Introduction to FFT in Reaktor
In this original video tutorial we introduce you all to FFT, Fast Fourier Transform, and how it can be used to create effects like a vocoder!
FFT, which is short for Fast Fourier transform, is an algorithm that is used widely in Science, Math, and Engineering. FFT can be a very intimidating thing for those of us who are not math gurus, but you will be happy to learn that there is an EzFFT package available for download over on the Native Instruments site. It is the same tool used in this video and will help you get a jump start on the ideas shared in the lesson. Simply put, it will allow you to break a sound down into its smallest components and then reassemble them in new ways. Luckily this user friendly tool makes it unnecessary to actually understand the complicated mathematics used to make it all work. So us mere humans can simply follow along with this great tutorial from salamanderanagram and make some cool new things to play with in Reaktor!
Salamanderanagram starts by briefly explaining the various FFT modules that are included in the download. He then shares how to use them in your own Reaktor creations by demonstrating the build of a nice little vocoder using the included modules. Putting conversion modules to good use, the hard work of translating out real and imaginary values into pitch and amplitude is made easy. Setting up the inverse modules is basically a duplication of the first set of steps. Once the basic structure of the FFT modules is in place for our vocoder, the work of fleshing it out into something more useful begins.
First a trigger to initiate the sample playback is set up. Then a basic sawtooth synth module is added to control the pitch of the vocoder. An amplifier unit is used to boost the decible levels and then the vocoder is routed to a single output making it a mono signal. After a quick test it is obvious that the simple sawtooth synth is not going to generate enough interest and character, so a Lazerbass module is used as the input synth instead. It also makes available all of the Lazerbass snapshots you have in your library. Which makes for a much more robust vocoder effect!