Miniraze is a stunning synthesizer in a dazzling interface that both baffles and delights. It’s certainly powerful but is it as approachable as MOK suggests?
In a word, no. MOK makes amazing synths but “approachable” is not the word I’d use to describe them. Don’t get me wrong Waverazor is one of my favourite software synths of all time and Miniraze has enormous potential but the interface does not overawe you with a sense of simplicity; it shouts at you with anger and chaos.
Miniraze uses a streamlined version of the wave-slicing technology found in Waverazor. For each oscillator (and there are 3) you can choose two waveforms from a list of more than 100 and combine them into a single hybrid waveform. You can then tune each one individually, place them in sync mode and set the splice point or “Razor” which sets the waveform ratio. Each oscillator has a huge scope for interesting tonal qualities.
From there it gets a bit more generally subtractive with an oscillator mixer, filter and effects but it’s not quite as simple as that. There are two filters and you can choose from 7 different types or set them up as a Wavefolder, Decimator, Saturator or Compressor. There are many Envelopes and many LFOs with a huge list of destinations. There’s a Matrix modulator for routing all sorts of sources to different destinations. For added fun we have a Ring Modulator, detuning, and “Analog” button, Arpeggiator and Glide functions.
I initially thought that “Miniraze” meant that it was a simple version of the Waverazor when actually the name is more of a nod to the Minimoog and that Miniraze reflects the architecture of that legendary synth. In fact, MOK has teamed up with the Bob Moog Foundation to build an exclusive BMF sound bank that you can buy separately for $49 here.
There’s nothing quite like Waverazor and Miniraze. MOK make synths that somehow occupy their own space and sonic territory. However, I am disappointed in the lack of animation inside the mechanics of Miniraze. When you set up modulations there are no graphical indications of what’s being modulated. None of the knobs move, and none of the waveforms dance or change in response and that’s a missed opportunity. Also, the list of waveforms is somewhat baffling and could do with comes categories or something to make it easier to audition tones. Currently, you have to click to open the huge list, then select the waveform which closes the list, then play it. You can’t step through the waveforms with arrow keys or a scroll of the mouse so it’s a bit laborious.
Maybe these things will come in time along with a completed manual because at the moment it stops halfway through talking about the oscillators and then has lots of empty sections. I would highly recommend downloading the 7-day trial and giving it a go because there’s nothing quite like it and if you find the interface a bit startling there are lots of skins for alternative views.
Miniraze is available now as a VST/AU plugin for macOS, Linux and Windows for $129.
More information from MOK
- MOK Miniraze: MOK