RAZOR Audio Waves


So a member of the CreativeDojo community asked me how to create the wave effect from the RAZOR promo by Errorsmith & Native Instruments. At first, it looked very simple, just some basic Displacement in the Y, audio reaction, and a bit of tweaking with the camera. Turns out, it’s a bit more complicated than that and I ran into a few problems along the way that required a bit of research.


I don’t want to get into too much detail yet because it will all be covered in the tutorial post coming soon. We will be taking a look at audio reaction with Trapcode Form, specifically the individual parameters within the Audio React tab such as Frequency, Width, Threshold, and Delay Direction. All of this of course would not be possible without the help of Peder Norrby, founder of Trapcode.

Notice how the wave doesn’t completely react to audio as a whole, it jolts in the front and everything flows back to create a organic sound wave transition. Because of this, a simple displacement wouldn’t cut it as it would force the whole grid of strings to displace rather than just the front. By creating a series of these and adding different camera angles with depth of field, you can achieve some pretty versatile results, perfect for a DJ screen or something of that nature.

Music by WallTone

5 comments
    1. Actually, a bit light on the RAM previews if you don’t include the Vector Blur 🙂 Thanks for your comment Marcus!

  1. Hey Vinhson, thanks so much, I was trying this the day that Razor promo came out, gave up now found your tutorial gets really close. It seems impossible to get the wave form to die at the decay of the sound as in the original. Form still displaces further in Z space unlike the original. I only want motion where there is sound.

    I asked the designer to divulge some info ” we recorded the amplitude and frequency changes of all 320 sinus generators of a razor voice. Then this data recording got visualized in after effects.” leaves a lot of guessing. Is it even possible to control the individual strings with a script using change in freq and amp data captured from Trapcode soundkeys or similar?

    It’s frustrating because I can’t work out how it is possible but I am sure they used form. Any ideas or suggestions of who would know would be much appreciated. thanks, Douggie

    1. That’s some pretty complex audio visualization you have in mind. If you only want motion when there’s sound, simply don’t do the delay stuff. Everything else should be the same. I doubt you could control the individual strings as Form particles work together as a whole body, rather than individual particles like Particular. Check this out: http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/videos/redgianttv/item/54/

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