Analog modular synths have enjoyed a substantial renaissance recently, so this year, Native Instruments decided to get in on the action. It makes sense that Reaktor 6 ($199), the continuation of the long-time leader in DIY soft-synth creation, would jump atop the modular craze. Reaktor 6 does it with what it calls Blocks; more than 30 modules for quickly building modular rack-style synthesizers. Blocks are also the bridge between people who use Reaktor to build seriously original synths and those who use it for the more than 70 factory instruments with presets and the thousands of free community-designed instruments.
Reaktor 6 also features a refined workflow with more efficient libraries and a modernized interface, as well as more powerful tools for hardcore builders. When you consider all that it does for the price, it feels like the be-all, end-all soft synth whether you want set-it-and-forget-it satisfaction or to build your own beast from scratch.