An Introduction to Razor
NI Razor is a totally different beast! This amazing additive synth allows you to create complex and uniquely refreshing sounds. Today 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 quickly!