NI Razor tutorial – An Introduction to Razor

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NI Razor is a totally different beast, this amazing additive synthesizer allows you to create complex and especially unique refreshing sounds using just sine waves.

First let’s dive in to the main controls and concepts so that we have a clear understanding of what this synth can do.

Additive synthesis is very different from all the other forms of sound design since it uses only sine waves to build more complex waves.

Joseph Fourier, who lived somewhere in the 18th century stated that every sound could be replicated by just using sine waves, multiplying them, adding new sine waves with different frequencies, etc.

Because sine waves are the most basic waves around, you can pretty much build anything with it.

Think of it like Lego, when you have lots of small Lego pieces you can build a hole house, but if you have inconvenient big blocks with corners and different pieces on it that you never could get off (am I right?) then it suddenly gets a lot more difficult to build something nice.

Razor uses this “building with sine waves” technique to build its basic saw waves but also a lot of other cool sounds.

All the effects in Razor are based on this as well, they will not really change the existing sound, they really change the harmonics to create a new sound.
This results in a very clean and precise sound that stand out because of clarity and focus.
It takes a little while getting used to though, thats why I explain the whole interface first in this video.

The first thing to take notice of is that you can change pretty much all modules inside Razor by clicking on their name.
This opens a window with a lot of different sound sources and effects to choose from, all with different control panels and different sounds.
The routing is very simple from left to right with all the modulation sources at the bottom, this makes it very easy to visualise what it happens, especially with the help of main analyser window.
This window exactly shows what we’ve talked about, you can see the harmonics changing, shifting higher, getting louder, or softer when filtered.
Keep an eye on this display while designing your first sounds to get an idea of what a sound is doing, and how it works, this will make your learning curve a lot steeper and you’ll get a bigger understanding of additive synthesis pretty quikly!

Thats it for this first tutorial, check back next week when we are going to create some actual sound with it!



Kevin Austin says:

There are no sounds in a synth. There are signals, Sound is acoustic. The use of block diagrams would increase the functionality of the tutorial so that readers could understand how [and why] the myth functions.

Office Eciffo says:

Why does razor take up so much CPU?

VirtualDreamerMusic says:

Lost my ears on that one but thanx for the tuto ! 🙂

PYRITE says:

why is massive not an additive synth? you can also start from a sine wave and than go on . maybe i didn’t understand it

Konstantin Lackner says:

Great tutorial!

Kostas Spiliotopoulos says:

How on earth do i change the pitch bend range ?

Tao S. says:

I’m kinda late but anyway, nice video, you seem to be a genuinely nice guy, do you have your own channel or do you upload only on ADSR’ channel?
Btw have you already played with Harmor, it’s a really amazing additive synth that’s even more powerful than Razor

Love Castle says:

Bought razor a few weeks back, this tutorial is great timing for me… Can’t wait for the next tutorial

Devinedivinity says:

Great introduction to Razor, keep’em coming 🙂

MelodicTechno says:

your voice is too quiet

K Cox says:

Would getting two or sythns make sense? I recently purchase Serum, and love it. But some of the features Razor has arn’t in Serum. Also, the majority of music producers uses Serum and I would want to stand out and be different from the rest. Keep up the great tutorials!

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