Crude, fabulous free Reaktor 6 drone synth with Krell randomization got an update


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Crude by Bolle is a fabulous free experimental drone Synthesizer ensemble for Reaktor 6 (full) with Krell randomization and built-in FX.

We’ll see what Native Instruments’ portfolio will look like in the future. I don’t have that great feeling after the events of the last few years. One thing I hope is that NI continues Stepan Schmitt’s legacy Reaktor and that it doesn’t end up like the Absynth plugin.

Reaktor 6 is still a super fascinating and excellent synth and sound design toolbox. Bolle, a developer, showed that this impressively last year with its free Crude drone synth—one of my favorite Reaktor releases in 2023.

Now, there is an update that you shouldn’t miss. The built-in Lunar Delay unit now has CV-controllable stereo width control, giving more sound design options.

Plus, Crude is now NKS-compatible and thus fully controllable from your Native MIDI controller. Not a big update but one that puts Crude in focus again.


Article October 1, 2023 

Reaktor, currently in the 6th generation, is a sound design environment where you can build everything from multi-engine synthesizers, effects, and MIDI generators up to entire modular synths with Eurorack-inspired modules (blocks). With a huge amount of new plugins coming onto the market every month, it is often forgotten how versatile and powerful the platform is.

This is also partly due to the lack of promotion from Native Instruments. That’s a shame because Reaktor is a fantastic tool mainly driven by the community. The wealth of free tools in the Reaktor User Library is worth seeing. An exciting release that you, as a Reaktor user shouldn’t miss is Crude.

Crude Reaktor

Crude By Bolle

Bolle released Crude almost a year ago. It is a fascinating drone synth that has been constantly developed since its release with the community’s help. The GUI reminds me of a bit of hardware instruments from Soma Labs, Moffenzeefmodular Stargazer or other boutique manufacturers.

The layout is very hardware-compatible, in my opinion. And like a hardware box, Crude can also be played. Everything is immediate and not hidden in thousands of menus. It’s fun to tweak.

The core consists of two wavetable oscillators with 84 selectable waves, and octave, semitone, and fine-tune control. For additional crunch, you can apply a bit crusher and distortion FX to the oscillator. Great, you set the distortion pre- or post-filter in the bottom menu in view B. So you can infuse dirt in the filter or add warmth to the final sound. 

There are two lowpass filters (one for each oscillator) with 12 or 24dB/oct types (adjustable in view B, cutoff, and resonance controls. And of course, it also hosts a good amount of modulation to throw your drone sounds into chaos. Three LFOs are available, one for each filter and for the output amp. They offer various controls: amp, frequency, waveform select, pulse, and sync.

Crude Reaktor ensemble

Version 2.4/2.5

In the last few months, Crude has also been further developed, and some exciting features have been added. Below the wave select knobs, you can now find Krell buttons 1 and 2. This turns the Crude drone synth into a random sound generator. This brings the synth into completely different areas that were previously not possible with the other versions.

Another addition is a new multi-FX section. Besides the built-in chorus, it now hosts a CV-controllable spacey stereo delay (Lunar Delay), and a reverb (Air Reverb). These are hidden underneath the actual GUI and fit the drone synth perfectly in terms of sound. Thanks to the 8 -1/+1 random generator outputs of Crude, you can also go wild with these effects.

Not to forget, there is a super fun randomizer button that randomizes all controls of Crude, with one expectation: the volume control. This allows new sounds to be generated instantly, I’m always surprised by what the ensemble can produce. A short sound demo is available on my Instagram account.


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First Impression

It’s almost wrong to say that these are my first impressions. I’ve been playing around with Crude for months. Now he came back into my focus thanks to the lovely updates. Crude is a great drone synth with lots of sound possibilities. A must for every Rekaktor 6 user

Crude by Bolle is available now as a free download for Reaktor 6 users in the Reaktor User Library. It requires the full version of Reaktor 6. 

More information here: Reaktor User Library

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