FR3TZ is a new Reaktor instrument from Blinksonic. I’m guessing that you’d pronounce it like “frets”? The idea being that it is using a load of sampled guitar string harmonics as the basis of an interesting Euclidean rhythm based instrument.
It’s a fascinating looking interface. You have 3 strings being triggered by a Euclidean style step sequencer and random note launcher to produce a whole world of rhythms and possibilties. The sounds come from 4 sampled guitars; an acoustic, a Strat, a Tele and a bass guitar. A regular fret board will give you access to 3 octaves of harmonic node – that sound created when you apply a little finger pressure to the strings above the frets. It’s an interesting sound, full of mystery, artefacts and distortion, perfect for a granular synthesis process. And that’s what FR3TZ provides. Through resampling and retuning they’ve taken the range up to 5 octaves and filled in the notes to create a playable harmonic instrument. They’ve played with pinched sounds, squeals and squelches and left in all the buzzes and incidentals associated with this playing style.
So then what happens?
You have a 3 channel, 16-step circular motion sequencer that can follow Euclidean pattern generation. You can also play it simply from a keyboard if you prefer. It then routes through the Reaktor Grain Resynth granular engine which produces some very interesting formant structures. It stretches and squeezes the samples and offers them within 6 sample maps. In Travelizer Mode you can scan across the waveforms varying the length and start points. Then a bank of 6 effects comes to bear including filtering, pitch shifting, distortion, delay, chorus and reverb. They also added a Binaural/Doppler effect module for added movement.
You can even add your own samples and just use the granular engine to your own ends.
FR3TZ is a stunning piece of work. A superbly engaging interface giving you chaotic control over granulising these harmonically rich and organic sounds.
You’ll need the full version of Reaktor 6 and €49 to start playing with FR3TZ°.