Native Instruments TRK-01
A powerful new tool that pairs sequencing and sound design for both kick and bass
CONTACT WHO: Native Instruments WEB: www.native-instruments.com KEY FEATURES Synth engines: 5 bass, 3 kick; 200+ presets; 120 samples; Runs in the free Reaktor Player or the latest version of Reaktor; Windows (32 & 64-bit): VST, AAX; Mac OS X (64-bit only): VST, AU, AAX
The TRK-01 is a new Reaktor module that pairs precise sound design and highly flexible sequencing for two of the most important tools in your sonic toolbox: kick drum and bass. By pairing these elements in a single window, NI present a novel approach to making sure your low end is as tidy (or gnarly) as you’d like.
Starting with the kick reveals a two-layer approach to sound design, with quite a few details under the hood. Each layer has the option to hold one of four sound sources, each with their own specific parameters for tweaking. A choice of using a sample source, a synthesiser engine, Rumble, or Noise is paired with a flexible multi-mode filter (per layer), as well as two amp envelopes, an LFO and noise source, and individual drive controls per layer. Effects include an additional drive source, an equaliser, a compressor, and sends to the built-in delay and reverb, which means there is a lot of sonic ground that can be covered.
The bass engine is even more flexible, as you can start with one of five engine models (wavetable, FM, supersaw, a classic mono-synth, and a West Coast-modeling waveshape generator), which is then sent through a filter with the choice of notch, 2, 4, or 8-pole configurations. Clicking on the LFO, amp or aux envelopes reveals even greater variations for control. The bass module has its own effects, as well as the aforementioned effect sends.
The real power of TRK-01 lies in using the step sequencer and modulation routings to make patterns of tightly-knit kick and basslines that are always locked together. Each sequencer has four pages of 16 steps available, with eight patterns to quickly navigate between per preset. The Step Lock feature works just like the Parameter Lock system that Elektron products are now known for – choose a step and any changes are applied to only that step in the sequence.
The modulation routings are somewhat hidden until you click on the modulation source’s header bar, which opens up a very flexible modulation matrix, per source.
The TRK-01 also uses a tuning function, one feature that might speed up your workflow considerably. This feature, which allows the user to choose a key and scale and automatically locks both the Kick and Bass pitch to it, is incredibly handy, especially in a live situation.
In short, the TRK-01 gives the user the ability to shape your kick and bass sounds fully within its walls, although you can now also output its elements to your DAW for individual processing. While it’d also be great to be able to export any MIDI or note information to your DAW host, the TRK-01 offers a quick, flexible, and sonically sturdy foundation for your tracks and is sure to inspire a different path in your studio process. Comes highly recommended.
A novel approach to making sure your bottom end is as tidy (or gnarly) as you’d like