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RazorbyNative Instruments

User Reviews by KVR Members for Razor

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Reviewed By Synthesis [read all by] on 5th January 2019
Version reviewed: 1.7 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Amazing additive synthesizer. All the filters and effects are extremely unique, and give you lots of modulation options.Despite only having around 10 waveforms, all of them are amazing and have their own unique options. You can also use them like wavetables, since all of them have some way to change position. It'd be nice to have more control over the sound waves, but the absolutely insane parameters and effects totally make up for it. I've also seen some people complain about CPU, but it was completely fine for me.

Overall, it's great if you want futuristic, percussive, and experimental sounds, but if you want standard sounds, you might want to look elsewhere. It's sad that no one really gives this monster of a synth much attention anymore.

Reviewed By a_Scientist [read all by] on 1st July 2015
Version reviewed: 7, 8 on Windows
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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:

Formant.

Number Pitchbend.

Synced Noise.

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:

Lowpass Phaser.

Vowel.

Formant.

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.

Reviewed By FarleyCZ [read all by] on 21st October 2013
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows.
Last edited by FarleyCZ on 21st October 2013.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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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?!?

Features: 9/10.

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.

Sound: 9/10.

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. :)

GUI: 8/10.

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.)

Value: 7/10.

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. :)

Cheers,
Martin.

Reviewed By Greg Houston [read all by] on 2nd October 2013
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows.
Last edited by Greg Houston on 2nd October 2013.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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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.

Great workflow.

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.

Reviewed By schnapsglas [read all by] on 25th July 2012
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by schnapsglas on 25th July 2012.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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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.

Reviewed By NEF [read all by] on 30th March 2011
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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NI Razor For Reaktor is a amazing instrument! The demo of this beast caught me first, as im sure it did most people with the DUBSTEP WOBBLES. When I finally got the product I had no idea that it did so much more.
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 10
Reviewed By willum070 [read all by] on 28th March 2011
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by willum070 on 28th March 2011.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Native Instruments Razor is a breath of fresh air! It's completely unique, sounds great and looks cool too. Browsing through the available oscillators, filters, and effects, you'll see a few things you may not have seen before on other synths. When you tweak the parameters, you're actually using one single giant oscillator with 320 additive partials. Even the effects aren't true "effects", but act directly on the additive model. Modulation routing is quick and intuitive. The sound quality for this thing is phenomenal, and the CPU usage is manageable (I got up to around 50% on my dual-core laptop, never came close to pegging the CPU). And of course because it's made in Reaktor, you can dig into the structure to see how it works and save your own copy to modify (that is if you have a full license for Reaktor). At this stage I think I'll be happy just to gain a better understanding of how the powerful and versatile Sine Bank module is employed. If you don't have a full license for Reaktor you can still use it in the Reaktor Player. So no excuses!
To address the "but isn't this synth really just made for those dubstep and wobble sounds" argument: yes it can generate those sounds quite nicely. But it can step way beyond them quite quickly. I found myself making some really beautiful bell type pads, which could in turn transmute into some really nasty high harmonics with the twist of a knob. You can create some analog-ish sounding patches, but why do that when you can make swooping galactic clouds, intelligent plasma flux, or sinister evolving nanoscale robot geometrics. If you like programming percussion sounds then you're in for a treat, because Razor can do a wide range of those (sub-bass anyone?). It's very versatile, and can create a very broad range of sounds. I'll reiterate again, that despite the sophisticated concept it is actually quite easy to use. And the graphic display is neat to watch! Well worth the asking price, and one of the coolest things I've downloaded for quite some time (and I am addicted to this stuff).

Latest 7 reviews from a total of 7

Discussion

Discussion

Discussion: Active
SarahBellum
SarahBellum
23 March 2012 at 4:49pm

WARNING !!

what Native Instruments don't tell you anywhere is that while Razor will load and play in Reaktor Player you have to buy the full version of Reaktor to use Razor as intended. In Reaktor Player none of it's controls are assignablefull to MIDI (either in a DAW or to a control surface), so no real time 'wub-wub' or 'meow' bases.

If you only have Reaktor Player then don't waste your money on Razor

murnau
murnau
10 August 2013 at 5:07am

so you finally find out why it's named "player" do you? :D.

SarahBellum
SarahBellum
10 August 2013 at 9:46am

maybe you should re-read what I typed or get a grow up to explain it to you before you type anything as your comment makes no sense.
I knew the difference between 'Player' and 'Full', but my comment (posted a year and half ago) was about NI claiming Razor would work with 'Player' - It does not. That is all. - jus' sayin, think before you reply.

murnau
murnau
10 August 2013 at 10:21am

everybody know the restrictions of player (like no midi-assign) but you. so you blame a feature player never had on a specific release like razor. lol

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

SarahBellum
SarahBellum
10 August 2013 at 11:10am

not at all. Razor was sold as being fully compatible with 'player' so it's quite reasonable for anyone to expect it to be 'fully compatible', but it wasn't. You can make a pointless argument if you like, but N.I. agreed with me as they apologised and refunded me in full 18 months ago.

Also, it's naive and childish to assume that 'everybody knows' anything,.. where's your proof. There are soundbanks sold as 'fully compatible with Player' which are fully compatible,.. Razor is not one of them, that is all I was saying 18 months ago.

Also, at no point have I blamed 'player' for anything,.. as I said, re-reading my post may help you understand what I said, but as I posted this 18 months ago it seems a bit late and irrelevant to misunderstand it now.

Cytem01
Cytem01
25 January 2013 at 9:25pm

On the NI website, they have it listed for $99 now instead of $79. No announcement or anything, they just upped the price. Way to run an honest business Native Instruments.

murnau
murnau
10 August 2013 at 5:05am

"Reaktor only causes me frustration, causing projects in Cubase to crash and or become corrupted and not openable.".

LOL.

spirit
spirit
11 August 2013 at 11:06pm

+I.

I own Razor & Reaktor and fully sympathize about the presets. I've also been using Reaktor for years and still can't understand the preset management system - it's a woeful mess. Likewise I have trouble getting the right version of Razor to open - the player version always seems to want to be the one that loads and I always have to fiddle about trying to get the other version. That alone is a real disincentive to use this synth.

Johnny!
Johnny!
27 August 2013 at 10:11pm

KVR reports current version as 1.0, but the synth was updated 3 times now, with current version numer being 1.3.

Greg Houston
Greg Houston
27 September 2013 at 8:14am

I would pay $300 easy for a standalone Razor that uses a tenth as much CPU. That is my dream synth.

I absolutely love the sound of Razor. I love making presets with it. However Reaktor is a nightmare. Reaktor causes my DAW to crash for out of the blue, it's preset management is stupendously convoluted, and it will often corrupt my projects. It is really really really rare that a Reaktor based instrument will make it to the final mix on one of my projects. So that is a huge strike against Razor. The next one is the obscene amount of CPU it uses.

So my dream synth is a version of Razor that is stable like Massive and low CPU like Massive.

User3333
User3333
28 October 2013 at 4:51am

Hello, for a Windows 7 PC with a decent graphics card how good does your CPU need to be approximately - eg, Intel i5 is ok? In other words for those who have issues with running Razor what is your CPU and RAM specification? Thanks in advance.

Greg Houston
Greg Houston
28 October 2013 at 7:37am

I have an i7 with 16 GB or RAM. I don't think there is a really a set up right now that you will be able to use more than one or two instances of Razor.

User3333
User3333
28 October 2013 at 4:54am

Hello, I'd like to confirm if the free version of Reaktor (player) is sufficient to use most or all the options of Razor. Thanks.

User3333
User3333
28 October 2013 at 10:04am

I have an Intel i7 860 @ 2.80GHz and require one instrument/instance of Razor played at a time. They say that a dual core notebook may struggle so Quad core should be sufficient. Thanks. Btw, Image line Harmor looks inferior in appearance to Native Instruments.

Wildfunk
Wildfunk
28 October 2013 at 11:07am

"Harmor looks inferior" in comparison with Razor???

Razor...

  • can't import own waveforms.
  • can't import wav/mp3 samples.
  • can't edit timbres.
  • uses too much cpu.
  • only has 2 osc/14 waveforms.
jottinger
jottinger
28 October 2013 at 12:19pm

Yeah, Razor's kinda... expensive. That said, it sounds nice; I haven't really had that much of a problem with the settings management. Most of the criticisms of Razor seem aimed at Reaktor.

User3333
User3333
28 October 2013 at 11:25am

Hi I would like to use Razor via my Roland A-500 Pro MIDI keyboard and NI say in the comparison to Reaktor 5 that Reaktor Player allows: Total Recall and full automation in your DAW

..so that should mean in Reaktor Player I can assign the pitch bend and knobs (hardware) to Razor (software) - eg open or close filters via the Roland.

is this true or does Reaktor Player allow only the keys to operate on the screen? sounds strange that NI would disable the sliders, knobs, pitch bend in Reaktor Player but just allow the keys.

I'm interested in Razor and Prism for the moment and don't need a lot of the other items they bundle in Komplete 9 standard.

btw I reckon Harmor does not look as good as Razor in user interface appearance, im not comparing the audio quality or features. Thanks.

SarahBellum
SarahBellum
28 October 2013 at 11:59am

the answer is in the first post on this page - NO, IT DOES NOT.

User3333
User3333
28 October 2013 at 12:36pm

Sarah I read your comments today but maybe your setup is different or a few years ago. I've got a Quad Core i7 supporting Windows 7 Prof, Cubase Artist 7, Roland UA-55 Quad Capture, and the Roland A-500 Pro. That's a fairly good setup for my bedroom DJ'ng & producing and the quality or lack-of might be causing the bottleneck at your end. Could you enlighten me on the setup of your equivalent items or should I just accept that only the full version of Reaktor will enable all the controls. I am about to press the "Submit Payment" button and I don't yet have any NI products except from 1999 which are in the bin. Cheers.

jottinger
jottinger
28 October 2013 at 1:09pm

User3333, I don't know what setup Sarah has either, but I noticed on *my* quadcore i7 that razor had a distinct and measurable impact. I think the synth is worth the investment (I invested!) and GOLLY it's pretty, but it IS CPU-intensive in its normal configurations. (I say that because I can imagine you can turn off things and use less CPU - my PC is in the shop right now or I'd measure and test this.)

User3333
User3333
28 October 2013 at 12:58pm

in addition to post 28 October 2013 at 4:36am even though the keyboard and audio interface are midiable I am using USB v2 cables, not MIDI.

SarahBellum
SarahBellum
28 October 2013 at 1:17pm

the limitations of Reactor Player mean that you cannot assign controllers to Razor. I requested refund for Razor from N.I. on the grounds that they didn't make clear that due to the limitations of Reactor Player it meant that modules (inc Razor) could not be MIDI assigned - they refunded without any fuss :)

It maybe that this has been amended in more recent versions of player.
Instead I use Alchemy, Zeta2, and SynthmasterCM :)

User3333
User3333
28 October 2013 at 1:40pm

Great news. Appears that November 2013 versions and the controller links to desktop via USB v2 and audio interface the same enables the knobs & pitch bend (no midi). We could be in a place of quality-increasing VST synths where the traditionals are now questioning why pay top-dollar for an Access music Virus when instead buy Alchemy?

prupert
prupert
28 October 2013 at 6:07pm

Well, I have a quad core i7 3740 laptop with 16 GB RAM, running Razor in Ableton 9 Suite I can run four instances together, with each of the first four presets and I get CPU usage of around 45%. Just an FYI.

User3333
User3333
29 October 2013 at 5:18am

You'd estimate an i7 280 purchased in 2011 which is 60% the speed of i7 3740 should allow at least 2 instances at 50% CPU meter - my RAM is only 4gig but the experts say the processor is more important.

User3333
User3333
3 December 2013 at 2:34pm

Razor v1.5... Hi I have a suspicion the developers increase the CPU level not so much as it is physically demanding but more an illusion that wow something is going on that it must be good. Its a bit like when MS introduced Flight Simulator quite a while ago from 2013 and on the highest setting the environ got bogged. But when the hardware eventually caught up, running smoothly on ultra did not give you that much of a better flight. I must admit though I've listened to a lot of software and hardware synths lately and aside from the level it is magical.

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Razor

Average user rating of 4.14 from 7 reviews

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