Stephan Schmitt, Nonlinear Labs, and Plans for the Future

Stephan Schmitt at Nonlinear Labs

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of talking with Stephan Schmitt, founder of Native Instruments and creator of Reaktor, and guest teacher at big brain audio. In an earlier interview, we talked about Stephan’s beginnings at NI and his musical evolution. In the following interview, he tells about his new company, Nonlinear Labs and his plans for the future.

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Reaktor Skanner

Once again, Native Instruments has a Christmas give-away which includes a brand-new Reaktor instrument, Skanner.

Developed by Stephan Schmitt, founder of Native Instruments and creator of Reaktor, Skanner works both in the Reaktor full version and the free Reaktor player. You can get Skanner here on the Native Instruments website. Skanner also comes with a comprehensive 55-page pdf manual (also a free download).

In addition to creating Reaktor, which is now the platform for literally thousands of different instruments, Stephan Schmitt has also focused on cutting-edge Reaktor-based software synths over the past several years, including Spark, CHA-OSC, and Prism. For more background, check out this interview with him.

Stephan kindly accepted my request for the following short interview about Skanner.

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Second Maschine Production Weekend workshop in Berlin

Maschine software interface: software GUI of sampling windowThis past weekend, Mads Lindgren and I gave another two-day Maschine workshop here in Berlin. We had a great time with the participants, recording and editing sounds and then making kits and patterns and turning them into sketches and tracks. It’s the second time we approached Maschine in this way — the first time was in June — and I think all the participants agree that it was great fun and an excellent learning experience.

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R.I.P. Kore

There as been a lot of chatter on forums and blogs recently since Native Instruments officially announced that they would discontinue Kore. Many people are obviously very upset. This happens quite often when a company drops a product, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s even harder for us musicians, because a piece of hardware is very much an “instrument” that we touch and play in order to create our sounds and make our music. We get attached to our gear.

Kore 2 with a number of plugin windows open Continue reading R.I.P. Kore

Maschine Production Weekend: Learning while Creating

Last weekend, Mads Lindgren and I held our first two-day Maschine workshop here in Berlin. Our previous Maschine workshops had been one-day intensive courses. This meant that there was a lot of material to cram into one day. Still, it was doable. That is, before Maschine 1.6 came out with a slew of new features, including VST/AU hosting. During our weekend workshops in April, we realized that there was simply too much material to cover in a single day.

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Unorthodoxy, Beats, and Composers

Some Background

A number of weeks ago I got a mail asking if I wanted to show Maschine at a film and TV composer’s symposium in London. Film scoring is certainly not the first use case that comes to mind when most people think of Maschine. If I had been in my right mind, I would have politely down turned the offer, but the whole thing sounded intriguing. After all, I’ve always been fascinated by music for pictures. But Maschine?

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New Year’s Resolutions for Producers and Musicians

“This year I’m going to produce more music!”

Photo: McGerhard
It’s that time of year when that nagging idea of New Year’s resolutions has come up. As we change calendars, many of us say: “This year’s going to be different!” And we decide we are going to lose weight (apparently at or very near the top of most lists) or to exercise more or stop smoking or do x, y, and z more or less or not at all or all the time.
What about musicians and producers? Do you ever say to yourself that you’d like to produce more tracks, write more songs, and play more music this year? Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions for Producers and Musicians

First Maschine Workshops in Berlin

Last weekend we held our very first big brain audio Maschine workshops in Berlin. It was also the first time we had workshops in wintry weather, with a blanket of snow and ice covering much of northern Europe. Unfortunately, this also caused problems for people who wanted to attend because of cancelled flights and closed roads. But we still managed to have two great groups of people from eight different countries, all with different backgrounds and types of experience.

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