March 9th, 2009


How to make Reaktor Knobs Automatable in Ableton Live

So the target demographic for this post is the intersection of three sets:

  • Ableton Live Users
  • Reaktor Users
  • People wonky enough to try and automate VST plugins with envelopes.

Still with me? OK.

I was contacted by an Internet acquaintance because he wanted to use the Reaktor Effect that emulates the Roland RE201 Space Echo, and he wanted to automate it with envelopes.  There are two places you can do this — In the ‘Session View’ on a per-clip basis, and in the ‘Arrangement View’ on a per-track basis.

The way you do this, in both cases is by selecting the plugin instance  from a pull down menu of Automatable Things, and then select the parameter to automate from a separate pull down menu just below the first.  In the case of the ‘Session View’ there’s a first step — select a clip, then on the far left hand side of its properties, click on the little ‘E’ in the bottom row.

In this case, all the parameters of the RE201 were just invisible.  I asked about it on the NI Reaktor Forum, and got this answer.

So I wrote back to my friend with this advice, which may stand you in good stead should you ever get into this sticky situation:

Live before rev 8 only recognizes the first 128 automation parameters.  The parameters (i.e. changeable knobs and controls) each has an ID that’s unique per instrument.  These IDs get assigned as an ensemble is created, and if you delete a control, the ID isn’t re-used.

When it comes to Automation, the parameters are exposed by the standard VST mechanism, with each Reaktor parameter being the Base ID for the instrument, plus the ID of the control.

In the case of RE201, the base parameter was 500-something, so all controls were invisible to Ableton Live.

If you look in the Reaktor Instrument Properties, click on the control routing tab. (the two little boxes with an arrow between them).

At the bottom, there’s an ‘Automation’ section.  Do two things:

Pull down the ‘IDS’ menu, and select ‘Instrument Up’ until the base ID is zero. Then pull down the ‘IDS’ menu again and select ‘Sort and Compress IDs’

This will make all of the controls in the RE201 visible in Live. Honest to God.


Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.


It was the best of Johnny Depp movies, it was the worst of Johny Depp Movies

I got suckered into watching The Ninth Gate the other night.  On paper, this looks kind of OK. With a cast including Depp, Frank Langella, and Lena Olin, you know that it will live up to minimum standards of movie acting, at least.  It was directed by Roman Polanski, for crying out loud.

There are some fun moments in it.  What’s not to like about depraved devil-worshiping rich people? But in the end, it sure seems dumb.  Somehow all the foreshadowing and foreboding comes down to Depp banging Demon-chick on a hillside, and then somehow getting subsumed into some unspecified pact with the devil.  The downfall, really, is that Depp thrives on playing people with personalities, and this guy just seems remote and self-involved.  He underplays the lines that could have given the role some panache.

Frank Langella gets more mileage than Depp out of his part, but even with him, there’s something kind of muted and remote.  Did Polanski forget how to have fun with this sort of material?  “Rosemary’s Baby” was a pinnacle of Satan-centric melodrama; where The 9th Gate is cool, “Rosemary’s Baby” was overheated, almost campy.

It wasn’t a complete waste of time. There are some really entertaining deaths involved, and Paris is almost a better movie set than a tourist destination. But I would never choose to watch it over a movie that’s actually good.

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.