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Luke Thomas
Luke Thomas

Xfer Records Serum V1.0.1.b3 Inc: The Best Features and Tips for Beginners and Experts - ProducerSpot


Introduction




Serum is a wavetable synthesizer plugin created by Xfer Records that has completely taken over the music production world as the most used synth plugin. It features a visual and creative workflow-oriented interface that makes creating and altering sounds fun instead of tedious. You can import, edit, morph, and manipulate wavetables in real-time, as well as apply a variety of modulation sources, filters, effects, and processing options. Serum has a truly high-quality sound, with ultra-clean oscillators, smooth filters, and crisp effects. It also comes with over 450 factory presets, as well as thousands of third-party presets and wavetables that you can download or purchase online.




Xfer Records Serum V1.0.1.b3 Inc



Serum is suitable for any genre and style of music, from EDM, dubstep, trap, hip hop, pop, rock, ambient, cinematic, and more. You can use it to create powerful basses, lush pads, soaring leads, plucks, FX, drums, vocals, and anything else you can imagine. Serum is also very easy to learn and use, with a simple and intuitive interface that lets you see what you are doing at all times. You can drag and drop modulation sources to any destination, draw your own wavetables and LFO shapes, tweak knobs and sliders with ease, and experiment with different settings without getting lost or confused.


If you want to get Serum for yourself, you have two options: you can either buy it outright for $189 USD from the Xfer Records website, or you can rent it for $9.99 USD per month from Splice until you own it. Both options give you access to the full version of Serum, as well as free updates and support. You can also try Serum for free for 3 days from Splice before you decide to buy or rent it. Serum is compatible with Windows 11 / Windows 10 / Windows 8.1 /Windows 7 / Mac OS X 10.8 or higher / Linux (beta), and supports VST2 / VST3 / AU / AAX formats in 32-bit or 64-bit hosts.


How to Use Serum: A Step-by-Step Tutorial




In this section, I will show you how to use Serum in a step-by-step manner, covering the most important aspects of the plugin. I will assume that you have already installed and activated Serum in your DAW of choice (if not, please refer to the manual or online guides for instructions). I will also use the default Init preset as a starting point for creating sounds from scratch. You can follow along with me using your own copy of Serum or just watch and learn.


How to install and activate Serum in your DAW




The first step is to install and activate Serum in your DAW (digital audio workstation). This process may vary depending on your operating system and DAW software, but here are some general steps:


  • Download the latest version of Serum from the Xfer Records website or Splice, depending on how you purchased or rented it.



  • Run the installer and follow the instructions to install Serum on your computer. You may need to choose the folder where you want to install Serum and the plugin formats that you want to use (VST2, VST3, AU, or AAX).



  • Launch your DAW and scan for new plugins. You may need to add the folder where you installed Serum to your DAW's plugin search path. You should see Serum listed among your available plugins.



  • Insert Serum as an instrument track in your DAW. You may need to authorize Serum using your Xfer Records account or Splice account, depending on how you purchased or rented it. You should see the Serum interface appear on your screen.



  • Congratulations, you have successfully installed and activated Serum in your DAW! You are now ready to start making some awesome sounds with it.



How to navigate the user interface and the main tabs




The next step is to familiarize yourself with the user interface and the main tabs of Serum. The user interface is divided into two main sections: the top section and the bottom section. The top section contains the main controls and parameters for creating and editing sounds, while the bottom section contains the keyboard, the global settings, and the menu options. The top section is further divided into six tabs: OSC, FX, Matrix, Global, LFOs, and Envelopes. You can switch between these tabs by clicking on their labels or using the keyboard shortcuts (1-6). Let's take a look at each tab in more detail.


OSC




The OSC tab is where you can create and edit wavetables using the two oscillators (A and B), as well as the sub oscillator and the noise generator. A wavetable is a collection of single-cycle waveforms that can be scanned or morphed through to create complex and dynamic sounds. Serum allows you to import, draw, edit, morph, warp, and manipulate wavetables in various ways using its powerful wavetable editor.


The OSC tab has four panels: Osc A, Osc B, Sub, and Noise. Each panel has a similar layout and functionality, except for some differences in the wavetable editor. Here are some of the main controls and parameters that you can find in each panel:


  • Wavetable display: This shows the current wavetable that is loaded in the oscillator. You can click on it to open the wavetable editor, where you can import, draw, edit, morph, warp, and manipulate wavetables in various ways.



  • Wavetable selector: This allows you to select a wavetable from the factory or user presets, or from your own custom folders. You can also drag and drop wavetables from your computer or other sources into this area.



  • Wavetable position knob: This allows you to scan or morph through the different waveforms in the wavetable. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic sounds.



  • Warp menu: This allows you to apply different warp modes to the oscillator, such as Bend, Sync, FM, AM, RM, etc. These modes change the shape and behavior of the waveform in different ways, creating new timbres and harmonics.



  • Warp knob: This allows you to adjust the amount or intensity of the warp mode that is selected. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic sounds.



  • Pan knob: This allows you to adjust the stereo position of the oscillator from left to right.



  • Level knob: This allows you to adjust the volume or output level of the oscillator.



  • Mute button: This allows you to mute or unmute the oscillator.



  • Solo button: This allows you to solo or isolate the oscillator from other sound sources.



  • Phase knob: This allows you to adjust the phase or starting point of the waveform in degrees.



  • Random knob: This allows you to adjust the amount of randomization or variation in the phase of each voice of unison.



  • Unison menu: This allows you to select how many voices of unison or detuning you want for the oscillator. You can choose from 1 to 16 voices.



  • Detune knob: This allows you to adjust how much detuning or spreading there is between each voice of unison.



  • Blend knob: This allows you to adjust how much blending or mixing there is between each voice of unison.



FX




The FX tab is where you can add effects and processing to your sound using 10 different effect modules. Effects are essential for enhancing and polishing your sound, as well as adding character and movement. Serum has a variety of effects that can cover any sound design needs, from distortion, compression, EQ, reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, filter, and hyper/dimension. You can also reorder, bypass, or solo the effect modules by dragging and dropping them or using the buttons on the left side of each module.


The FX tab has 10 panels, one for each effect module. Each panel has a similar layout and functionality, except for some differences in the parameters and options. Here are some of the main controls and parameters that you can find in each panel:


  • Effect display: This shows the current effect that is loaded in the module. You can click on it to open a drop-down menu where you can select a different effect or none.



  • Effect selector: This allows you to select a different effect or none from the drop-down menu.



  • Effect parameters: These are the knobs, sliders, buttons, and switches that allow you to adjust the settings and options of the effect. The parameters vary depending on the effect that is selected.



  • Effect mix knob: This allows you to adjust the dry/wet balance of the effect. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic effects.



  • Bypass button: This allows you to bypass or disable the effect module.



  • Solo button: This allows you to solo or isolate the effect module from other effect modules.



Matrix




The Matrix tab is where you can assign and control the modulation sources and destinations for your sound. Modulation is the process of changing or modulating one parameter with another, creating movement and variation in your sound. Serum has a flexible and powerful modulation matrix that allows you to drag and drop any modulation source to any destination, as well as adjust the amount and type of modulation using curves and auxiliary sources.


The Matrix tab has four panels: Sources, Destinations, Amounts, and Aux Sources. Each panel has a similar layout and functionality, except for some differences in the options and values. Here are some of the main controls and parameters that you can find in each panel:


  • Sources: This shows the list of modulation sources that are available in Serum. You can choose from 4 envelopes, 4 LFOs, 2 chaos oscillators, 3 macros, velocity, note number, mod wheel, aftertouch, pitch bend, and noise oscillator. You can also drag and drop any source to any destination in the Destinations panel.



  • Destinations: This shows the list of modulation destinations that are available in Serum. You can choose from any parameter in the OSC, FX, Global, LFOs, and Envelopes tabs. You can also drag and drop any source from the Sources panel to any destination in this panel.



  • Amounts: This shows the list of modulation amounts that correspond to each source-destination pair. You can adjust the amount of modulation by dragging the slider up or down, or by typing a value in the box. You can also invert the modulation by clicking on the arrow button below the slider.



  • Aux Sources: This shows the list of auxiliary sources that can modify or modulate the modulation amounts. You can choose from none, velocity, note number, mod wheel, aftertouch, pitch bend, or noise oscillator. You can also adjust the type of modulation by clicking on the curve button below the slider and selecting a different curve shape.



Global




The Global tab is where you can adjust the global settings and options for your sound. These settings affect how Serum behaves as a whole, such as voice mode, polyphony, portamento, quality, oversampling, tuning, and more. These settings can have a significant impact on the sound quality, performance, and compatibility of Serum, so it is important to understand and adjust them according to your needs and preferences.


The Global tab has four panels: Voices, Quality, Settings, and Tuning. Each panel has a similar layout and functionality, except for some differences in the parameters and options. Here are some of the main controls and parameters that you can find in each panel:


  • Voices: This allows you to adjust the voice mode, polyphony, portamento, and pitch tracking of Serum. The voice mode determines how Serum handles multiple notes or voices at the same time. You can choose from mono, legato, poly, or mono legato. The polyphony determines how many voices or notes Serum can play at the same time. You can choose from 1 to 32 voices. The portamento determines how Serum slides or glides between notes. You can adjust the time and curve of the portamento, as well as enable or disable it for different voice modes. The pitch tracking determines how Serum tracks or follows the pitch of the incoming MIDI notes. You can enable or disable it for each oscillator, sub oscillator, and noise generator.



  • Quality: This allows you to adjust the quality, oversampling, and antialiasing of Serum. The quality determines how Serum renders or calculates the sound of the oscillators and effects. You can choose from draft, normal, or high quality. The oversampling determines how Serum increases the sample rate or resolution of the sound before applying effects and filters. You can choose from 1x, 2x, 4x, or 8x oversampling. The antialiasing determines how Serum reduces or eliminates the unwanted artifacts or noise that may occur when using high-frequency wavetables or warp modes. You can enable or disable it for each oscillator.



  • Settings: This allows you to adjust the settings and options for various aspects of Serum, such as MIDI, automation, modulation, display, GUI size, skin, etc. You can access these settings by clicking on the gear icon on the top right corner of the panel. You can also reset these settings to their default values by clicking on the reset button on the bottom right corner of the panel.



  • Tuning: This allows you to adjust the tuning or pitch of Serum using different tuning scales or modes. You can access these tuning options by clicking on the tuning icon on the top right corner of the panel. You can also reset the tuning to its default value by clicking on the reset button on the bottom right corner of the panel.



LFOs




The LFOs tab is where you can create and edit low-frequency oscillators (LFOs) that can modulate any parameter in Serum. LFOs are periodic signals that vary in amplitude or frequency over time, creating rhythmic and dynamic modulation effects. Serum has four LFOs that can operate in different modes and shapes, as well as sync to your DAW's tempo or run freely.


The LFOs tab has four panels: LFO 1, LFO 2, LFO 3, and LFO 4. Each panel has a similar layout and functionality, except for some differences in the values and options. Here are some of the main controls and parameters that you can find in each panel:


  • LFO display: This shows the current shape or waveform of the LFO. You can click on it to open the LFO editor, where you can draw, edit, or select different shapes for the LFO. You can also drag and drop any LFO to any destination in the OSC, FX, or Matrix tabs.



  • LFO selector: This allows you to select a different shape or preset for the LFO from the drop-down menu. You can also drag and drop any shape or preset from your computer or other sources into this area.



  • Rate knob: This allows you to adjust the speed or frequency of the LFO in hertz (Hz) or beats per minute (BPM). You can also sync the LFO to your DAW's tempo by clicking on the sync button below the knob.



  • Rise knob: This allows you to adjust the amount of time or delay before the LFO reaches its full amplitude. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic effects.



  • Delay knob: This allows you to adjust the amount of time or delay before the LFO starts modulating. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic effects.



  • Smooth knob: This allows you to adjust the amount of smoothing or filtering applied to the LFO shape, reducing or eliminating any sharp edges or clicks. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic effects.



  • Mode menu: This allows you to select the mode or behavior of the LFO. You can choose from off, env, trig, or loop. The off mode disables the LFO. The env mode makes the LFO run once per note or trigger. The trig mode makes the LFO restart every time a note or trigger is received. The loop mode makes the LFO run continuously until a note or trigger is released.



  • Amp knob: This allows you to adjust the amplitude or output level of the LFO. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic effects.



Envelopes




The Envelopes tab is where you can create and edit envelopes that can modulate any parameter in Serum. Envelopes are signals that vary in amplitude over time, following a predefined shape or curve. Serum has four envelopes that can operate in different modes and shapes, as well as sync to your DAW's tempo or run freely.


The Envelopes tab has four panels: Env 1, Env 2, Env 3, and Env 4. Each panel has a similar layout and functionality, except for some differences in the values and options. Here are some of the main controls and parameters that you can find in each panel:


  • Envelope display: This shows the current shape or curve of the envelope. You can click on it to open the envelope editor, where you can draw, edit, or select different shapes or curves for the envelope. You can also drag and drop any envelope to any destination in the OSC, FX, or Matrix tabs.



  • Envelope selector: This allows you to select a different shape or preset for the envelope from the drop-down menu. You can also drag and drop any shape or preset from your computer or other sources into this area.



  • Attack knob: This allows you to adjust the amount of time or duration of the attack phase of the envelope. The attack phase is the initial part of the envelope where the amplitude rises from zero to its maximum value. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic effects.



  • Hold knob: This allows you to adjust the amount of time or duration of the hold phase of the envelope. The hold phase is the part of the envelope where the amplitude stays at its maximum value after the attack phase. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic effects.



  • Decay knob: This allows you to adjust the amount of time or duration of the decay phase of the envelope. The decay phase is the part of the envelope where the amplitude falls from its maximum value to its sustain value after the hold phase. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic effects.



  • Sustain knob: This allows you to adjust the level or value of the sustain phase of the envelope. The sustain phase is the part of the envelope where the amplitude stays at a constant value until a note or trigger is released. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic effects.



  • Release knob: This allows you to adjust the amount of time or duration of the release phase of the envelope. The release phase is the final part of the envelope where the amplitude falls from its sustain value to zero after a note or trigger is released. You can also modulate this parameter using various sources to create dynamic effects.



  • Mode menu: This allows you to select the mode or behavior of the envelope. You can choose from off, env, trig, loop, or loop back and forth. The off mode disables the envelope. The env mode makes the envelope run once per note or trigger. The trig mode makes the envelope restart every time a note or trigger is received. The loop mode makes the envelope loop continuously until a note or trigger is released. The loop back and forth mode makes the envelope loop continuously in both directions until a note or trigger is released.



Serum Alternatives and Reviews




In this section, I will provide you with some alternatives and reviews of Serum, in case you want to compare it with other synths or plugins. Serum is undoubtedly one of the best wavetable synths on the market, but it is not the only one. There are many other synths that offer similar or different features and benefits, depending on your needs and preferences. Here are some of the best free and paid alternatives to Serum that you may want to check out:



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