Pro: + tons of sound generators + FX for a tolerable price + several powerful great sounding pieces included + a great pool for inspiration and creativity
Con: - paranoid copy protection: Original protected CD checked during 1st startup + challenge/response! - this is what I expected Dynamo should have been... Now it's here: 3 years too late for an increased price
After NI made me an unhappy and disappointed customer of theirs with Dynamo (see my review there), I decided after a long phase of doubt and indecision to spend 99 EUR and upgrade this outdated piece to Reaktor Session.
I finally have what Dynamo should have been, a "runtime environment" for Reaktor, the universal modular multi-platform multi-format sound generating/modifying construction kit.
The lib installed from CD (probably the same shipped with Reaktor 4) includes 9 synthesizers, 4 sequenced synths, 4 samplers/transformers, 2 live tools and 9 effects. I do some of them like more, some less, but now I'm not restricted to a limited small selection. You now have access to a huge collection of Reaktor ensembles from others and the NI page. Besides the "Premium Lib", shipped with Dynamo and Reaktor 2, and those new with Reaktor 3, you can find as a registered user currently over 1300 user contribs for download there.
The GUI looks much better and is easier to use than in Dynamo, and there are several usefull enhancements, like the browser, smart windowsizing or the ability to wire several instruments together. You are no longer restricted to 4 VST plugs and can even build multi-timbral VSTi's.
There are some minor unhandy things, like the patch handling for VST is flexible but tricky and the manual could explain several things a bit better. I noticed some neglectable bugs in 1.02, like flickering hints or wrong update of VST DLL name, but they're not severe and I didn't had a crash so far.
It's big fun exploring the library, trying the ensembles out, learn how they work, playing around with the presets, enjoy the sounds (some are great) and create your own patches. And when you're looking for new toys you can go online and download new ones...
A great inspiration for creativity. This is why I like Reaktor Session, and this is why I'll probably use it more often than I used Dynamo.
Unfortunately I have to end with an unpleasant issue: During first startup the original protected CD is checked, and within 30 days you have to register and enter a response code from NI, otherwise it will no longer work. When you change core components (like CPU or OS), you have to do the C/R proceedings again... Even I didn't had problems so far, as a honest paying customer I'm feeling traced and treated badly as a criminal. In my opinion these proceedings causes more trouble and do not increase sales, since pirates will crack it anyway and don't have to bother with these kinds of restrictions, whereas I will continue to avoid NI's products as long as they continue to use copy protection...