By Aaron Lee
Native Instruments' Molekular is a handy modular multi-effects system for their flagship synthesis studio Reaktor 5 for macOS or the free Reaktor 5 Player for iOS devices. It features 35 exclusive creative effects for creative sound manipulation.
Molekular features slots for up to four effect modules and plenty of routing options for unique effect arrangements. Modules include a pitch and resonator section for transforming percussive sounds into melodic arpeggios. Delay, stutter, and glitch modules allow users to create new rhythmic structures or turn any incoming signal into washed-out soundscapes.
Eight modulation effects offer sonic versatility for augmenting tone — from classic modulation effects like flanger and chorus to effects such as a purposefully broken pitch shifter to create unusual new textures. Six dynamic and distortion effects include a 16-stage wave folder and a DSP that tracks a signal's pitch to control a variable waveform oscillator. Molekular also comes with "bread and butter" effects for additional sonic adjustments and fine tuning.
Molekular features 16 modulation sources, which can be routed to any parameter within the effects system. Modulators include four customizable LFOs and four step sequencers for emphasizing any part of the meter with rhythms from simple eighth notes to odd metric subdivisions. What's more, Molekular includes analog modular-inspired trigger sequencers — each with a dedicated envelope and an envelope follower to set accents or add bursts of effects to any production.
A logic module adds an irregular, organic feel to the structure of sound sources with any degree of precision or chaos. Frequency-based parameters can be quantized to custom scales, and it's even possible to route one modulator into another producing unusual, constantly evolving modulation structures.
By using the Morphing Field, it's possible to "twist" the results via the interactive display. Producers can assign a starting point, define four master mutations and easily morph between them in real time. The morpher can also be controlled by any of the modulation sources.
Molekular is available at the NI Online Shop for US$149.