Reaktor is a graphical modular software music studio developed by Native Instruments (NI). It lets musicians and sound specialists design and build their own instruments, samplers, effects and sound design tools. It is supplied with many ready-to-use instruments and effects, from emulations of classic synthesizers to futuristic sound design tools. In addition, more than 3000 free instruments can be downloaded from the growing User Library. One of Reaktors unique selling points is that all of its instruments can be freely examined, customized or taken apart; Reaktor is a tool that effectively encourages reverse engineering. Reaktor Player is a free limited version of the software that allows musicians to play NI-released Reaktor instruments, but not edit or reverse-engineer them. In 1996, Native Instruments released Generator version 0.96 - a modular synthesizer for PC, requiring a proprietary audio card for low-latency operation. By 1998, Native Instruments had redesigned the program to include new hierarchy, and integrated third-party drivers for use with any standard Windows sound card. By 1999, Reaktor 2.0 (a.k.a. Generator/Transformator) is released for Windows and Macintosh. Integrated real-time display of filters and envelopes and granular synthesis are among most notable features. Plug-in support for VST, VSTi, DirectConnect, MOTU, and DirectX formats is integrated by 2000 (software version 2.3). With version 3.0 (released in 2001), Native Instruments introduced a redesigned audio engine and new graphic design. Further expansion of synthesis and sampling modules, addition of new control-based modules (XY control) and data management (event tables) greatly expands the abilities of the program. The earliest version to really resemble the modern incarnation of the software is version 3.5, which improved greatly in VST performance and sample handling. Reaktor 3.5 is the first release that features full cross-platform compatibility.