If you're familiar with Razer, it's probably because of their products for gamers. The company makes high-end laptops, PC peripherals, and console controllers for players willing to pay a premium for a leg up on their competition. And that's why Razer Music, the company's newest service, is such a surprise: It doesn't have anything to do with gaming at all. Instead, it's Razer's attempt to appeal to a group of users that need power and portability but aren't necessarily using it to play Heroes of the Storm: music producers.
The company's website and YouTube channel will be filled with new video tutorials, interviews, and long-form pieces; you can already learn how to design a bass synth, watch a mini-lecture on the history of the revered Roland TR-808 drum machine, and gain some insight into a famous producer's creative process. The company has enlisted a wide array of producers for its first wave of content, led by EDM titan deadmau5 and rising hip-hop star Metro Boomin, and it's planning to update the site regularly with features from an evolving roster.
Its contributors make wildly different music, but they're linked by a common thread. According to Razer, they all use the company's Blade laptop as part of their work. "Artists and DJs from all over the world have connected with me to discuss producing on the Razer Blade," says Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan in a statement. "The power and portable form factor of our systems offers artists the performance they need, whether in the studio, on the road, or onstage."
Aspiring producers need software, too
Of course, aspiring producers need more than a speedy laptop to make their beats: They need quality software, too. With that in mind, Razer is working with software company Image-Line to include a copy of FL Studio's Producer Edition with each new Blade laptop sold. (The offer's being extended to anyone who owns a 2015 Blade model.) If you're not familiar with FL Studio, you might know it by its old name, Fruity Loops. It's been a staple in producers' arsenals for decades, and everyone from Hudson Mohawke to Hit-Boy has made hit songs using it. FL Studio is a valuable, proven piece of software, and Razer is hoping it's enough to convince the next generation of producers to use its products.
Razer Music is a definite risk: It wouldn't be the first niche editorial proposition to wither on the vine, and the company doesn't have much experience in the world of content creation. But it also has a chance to become a useful resource and supplier for people interested in music but unsure where to start — and that's an intriguing prospect for creators and listeners alike.