documentation is pretty good compared to most offerings, max is also a bit expensive. i've earned it back a while ago and couldn't live without, but it's quite a sum although it is imo much better spent than on any sequencer style package.

no, i don't work for cycling and there's things about max i don't like, but the tutorials taught me quite a lot.

hope that was helpful



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