Native Instruments today released RAZOR, its new software additive synthesis synthesizer, designed together with electronic artist Errorsmith.
You can get an in-depth look at how Razor works through the video above and find out why the new synth is like a microwave oven, jiggling reverb and all.
RAZOR is available for download purchase in the NI Online Shop for $79/69 EUR.
If you’ve tried Razor, leave a comment with your thoughts!
Native Instruments Razor
RAZOR utilizes up to 320 partials for its sound shaping algorithms. The dual oscillator section provides a wide arsenal of timbres, ranging from typical analog-style waveforms to unconventional models like “Primes”, “Sick Pitchbend” and “Hoover Sync”.
The two filter sections offers 20 different filter types including innovative formant, vowel and waterbed models. A further section provides an arsenal of “Dissonance Effects” that contribute to the sonic footprint of the instrument. RAZOR also integrates a 34-band vocoder that can also be used to process external audio signals of any type.
The user interface of RAZOR builds on familiar concepts of subtractive synthesizers. RAZOR also includes a library of 350 presets, with a focus on “cutting-edge electronic sound aesthetics”.
Details on Razor are available at the NI site.
28 thoughts on “Native Instruments Razor Now Available; Here’s How It Works”
Hoi, this is steve h – and my voice is extreeeemely annoying, you know, like really f ing irritating and slow, like an Apple advert, when we talk down to you, like you are stupid, and need our latest Apple product so much you should, you know, queue for it in the street outside the shop, you know!
That guy's voice really creeps me out.
But after going to the website, I think I might be sold on this. Seems pretty unique and it's not a bad price. Sounds a little cold/digital, but kind of in a neat way. Might add some good flavor, I suppose.
The synth looks nice and sounds nice and grimy. But like Andy said, the guy's voice is annoying and explains the product as if the target market were a bunch of complete n00bs.
That guy does tons of videos for MacProVideo, Lynda and I think Groove3. I wonder if he really works in the music industry or he's just a hired gun voice over guy though cuz I swear I heard him on a Java or C++ tutorial before…not sure but that dude gets a lot of work doing voice overs.
As for the synth It looks interesting but it's the same price as that u-He ACE so if I'm going to drop 79USD on a synth it would be a bit of a toss up. I guess for the dubstep kids who wore out all the presets in Massive this will be an essential purchase but I'll wait and see. Not gonna impulse buy it.
the control over the sine wave partials making up the harmonic spectrum of the sound seems to me to be one of the most exciting developments I've seen in a synth in a long time… sure the guy's voice is annoying, but does no one else get how cool this is? I am buying it tomorrow suckers.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who found his voice irritating (sounds like one of those women's radio shows where they have to turn the mics all the way up because they are speaking so softly. At least you can't hear the spit swishing around his mouth which is usually what happens in those cases.) Anyway, I really like the concept. It seems very new and cutting edge. I mean, I love the analog sound as much as the next guy, but I think we should really start moving forward too. You can always go back to your miniMoog that has been on the same bass setting for the last 30 years.
"You can always go back to your miniMoog that has been on the same bass setting for the last 30 years." <-wow, I didn't mean to sound that harsh! I'm just messing with you guys!
I know some people hate his voice, but Steve H. is quite an accomplished musician who has quite a long professional music career. Look him up.
It sounds really unusual and unique. Really inspiring timbres and the layout is intuitive.
The CPU usage is almost a showstopper though. The init patch (a saw wave with a low pass filter) hits 15% on a quad core. Add some filters and you could be looking at 30% or more.
It’s a shame because this synth sounds so good – you want to use more than one instance.
The CPU issue is legit, but I'd rather have developers come up with way cool synths that make me want to upgrade than have them try to make everything run on old gear.
I am amazed that no one spotted the blunt error this guy is making. What he describes in the introduction (oscillators which "material" goes through filters) is *not* "additive synthesis", its quite the opposite.
How easy can it be? By filtering your "material" (what a line…) you're taking away stuff from your original waveform(s). Thus you're omitting or deleting stuff. As such we're talking about a classic example of subtractive synthesis.
As to the instrument itself.. What I heard sounds nice, but I think its just another example of extensions coming into play. What I mean with that? Take a nice soft synth and release it onto the market. Chances are high that people will find crazy things to do with it. Pick out the things which seem to appeal to a good amount of people, no matter how easy (or relatively easy) it is to generate the effect.
Then take out that single effect and build an instrument around it which is fully dedicated to that one effect. Sell it and the process is ready to repeat itself.
Note; I'm not dissing the product, but I don't think its as if they now invented something awesome; they've merely eased the process. Then again; with tutorials like these I think they're starting whole new problems 😉
I wouldn't get razor based just on this 😉
I would like to politely remind everyone that Alchemy does up to 600 partials…and is generally more advanced in how you can modulate them over time. Also, the re-synthesis capability is f*cking huge. Though I would LOVE to have a realtime partial viewer/visualizer in Alchemy. Maybe in a patch?
Aww man, I just looked up Steve H's website and he did a free Logic workshop and performance with Jordan Rudess at the Apple Store in Soho on March 8th!
I was thinking the same thing about the additive/subtractive synthesis, but it seemed like such an obvious mistake I was beginning to doubt my own knowledge of synthesis.
Hey, good point! I'll have to check out Alchemy then.
A bit harsh – but point taken.
Not sure – but I think that "filter" is a user interface device to make the modulation of the partials accessible.
I'm very pleased to see an additive design that gives you those great timbres without DX7-style wrestling. I'm at a "mature" point where I don't need or want to add new instruments overall, but this one can fill an empty spot well. Note that their Prism synth is very similar, but works from physical modeling. It includes a field where you can tweak harmonic content on the fly. Its like Razor turned inside-out, with similar sound results in several ways.
Yeah, Razor gobbles CPU a bit, so it'll call for care and track freezing. Logic's Sculpture is much the same way, but since it has such a unique sound, I use it as one or two instances for pads or leads. Would I like a 24-core Mac with 4 terabytes of RAM? SURE! Meanwhile, look at what you can have NOW. Rockin'!
It's great, it's awesome, oh yeah, oh yeah.
Hmm don't get it. First you add partials then you take them away, what's the point in doing that?
Wasn't subtractive synthesis one of the old school synthesis methods? What's new about that?
The synth actually looks cool, but the video is a bit fuzzy… Steve's voice might be the main cause of this fuzzyness though… 🙂
I was going to write the same thing! Alchemy is a real monster.
1 – Yeah, his voice sounds like he's about to touch you improperly, but his vids on the logic synths at MacProVideo are great, and well worth the time/money.
2 – I'm still mining the potential of additive synthesis in Alchemy, so Razor doesn't really draw me right now. But the price is right for someone not looking for a new $200 soft synth
3 – Sooooooo… this vid just has noisy junk coming out of Razor, and the other previews I've heard haven't excited me yet. Are we just not hearing the sonic potential of this synth?
4 – Is it just me? Every time I see a "new" Reaktor synth I get the feeling I could come pretty close to the result myself (being comfortable in Reaktor), minus the pretty UI.
I have nothing against NI in particular, but I'm just not interested at all in any of their products. To me being interested in NI so-and–so product is like having an interest in Microsoft Word. It just doesn't make any sense. Sure it's industry standard, but that's all it's got nothing inspiring.
Inspiration has to come from the user more than the tool. I don't need to duplicate my existing synths with Alchemy, but I use their Player version because the diversity of contributors makes it almost a collaboration.
The instrument's additive aspects are part of its great clarity, but Razor will be less of a total CPU load than Alchemy in my case. I'm pretty focused at this point, but the missing player in my stable has been an additive resource. Cameleon 5000 was just too out-there for my analog roots, but Razor brings it down to the level where I can have those colors without spending half a day aligning dozens of partials. This will leave more of my meat-CPU free for drinking and improvising. The next day, I listen to the recordings to see if anything useful made it through the haze of Schnappes and Doritios. Good morning!
even if this guy read pippy longstocking to some 1st graders, they'd soon revolt and beat him to a bloody pulp!
i promised i wouldn't feed into this but as soon as i started the video i wanted to throw my computer against the wall.
The CPU useage issue is worse than I had expected. Just a single instance of most patches will gobble up all my CPU if I hit more than a couple of keys or do a glissando (I have a 2 x 2.26 quad core). Sounds are great, but this thing is often completely unusable .
I'm pretty sure the reason he talks like that is for the all the potential MacPro Video customers around the world who might have trouble understanding english.
This guy talks like he’s telling me a dark secret of his of which he is ashamed, but also titillated.