It is unbelievable to me that Boscomac let’s you download these instruments without requiring any money. They put an insane amount of work into crafting instruments with astounding audio quality and beautiful interfaces. In this article/video we take a look at 9 of their 23 instruments that are played in Native Instruments Reaktor.
Note: Although each video embed looks the same, each one is timed stamped to the spot where we look at that specific instrument.
What Is Reaktor?
If you are not familiar with Reaktor, it is a “Modular DSP Lab”, in other words it is a VST/AU plugin that allows users to build their own synths, effects, and sample based instruments piece by piece. Boscomac has taken advantage of Reaktor system to create the best donationware I have ever seen. You need to own the full version of NI’s Reaktor 5 or 6, which costs $199 as a standalone or is included in Native Instuments Komplete and Komplete Ultimate bundles. Besides Boscomac there are a bunch of other free user designed synths for Reaktor that are worth checking out.
I’m not sure if Boscomac’s instruments work in Reaktor 6, the latest version of Reaktor. I assume they do but I haven’t tested it, so if anyone gets a chance to test them out, please leave a comment here or on youtube to let us know.
We take a quick glance a music box based instrument, Boxymuse here. Like a lot of Boscomac’s instruments, Boxymuse is a great tool for film-scorers. I love the interface for this, when you play notes the dancers dance. There are three controls that let you adjust the sounds and it is a very convincing little music box.
The Chiller is based on the Arp Omni, a 70’s synth that can be heard on The Car’s songs like “Good Times Roll” and Joy Division songs too. Boscomac’s version is really simple to use with a really full sound very similiar to the original.
The Howler is a simple and highly effective modern day synth that doesn’t do a ton but does what it does really well. You don’t have to peruse a bunch of crappy presets to find the good ones because that’s what the Howler basically is, one dope preset.
Boscomac describes the synth on their website “THE HOWLER is a synthesizer that screams through distortion, filter and Larsen. It gets loud sounds, incisive, powerful and massive. Its approach is modern et live-oriented. You can control the amount of distortion, the cut-off and resonance of the filter, the reintegration of the signal in the loop (Larsen). These four parameters can be controlled by the modulation wheel or key’s velocity with a different range for each. It’s very attractive and it gives a great feeling of mastery of sound!”
These are some of the best sounding samples of classic drum machine’s I’ve ever heard. Any schmuck can record a drum machine, chop it up and release a sample pack. What makes Boscomac’s samples so much better is they are run through an amazing chain of outboard gear, which they clearly knew how to use. From their website they went through, “Preamp: Cartec Audio, Eq: Chandler Limited, compressor: Shadow Hills. Note that Retro Beat Mk2 is usable in multi-out.”
Not only do you have these immaculate sounding classic drum samples but you also have a really nice interface to alter the sounds. Check it out.
These are the 28 different drum machines included in Retrobeat mk2. Soundlab, Boss Dr55, Casio Mt18, Nord Modular, Ehx Drm 32, Gulbransen, Hammond 64, Hohner Auto, Korg Krp77, Korg Ms20, Linndrum Lm1, Synsonics, Mfb 502, Mxr 185, Polyvox, Cr78, Cr8000, Juno, Tr606, Tr808, Pro One, Simmons Sds8, Vermona Drm1, Spacedrum, Wersimatic, Wurlitzer Rythm, Electone C6505.
The Air Piano is a film composer’s wet dream, because there is so much reverb. Seriously though, the Air Piano is an instantly emotional affected piano that makes for great atmospheres. Listen to it, you’ll get what I mean.
Vertigo Wave is based on an early electronic instrument called the Ondes Martenot, invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot. The sound is similar to a theremin, a cool niche instrument used on a bunch of Radiohead songs. As I mention in the video, Soniccouture has sampled an Ondes Martenot and is for sale on their website for $119, so you can try this one out for free before you decide on shelling out the bread.
Another cool drum machine with a randomization feature to change up the sounds. Check it out.
Another cool niche instrument, the Hanky Tank is actually a sampled propane tank that makes for a kind of not steal drum but some other thing I see street musicians playing, if you know what that’s called please leave a comment buddy :) There are a variety of controls that allow you to change up the timbre to your liking.
Snowflake is aptly named and really unique sounding. You can play in some snowflakes or turn it on automatic mode and snowflakes just start falling. There is a real experimental vibe to snowflake with some great controls to hone in the weirdness or really vibe it out.
If you want to download and try out any of these instruments yourself you can check out Boscomo’s site here. They’ve gone a lot more instruments to offer as well as some really well-made effects.