Reaktor/Tutorials/Reaktor as effects processor/Making connections and matching values

Making connections and matching values edit

The modulators I've just demonstrated are already connected to their targets, either with a direct cable connection, or via MIDI using a Properties connection between instruments. Here are a few things to think about when you to connect them to other targets.

A cable can be a direct replacement for a panel control module (knob, slider, whatever), eliminating it, or it can be connected to a switch along with the panel control module, becoming a switchable alternative to it, so the control will not work when the modulator is switched on. A modulator can also be added to a panel control (as the Position slider is in the InScanner example), which can be an interesting variation in cases where the incoming values wrap around to the beginning of the range when they exceed the target's maximum. Both the InScanner position and the tables just demonstrated are set up this way in their respective Properties.

With a direct, cabled connection, you have to match the values coming out of your modulator to the value-range of the mod target, using the Range-value boxes on the Function page of the Properties window.

Check out the mods and targets in each of included examples via their Properties window's Function page. You'll see, for example, that since the InScan's Position range is 0 to 3, that's what the connected LFO is configured to send.

Since the LFO is bi-polar, its range was set from -3 to 3, which only becomes 0 to 3 when its Positive-only switch is activated. When Positive-only is off, the position slider stops responding whenever the LFO is putting out negative values. This can be a useful effect, creating alternating periods of movement and no movement, but it's nice to be able to switch it off.

Notice that the Pos knob that sets the amplitude range for the LFO also had to be set to max at 3.


Notice also that the same LFO driving the scan-position slider in the Table modulator instrument needed to be set from -127 to 127, since 0 to 127 is the range of its target... and its corresponding Range knob was set from 0 to 127.


On the other hand, when connecting a modulator via MIDI, the mod source acts just like a hardware controller that you'd connect using the MIDI-Learn function in the control's contextual menu or by setting a controller # on the Connections page of its Properties window.

As a result, the panel control will move in response to the modulator, which can be a helpful aid when adjusting the modulator. Another advantage of a wireless MIDI connection is that you don't have to build a path for a virtual cable; no extra in or out ports are needed, and you don't have to dig deep into a possibly complex structure to figure out where the cable should go.

Yet another advantage to a MIDI connection is that you don't have to match values between the MIDI controller and its target, which is ideal for multiple targets that have different ranges. But you do have to match the range of the MIDI controller to the modulator that's driving it, as I did with the controllers connected to the tables in that example. Once properly configured, these controllers will modulate the complete range of any target, regardless of its range settings, just like a hardware MIDI controller.


Finally, open the Envelop Follower in the table mod instrument and notice that to configure it to correctly drive the full range of the tables in that instrument, I had to change the constant within the follower's Order macro from 1, as shown here, to 127, along with the + and - maximums for its positive and negative meters.


Scratching your head over all this value matching? Well, the examples are all pre-configured, but perhaps you'll prefer the elegant, number-free and extremely powerful modulation options offered by R4's magnificent Snap-Morphing feature, which I'll describe next. But before you abandon modulators altogether, by all means check out one more modulator that I've included in the tutorial downloads, courtesy of its creator, Len Sasso, author of many Reaktor magazine articles, and the excellent Wizoo Guide to Reaktor 3 (here's hoping Len will update this useful book soon!). It's a fantastic mod matrix of the first type I described under Matrices.


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