On Reaktor and the Sheer Expense of Electronic Music

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

I decided to get interested in Reaktor 3.0 tonight. I found a “demo” copy that won’t record or save anything (without a dongle) and tinkered around with the panels and connections and, well, it’s a nice program. Having only diddled with it for ten minutes, I can’t claim to be an expert, but I didn’t feel it offered too much more than SuperCollider than, say, a slick interface. The oscillators seemed comparable to those in SuperCollider and I guess the signal processors seem similar. If anything, I’d peg SuperCollider as having more oscillator and signal processing options than Reaktor. There could be a performance issue I’m not aware of, as well. I admit that using Reaktor as a VST plug-in would be fun and the Native Instruments web site shows all sorts of fun digital electronica toys related to Reaktor. If I had $500 to sink into a studio, I might go for it, but for now I think I feel satisfied wtih SuperCollider, even though it’s dorkier.

On the $500 tip… I’m just a musical diddler, I suppose. I don’t do it for money, just kicks. Thus $500 is a crapload of cash to dole out for a toy and I feel somewhat left out not being able to afford the most fashionable toys. I get frustrated hearing really kick-ass effects demonstrated or interfaces that would be really helpful and fun and then not having any way to get my hands on them. A solution might be getting together with people and forming a “studio” and pitching in money and getting good tools that everyone has access to, but I don’t envision that sort of thing happening soon. Or trying to make a little cash making music and feeding it right back into creating music, in a nice self-sustaining cycle, but, again, I’m not that close to having material that would be worth $500 in royalties. Oh well. This is the sad story of every kid who likes to play with toys… I really wanted that Metroplex Transformer when I was nine and I never got that and survived intact.

The real world is so obnoxious, I tell you what.