Hey everyone! I’m comin’ atcha today with some juicy new Serum Pro Tips highlighting a couple new features inside of xFer’s Serum synth.
These new features are render and resample, and were just released in a recent version of Serum 1.06b8. If you want to check these out make sure you have the freshest install of Serum dialled up!
Render and Resample are complete game changers as far as sound design and construction of wavetables. They simplify and streamline the process of creating insane sounds, and what you’re going to be able to do with these is have a single oscillator – a single wavetable – that can now sound as complex and processed as the entire output of Serum.
As always, there’s a free download of everything I do in this tutorial that comes with an extra juicy bonus! I’m including my own personal collection of custom wavetables for Serum! You can add these fresh sounds to your own patches and sound design arsenal. To grab them simply enter your email address at the top of this blog post.
What We’re Going to Cover
In this video we’re going to cover:
- What the new render and resample commands do in detail
- Pro-tips on how best to use them
- Some of my favorite ways to get the most out of these epic new features
Let’s press play on the tutorial and go check out these new features!
We go into all the ninja tricks and pro tips for making hard hitting, heavily engineered bass for electronic music. I have a whole playlist of free videos on the course page, so head here to watch them!
- You can find these new features under the Menu, where you’ll see Render OSC A Warp and Render OSC B Warp. You’ll also see resample, but we’ll tackle those in a minute.
- The release notes for version 1.06b8 say “MENU-> Render OSC (a/b) takes the current Wavetable frame and creates 256 frames spanning 0-100% of the Warp knob”.
- Let’s explore what this does by activating a Warp mode. We’ll pick Mirror. When we select Render OSC A, Serum will take this single frame, and make 256 frames from it and render the effect of the Mirror Warp mode into those frames.
- Now, you have a full wavetable instead of a single cycle and you can scan through it using the Wavetable Position knob. Even better, it has imprinted the sound of the Warp mode and freed up the Warping engine again.
So here’s a tip on how I use this feature:
- You can effectively stack Warp modes to get more complex sounds.
- For example, now if we add a second Warp mode over top, like Flip, and map both the Wavetable Position and Warp Amount to an LFO, we can see and hear the effects.
- This has huge implications for wavetable design and opens the door to a whole world of new possibilities.
- If you jet back up to the Menu, you’ll see Resample to OSC A and Resample to OSC B.
- The release notes say “MENU-> Resample to Osc (A/B): “plays” a note of the preset for 1 bar, captures (renders to RAM) and imports as wavetable.”
- Let’s dig in and test this out. We’ll grab a second instance of Serum and call up one of my own wavetables called Cerebro. We’ll use this to build a basic bass patch:
- Map LFO 1 to Wavetable Position of OSC A, then activate OSC B and make it a sine wave.
- We’ll then set the Warp Mode of OSC A to be FM (from B) and map LFO 1 to that too, scaling the amount. We’ll turn the level of OSC B down so all we hear is the FM modulation.
- Next we’ll add a Notch 12 filter, tweak the Drive up, and set the LFO to mod the cutoff.
- Now this is important. When Serum renders, it’s going to grab 1 bar, so set your LFO Synced to a bar and make it’s shape a ramp up. This will allow the modulation to move in a nice linear direction from A to B.
- Now we’ll add some master effects. The Hyper, Distortion with Diode 2 selected and roughly 50% Drive and Mix, Flanger, Compressor in Multiband Mode, and the EQ to give a lowshelf boost at about 120 Hz.
- Now we’re ready to resample. We’ll select Menu – Resample to OSC B. What this does is grabs the entire output of Serum – the oscillators, Unison, Warp modulation, Filter, LFO modulation, and all the master effects – and dumps it all into oscillator B as a complete 256 frame Wavetable. Let’s save this new Wavetable and call it up in a fresh instance of Serum.
- Loading this up, we can scan through the sound with the Wavetable position knob. We have, perfectly resampled, the entire power of the previous instance of Serum, but with none of the processing tapped in this instance. The only thing it doesn’t capture is stereo information, as wavetables are mono. Take a moment, and think about how epic this is!
- In past, we had to lay down a MIDI note, record to audio, import back into Serum, and be very, very careful to select the right import parameters, or it wouldn’t work seamlessly. This is a HUGE step forward.
- Some of the key ways I’ve been using this is to stack up layers of effects that I used to have to do with audio resampling outside of the synth. For example, I often add several layers of distortion in parallel, with things like notch filters, EQ and multi-band compression at each stage of resampling. This got complex, involving a mess of tracks and routing busses of layers to record into new tracks at each stage. Forget all that. Now you can do this all inside of Serum! It’s simply epic.
- Let’s use an example. I’ll add another notch filter, LFO it, add some drive, add some master distortion, another multiband compressor, a touch of EQ, and resample again. Check this out as we scan through the Wavetable Position knob.
Review & Recap
To recap what we covered today:
- We went through how you can use the Render OSC Warp function to print oscillator Warp modes and how to stack multiple Warp modes on top of each other.
- We also covered internal resampling using the Resample to OSC function, and showed several examples of how you can use that in your bass sound design to get sound that you could only get before by doing a bunch of audio resampling with effects outside of Serum.
- I’m sure you’re amped to start using these in your own music, and I’m stoked for you to try this out. Don’t forget to grab my free Serum wavetable collection by entering your email address at the top of this blog post.