Native Instruments Releases Molekular Modular Multi-Effects Processor

Native Instruments has introduced Molekular, a modular multi-effects system for the Reaktor 5 (and the free Reaktor 5 Player).

Molekular features 35 creative effects for “advanced, creative” sound manipulation. Molekular also features slots for up to four effect modules and “near-limitless” routing options for effect arrangements. Modules include a pitch and resonator section for transforming percussive sounds into melodic arpeggios. Delay, stutter, and glitch modules allow users to create new rhythmic structures or turn any incoming signal into washed-out soundscapes.

NI_MOLEKULAR_modulationEight modulation effects offer sonic versatility for augmenting tone, from classic modulation effects like flanger and chorus to less traditional effects such as a purposefully broken pitch shifter to create unusual new textures. Six dynamic and distortion effects include a 16-stage wave folder and a DSP that tracks a signal’s pitch to control a variable waveform oscillator. Molekular also comes with ‘bread and butter’ effects.

Molekular features 16 modulation sources, which can be routed to any parameter within the effects system. Modulators include four customizable LFOs and four step sequencers for emphasizing any part of the meter with rhythms from simple eighth notes to odd metric subdivisions.


Additionally, Molekular includes analog modular-inspired trigger sequencers, each with a dedicated envelope and an envelope follower to set accents or add bursts of effects to any production. A logic module adds an irregular, organic feel to the structure of sound sources with any degree of precision or chaos. Frequency-based parameters can be quantized to custom scales and it’s even possible to route one modulator into another producing unusual, constantly evolving modulation structures.

By using the Morphing Field, it is possible to drastically twist the results via the interactive display. The morpher can also be controlled by any of the modulation sources.

Here are audio demos of Molekular in action:

Pricing and Availability

Molekular is available now at the Native Instruments Online Shop for $149 / 149 Euro. It runs in Reaktor 5 and in the free Reaktor 5 Player. Additional information is available at the Native Instruments website.

31 thoughts on “Native Instruments Releases Molekular Modular Multi-Effects Processor

    1. I agree I feel the same way, it must haves something to do with the coding, and the ability to allow power reaktor users to pull their sleeves up… The were able to port their compressors and eq’s to standalone, so there is still hope, but the fact we haven’t seen a stand alone monark etc points to some other issues.

      I would love it standalone, in that it is probably far less a cpu crusher, and none of us like the plugin within a plugin design, not as elegant, user friendly, and less likely to get used… but i do like the look of this package, and will definitely check it out.

    1. I’m a bit late in posting to this article, I know, but I reaaaaaally wish they had continued with expanding Guitar Rig. I’m a guitarist who uses midi and complicated processing chains to do what I do, and Guitar Rig’s modularity was perfect. They expanded with compressers and eq’s and it looked they were trying to make it their “audio effects” version of Reaktor and Kontakt, which covered synths and sampers respectively. But then they releases those previous plugins as standalones, and plugins like Supercharger, even Driver, which already looks like a Guitar Rig device!

      I figure the idea just wasn’t popular, and maybe people in general don’t like the idea of devices inside devices, (like this and Razor) but these effects would have been AMAZING to have in Guitar Rig, considering these are the types of sounds and effects I’m going for,

      1. Love the idea of modular effects processors, but hate the fact that they seem to always get marketed to and designed for guitarists.

  1. I don’t understand why they keep releasing stuff that operates within Reaktor versus making them standlone. It’s a really annoying way to work. I guess they’re just trying to boost sales of Reaktor?

    1. My guess is they’re going to come out with some hardware with a built in instance of Reaktor running which lets you use all the synths live…I think Maschine can already do this but I mean a keyboard instrument for playing the traditional stuff like Monarch etc.

      1. That would be cool, but seems doubtful. There’s a huge difference between Maschine, which has no on-board DSP, and a standalone keyboard or sound module. The closest thing I can think of would be Arturia’s Origin, which hasn’t exactly been a runaway success.
        Why put all that R&D into an expensive product with high overhead and razor thin margins when Maschine seems to be keeping people happy? My guess is the economics just don’t work out.

        1. Maybe but the analog bubble can’t last forever and NI will be positioned to move in and give people new and affordable tech once the baby boomers or whoever is actually buying all this nostalgic analog b.s. departs.

          1. I keep seeing these sorts of declarations of the impending collapse of the “analog bundle.” I’m genuinely curious as to whether it will ever happen or not.

            In a way, I hope it does happen. I’ll hold on to my analog gear, waiting for the price spikes in the inevitable analog resurgence to follow 15-20 years later.

            Everything old is new is old again.

            1. I would argue that it’s already collapsing, based on the falling price of new cool analog gear, the falling price of software based analog emulations, and the rise of new software instruments based on synthesis types other than VA.

        2. yeah, i agree that is doubtful, as you said, the margins are razor thin (no pun intended!), I would love an NI device with a competent processor inside it, that would allow us to use this stuff without killing our cpu’s, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.

          I have been following the Origin’s story since inception, and salivated over it, but the sticker price etc… I have never seen anyone using one in my travels… and you never see them cheap on the secondary market…. I wonder how long they intend to support it?

  2. They are releasing it for Reaktor for the people who can add additional features to molekular since reaktor allows editing the ensambles. I think its the right decision, Would be great to integrate it with eurorack modular to receive CVs and send CVs from/to modules to make all play in sync.

  3. Great to see a free demo – Sounds amazing but I already have Turnado which is similar….As a Komplete 9 user I will wait to get it ‘bundled’ (somethimes I think they only launch this stuff at $150 bucks so that they can then say what great value the Komplete Bundles are!)

  4. This looks near perfect to me. And while it would be great to have a version that runs outside of Reaktor, there are a lot of benefits of it being inside Reaktor that make it totally worth while.

    I’ve been looking for a modular or semi-modular effects unit that was modern, had a usable interface, and wasn’t “glitchy” for a long time, and this looks like it will seriously fit the bill. I’m looking forward to trying it.

  5. The fact is this was built in and designed in Reaktor so it makes sense that it is released in Reaktor. It probably would have cost a lot more if NI re-wrote the code so it would work as a standalone VST/AU/AAX plugin. Btw, this does work in the free Reaktor Player.

    Anyway, for me this is a fantastic release by NI. The presets (Snapshots) are brilliant and so is the gui. All the effects are wonderful and the modular approach makes this very flexible indeed.

    If there are any Kore users here who loved the ‘Deep’ series (Transformations, Reconstructions) you will be delighted to know that the same guy who designed those releases is part of this design team for Molekular.

  6. It’s a plus that it runs inside reactor… at least for Reaktor users. This gives you the ability to customize the Ensemble to your specific needs…. wanna add a sequencer to modulate effect parameters? How about putting a synth or sampling drum machine in front of Molekular to create an all-in-one groove machine?

    Reaktor also allows you to do other things, like morph between a series of snapshots (presets), create unique routings, and even program your own additions to the ensemble… the built-in sample recorder makes sampling very quick, you can re-skin ensembles to customize your studio or create visuals for a live set… you can send midi out in many different ways to do things like control lighting systems that respond to the effects parameters… you can even customize the layout of all the knobs and controllers in an ensemble to suit your workflow…

    I understand the guys who would prefer it standalone, but if you take the time to learn even the basics of modifying Reaktor instruments and ensembles… it can really open up a lot of creative possibilities.

  7. I agree that making these only function within Reaktor is pretty clunky. But here’s the reason why they’re doing it – a lot of these products are actually developed externally by Reaktor power-users (like Tim Exile on the Finger, Errorsmith on Razor, now Zynaptiq on this one). So all that Native Instruments has to do is generate some marketing material, throw a small margin at the developer, then sit back and collect the profits. Easy-peasy.

    Personally, as much as I enjoy NI products, the fact that a) they left a whole community of Kore users (including myself) out in the cold and b) now require OS 10.7 or higher to install and run their products (when more than 25% of users are still running SL), makes me think twice about giving them any of my money.

    1. I agree. the 10.7 requirement is ridiculous. I understand the older OS’s will be abandoned at some point, but 10.6.8 is THE MOST STABLE OSX in 10 years, and there is a reason why a lot of us are clinging to it. I won’t upgrade right now, so I won’t buy this product. I understand I will have to move on at some point, but not with the problems I have heard, and not when I have a rock solid system that CAN run these ensembles without needing an OS upgrade. And I got Kore too…. thanks for nothing on that NI. You had nothing but unmitigated zeal for it until the day you orphaned it.

      1. Never had a freeze with Mavericks, ever. Complete rock solid for me – so the only reason to stay with old OS versions is if you use hardware that has out of date drivers or software that hasn’t been updated in a long time.

  8. Very interesting and musical effects ! Not a toy like Tornado, or Glitch…. The only problem is that the effects and sounds from Native Instruments… sounds like Native Instruments and are immediately
    identifiable. To use sparingly… (The same thing with the Vengeance soundbank).

    1. let me guess, I bet you thought Monark also had that “NI” sound even though you couldn’t possibly tell a difference between it and the real thing in a blind test. This type of hyperbole based off of NI’s very plain/raw and therefor harsh demos is getting old real quick. That “NI sheen” is complete rubish

  9. It’s prob less expensive to generate the plug and gui in reaktor and sell it, then to do it from scratch and release it in an autonomous state…

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