Complete modular studio, endless possibilities (especially with the new "blocks" format), tons of user content and continuous support. It's really a no-brainer as part of the Komplete bundle, which is very reasonably priced with it's upgrade path.
User since version 3.I can't remember. I am underwhelmed. There is nothing far out, nothing earth-shaking, nothing worthy of a new version in this new version. The new "boxes" are pretty-looking simplified versions of old builds. No new FX, just the standard delays and reverbs. Plus they changed the graphics interface, rendering it pretty much unusable for experienced builders.
Horrible sloppy installation, strewing program files across 4 directories and subdirectories (or more, I haven't unveiled all the horrors of where the installation put what). This is NI's very worst installation - even worse than Kontakt's. And what makes it worse is that if you TRY to do file maintanance and make things easier for you, 9 times out of 10 Reaktor will no longer read those files - because NI set up that installation exactly that way and how dare you try to do it your way.
So if your idea of electronic music creation is bland, ordinary sounds and endless, frustrating file maintanance - you're gonna lose files - Reaktor 6 is the VST for you.
I'm going to go back to 5. I DO have far-out things there.
Reaktor is a very troublesome creature for musicians. Reaktor has incredible potential, and NI promises great things from its "factory ensembles" and its vaunted "user library".
The reality is somewhat different, however. Make no mistake - Reaktor is a truly amazing piece of technology. Reaktor may be the ultimate synthesizer construction kit.. hardware OR software. The problem is in *realizing its potential*.
Think about it for a minute: What do you get when you buy a Roland synth? Sure, you get a piece of hardware. And these days you also get some software. But you get something else: some very smart (usually Japanese) engineers spent years of their lives figuring out how to deliver the right software/hardware implementation to make a really great musical INSTRUMENT. THIS is the part that Reaktor doesn't provide.
Does NI provide a bunch of really great-sounding, MUSICAL factory ensembles with R5? No, not really. There are some awfully good ones, like the Junatik synth, the SpaceMaster reverb, the GrainState synth, and a few others. But most of the NI "factory ensembles" are novelties, good for making stunning squeaks and squonks that sell software, but not much use for making music.
What about the vaunted "user library"? Again, there's not that much there after you spend some time looking at it. Why? Because musical instrument design is hard, and the user ensembles (like the factory ensembles) lack the man-years of talented effort that it would take to make really great-sounding, useful Reaktor instruments.
If you are a talented instrument designer and you have lots of time, there's no doubt that Reaktor 5 will deliver incredible results for you. If you need usable synth/sampler sounds in the near future, you are much better off if you AVOID the abyss that is... Reaktor 5.Read more
My rating does not reflect how much i like Reaktor, because it fails in some respects to be an easy plug and play device. It's the most complex virtual instrument I've ever seen, which is the greatest strength and weakness of the system. If you're like me, and you want to customize every detail of your sound, then there isn't much like it, although Max/MSP or Tera are alternatives. An obvious strength of Reaktor is that if you don't quite agree with the way any part of the program is set up, you can dig into the structure and change it any way you want. Of course, you end up spending a lot of time programming and not as much time playing as you would with a simpler system. That's one drawback.
It is an incredible package straight out of the box if you're willing to take the time to learn about all the elements of the program. The included instruments keep getting better with each new release, including five of the better soft synths (SubHarmonic, Carbon2, TwoOsc, Skrewell, and FM4) four of the better effects (FlatBlaster, SpaceMaster, Grainstates, and Lurker), three of the better rhythm machines (Massive, NewSkool, and Sinebeats) and three of the better sample transformer/playback machines (Travelizer, Scenario, RandomStepShifter) for my purposes on the market.Read more