Fun with Synthesis – Serum

As part of my self-directed learning, I wanted to focus more on sound design. I recently touched sound design back in the Diploma course but I want to look at more advanced methods. To practice, I decided to use the most versatile and powerful VST synthesizer, Steve Duda’s Xfer Serum.

I have been mucking around with the parameters and glossed over the use of “sync”, fm synthesis, am synthesis and ring modulation. Currently I’m in the process of making my own drums. Here is a screenshot of my kick drum patch:

Serum Kick

So far I have designed a kick drum, a closed hi-hat, a snare drum and a clap. I still need to work on the clap and I may look at tutorials in the future. Here is a basic little beat I made using only the patches I made in Serum:

I’m also working on my own sound bank which consists of leads, basses, pads and special effects. I aim to make 50 patches to use in my own productions. What I admire about Serum is the use of its in-built fx which allows me to customise and clean the sound to my liking. I also like how you can create your own waveforms and I may use this function in the future.

Once I get a better understanding of Logic Pro X, my goal will be to design multiple patches using Logic’s flagship synthesizer ES2. Apparently you can produce almost any sound with it so I am very excited to try it out! Until then, I think I will keep playing around with Serum.


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