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Nord Modular G2 or Reaktor?
Old 8th September 2011
  #1
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zvukofor's Avatar
Nord Modular G2 or Reaktor?

Hello everybody!
I have a dilemma which one to buy: Nord Modular G2X or last generation MacBookPro i7 for Reaktor.
I have no problems programming controllers to use with both, i have decent DA for macbook, i also have some experience programming in Reaktor, but know nothing practical about NM. I use Live as a sequencer, but also glad to use handmade sequencers in Reaktor, and i know NM have it too.
So i ask for your opinions about both.
Thank you.
Old 8th September 2011
  #2
Oli
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Is it mostly for studio work? G2X is a nice performance instrument. The interface helps there.

I think these days, Reaktor may be able to go a bit further in synthesis (I have only very little experience there, but have seen some great examples).

I much prefer programming in the NM environment. I think it has been done well. You can try this for yourself with the demo version. The hardware can do more, but the demo really does give you a reasonable taste for the programming, at least.
Old 8th September 2011
  #3
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Studio and live use. But in studio i use it love too, no mouse-drawing in sequencers, only live recording patterns and CCs. But as i said i have no problem with interface - BCR2k and TouchOSC are the best ones, so i can even buy NM rack and program interface myself.
I just wander - can i7 MBP take as much as NM in terms of complicated structure in modular. My current C2D MBP in too slow for, say, 4 instances of Reaktor in Live with low latency...and even don't thinking about 96kHz sampling rate here. NM can do 4 instances 24/96 at least, so why to bother to buy new MBP, i thought...but i might be wrong with this situation.
Old 8th September 2011
  #4
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NM if you want to make music
Old 8th September 2011
  #5
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The G2X is probably my main instrument.
It's a great synth full of posibilities.
And if you get the G2 Keyboard or G2X you'll get a really cool interface that is quite useful for you to use it as a sequencer.

Never tried Reaktor, but you for sure won't go any wrong with the Nord
Plus, the Nord will for sure keep more value over the years than the computer with Reaktor...
Old 8th September 2011
  #6
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yeah, but i'm pretty OK making music with Reaktor, just want to make it all live, no looping/resampling because of low resouces.
When i was playing in collaborations with other musicians it was fine to use only 1 or 2 instances of Reaktor, but when i try make all voices in a song by myself - oops, i need to record layers, than go back and re-record them when something is not sounds OK with next layers...mess, not making music. )))
This method works pretty fine with dance/disco/whatever 4/4 with a chorus pop structure, but i'm not playing this kind of music. So i need at least 6 live synth voices, i just do not know, if it possible with new generation of computers or i need to buy NM and be happy with it. ))
Thanks.
Old 8th September 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paugui View Post
...
Never tried Reaktor, but you for sure won't go any wrong with the Nord
Plus, the Nord will for sure keep more value over the years than the computer with Reaktor...
Well, i do not need to keep more value, i need an instrument )))
Thanks for your help. One question: how about multitimbrality in complex patches? Something like 4 oscillators, 2 filters, 4 envelopes and LFOs...How much voices can i use with 4 slots with this kind of structure?
Old 8th September 2011
  #8
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roman_f's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zvukofor View Post
How much voices can i use with 4 slots with this kind of structure?
many
Old 8th September 2011
  #9
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I think the G2 is great for sequencing and random-ish/algorithmic music, and its interface (the software editor) is much better than Reaktor's. The hardware interface in the G2 is also well designed - for exampe, when you assign the front knobs to different steps on a sequencer, the corresponding front panel leds light up when that step is selected, so it effectively works as a hardware sequencer, but only 8 steps can be seen at a time.

So, between the G2X and Reaktor, I would choose the G2X for the interface, although Reaktor can probably do more stuff synthesis-wise (and especially sample-wise).

But.... I'm going to go in another direction and suggest Max4Live. I've used PureData (Max/MSP open source clone) and I think it's even better than the G2 or Reaktor when it comes to building unusual sequencers/note generators. I've tried Live a few times but never gelled with it (I'm currently more into linear recording), but I'm very envious that you guys can get something like Max4Live. Hell, you could even buy both Max4Live and a Nord G2 for the price of a G2X.
Old 8th September 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zvukofor View Post
Well, i do not need to keep more value, i need an instrument )))
First of all, I applaud your wisdom. Most people here seem to care too much about long-term value.... makes them look like collectors more than musicians.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zvukofor View Post
One question: how about multitimbrality in complex patches? Something like 4 oscillators, 2 filters, 4 envelopes and LFOs...How much voices can i use with 4 slots with this kind of structure?
The G2(X) has a limit of 32 voices, regardless of the voice structure. The structure you mention is quite simple (for what the G2 can do), so I'd say that a G2X (or expanded G2) could easily pull the full 32 voices. If you add effects (which are usually costly) polyphony may be reduced to something like 24 voices.

Just to give you an example, when I program a full performance in my expanded G2, I seldom make 2 or 3 different sounds per slot, sometimes even more (e.g., drum kits). A full performance can easily run 20 different voices, all with effects, bus reverb, bus compression, etc.
Old 8th September 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac View Post
First of all, I applaud your wisdom. Most people here seem to care too much about long-term value.... makes them look like collectors more than musicians.
I think with the current economic situation, unless you are quite wealthy, that's something to consider.
I'm not saying it's the most important thing, of course not, but if you are undecided between two equipments, it's definitely worth considering.
Old 8th September 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paugui View Post
I think with the current economic situation, unless you are quite wealthy, that's something to consider.
I'm not saying it's the most important thing, of course not, but if you are undecided between two equipments, it's definitely worth considering.
I disagree, especially if you make a living off your music. With the current economic situation, you should choose whatever instrument makes you more productive, and therefore earns you more money.

Let's consider the Nord G2 vs Reaktor example. The G2 requires a software editor, which may or may not be supported in future OS versions. This is risky since Nord will not release any more updates of this software, although nothing stops you from keeping an old Windows XP machine just for the G2 (as I do). Also, some G2 have been known to have USB issues, where the USB port suddenly stops working and must be replaced. Although it can be fixed, I have no idea how hard or costly it may be. Reaktor, on the other hand, is a software that has been around for 13 years (longer, if we consider its parent Generator); that's even longer than the G2 but it's still being supported and updated, and it's unlikely to be discontinued in the next few years. You don't even have to constantly upgrade; I'm sure there are still many happy Reaktor 3 (a 10 year old version) users around who don't see any reason to upgrade.

So, either of the two is a good investment, and it will probably last for at least 10 years. But in this case, I would consider the G2 investment to be a little riskier, in the sense that it may just stop working or being supported by future OS upgrades. Even then, I would go for the G2 for the reasons I stated in my post above, and maybe couple it with Max4Live for those things that the G2 may not be capable of.

I apologize for derailing the thread and hope this will be my last comment about this issue.
Old 8th September 2011
  #13
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OK, people. For me it seems like NM and Reaktor both have good interfaces for programming, and as for hardware interface, as i mentioned before, i do not really care. I have TouchOSC on iPad and BCR2k, so maybe even NM Rack is good for me in this situation, especially when it is about two times cheaper than 3-octave NM ))) and i prefer portability. One 3-rack case and a light keyboard. Well, well, well... ))))
Old 8th September 2011
  #14
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login's Avatar
Would be aweome if Nord makes a new version of the modular with up to date software integration :(
Old 8th September 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac View Post
I disagree, especially if you make a living off your music. With the current economic situation, you should choose whatever instrument makes you more productive, and therefore earns you more money.

Let's consider the Nord G2 vs Reaktor example. The G2 requires a software editor, which may or may not be supported in future OS versions. This is risky since Nord will not release any more updates of this software, although nothing stops you from keeping an old Windows XP machine just for the G2 (as I do). Also, some G2 have been known to have USB issues, where the USB port suddenly stops working and must be replaced. Although it can be fixed, I have no idea how hard or costly it may be. Reaktor, on the other hand, is a software that has been around for 13 years (longer, if we consider its parent Generator); that's even longer than the G2 but it's still being supported and updated, and it's unlikely to be discontinued in the next few years. You don't even have to constantly upgrade; I'm sure there are still many happy Reaktor 3 (a 10 year old version) users around who don't see any reason to upgrade.

So, either of the two is a good investment, and it will probably last for at least 10 years. But in this case, I would consider the G2 investment to be a little riskier, in the sense that it may just stop working or being supported by future OS upgrades. Even then, I would go for the G2 for the reasons I stated in my post above, and maybe couple it with Max4Live for those things that the G2 may not be capable of.

I apologize for derailing the thread and hope this will be my last comment about this issue.

Sure, I agree with your first line

But if you are sure you can be much more productive with one than the other, to me they are not tied and you already have a clear winner

And I think your argument is valid for non-professional musicians too, as if your workflow is much better, I'm sure you'll end up having more fun playing (at least I do)


I currently have 2 G2Xs because I love their workflow, and wouldn't mind having some more, as I'm sure I'd end up using them.

I sequence with them a lot (they're actually my main sequencer, despite I also have a Doepfer MAQ 16/3 and an EMU XL7), have been processing other equipment with them, and most of the times the results are just great.

And to be honest, after I started using them, I started enjoying much more the stuff I make, I really think it made me much more productive.

Even if you told me in some years they wouldn't be worth anything, I wouldn't sell any of them at all because I really enjoy them and they are really an essential tool for my music.


But if you are completely undecided, I think it makes sense to think about future value, because in some years software and a computer won't be worth that much, while hardware still retains some value.
Old 8th September 2011
  #16
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If I was you I would probably pick G2X because I love to work with hardware.

However if you really deep into tweaking sound , you are going to realise that unlike G2X, Reaktor IS NOT a modular synth. Nope.

Reaktor is not a modular synth, is not even a synth, its the factory where synths are designed.

You literally design virtual circuits anything and everything is completely customizable. Without a doubt REAKTOR is not only the best product NI but the most sophisticated piece of technology ever to come out. And even though there other solutions like Pacarana , CSOUND ,PD ,MAX/MSP by sophistication I mean that nothing comes close not so to the feature set but how much user friendly REAKTOR really is . It can be used by the pro, it can be used by the synthetic maniac. With it depth is amazing and only limited by its CPU but yet it remains easy to use because it exposes you to no more compexity than you need.. So if you really want to go far beyond a modular synth REAKTOR is the way to go.

But as I said I would pick G2X probably because I know that I wont invest the time to exploit the 0.00000001% of REAKTOR's power.
Old 8th September 2011
  #17
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If you want to get an idea of what the G2 can do, I'd suggest you download the demo software and give it a go. It's great fun on its own. If it was a VST I would buy it.

clavia digital musical instruments

I have both Reaktor and the G2...if I had to choose only one it would be the G2. There's something about the relative simplicity of the interface that makes it more appealing (and fun) to use and experiment with than Reaktor.

If you're familiar and fluent with patching in Reaktor, patching the G2 will come to you very quickly.
Old 15th September 2011
  #18
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Ok, now it's coming to bottom line: i've found G2 on sale....but i'm still have that strange feeling...you know, reading SOS review, i wander if it really possible to make 4 slots of say "classic" structure (4 instances of envelopes, LFO, oscillators, and 2 Filters) plus delays, and to get at least 6 voices for every slot? From what i've read in SOS review - it is not so powerful to get all this done. So i'm kind of worrying. Maybe i should stop these searches and get Virus C for classic synth sounds and to leave Reaktor on Mac for wierd stuff and sequencing?
Any opinions?
Thank you.
Old 15th September 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zvukofor View Post
Ok, now it's coming to bottom line: i've found G2 on sale....but i'm still have that strange feeling...you know, reading SOS review, i wander if it really possible to make 4 slots of say "classic" structure (4 instances of envelopes, LFO, oscillators, and 2 Filters) plus delays, and to get at least 6 voices for every slot? From what i've read in SOS review - it is not so powerful to get all this done. So i'm kind of worrying. Maybe i should stop these searches and get Virus C for classic synth sounds and to leave Reaktor on Mac for wierd stuff and sequencing?
Any opinions?
Thank you.
you need the expansion .without it the machine is rather useless
Old 15th September 2011
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zvukofor View Post
Hello everybody!
I have a dilemma which one to buy: Nord Modular G2X or last generation MacBookPro i7 for Reaktor.
I have no problems programming controllers to use with both, i have decent DA for macbook, i also have some experience programming in Reaktor, but know nothing practical about NM. I use Live as a sequencer, but also glad to use handmade sequencers in Reaktor, and i know NM have it too.
So i ask for your opinions about both.
Thank you.

you also might get an i5 reaktor and an old NM1 which is a cute machine amd sonical very powerfull
Old 15th September 2011
  #21
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So, if it is really not so powerful without expansion board...i'll choose Reaktor.
Old 15th September 2011
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zvukofor View Post
So, if it is really not so powerful without expansion board...i'll choose Reaktor.
the g2x is expanded allready... when i recal it right..

But you should check that when beeing on the second hand market.. some wise guys might get the idea to sell the expansion board extra.. they go for a high rate..

and you cant really compare reaktor and the g2.. i ve booth and use them booth... reaktor more rarely.. but reaktor became very cheap... just get booth
Old 15th September 2011
  #23
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It's not useless without the expansion but the expansion duplicates the CPU power, and therefore, the available polyphony.

I've made classic subtractive patches (e.g., two oscillators going through a mixer into a filter and then into a VCA, with a couple envelopes and an LFO), which use less than 25% of a single slot, so you can get four voices using a single DSP (a non-expanded G2 has 4 DSPs). Adding effects, however, requires a dedicated DSP, but if you use the bussing system smartly, you can use 3 DSPs for synthesis and the remaining DSP for effects. So, you could maybe have something like 3 of these patches with 4-5 voices each, and effect sends for all of them.

But it all depends on the patches. A single-oscillator patch might give you 6 voices of polyphony per DSP. Monophonic patches can be accomodated in the FX section so they don't have to use their own DSP chip. There are lots of trick you can do to accomodate more voices or save CPU power.

With an expanded G2, you get 8 DSP chips, so you can, for example, make a more complex patch that uses 33% of a single DSP and increase its polyphony to 6 voices, using two full DSPs. In this case, having a basic subtractive patch on each slot with 6 voices each and effects is very doable.
Old 16th September 2011
  #24
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One thing no one's mentioned is that if you buy a Nord Modular, that's it. It is what it is basically forever. Not necessarily bad, because you can get really intimate with the instrument that way, but if you yearn for something else... well it'll never be that.

If you spend the cash on a computer and Reaktor, it's a whole different story. I bought my first laptop to run a plug in called Mobius. (audio looping) Replaced a $1500 hardware looper... and then some. For a short time I was using it as a piece of outboard gear, synced to hardware drum machines... soon I realized how silly that was and how much could be done in that little machine. Reaktor is excellent, but it's the tip of a very large iceberg.
Old 16th September 2011
  #25
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I'm not sure what you mean. Even assuming one could exhaust the possibilities of a Nord Modular, how does buying one prevent you from adding more gear in the future?
Old 16th September 2011
  #26
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I love Carbon 2 and Green Matrix
Old 16th September 2011
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac View Post
I'm not sure what you mean. Even assuming one could exhaust the possibilities of a Nord Modular, how does buying one prevent you from adding more gear in the future?
It doesn't, but the physical laws of times-space do... and money. Like I said in my post, I replaced a $1500 piece of gear with free software and gained a space in my rack. Can the Nord Modular be a DAW? No. The computer can, etc.

I'm not dis'n the Nord, but in the end it is software running on a dedicated computer. That has it's advantages, but we'd be lying if we didn't point out the disadvantages as well. I've long admitted that an analog synth has qualities not totally replicated in software, and that includes VA too. So it's just my opinion that if you're going digital, especially for VA, go ITB. I just don't see the point unless processing is an issue. Buy the laptop, Reaktor and maybe a little micro-modular in the future for such things.

Last edited by zerocrossing; 16th September 2011 at 05:36 AM.. Reason: Didn't realize there was a keyboard version with UI.
Old 21st November 2012
  #28
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SO did he get a Modular or Reaktor?
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