Allow me to brag for just a second, because we here at Electronic Musician have been down from day one with the Xfer Records Serum synthesizer plug-in. The advance wavetable synth won a 2014 Electronic Musician Editor’s Choice Award and now almost four years later, this powerful instrument seems to gain popularity with every passing month.
There are many reasons for its continued success: its devastating and eclectic sound, its stunning and intuitively visual interface, and its endless potential.
Nor does it hurt that for more than a year, Serum has been available through Splice on a rent-to-own plan. Rather than pay the full $189 for Serum up front, you can pay $9.99 per month for a fully licensed copy and pay it off over 19 months. There’s very little risk involved, because you can cancel the rent-to-own plan at any time and then pick it back up where you left off later without any penalty.
All the factors attracting musicians and producers toward Serum have also built up a momentum of content creation around the instrument. There’s a growing body of high-quality expansion packs available, as well as a vibrant scene of tutorials online for using Serum in all kind of electronic music: hip-hop, bass, big room, riddim, pop, you name it.
Today I’ve pulled a few of the interesting recent Serum tutorials for you. The first comes from Chris Gear, a musician and sound designer who also heads up the online mentorship network at Pyramind, a training and production facility. He has made a series of free Serum videos and calls it “the most powerful synth in the world right now.”
In this particular video, he explains additive synthesis and how to use it within Serum. Gear is also hosting an interactive online Serum workshop Monday, October 23. See details after the video if you want to go beyond free tutorials.
Pyramind’s interactive Advanced Sound Design Serum Workshop live stream goes down at 5pm Pacific Standard Time on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. It’s going to cover how to develop unique and innovative workflows so you can develop your signature sound within Serum; how to make custom wavetables from unusual source material; how to make more flexible sounds and get the most out of them; and more.
Attendance is limited. The early bird price of $39 lasts until October 21, after with it will cost $59. For attending, you’ll also get a downloadable sound pack and other sound design tools to help you take full advantage of Serum’s abilities.
There are more of Chris Gear’s free Serum tutorials Pyramind Serum workshop page.
Next up, the first Youtube sound design tutorial from soundware producer Ghosthack covers a very specific use of Serum: making a dubstep/neuro funk-style “growl” bass from scratch.
The preset used comes from Ghosthack’s NextGen Presets for Serum pack of 170 patches and 120 wavetables for bass music.
In this last video, Darkside Funk sound designer Dan Dusko shows you how to make a complex pad sound in Serum using FM modulation.