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Razor is an innovative and highly distinctive software synthesizer designed together with forward-thinking electronic artist Errorsmith. For use in Reaktor 5 and in the free Reaktor Player, Razor uses powerful additive synthesis to create intense and profoundly modern sounds for contemporary electronic music production.
Berlin-based producer and renowned Reaktor instrument designer Errorsmith is dedicated to the "expansion of the sonic horizon through digital sound synthesis". Razor realizes this credo through the additive synthesis capabilities of the latest Reaktor 5.5 generation, which were used to develop a high-resolution synthesis engine with unconventional sound shaping features and a unique real-time 3D spectrum display. The pristine and extremely dynamic sonic character of additive synthesis allows Razor to generate a wide and very distinctive array of energetic, hyper-modern sounds, ranging from expressive basses and leads to complex, futuristic soundscapes.
Razor utilizes up to 320 partials for its sophisticated 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 unique "Dissonance Effects" that further contribute to the unmistakable, charismatic sonic footprint of the instrument. Razor even integrates a high-performance 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, providing especially efficient and intuitive control for the underlying highly sophisticated synthesis engine. Razor also includes a library of 350 carefully selected presets with a focus on cutting-edge electronic sound aesthetics, accommodating both contemporary club music genres like Dubstep and Techno as well as modern film and game scoring applications.
Reviewed By a_Scientist
July 1, 2015
Very interesting synth (as I love other Reaktor synths).
The sound is sharp; at least before you refine it as you want, (the name "Razor" fits).
You won't find common oscillator types here. Any oscillator here is special (what surprised me in the beginning). Like:
Razor relies on heavy use of filtering. Putting a filter on (as other modules) is very easy, simply click and select image. By the way, it's graphically advanced. It even has 3D! (which you can turn off for 2D to save CPU time). Examples of filters:
Effects section is awesome too. Like special type of reverb.
Almost everything can be automated with 3 Envelopes and 2 LFO, for Filter parameter 1 - up to 3 modulators. There are two filters.
I like how everything is organized (as for other Reaktor synths).
This synth had positive impression on me, which increased as I used it more.
Sorry for my English good luck.Read more
Reviewed By FarleyCZ
October 21, 2013
Razor ... eh ... let me tell you. Untill Razor, I thought I'm a audio geek. But once I've seen what this Errorsmith accomplished in freaking Reaktor. I mean WHAT?!?
So what the hell is it? Let's put it this way. Additive synthesis used to be all about "adding" those harmonics to the fundamental. What Errorsmith realized is, that it's not just about level. You have all sorts of other stuff you can do with bunch of partials. Shifting them, retunning them in milion ways, you can mimic filters, mimic analog behaviour and so on and so on. To be fair, synths like Alchemy had function of altering different parameters of partials before, but the way it's introduced in Razor is amazing. Intuitive, quick, clean.
It's hard to compare Razor to anything. Hard to judge on any level. If you like any kind of "traditional" sounds, either electronic or acoustic, Razor will dissappoint you, becouse it sounds like no other thing on earth. If you like experimental stuff, you won't believe your ears. It really is that good. It has it's character, so, espcially when used for bass, you can identify it even in other people's work ... which can be said about 303 also and nobody gives a damn about it, so I guess it's a good thing. :)
Looks nice, well thought. Loving the spectral view. You see what's happening all the time. Nice touch. I don't like how it's big. That's common problem with todays plugins for me. They don't care about 1366x768 pix laptop monitors anymore. :/ (Much worse in Prism though.)
It blows your mind, when you think about this thing being built in Reaktor. I mean it had to take ages, or this Errorsmith is genius on his own. ...having said that, this being Reaktor ensemble drags it down a little. For sure, you can use it to learn Reaktor, but honestly, when just producing, you want it to load instantly, not after opening Reaktor and browsing through your ensemble database. I've seen some ensembles that made it into a real software, kinda hope this happens here also. But aside that, this synth si crazy. It gives whole new meaning to the expression "additive synthesis", I really recomend you to at least try it. :)
Reviewed By Greg Houston
October 2, 2013
Sound: 10 stars.
In general, it can take a lot of experience and effort to make a pleasing sound on most synthesizers. With Razor, though it may be a little more trial and error to make a specific sound you have in mind, I find it difficult to create a sound I simply do not like. Pretty much everything that comes out of it sounds wonderful to me in some way. It just might not be what I was going for which I attribute to additive synthesis in general more so than Razor in particular.
Usability: 10 stars.
CPU: 2 stars (it hurts ... a lot)
Razor has quality settings, but it could use some even lower ones. Maybe use fewer partials?
Stability: 3 stars (due to Reaktor)
You can't review Razor without reviewing Reaktor as well. Reaktor is a nightmare to me. I keep hoping that some new version of it suddenly won't be, but alas, that has yet to be the case. Regardless of the instrument I am using it can crash out of the blue for no apparent reason. It will corrupt my Cubase project files so that I cannot open them. It is really rare a Reaktor instrument makes it to the final mix of one of my projects, and if so, there will only be that one instance.
Preset Management: 2 stars (Reaktor)
Native Instruments has a synth with my favorite preset management (Massive) and then with my least favorite by far (Reaktor). Bad preset management is also an impediment to sound designers releasing patch libraries for Razor. Sound designers I've requested Razor patches from have specifically mentioned this. Again, contrast this with Massive. [Sorry for the comparison KVR mods but I really want to drive this point home].
GUI: 9 stars.
My only gripe about the UI is that you cannot see the text value for a knob unless you change the value. Hovering over a knob should display it's current value.
If Razor was a standalone plugin I think it would be much more popular. An imaginary standalone version I would give 9.5 stars rather than 7. I would also pay considerably more for it.Read more
Reviewed By schnapsglas
July 25, 2012
I will keep it short.
Razor uses additive synthesis using 'partials' and can be used with Reaktor or Reaktor player. It features UI that is friendlier than most of the synths on the market. In one word, Razor is special.
Razor is one of my favourite synths for many reasons but I feel it's my duty to warn people that it may not be what they are looking for. It is special in the way that it can create sounds that you really cannot achieve with other synths; the downside is that whether those sounds are actually usable is another story.
It isn't certainly synth that does everything; at what it does, it isn't even close to being perfect. You may end up noting that sonic characteristics of presets can be harsh and dull and anything in between. To our rescue, there is spectral clip and safe bass setting which adds or subtracts bass and top frequencies respectively. I have to say without these two features the synth would be very much out of control.
However, with filters it features with modulation options and 'sidechain' modulation which lets you modulate more than one knob at a time, this isn't certainly a synth that goes for instant usability. It needs careful tweaking, and even then you may need help from aforementioned two features to control your sound.
Many synths use word 'innovative' and so does Razor, but I feel it is one of very few synths that actually deserve this title. As I said, it does not do everything; it doesn't try. At what it does, it can fail. But the point of Razor is that it can really make some otherwordly sound.
So if you are looking for another subtractive synthesizer or VA, this is certainly not the place. But if you are looking to add to your sonic arsenal, you will find that Razor can offer you sound that you've never dreamed of. And certainly spectral clip and safe bass settings make it much more usable. It could certainly be my sound design ability, but you may find that sometimes it can be difficult to get the settings right, for it demands near exact settings for a usable patch. But if you love playing in your sonic lab, tweaking settings, coming across failures, willing to try an additive synthesizer, or experiencing sound that you would have not even dreamed of, Razor is for you.
I don't like giving out numbers but for sound I would say Razor is at about 7 or 8. But for its innovation and how tempting it is to get this unique synth at such agreeable price, I will give it a 9.Read more
Reviewed By NEF
March 30, 2011
The quality of presets are amazing! They have some of the most unique sounds ive ever heard. They even put a new twist on some familiar synths and basses. I really do have to suggest this to anyone looking for a good rich synth. The sound is...well its Native Instruments...duh!. and the interface is very very streamlined. Easy to use, and not ALOT of knobs for easy midi mapping to your favorite controller. 10 outta 10Read more