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Manual

Disclaimer

The information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not repre
sent a commitment on the part of Native Instruments GmbH. The software described by
this document is subject to a License Agreement and may not be copied to other media.
No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or otherwise transmitted or record
ed, for any purpose, without prior written permission by Native Instruments GmbH, herein
after referred to as Native Instruments. All product and company names are or trade
marks of their respective owners.

Document authored by: David Gover


Product Version: 1.0 (12/2010)
Document version: 1.0 (12/2010)

Special thanks to the Beta Test Team, who were invaluable not just in tracking down bugs,
but in making this a better product.

Contact

Germany
Native Instruments GmbH
Schlesische Str. 29
D-10997 Berlin
Germany
info@native-instruments.de
www.native-instruments.de

USA
Native Instruments North America, Inc.
5631 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
USA
sales@native-instruments.com
www.native-instruments.com

Native Instruments GmbH, 2010. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
1

Welcome to MIKROPRISM ......................................................................................... 5

Installation and Activation ......................................................................................... 7

2.1
2.2

Installing MIKROPRISM .............................................................................................................. 7


Activating MIKROPRISM ............................................................................................................. 7
How to Use MIKROPRISM .......................................................................................... 9

How to Open MIKROPRISM ......................................................................................................... 9


Exploring Snapshots ................................................................................................................... 11
3.2.1
Loading a Snapshot from the Sidepane ..................................................................... 12

3.2.2
Loading a Snapshot from the Main Bar ..................................................................... 13

3.3
Saving a Snapshot ..................................................................................................................... 13
Overview of MIKROPRISM ......................................................................................... 14

4.1

3.1
3.2

Overview of MIKROPRISM User Interface .................................................................................... 15


Credits ...................................................................................................................... 18

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 4

Welcome to MIKRO PRISM

Welcome to MIKROPRISM

MIKROPRISM is a new free instrument, based on the successful synthesizer REAK


TORPRISM. Using the same sound engine as its bigger brother and REAKTORs new dy
namic ''Modal Bank'' technology, this fully-playable instrument shines with a stunning
range of brilliant sounds.
Based on 70 presets exclusively designed for MIKROPRISM, even first time users can
achieve great results instantly. Thanks to the clear and easy control-set, no synthesizer
knowledge is required to further tweak your sound, although the possibilities are immense.
All parameters you need are instantly accessible through automatable macro controls, in
cluding two synchronized internal modulation circuits.
Creating new sounds with MIKROPRISM is even more fun using the powerful preset
morphing feature of REAKTOR or the free REAKTOR 5 PLAYER: Simply select two presets
("snapshots"), and use the morph fader to seamlessly morph between the two sounds. You
can even use the modulation wheel to dynamically morph while you're playing!

Manual Conventions
This manual uses particular formatting to point out special facts and to warn you of poten
tial issues. The icons introducing the following notes let you see what kind of information
is to be expected:
Whenever this exclamation mark icon appears, you should read the corresponding note care
fully and follow the instructions and hints given there if applicable.
This light bulb icon indicates that a note contains useful extra information. This information
may often help you to solve a task more efficiently, but does not necessarily apply to the setup
or operating system you are using; however, it's always worth a look.

Furthermore, the following formatting is used:


Text appearing in (drop-down) menus (such as Open, Save as etc.) and paths to lo
cations on your hard drive or other storage devices is printed in italics.
Text appearing elsewhere (labels of buttons, controls, text next to checkboxes etc.) is
printed in light blue. Whenever you see this formatting applied, you will find the same
text appearing somewhere on the screen.

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 5

Welcome to MIKRO PRISM

Important names and concepts are printed in bold.


References to keys on your computer's keyboard you'll find put in square brackets
(e.g., "Press [Shift] + [Return]").
Single instructions are introduced by this play button type arrow.
Results of actions are introduced by this smaller arrow.

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 6

Installation and Activation


Installing MIKRO PRISM

Installation and Activation

2.1

Installing MIKROPRISM

The following section explains how to install and activate MIKROPRISM. Although this
process is straightforward, please take a minute to read these instructions, as doing so
might prevent some common problems.
To install MIKROPRISM, double-click the installer application and follow the instruc
tions on the screen. The installer application automatically places the new Player file into
a REAKTOR PLAYER directory. Alternatively, during the installation process, choose the
directory where you would like to have MIKROPRISM installed.

REAKTOR5.5 or REAKTOR PLAYER is required to play REAKTOR Instruments and Effects.


You can download the free REAKTOR PLAYER from the Native Instruments website.

2.2

Activating MIKROPRISM

When installation is finished, start the Service Center application, which was installed with
MIKROPRISM. It will connect your computer to the Internet and activate your MIK
ROPRISM installation. In order to activate your copy of MIKROPRISM, you have to per
form the following steps within the Service Center:
1. Log in: Enter your Native Instruments user account name and password on the initial
page. This is the same account information you used in the Native Instruments Online
Shop, where you bought your instrument REAKTOR Instrument, and for other Native
Instruments product activations.
2. Select products: The Service Center detects all products that have not yet been activat
ed and lists them. You can activate multiple products at oncefor example, several
REAKTORInstruments.
3. Activate: After proceeding to the next page, the Service Center connects to the Native
Instruments server and activates your products.

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 7

Installation and Activation


Activating MIKRO PRISM

4. Download updates: When the server has confirmed the activation, the Service Center au
tomatically displays the Update Manager with a list of all available updates for your in
stalled products. Please make sure that you always use the latest version of your Native
Instruments products to ensure they function correctly.
Downloading updates is optional. After activation is complete, you can always quit the Service
Center.

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 8

How to Use MIKRO PRISM


How to Open MIKRO PRISM

How to Use MIKROPRISM

The following sections will give you a brief overview of some basic operations: you will
learn how to open MIKROPRISM, how to explore the supplied Snapshots and how to load
and play MIKROPRISM snapshots from the Main bar and the Sidepane.

For latest information on REAKTORPLAYER files please refer to the REAKTOR5.5 Getting
Started Guide.

3.1

How to Open MIKROPRISM

This is how to open MIKROPRISM in REAKTOR or REAKTOR PLAYER:


1. Start REAKTOR or REAKTOR PLAYER respectively.
2. In the Browser on the left side of the REAKTOR / REAKTOR PLAYER window, click
the PLAYER button to show the REAKTOR PLAYER files (you can open the browser with
the F5 key from your keyboard).

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 9

How to Use MIKRO PRISM


How to Open MIKRO PRISM

3. Click the Mikro Prism folder. The folder's content will be displayed in the lower section
of the browser.

4. Double click the Mikro Prism.rkplr file, or drag it into the main screen.

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 10

How to Use MIKRO PRISM


Exploring Snapshots

5. MIKROPRISM will be loaded in REAKTOR / REAKTOR PLAYER:

3.2

Exploring Snapshots

Now you have loaded MIKROPRISM play some notes on your MIDI keyboard to get an
idea of how the synthesizer sounds. Then, lets change the sound completely by loading a
different Snapshot.

A Snapshot is REAKTORs notion for a sound, preset, or patch. MIKROPRISM can hold banks
of Snapshots, and loading any of these Snapshots will set each control of to a specific value,
and re-create a particular sound.

The Snapshots of MIKROPRISM are accessible from the central control in REAK
TORPLAYERs main bar or from the Sidepane.

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 11

How to Use MIKRO PRISM


Exploring Snapshots

Fig. 3.1 MIKRO PRISM interface with Snapshot list in the Sidepane.

(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)

3.2.1

Sidepane Button
Snapshot drop-down menu
Snapshot Banks
Snapshots

Loading a Snapshot from the Sidepane

If not already visible after startup, you need to open the Sidepane. The Sidepane holds a
full overview of REAKTOR's Snapshot Banks and Snapshots from the currently selected
Snapshot Bank.
1. Click the Sidepane button (1) in the Main Bar to open the Sidepane.
2. Select a Snapshot Bank (3).
3. Select the name of a Snapshot entry (4).

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 12

How to Use MIKRO PRISM


Exploring Snapshots

The name of the selected Snapshot will be highlighted in the Sidepane, and the Snapshot
loaded and ready in MIKROPRISM.

3.2.2

Loading a Snapshot from the Main Bar

Loading a Snapshot from the REAKTOR PLAYER drop-down menu in the Main Bar is the
simplest way to interact with Snapshots.
1. Click the Snapshot drop-down menu control (2). The menu holds all Snapshots and
Banks of the instrument.
2. Click an entry to select it.

3.3

Saving a Snapshot

Snapshots can only be saved when using the full version of REAKTOR, however, all your
settings will be recalled perfectly in a host if you are using REAKTOR PLAYER, so you can
tweak a sound perfectly for your song. All parameter settings made in MIKROPRISM will
be saved as part of your DAW project. Please read the REAKTOR documentation for more
information on plug-in mode.

For the latest information on REAKTORPLAYER please refer to the REAKTOR5.5 Getting
Started Guide.

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 13

Overview of MIKRO PRISM

Overview of MIKROPRISM

MIKROPRISM is intended to be a very playable, responsive polyphonic instrument with a


dynamic, expressive and organic sound based on REAKTORPRISM. In comparison to oth
er synthesizers, the most obvious difference is that there are no real oscillators or samples.
This is because MIKROPRISM is based on a Modal synthesis model, and sound is created
by an Exciter, which creates impulses or continuous noise. MIKROPRISM supplies the re
al twist when this noise is fed into its Modal Bank. This module has multiple resonating
band-pass filters per voice, similar to Additive synthesis, creating a unique character. Ulti
mately, this type of synthesis allows the emulation of sounds by giving control over the fre
quency and amplitude of each individual harmonic or partial.
The narrow band filters of the Modal Bank turn impulse signals into decaying sine oscilla
tions, and with noise signals at the input they can create continuous tuned sounds. The
filters can be compared to the oscillation modes of a physical object (e.g. a membrane, a
string, a mallet), where each mode has a characteristic frequency, decay time and ampli
tude amount. As with Additive synthesis, these are known as partials. By adding up multi
ple partials, the sound becomes complex. Depending on the chosen frequencies, the
sound can be a clear tone or a more disharmonic sound like percussion instruments.
In addition to the Exciter and Modal Bank resonator MIKROPRISM has a chain of custom
effects (Cabinet (amp emulation), 8-Pole HP/LP Filter, Flanger, Echo and Reverb) that can
be used for creative purposes. More expressive potential becomes available by engaging
the two Macro Controllers (MC1 and MC2), each being pre-assigned to three parameters
within each preset.

To find out more about the sound engine behind MIKROPRISM please refer to the REAKTOR
PRISM manual available from the Native Instruments website.

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 14

Overview of MIKRO PRISM


Overview of MIKRO PRISM User Interface

4.1

Overview of MIKROPRISM User Interface

Fig. 4.1 Overview of MIKRO PRISM User Interface

(1) EXCITER: The Exciter contains a generator for impulses and a generator for noise.
Both signals are mixed and processed by a high-pass and a low-pass filter.
IMPULSE: Level of the impulse signal in the Exciter signal.
NOISE: Level of the noise signal as part of the Exciter signal.
HI CUT: Cutoff frequency of the Exciter's High Cut (2-pole Low-pass) filter.
LOW CUT: Cutoff frequency of the Low Cut (2-pole High-pass) filter for the Exciter signal.
(2) MODAL BANK: A display visualizes the ratios and amplitude of the partials in the last
voice played. It is also possible to set the Modal Bank parameters for Decays, Harmonic
Bend and Filter.
TIME: Decay time of the modal bank's resonant signals.
HI AMT: Decay time for higher partials. At maximum setting the higher partials have the
same decay time as the fundamental.
RELEASE: Adjusts the Release time (at note-off) relative to the Decay Time. At maximum
setting the Release time is equal to the Decay time (no damping). Turning the knob to
the left increases the damping.
HP: High-pass cutoff controlling the amount of bending for the lower partials.
BEND Slider: Amount of bending applied to the harmonic ratios.
CUTOFF: Cutoff of the low-pass that controls the amplitudes of higher partials.

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 15

Overview of MIKRO PRISM


Overview of MIKRO PRISM User Interface

A/B BAL: Balance between the amplitudes of the partials in the odd (A) and even (B)
segments of the comb filter.
FUND: Controls the amplitude of all partials except the fundamental (ratio = 1).
SHIFT: Shifts the "A-B" comb filter pattern.
(3) MACRO CONTROLLERS: Real-time musical control and modulation of parameters. MIK
ROPRISM has two Modulation Macro Controllers. These can be used with remote control
lers, in a keyboard setting roughly corresponding to a volume or expression pedal, and the
modulation wheel. Both MC1 and MC2 controllers address up to three parameters. But they
can also be easily controlled by sequencer automation curves. In addition, you can also as
sign the monophonic LFO as an internal source of periodic movements.
SYNC: In this mode the LFO RATE is quantized to the global tempo and the phase of the
LFO is synced to the song position.
LFO RATE: Frequency of the monophonic LFO. It will be quantized to the global tempo
when SYNC is on.
MC1 Button: Activates the monophonic LFO to control the destinations of Macro Control
ler 1.
MC1 Slider: This slider is a Macro Controller for up to three parameters assigned by the
sound designer (some of them invisible in MIKROPRISM).By pressing the button on
the left the fader can be replaced by the signal of the monophonic LFO.
MC2 Button: Activates the monophonic LFO to control the destinations of Macro Control
ler 2.
MC2 Slider: This slider is a Macro Controller for up to three parameters assigned by the
sound designer (some of them invisible in MIKROPRISM).By pressing the button on
the left the fader can be replaced by the signal of the monophonic LFO.
For additional sound variation REAKTOR features Preset Morphing allowing you to morph be
tween two presets using a slider. This can also be controlled using MIDI Control Change 70.
For further information on REAKTOR and Preset Morphing please refer to REAKTOR Applica
tion Reference Guide.

(4) OUTPUT: The two Meters allow you to monitor the output signal and the amount of sat
uration in the Soft Clipper, which prevents hard clipping at the sound card.
VOLUME: Master level at the output of the synthesizer.From here the signal is routed to
the input of the effect chain, the Cabinet.

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 16

Overview of MIKRO PRISM


Overview of MIKRO PRISM User Interface

Left Meter: Shows the level at the output of the effect chain and the input of the Soft
Clipper.
Right Meter: Shows the amount of saturation when the Soft Clipper is limiting loud sig
nals.
(5) EFFECTS CHAIN: The output of the mixer is processed by a chain of five effects.
CABINET: Cross-fades between the dry signal and the saturated signal.
8-POLE FILTER: Cross-fades between the dry signal and the filtered signal.
FLANGER: Cross-fades between the dry signal and the delayed signal. At negative values
the delayed signal is inverted.
ECHO: Cross-fades between the dry signal and the delayed signal.
REVERB: Cross-fades between the dry signal and the reverberation signal.

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 17

Credits

Credits

Reaktor Ensemble: Stephan Schmitt


Contributions: Maximilian Zagler, Mike Daliot, Dietrich Pank
Product Design: Stephan Schmitt, Matt Jackson
Graphic Design: Gregory Pignot, Gsta Wellmer
Sound Design: Robert Linke, Adam Hanley, Stephan Roemer, Tasmodia, Simon Stockhau
sen, Matt Jackson, Peter Prestl, Martin Backes, Jeremiah Savage, Colin Fraser, Klaus-Diet
er Pollack, Uwe Hoenig, Antonio Blanca, Dietrich Pank, Klaus Baetz, Matthias Fuchs, Mar
in Vrbica, Stephan Schmitt

MIKRO PRISM - Manual - 18