Top Razor Tutorials
Top Razor Tutorials

Top 16+ Razor Tutorials 2022

We have created for you a rating of the Best 16 Razor Tutorials as the most viewed and by excellent reviews of musicians

Tutorials list navigation:

  1. Modifying Razor – Automatically Morph – Part 02
  2. Design Ambient Warm Chords
  3. Modifying Razor – Part I
  4. Morph Your Sounds With Macros in Razor
  5. Use the Sidechain Modulator In Razor
  6. Combine Oscillators and FX in Razor
  7. Use Aftertouch Inside Razor
  8. Using external modulation with Razor
  9. The Formant Oscillator in Razor
  10. Design Beautiful Chords / Pads With Razor
  11. An Introduction to Razor
  12. Make Great Vocoder Sounds In Razor
  13. Make Modular S&H Loops In Razor
  14. Morphing Bass Sounds In Razor
  15. Creating a Razor Psytrance Saw Bass
  16. Design Deep, Powerful Basslines With Razor

1. Modifying Razor – Automatically Morph – Part 02

In this video, salamanderanagram shows how to automatically morph between 4 sounds in Razor. Our project from the previous video is modified to allow modulation, using the Blocks format. This means you can plug a wide variety of Blocks into the modified version of Razor and use them as modulators.


2. Design Ambient Warm Chords

Although NI Razor is often used to create big bass sounds and weird morphing effects, its clean and defined sound also lends itself great for making pads and chords. This week we are making some very nice chord sounds!

In most cases you want chords to be clean, mainly because they sit in the background of your mix during almost the whole song.

This means that they shouldn’t fight with other instruments.

Razor is great because it doesn’t add any messy frequencies to your chords, what you hear is what you get, and nothing else!

I started of this sound using two oscillators, the pulse to saw oscillator and the number pitchbend.

The number pitchbend is a really cool oscillator because it allows you to choose specific harmonics to quantize to the pitchbend steps.

I chose only the odd harmonics here because that gives the sound a hollow character, again leaving more space for other instruments in the mix.

After that I go through two filters, a normal low-pass and the comb peak filter.

Comb filters are my absolute favorite because they can create some sick sounds, you might have to tweak them for a while though!

The last stage is the effect section where I use Razors great build-in reverb and a F-Grid effect.

The Grid effect, as its name implies, quantizes all the partial frequencies to a frequency grid.

This means the partials are going to be forced inside specific user defined frequencies, giving a very cool sound.

The modulation in this patch is pretty extreme, I didn’t want to use a side-chain signal so that’s why I used LFO 1 to control a lot of parameters inside the synth.

This gives use a cool “pumping’ effect, making sure the chords stay out of the way of the kick and providing us with some extra groove.

After that it is just a matter of taste, I used a few envelopes to create some more movement and set up the macros to automate.

Remember to switch to mode B of Razor if you want to automate the macros!

I hope you’ve learned something, and don’t hesitate to give me some more tutorial ideas!


3. Modifying Razor – Part I

In this video, salamanderanagram shows how to create a morphing system for Razor that allows you to save and morph between 4 sounds using a single XY module.

In the following videos the system will be expanded, first to allow for automatic morphing, and then to connect to incoming Blocks.


4. Morph Your Sounds With Macros in Razor

Create awesome variations in your razor presets with macros

Last week we’ve looked into creating warm and ambient sounds inside NI Razor so this week it is time to look into a bit more heavy stuff.

Razor is perfect for creating low bass sounds because of its additive engine.

This engine only plays pure sine-waves, therefore no extra distortion is added to the low frequencies. This will make your sound more focused and stable which allows your mix to be louder and better in general.

We begin by adding two oscillators, for the first one we use the formant oscillator and for the second one we choose the sick pitch-bend. When you are working with the sick pitch-bend it is important to keep in mind that this is the only oscillator type that messes around with the phasing of the oscillators.

To recreate this sound it is important to load the formant oscillator in slot one.
You can consider this first slot as the master oscillator.

After that we use two filters, a normal low-pass with a phasing resonance and a multi-mode filter which is set to the bandpass type.

But the fun really starts when we open the macro panel in the top right corner.
Using macros we can control two knobs at the same time, and since the modulation possibilities are a bit limited in Razor this can be really useful!

Great for writing automation or learn them to your MIDI controller.

You can get at least 10 distinct sounds out of one patch if you make smart use of the Macros.


5. Use the Sidechain Modulator In Razor

You are probably familiar with side-chaining, you route a kickdrum to a compressor and get some pumping bass sounds, right?

But side-chaining has a lot more uses, let’s check out one of Razors build in features.

When you open up Razor you see a section at the bottom where all your modulation lives.
You find your envelopes, LFO’s and your delays.
All the way to the right you have an additional box where it says ‘sidechain’, you can choose between two different modulators here and you have a big knob that says ‘amount’.

You can choose this modulator on anything that you want, try it on the filter for example!
Just click on the grey circle bellow the cutoff knob and select ‘sidechain’.

After you have set an amount for the cutoff knob you need to define your sidechain controls.
By default these are ‘envelope two’ and ‘LFO two’, you can leave these in place for now.

Now this is important: The upper modulator scales the amount of modulation at which the second modulator modulates the target, you might want to read that again..

In other words, ‘envelope two’ defines for how long ‘LFO 2’ will modulate the filter cutoff.
If you give this envelope a long attack the amount of modulation will slowly increase till it reaches either the sustain or the decay stage of the envelope.

You can use this module for a lot off different stuff, try it on filters, pitch, effects, reverb paramaters, anything you want!

And let me know if you’ve found some cool new tricks!

-Jor


6. Combine Oscillators and FX in Razor

All of the Razor effects sound great on their own, but some might sound even better in combination with specific oscillators. This week I share two useful combinations of oscillators and effects.

The first awesome combination is made by using the Hoover oscillator and the Chorus effect. With these two modules you can make some sick Drum and Bass Hoover sounds or great ambient droning basses when you use a bit more of a low-pass filter.

Without the Chorus the Hoover oscillator will sound similar to a pulse width oscillator, so basically a square wave with a variable ratio between the low and high levels of the wave.

With the pulse width at 50% you have a perfect square, but with other settings you are changing the “duty cycle” of the wave. If you want to know more about that check the link at the bottom!

The second cool combination is using the Semitone Spacing effect and one of the Pitch-bend oscillators.

The main function of the semitone spacing module is to create space between the different partials in the sound.

You can divide all partials in perfect semitones or even octaves.
This sounds very cool on its own but it can also be handy to smooth out “pitchy” oscillators.

You can make the pitch drift less extreme and keep it inside a predefined area to gain greater control over your sound.

Another example would be to use it on the pitched noise module, also a very cool combination!


7. Use Aftertouch Inside Razor

Learn how to set up and use aftertouch in NI’s razor synth!

Making sounds in NI Razor is great fun, but how can we use those sounds in our tracks? Check out this week’s tutorial to learn how I use Razor sounds in my tracks.

There are always two parts to getting a great sound, the first one is making the actual sound inside a synthesizer or sampler, this is definitely my favorite part.
But after that you’ll need to find ways to use this sound inside your songs.
You need to find out where it fits, how loud it should be, and if it needs some extra mixing or effects.

This second part is often a bit harder, because your task is to make all these seemingly “random” sounds fit together and create one beautiful song
(Or one hard hitting insanely loud club banger for that matter)

My approach is usually to bounce the sound whenever I’m done synthesizing it, this has a few advantages.
First it is going to save you CPU, never a bad thing.

Secondly, you have now successfully committed to the synthesized sound, you can’t change those settings anymore.
You have to make thousand of small decisions when making a track, this will save you a few.

And third, but most important, we can mess with this audio file now in totally different ways. We can reverse it, stretch it, invert it and cut it up in different pieces.
This will open a new world of sonic possibilities, it will also bring back some of the decisions, but in a good way!

Once the file is bounced I lay it over a drumbeat or bass line, because it is an audio file I can now exactly see where the sound starts and ends, making it easier to fit this puzzle together!

This approach might not work for everyone, but for me it’s working very well, try to mess with it and see if it suits your music and work flow. Next week I’ll be back with a regular full-on Razor tutorial!


8. Using external modulation with Razor

Razor is a very advanced synth but sometimes we want just a little bit more, let’s check out how we can expand Razor with some additional LFO’s!

The beauty of working inside NI Reaktor is that you basically have a huge modular system to work with.

You can expand every synth or sampler with whatever you want by connecting modules (effects, filters, etc.) in the edit mode.

The first step is still making a sounds off course!

For this sound I’ve chosen the synced noise and the pulse to saw oscillators.

The pulse to saw is pretty basic, it will play a saw or pulse wave depending on where you set the pulse/saw knob, pretty straight forward right!

The synced noise module is a bit more special, the noise is created by randomizing the different partial amplitudes.

To make the noise less random and more “synced” you set the dynamic knob to the far right, now it is going to sound the same each time you press the key.

If you set the knob to the left it will sound a bit different with every key strike, great to add some variety and humanization.

After these oscillators I used the EQ decay filter, a great filter that allows you to create some movement with the decaying bands.

You can either let one frequency band rise in volume or lower it, this depends on the position of the slider for that band.

When all this is set and you have your effects in place it is time to add some more modulation.
We have modulated some stuff with the LFO’s but I needed just one more.

To do that I go into the edit view of Reaktor by clicking on the little wrench icon in the top left.
After I’ve done that I can right click anywhere on the panel next to the synth and load additional modules.

You choose your modulator there and it will pop up next or below Razor.
Connecting modules depends on the specific module that you’ve chosen, but for the LFO it is very simple.

In the automation box click on the drop-down menu that says “Send To” and select Razor.
If you do that you will get a huge list of possible knobs and sliders to modulate.

There is a lot of stuff that you can do here, you can even modulate the on/off knobs of the modules.
Have some fun with this and try making different chains of effects and modulators, this will often result in unexpected and cool sounds, you won’t regret it!

Tip: If you want to learn more about Reaktor in general check out the ADSR video’s by “salamanderanagram” he does an excellent job on explaining everything inside Reaktor and even how to create your own modules, definitely recommended!

Take care guys and have fun with these amazing Reaktor possibilities!


9. The Formant Oscillator in Razor

NI Razor is great for making talking basses and vowel-like sounds, a great example being the vocoder and the formant oscillators. Let’s take a close look into the formant oscillators first, you can create some awesome sounds with these!

Formants are basically high resonant peaks at a very specific frequency, they tell us a lot about the character of the sound.

In other words, slight formant changes can alter the sound extremely.

The formant oscillators in Razor have multiple combinations of frequencies and filter types that you can choose from.
We can make a rich combination by using two of these oscillators together and summing the output into a filter.

An obvious choice for a filter would be the vowel filter to enhance the formants even further and make specific vowel sounds, very much like humans talking.
But for this tutorial I decided to go with the EQ Decay filter, basically an equalizer with automated frequency bands.

This filter can add a lot of movement to the sound because it changes the different frequency bands independently with a pre-defined amount of time.

Another extra touch is added by the comb filter, this one is optional but it can sound very cool!

Don’t forget to assign your macros to tweak your sounds into perfection!


10. Design Beautiful Chords / Pads With Razor

Learn how to make beautiful chord and pads with NI Razor

Deep inside the heart of NI Razor lives an additive engine that creates clear and almost surgically precise sounds, great for sharp and defined sound design, but don’t be fooled by this, Razor also does a great job at creating warm and lush pads.

We start this sound of by using two pulse to saw oscillators, one of the more “normal” modules inside Razor. After that we insert a low-pass and a comb filter.

Now we can start filtering the sound with some LFO’s or MIDI controllers, choose whatever you like here and try to add as much flexibility to the sound as you can.

We can now smooth out the effect of the modulators by using the ATT, DEC, and DAMP parameters on the left side of the filters.

These handy little knobs will smooth out any fast amplitude changes in the attack and the decay of the modulation. It does this for each partial separately!

The DAMP knob will cause the high frequencies to decay faster, to get a nice warm tone without to much harsh high-end.

The effect I used is a “Reverse” module, which creates a reversed spectrum with lots of partials near the fundamental frequency, the lowest frequency of the sound.

The key of these effects is to experiment, on some sounds some effects won’t work and other times you find the golden combination of oscillator and effect, spend some time with this guys!

One additional thing you can do here is modulate the FX amount with an echoing envelope, be subtle here though because these effects also create some dissonance in the sound. (Which can be a good thing off course!)

After that we add the synced reverb and we got ourselves a sound, and a mighty nice one if I may say so myself!


11. 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!


12. Make Great Vocoder Sounds In Razor

Finally! Vocoder time! NI Razor always gets praised for its great vocoder sounds, lets find out why!

To use the vocoder in Razor there are a few extra steps you need to take, first you are going to want a sound to control the vocoder with, that is the only way to let it work!

Old-school vocoders worked with a microphone and a synthesizer with keyboard. You would talk through the microphone and at the same time play the pitches that you want.

Then your voice gets tuned to the notes you play.

Besides that the vocoder analyzes the tonal character of your voice and imprints these specific harmonics to the second sound, your synth patch.

Since you really don’t want me to sing in any tutorial ever I used a drumbeat to control the vocoder.
The second sound on which the vocoder is going to imprint the drumbeat on is the Razor sound, so just your oscillators!

After you have routed your source sound to a bus you want to select which bus Razor should listen to, in Logic you do this in the upper right corner of any plugin that can receive sidechain signals.

Now that you’ve got everything running you can mess with the sound, you can change up oscillators, change filters or even change your source sound, the drumbeat in my case.

Another cool feature is that you can use the sidechain as modulation source for all other parameters, just click the gray circle beneath any of the knobs and choose Sidechain.

I hope you enjoyed this video, let me know what you think and also don’t hesitate to throw some ideas out for future tutorials!


13. Make Modular S&H Loops In Razor

A sample and hold module (S/H) is a device that captures (samples) a signal that is coming through and freezes it for a pre-defined amount of time.

This results in very fast an sudden jumps in signal level or pitch, depending on what you modulate with this module.

In Razor we can get close to this effect by using a square wave LFO or even better, a Random LFO.

A sample and hold module (S/H) is a device that captures (samples) a signal that is coming through and freezes it for a pre-defined amount of time.

This results in very fast an sudden jumps in signal level or pitch, depending on what you modulate with this module.

It was often used in old modular synths, but some new synthesizers have a similar functions as well.

In Razor we can get close to this effect by using a square wave LFO or even better, a Random LFO.

When you assign this to the oscillator effects inside Razor you can get really cool and unexpected sounds.

This “trick” works with almost any oscillator and any filter, so I allowed myself to experiment with that as well.

For the first two oscillators I’ve chosen the formant modules, these are nice to modulate with pitch track.

Pitch track is a modulator that listens to the incoming pitch and scales the position of the knobs that you assign it too.

For the formant oscillator this means that the “formant” parameter will change depending on where you play your note on the keyboard.

This ensures that the oscillator will always play the corresponding partials for each note.

After that I’ve used a Lowpass phaser filter and a Comb, both really cool filters that can totally change your sound with either feedback or phasing.

You can control both of the Cutoff knobs of the filter at the same time by assigning Filter 1 Track to the cutoff of filter 2.

This will follow the movement of filter 1, making it easier to find good settings for these modules.

Then it is time for the FX, and this is where I want you to go crazy.

Try the suggested random or square wave LFO on the pitch parameter and crank the amount all the way up. Go through different types of effects and see which one you like most, lots of fun guaranteed!


14. Morphing Bass Sounds In Razor

Razor has some pretty unique envelopes, let’s use those to create some moving and interesting bass sounds!

The first step for this sound is to open up two oscillators, a pulse width and a numbered pitch-bend. Inside this module the pitch of the oscillator is not altered at all.

The pseudo pitch-bend is achieved by special filtering: Partials that are near to partials of a pitch-bended copy of the oscillator are let through.

This can result in nice moving sounds without making them to dissonant.

The pulse width is just a square wave with a variable ratio in the upper en lower levels of the wave.

These two oscillators go through the lowpass and the multimode filter.

I’ve used a lot of modulation on the lowpass filter to make this sound more playable and more versatile.

Setting up macros and keyboard assignments, such as aftertouch and velocity, can really make your sound come to life.

It allows you to make the sound more fitting to the style and the melody you are playing in.
Even if you are not a great keyboard player this is still good practice, you can always write the MIDI messages in your DAW to get a more dynamic and interesting sound.

I also used an external LFO for this patch, you can find those on the back-end of Razor, just go into edit mode by clicking on the wrench in the upper left corner and right click there to insert modules.

After that it is just a matter of finding the right parameter to assign the LFO to, this can be a little bit of trial and error since they have descriptive names sometimes.

This is not always a problem though because you can end up with different results then intended, which makes for unexpected and often cool sounds.

Don’t forget to use a bit of compression and limiting for this sound, it can really push it forward into to your mix, providing you with that nice low end.

The safe bass is also a good candidate for low end, if programmed correctly you’ve got your sub bass right there!

Have fun, experiment!
– Jor


15. Creating a Razor Psytrance Saw Bass

This Razor Psytrance Saw Bass tutorial is a great tutorial for anyone looking at expanding their knowledge of NI’s Razor synth!

This Razor Psytrance Saw Bass tutorial is a great tutorial for anyone looking at expanding their knowledge of NI’s Razor synth. Using the Safe Bass feature to fill out the low end, YouTube user Ryanosaurus

Razor is an additive synthesizer built using the Native Instruments Reaktor synthesis engine. It offers some unique features such as Spectral Clip (sort of like a multiband limiter) and Safe Bass (useful for warming up bass sounds). With over 320 bands and 350 sound presets, and being priced at only $79, Razor by Native Instruments offers a extremely powerful synth and a reasonable price.


16. Design Deep, Powerful Basslines With Razor

This week is going to be an easy sound, but very powerful. One of those sounds that you can always use in any situation!

We start out the sound with two formant oscillators, as mentioned earlier the formant oscillators actually contain 32 waves each, which you can scroll through with the select knob.

This works very similar to NI Massive, where you have the Wave Table – Position knob.

Next up is a low pass filter, this one is just there to control our sound a little bit and maybe to automate in specific sections of our song.

Now it is time to set up some modulation, a good idea would be to use the Macro controls, this way you can always go back to your initial sound and they are very easy to tweak.

Keep in mind that this sound is going to be our “Bread and Butter” sound, the sound that you can always use in any situation.

Therefore it is a good idea to make sure your sound is flexible but at the same time solid.

Just make sure that if you pull all the macros down, your sound is back to normal again!

As a finishing touch we add a bit of limiting, normally I don’t like the over compressed sounds, but this one in NI Razor just sounds to great not to use! Don’t go to crazy with it but do experiment with the “dirt” parameter, it can add a cool touch to your sounds.

I hope you’ve picked something up from this video, I’m always happy to know what you think!

– Jorgalad


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