Or for that matter, what's an ensemble of Reaktors? Reaktor has been described by many impartial reviewers as the best musical product of all time, since cave dwellers first struck bone to rock to make a noise. As a user of Reaktor I think this is an understatement. Check out this review and this one.
Reaktor is a software product from Native Instruments which simulates something like an infinitely large modular synthesizer. You can build your own synthesizers, sequencers, effects processors, and more. Lest you think all it can do is act like a Moog (though that would be admirable enough), I will tell you that the modules include your traditional oscillators, and filters, but also include the latest granular synthesis, MIDI processing, and even physical modeling tools. You can work at various levels from using any of the thousands of ready-built configurations ("ensembles"), to building your own futuretro masterpiece from scratch. Building your own ensembles, of course, requires inspiration, technical skill, and patience.
For a real instant gratification rush, download a ready-built ensemble. It can be just as exciting as opening the carton for that brand-new whiz-bang synth you just dropped thousands of dollars/euros/quid on.
Except for one thing.
The ensemble is either free or incredibly cheap, and it runs on an inexpensive platform (a few hundred for Reaktor or an even cheaper run-only version called Reaktor Session). Now you can sound like a MemoryMoog one moment, a B-3 the next, and a Roland Space Echo the next - or all three at once! And remember, ensembles are like samples - you can never have too many!
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