Not familiar with Reaktor.
I didn’t have any trouble at all getting a lot of value out of Bidule right away.
Within the first few minutes, it already beat out Bome ($70 USD) for controller management and pre daw transformations there.
Example, I often plug in pedals and they’re wired backwards for the keyboard I plugged it into. Sometimes there’s no way to change the phase on the pedal, nor in the keyboard I plugged it into. It works, but backwards. So…bidule to the rescue! I use that often, so it’s saved as a group I can pull up and drop in with two clicks.
Yes, cubase can fix this with a global or track transformer…but I have other apps that can’t.
Sometimes I want to split the keyboard into 4 or more zones. It can only do two natively. Bidule to the rescue. Easy to do too. Save it once it’s built…always on the ready in two clicks.
There’s more…AKAI shipped crappy drivers with my MPK261 that go into exclusive mode. Only one app at a time can touch them. This configuration solves that too, as the virtual ports are multi-client friendly.
At home…far from an ideal place to mix…really bad room, but I love it for my own personal fun and composing.
Here’s a shot of the logic that mirrors a CC to correct a backwards pedal. Seems like this was included and already built for us, so I began using it at a higher level that essentially just sorts out what CC it should mirror, if I want it channel specific or not, etc.
At the top level my first stand alone instance looks more like this. The transformations and stuff I do from the MPK are all living in that one block top left of the bidule instance. Bome1 and Bome2 are the virtual ports out…
In this case, I’m running ASIOLink Pro here, so I can route any audio in my system, be it WDM or ASIO about. Send my DAW to Team Viewer. Record something from the web into Cubase, grab a stream from another PC and pull it into Cubase, whatever.
I threw up a cheap Limiter (DD Limiter) plugin for my Web Browser, because when I’m streaming broadcast with ads, it never fails the adds blow the roof off my house, but then I can’t hear the program!
The Reastream instance is for sending my Fantom XR into Dorcio so I can blend that into what’s going on with effects in Dorico’s MIX. In short…an instance of Bidule leads Dorico to belive my XR is a VST plugin. It sends MIDI off to the Fantom directly, and this reastream instance picks up the audio off the SPDIF inputs of my Delta 1010, and sends them back over to that instance of bidule over in Dorico, and it goes into Dorico’s mixing console directly.
The group of four faders turned up and unmuted are for Dorico, Sibelius, Finale, and my Web-Browser receptively. Cubase gets a hard line straight to faders 1 - 6.
Of course this is just one setup of many. Just happens to be the one that’s currently up.
Basic monitoring, rewire ability, and routing alone, and I was already in heaven.
Before I even started up a DAW, as you can see, I’m using Bidule for quite a few things. Already got my $85 worth!
It’s not hard at all for the basics of chaining and routing things. Once you build something, it’s not ‘klunky’ at all, as you can group things and put your base UI objects needed into a single top level panel. Make you own short-cuts or remote controls to easily get at it, etc.
It doesn’t start getting ‘kunky’ until you’re trying to build something really complicated. The clunkyness has both advantages and disadvantages. A plus being, it’s easy to see and trace your logic, put in monitors/meters at any point to check it…verify what it’s doing at each stage, make adjustments, etc. That’s something that’s often hard to with ‘code’.
Most things you’ll need access to in a ‘hurry’ you’ll have saved away as a bidule group, or even an entire bidule project. So once it’s built…no problem, and you can control how your personal library of groups show up in menus.
Over time, I started taking more advantage of the gravy. I just wanted to make my orchestral stuff a little smarter, fix issues somewhat on the fly with libraries, etc.
I’ve kind of ‘grown into’ using more and more features as I come up with a problem that needs a solution. If there’s something a host can’t do, I’ll ask myself if maybe Bidule can plug that gap, and often it does.
Personally, I don’t use it very often for super creative sound design. I mostly use it for more flexibility in implementing/mixing/meshing existing sounds. In that respect, I don’t find it difficult to use at all. Especially now that I’ve practiced a bit with the math-bidules, and built up a collection of personal groups for the most common things I need that weren’t already included.
I.E. Build a simple routine of about 7 bidules, say it’s something like randomizing velocity between a certain range as it comes in if it lives near a certain beat or other characteristic (random example off the top of my head). I know I often need that in a x16 configuration with adjustable channel mapping up front, so I go ahead and set that up with a quick UI on top and save a group for it. Basically clone it 15 more times, group it, connect some more pins, make a top level UI to easily get all 16 channels in one click to change the channels in one spot, preset the default channels I want, save it, and boom. It gets used over and over again.
In a live situation, this thing should be solid gold! You could easily create a setup with it to manage your acts and sounds with one touch commands straight from your keyboard(s). I’ve done some small scale live stuff with it…and it REMOVED kunkyness…of course…I had to plan and build the flow in advance, but boy was it fine to use from there.
So I guess, to sum it up…
I meet a problem, build a solution, and ‘grow into the app’. The more I use it, the more advanced I get with it, and the easier it gets for me each time.