Reaktor vs M4L

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Rave
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Reaktor vs M4L

Post by Rave » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:53 pm

Would someone be so kind to explain how Reaktor compares to Max or M4L please?

I have Reaktor (via Komplete 5) - I only use it for the odd ensemble/patch/app/whatever.

steff3
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by steff3 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:17 pm

Well, at least for M4L you get a level of access to live that you will not get with any other mean .... No plugin (what reaktor is) can have this kind of access to params (at least directly, without going via MIDI rerouting/control surface emulation or something like that).

For Max vs. Reaktor - well, Max/MSP-Jitter is a multi-media environment with which you can do lots of things and you can use Java, JavaScript or C to add funtionality. Reaktor is solely audio generation/processing and MIDI .... Max can also host VSTs and can connect via ReWire to lots of other audio programs.

I hardly ever used Reaktor and all attempts to do so until now were not very successful. Looking at the factory library of Reaktor did not impress me. Whereas I am not unfamiliar with Max, built some interactive environments with it so what I say is obviously biased ... :)

best

Rave
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by Rave » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:46 pm

Thank you steff3 for your feedback, tis much appreciated :)

mholloway
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by mholloway » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:05 pm

Both center around building your own devices. The obvious difference, as noted above, is that M4L works specifically within ableton live's framework and therefore allows you to modify the way Live works for you, whereas reaktor is just going to let you build devices to load in as VST's. So, they are similar in functionality, and also very different.

Reaktor is a great program, albeit with a very steep learning curve. But it's super fun to drop oscillators onto your canvas and drag wires and then suddenly, whammo, your keyboard makes a noise....

i don't really see them as competitors, since M4L so specifically integrates into ableton's DAW environment. REaktor is an exciting program because it's so incredibly deep, and you can more or less enter at whatever level you want -- open the library ensembles, open their inner architecture, steal parts for your own devices, etc....awesome fully modular architecture. M4L is an obvious winner for anyone with ableton who wants to get under the hood. To my mind, It's really exciting that programs like this even exist at all!

-M
my industrial music made with Ableton Live (as DEAD WHEN I FOUND HER): https://deadwhenifoundher.bandcamp.com/
my dark jazz / noir music made with Ableton Live: https://michaelarthurholloway.bandcamp. ... guilt-noir

Tone Deft
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:20 pm

Reaktor is a bunch of Lego blocks which you can piece together to make audio stuff.

max/msp is like owning the Lego factory.
In my life
Why do I smile
At people who I'd much rather kick in the eye?
-Moz

d-track
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by d-track » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:45 pm

quote
Last edited by d-track on Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
*-*

timothyallan
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by timothyallan » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:30 pm

Tone Deft wrote:Reaktor is a bunch of Lego blocks which you can piece together to make audio stuff.

max/msp is like owning the Lego factory.
Reaktor is a bit like owning the steel which makes up the lego factory which makes the lego blocks. You can do DSP level stuff in the latest version of Reaktor.


FOR RIZZLE!

arachnaut
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by arachnaut » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:26 am

Reaktor is a GUI environment for building multichannel audio equipment that can run standalone or in a VST environment.

It is very stable, I had only one crash in Reaktor 5 that I can recall - when I violated a 1024 connector limit in a macro.

All data is floating point and is represented as wires. Wires can be audio data, MIDI data, control data, etc. You can wire anything to anything that makes sense. A special integer mode is available in Reaktor (inside the parts called Core) that can do very high speed DSP.

You open up an empty instrument in the GUI and then start plopping in pieces and wiring them together. There are thousands of pieces, from simple add functions to complete synthesizer blocks.

Probably, but I have no proof, you can do more audio number crunching in Reaktor than you can in Max.

Reaktor runs identically on the PC and Mac, and comes with two licenses like Live with a similar challenge-response authorization.

Reaktor 5 runs in only one core.

Reaktor 5 has been out for a long time and there are continual rumors that Reaktor 6 will be out soon, but NI is very secretive - no one knows.

NI (Native Instruments) started in about 1995 in Berlin and now has over 100 employees.

Reaktor has a very large User Library - thousands of devices (synths, samplers, manglers, soundscapes, beat device, loop manglers, etc.).

I know Reaktor pretty well, but I would expect it will take most people about a year or so to get somewhat fluent in it to be able to design a unique thing from the start. However, after about a 30 minute tutorial you can do simple cut and pastes of large size objects and make significant things.

Here is a picture of a simple Reaktor 3 instrument panel and (part of) its inner structure:
Image

I don't know Max at all. I just looked at it for the first time yesterday.

From what I can tell, you can think of Max as a robot friend. It knows all about the buttons and sliders in Live. It can select and launch clips. It can send automation to Live devices.

It does have the ability to generate audio, and it has some DSP functions (like FFT stuff) that may be easier to use than the comparable stuff in Reaktor, but for the most part it appears much clumsier to build an audio device with Max. It probably has a similar learning curve.

Programmers may find Max more comfortable, engineers may find Reaktor more comfortable.

You can do more things with Max than you can with Reaktor, because Reaktor is only oriented around audio.

Cycling '74 makes Max. They have been around since 1997, are located in San Francisco, and have about 22 employees.

steff3
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by steff3 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:54 am

Welll, Max history is a bit incomplete.

Max dates back - well, at least to the 80ties ...

It was developed at IRCAM, then licensed to Opcode ... David (head of Cycling) was involved during the dev at IRCAM and I think later at Opcode, then he started to develop MSP which was an audio extension pack for Max (that was mid 90ties and possibily in the time Cycling 74 was founded). As Opcode was bought by Gibson Cycling managed to take over Max and save that and from that time they sold Max/MSP and a few years later added Jitter.
Other relatives of Max are the dead jMax (by IRCAM using a Java GUI) and of course PD by Miller Puckette - or was it Miller S. Puckette (MSP?) :) Miller Puckette was also involved at the start in the development of Max at IRCAM.
IRCAM in the real-time group still works with Max/MSP-Jitter and they have some interesting externals - both free and payware.

I think the Reaktor - engineers and Max/MSP - computer scientists is not too wrong. They some related but to me Reaktor feels clumpsy whereas Max is really elegant IMHO.
I think they are both great tools, flexibility and openness is maybe the big advantage for Max in the comparison.

Also, Max is not the same as M4L. Max itself does not know anything about live devices, only Max4Live does that.

best

arachnaut
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by arachnaut » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:09 am

steff, thanks for updating, I was wondering how there could be a 20 year history...

I got that stuff from the Cycling '74 web site and they are a bit 'flippant' about their self-image on their Company Page. So it's hard to know what to take seriously. And there is no photo of their building that I could find. Maybe they have 200 employees?

esky
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by esky » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:43 am

I think the Reaktor - engineers and Max/MSP - computer scientists is not too wrong.
Well, at least you want to easily use it as a music instrument or a effects unit. I use Reaktor for years and user programmers come up with great ideas nearly every day. I don't know about Max but the demos of M4L have not showed anything that you couldn't do with a Reaktor Ensemble. But i keep an eye on M4L because it integrates deeper into the Live and there will be some nice surprises i bet. But i can definitly recommend Reaktor as well...

shai
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by shai » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:16 pm

arachnaut wrote:Reaktor 5 has been out for a long time and there are continual rumors that Reaktor 6 will be out soon, but NI is very secretive - no one knows.
i can't find the source, however, it was confirmed not very long ago on NI's Reaktor forum, by a NI representative, that Reaktor 6 is due to release early 2010.

i have never touched Max/Msp in my life. i believe that the integration with Live makes it a no brainer to prefer it over reaktor if you really have to choose..

i personally love reaktor, far from being an ace programmer, but the depth of the user library is unbelievable, despite the fact that Reaktor 5 has been around too long without a major update. max/msp community is far behind in this aspect, but that might change now with M4L !
Last edited by shai on Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tone Deft
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by Tone Deft » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:18 pm

timothyallan wrote:
Tone Deft wrote:Reaktor is a bunch of Lego blocks which you can piece together to make audio stuff.

max/msp is like owning the Lego factory.
Reaktor is a bit like owning the steel which makes up the lego factory which makes the lego blocks. You can do DSP level stuff in the latest version of Reaktor.


FOR RIZZLE!
what does 'DSP level stuff' mean?

have you used max and Reaktor?
In my life
Why do I smile
At people who I'd much rather kick in the eye?
-Moz

Poster
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by Poster » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:56 pm

Tone Deft wrote: what does 'DSP level stuff' mean?

have you used max and Reaktor?
Core goes deep enough to keep you off the streets for years..

I always run into the same argument when the Max vs. Reaktor debate is on..
and while the Lego analogy is totally valid and true I think that for the average user (read: MFL user), I dare to say that the full Max Lego factory has a huge capabilities surplus..
Meaning, Reaktor is well up for the task if you don't go into too exotic territories..

synnack
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Re: Reaktor vs M4L

Post by synnack » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:17 am

arachnaut wrote:It is very stable, I had only one crash in Reaktor 5 that I can recall - when I violated a 1024 connector limit in a macro.
I agree with pretty much everyones thoughts on this except this one. I have had reaktor for years (legit, not cracked) and it crashes constantly. On Windows and Mac. Even with basic synths that come with it. CPU insanity. Crash. Crash.
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