Plaits is the celebrated multi-engined Eurorack module from Mutable Instruments and Presteign Sound Labs has worked the open-source firmware into Macro for Reason for free.
The brilliant thing about Plaits is how versatile and self-contained it is. Along with numerous sound models covering analog waveforms, noise, FM, harmonics, string resonance and so on it also has a built-in low pass gate which allows it to operate as a complete and nicely minimal synthesizer voice.
Macro has taken all of that on. Presteign Sound Labs could have easily added a bunch of additional features like effects and filters but they haven’t, and I believe rightly so. Because the beauty of Plaits is in that balance of versatility and simplicity. Adding new things can very quickly become complex, which detracts from the module’s epic usability.
Ok, Presteign has added a little bit. The LPG has been expanded to give you a bit more control over the envelope and filter contained within and they’ve added MIDI functions such as pitch bend and modulation wheel support. The labels change as you change the sound model which gives you a better idea about what you can expect the controls do and there’s a bunch of useful presets. You’ve also got up to 16 note polyphony which does rather change the whole concept of Plaits.
And that’s the thing. Plaits, in my view, is at its best in Eurorack. Once you start fiddling around with polyphony and poking in controls that weren’t crafted into the module by Emilie Gillet it loses some of its specialness. However, Macro will bring 16 unique sounds to your Reason system and in the spirit of the open-source nature of the module Macro is available for you to have completely free of charge.
- Macro on the Reason website