NI REAKTOR’s Fast FX Demystified

Have you ever launched REAKTOR's Fast FX multieffects suite and found yourself baffled by the visual complexity of the GUI (not to mention the intense color scheme)? Join the crowd.

It need not be so.

In the standalone VST world, you'd  have to shell out some considerable money to acquire a device like Fast FX. Fortunately, you are the proud owner of the most powerful audio software on the planet—software that includes a dizzying array of such premium devices.

In this tutorial, we will crack the case by limiting our gaze to the bottom-most portion of the interface. That little orange bar at the bottom of the panel is where the magic happens. Let's take a look.

Go Deeper

Part 2 shows you how to configure Fast FX to work its magic on your own loops (for those registered for How to Build a Sampler in REAKTOR). Not registered? Click here (it's free)!

[Content protected for How To Build A Sampler In Reaktor members only]


16 Responses to NI REAKTOR’s Fast FX Demystified

  1. Jacob August 31, 2013 at 5:58 am #

    Love your tutorials, keep em coming! Awesome work, thanks a lot for sharing your time and knowledge.

    I would have 1 question about FastFX, I’m trying to us it as Reaktor5 FX plugin on some audio file or other instrument but I have trouble with keeping the INPUT1/2 button pernamently activated for all fx snapshots. It constantly turns off when change through different snapshots. Any idea how to work this out?


  2. David Coffin August 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Excellent as usual; lucid, well-paced and well-spoken! I’m still trying to get how, or if, Logic users can send keyboard messages to Reaktor, and wondering if I should update Live just so I can better follow your tutorials; they really are the best I’ve found, thanks again for all you do. How to use the !*#&%(!!! ens. has always been the missing thing in Reaktor!

    btw, any reason not to use the Fast FX Kore version if you’re not planning to let any of the scenes read from the built-in looper?

    • Brent Kallmer August 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

      Hi David: Thanks for these kind comments! I have never actually used Logic, but I have to imagine that it allows you to send keyboard messages to Reaktor. In my case, however, I am using Live 8 (still haven’t upgraded), so you might not need to upgrade to follow along…

      And no good reason not to use Fast FX Kore–just didn’t think of it!

      • David Coffin August 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

        Wish me luck running Live 5 in MtLion; decided to dig it out and give it go…

        I wish I was as optimistic about Logic’s flexibility; plain old key-presses are mostly already function commands, so weird stuff just happens to the interface when typing outside a text box; dangerous when playing back. There’s a Keys-to-MIDI function but when active it does nothing to Fast FX, no matter the note/octave. Logic’s MIDI-in-to-plugin sense may well be limited; certainly its absent plugin-to-MIDI-out function is widely scorned…

        If I ever figure out a way, I’ll post it here.

        Still, it is easy to route any audio to it, and very cool; thanks again for dusting off these obscure (and opaque!) antiques.

        So, are you open to requests for other ensembles to decode? Samplers and FX your main interest? And what about stuff from the user lib? I posted a tutorial on Reaktor FX there long long ago (about building ways to use them, not building them), and it still pretty much applies, even if nowhere near as slick as Fast FX or, say, Rolodecks. I found a boatload of insane user fx to muck with even back then (like, 20thC…). Worth a look…and I’d be happy to rummage through my old stash.

        • David Coffin August 2, 2013 at 11:14 am #

          OK! Here’s how to enable computer keys in Logic to switch scenes in Fast FX:

          Create a new Software Instrument track and open Reaktor as an AU MIDI-Controlled Effect in its Instrument slot.

          In the Reaktor panel, open Fast FX (or the Kore version), then in the upper right corner select the track you want to effect in the Side Chain drop down. Turn down the level on that track if you want to only hear the Fast FX channel/track.

          Open the Keys to MIDI panel (Command-K) and set octave to C3. W and E will now work Prev and Next, and A through K will handle QWERTYUI.


  3. cecilia brown July 31, 2013 at 5:03 am #

    Hey BK! It would be great if you could place this on an insert return and use all the Fx creativity within the ensemble to mess with different parts of you tracks by bring them in an out when you what…. especially for a live set.

    I hope I’ve made thinks clear here!

    • Brent Kallmer July 31, 2013 at 7:36 am #

      Yes! Having it on a return track would allow you to send any of your tracks to Fast FX at any time. Very cool.

  4. Thomas July 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Thank you for this tutorial.

    One thing about the control. As you know, the computer-keyboard in Reaktor standalone is just some small MIDI-keyboard with 2 octaves spread over all 4 rows.

    X – Note 50 (D)
    D – Note 51 (D#)

    Q – Note 60 (C)
    2 – Note 61 (C#)
    and so on.

    It seems that in your DAW there is also a MIDI-key-mapping but with

    ‘A’ – Note 60 (C)
    ‘W’ – Note 61 (C#)
    and so on.

    This mapping may differ from DAW to DAW. But it shows, that C# triggers Prev and D# triggers Next. This means in Reaktor standalone these buttons maybe pressed by ’2′ and ’3′.

    • Brent Kallmer July 19, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      Excellent clarification, Thomas. Thank you for this!

  5. rawore July 18, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    another great tutorial, btw

  6. rawore July 18, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    wouldn’t make sense to save a copy of the ensemble called something like “externsrc FastFX”

    • Brent Kallmer July 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

      Absolutely–good call.

  7. Thomas Greco July 18, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Are you going to go over the fx modules some time :) ??

    • Brent Kallmer July 18, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      There’s a possibility that I will cover the modules in a Fast FX a Deep Water Guide (the program I am currently beta testing)… based on interest of course!

  8. Thomas Greco July 18, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    That was great! Thx!

    • Brent Kallmer July 18, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      Glad it helped!

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