Using the Razor Vocoder and Sidechain Features
I wanted to put together a video like this one to help explain one more way the Razor vocoder could be used to create unique and interesting layers when used in conjunction with the sidechain triggering capability and the Safe Bass feature. This is a nice approach to layering sounds in Razor and it is also helpful for learning even more uses for both the sidechain and vocoder tools. The idea is really quite simple, but seems to catch a lot of people up initially, probably because it involves sidechaining something from outside of Reaktor. But fear not! This is a basic technique that can be used again and again both in Razor and any other synth or plugin that offers sidechaining capabilities. The fact that a beat that has nothing to do with the sound or song it will be used in adds a truly unique appeal which helps to keep your audience actively engaged while it’s being played.
To add the Razor vocoder to a sound you are working on is simple enough, but you do need to trigger it somehow. This is why the sidechain feature is used in the first place. I chose to send a beat as a trigger for the Razor vocoder just to be different and show that there are many uses that a lot of people would think of. One more reason experimentation is so important! Something slightly syncopated, but with a few off beats here and there, usually works best for this type of application. Although the beat I ended up using was a MIDI instrument, it could have just as easily been an audio file. In fact, many DAWs recognize any audio track as a sidechain trigger option by default.
You should also take notice that the beat is being sent to through the Bus to its auxiliary channel Pre-Fader. This is important! It means that we can turn down the volume (fader) control to keep the drums from being heard, but the signal itself is sent prior to the fader in the audio signal flow so it works as a trigger regardless of whether the audio itself is audible in the project or not. Without this small step, this would not be possible in the way it has been presented here. You can also choose to use a sound within your project that is audible to trigger the Razor vocoder, which can provide continuity and even enhance the groove. The choice is yours! I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick tip on how to get a little more out of Razor.
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