I was thinking of getting Reaktor on NI’s latest sale. Is it worth it if I already have a large amount of plugins? $99 is a nice price though...
I've owned Reaktor 6 for a few months, and $99 I would say is a very good price point for it, if you're really into experimenting and getting a bit weird with your sounds. Basically it's like a giant, digital LEGO box for building synthesizers, which I personally love about it.
Now, in terms of learning curve, if you already have a decent grasp on the core principles of synthesis, and a bit of math / physics / electronics background, you should have no trouble diving in and making something. Otherwise, I would say there is probably a non-trivial learning curve to pick up the principles of DSP and how to propagate a signal path to create sound. If you start a new project, you literally are starting from a blank canvas, and all the signal routings, etc. are up to you to decide. Fortunately, there are many ready-made modules in the factory library you can use, along with plenty of tutorials, etc. out there to help you along.
Anyway, even if you don't like building your own stuff, the sheer amount of sounds possible just from factory instruments is also mind boggling. There's ~30 synths and 15 drum machines, and while a lot of them tend more towards the experimental side of things, there's also some good bread-and-butter synths like Carbon 2, too. There's some super high quality stuff in the Reaktor User Library, too, running the gamut from virtual analogue, to front-patching modular synths, to whatever the hell this thing is: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/r ... show/5747/
I've got to say, I don't use Reaktor a whole
lot in comparison to more "daily driver" synths, but I really enjoy looking under the hood and tinkering with it, which I feel helps me appreciate and understand the core principles of synthesis. Not to mention using it to make weird, evolving sounds, which is fun in its own way, too.