Unlock Xfer Serum's full potential for expression, modulation & performance with our quick & easy guide to 5 advanced soft synth features! Xfer Serum v1.30b1 Full Version Cracked For Windows Xfer Serum Crack is the latest version of the most advanced Wavetable Synthesizer editor. Review: Xfer Records Serum wavetable synth plugin. Xfer Records released Serum a little over a year ago, and it has made quite an impact.
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Wavetable Synthesis: A Complete Guide +150 Free Wavetables
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- Most of the major VST synths use wavetables, but what exactly are they?
- How are wavetables made?
- Download 150 FREE synthwave wavetables courtesy of Producer Hive & MGF Audio!
In this pack you'll find 158MB of content, with wavetables suitable for fat basses, pads, xfer serum review Archives, leads, and stabs. There is an emphasis on clear and bright lead sounds that can be used at the very front of your mix. These wavetables work in Serum, Ableton Wavetable, and many other popular wavetable synthesizers.
Wavetable synths are dominating the market when it comes to powerful, “do-everything” VST synthesizers.
Xfer Serum, Arturia Pigments, Reveal Sound Spire, and NI’s Massive X are some of the most popular workhorse synths, all of which use wavetables. While they each incorporate many different types of synthesis, at their core are powerful wavetable xfer serum review Archives capable of generating a huge range of complex, animated sounds inside a single oscillator.
It’s certainly fun and easy to play around with presets in your tracks with little regard for the technology. But it’s always useful to learn how wavetable synthesis works, and why it has come to dominate in such a huge way.
What Is Wavetable Synthesis?
Wavetable synthesis is a method of synthesis where oscillators create sound “frame-by-frame” using wavetables. Wavetables are “complex” oscillator shapes; essentially pre-defined sets of tiny wave shapes that go far beyond traditional shapes like triangle and saw waves – although these are perfectly fine, too!
(If you need to brush up on the most common synthesis methods, check xfer serum review Archives our article Wavetable vs FM vs Additive vs Subtractive Synthesis.)
Wavetable synths almost always have filters and built-in effects. Powerful synths like Serum feature a whole suite of tools to help you create custom wavetables with ease, as well as extra shaping options that are done “on the fly” to further expand the tonal possibilities.
But really, to get a good grasp on wavetable synthesis, we need to dive deeper and get to know all about wavetables.
What Are Wavetables?
Simply put, a wavetable is a 3D oscillator shape, as opposed to traditional 2D shapes like square and saw waves. Wavetables are made three-dimensional by storing many different 2D shapes in a series of frames.
These frames are selected with a “position” parameter (WT Pos in Serum) and this changes the tone being produced by the oscillator. This parameter is often modulated by the usual sources – LFOs, envelopes, velocity, xfer serum review Archives, key position etc. This “animates” the oscillator, allowing you to create a huge range of morphing tones inside a single oscillator.
These frames are very small, usually 2048 samples long which is less than 50ms of audio at 44.1kHz. If you played a single frame from a wavetable just once, it would sound like a click. But inside an oscillator, this tiny sound is – of course – looped to make a tone.
Thanks to wavetables, our oscillators are no longer limited to just simple shapes or “static tones”. Inside each frame, we can have any wave we want. We can also have up to 255 other waves in the same set (at least for most synths). The possibilities really are endless.
You can also think of a wavetable as being a “frozen sound”, with no fixed duration, pitch, start, or end. You decide how quickly it plays back the frames and in what order.
A Brief History About Wavetable Synthesis
For a long time, plain shapes such as squares, saws, triangles, and sine waves built the majority of our synth sounds, xfer serum review Archives, and we were used to having just one shape per oscillator. We were fine with this, and still to this day plenty xfer serum review Archives useful synth sounds can be made with these simple shapes. Many great Serum patches don’t even modulate the wavetable position!
Though wavetable synths have existed since the dawn of digital synthesis, they were computationally expensive and primitive until only recently. Wavetable synthesis was pioneered by Wolfgang Palm of PPG fame in the late 1970s, and this style was adopted by Waldorf in the 80s and 90s for their Wave and Microwave synths.
Users only had limited options for creating their own wavetables, and the quality was nowhere near as good as modern VSTs like Serum. Not to imply Waldorf’s wavetable synths were rubbish – they are still highly regarded and capable of many interesting sounds. But the focus was more on processing the included wavetables xfer serum review Archives the onboard analog filters rather than browsing a library of user-generated wavetables.
Fast-forward to the modern era, xfer serum review Archives, where even low spec laptops can run powerful synthesizers and manipulate wavetables on the fly. Plus there’s an ever-expanding library of wavetables available on the internet (don’t forget to download the ones at the end of this article!).
(After some good free synths? Check out our list of the best free VST synths on the net!)
The way wavetable oscillators work is comparable to animation. You can think of sprite sheets in 2D video games, where animated sequences are stored as a series of images in frames. These images are pretty small – often less than 100 x 100 pixels. This is similar to wavetables, which have many tiny “snapshots” of audio. So moving through a wavetable is frame-by-frame animation but with sound!
Similar to animation, the order of these frames is important. In most cases, wavetables are arranged so that as the position travels from the first to the last frame, the timbre changes naturally without any jarring moments. Your wavetable may be representing a filter sweep, but no one will know this if the frames are all over the place!
However, sometimes wavetables are presented as a library of single shapes, xfer serum review Archives, and aren’t intended for “animation”.
For example, a wavetable may contain basic oscillator shapes from a particular vintage synth and hence only consist of 4 frames – saw, square, sine, xfer serum review Archives, and triangle. Or maybe the wavetable consists of 8 different saw waves from 8 different synths. These static tones are great for reinforcing more complex sounds.
Unlike traditional animation, wavetables have the advantage of being “played back” in a number xfer serum review Archives ways: forward, backward, just a little bit at a time, even randomly. The results can be surprisingly smooth and organic, even with extreme modulation.
Wavetables are typically stored as WAV files just like samples. But while samples contain a single possible sound that can be any length, wavetables contain many different single cycle waveforms stacked together and are rarely xfer serum review Archives than 12 seconds.
(Need some fresh samples? We rounded up the best websites for free sample packs!)
“Single cycle” means one single wave oscillation, so with a saw wave, once it reaches the top and starts again, xfer serum review Archives, that’s a single cycle, xfer serum review Archives. If you zoom really far in on the samples in your DAW or sampler, you will see they consist of many different single-cycle waves, which are all elegantly joined together to make the final sound.
While this is a good visual metaphor, it’s worth remembering that the frames in wavetables are all precisely the same length. Recorded sounds are made up of many overlapping cycles at different frequencies and phases, so it’s a naive comparison at a certain point.
As mentioned, there can be up to 256 “frames” per wavetable. More frames are theoretically possible, but many synths max out at 256 because that’s all you really need. Many interesting wavetables can be made with just a few frames anyway!
Wavetable synths can fill in the blanks between frames, meaning you can make do with just a few and still make slow-moving pads and sweeps.
How To Make Your Own Wavetables
This is a topic that easily warrants an entire article (keep your eyes peeled) but there are still some basic approaches that can be quickly explained.
There are numerous methods for creating your own wavetables. You may choose to make one from a recorded sound or sample, breaking it down into single cycle waves to make your wavetable. You can also algorithmically generate wavetables from the ground up with mathematical processes.
There are no popular third party programs for making your own wavetables, so your best bet is to look at the wavetable editor in your synth of choice. However, another option is WaveEdit by Synthesis Technology – it’s free, open-source, and cross-platform, but sadly has not seen an update since Feb 2018.
Serum comes equipped with a powerful wavetable editor with a wide range of tools for creating your own wavetables in a matter of seconds.
Serum can create wavetables from sound files in a number of ways. It can track the pitch of sounds to figure out where each cycle is, or it can convert sounds to a series of spectral frames and create a wavetable from these instead. Importing sounds this way can be hit or miss and it’s best to use sounds that have been created specifically with wavetables in mind. (The Xfer serum review Archives manual suggests some ideal specifications for this approach).
Serum also includes additive features, letting you create wavetables by setting individual harmonic and phase levels for each frame. A total of 512 harmonics are possible, which is a truly absurd amount of detail. An obvious downside to this approach is it can be very time consuming setting up wavetables this way. However, there are some processes available to speed things up, which are accessed by right-clicking on this view.
Also included in Serum’s wavetable editor is a truly powerful formula parser for creating wavetables with mathematical functions. This is the quickest way to generate a whole set and you don’t have to be a math genius to play around with it. You can take the preset formulas and tweak the numbers to get different results. Before long, you’ll figure out how to write your own formulas. Once again, consulting the Serum manual will help a great deal with xfer serum review Archives hidden feature of Serum is its ability to make wavetables from image files. Simply drag an image onto an oscillator and Serum translates the brightness of each pixel into individual sample values. For best results, work with PNG images that are 2048 x 256 in size. These numbers are chosen to match the samples per frame (2048) and maximum number of frames per wavetable (256). PNG is used instead of JPG because it is lossless.
Want to go a step further? Check out this video that shows you how to create your own wavetables from 3D objects made in Blender!
Producer Hive Synthwave Wavetable Pack – 150 Free Wavetables
In this pack you'll find 158MB of content, with wavetables suitable for fat basses, pads, leads, and stabs. There is an emphasis on clear and bright lead sounds that can be used at the very front of your mix. These wavetables work in Serum, Ableton Wavetable, and many other popular wavetable synthesizers.
As a bonus for our readers, we’ve prepared a whopping 150 xfer serum review Archives wavetables courtesy of MGF Audio.
Though they are designed with synthwave in mind, they can work in any genre, and are just as suitable for house and techno. There’s a healthy selection of wavetables taken from vintage analog synths and digital classics like the Yamaha DX11.
Also included are 50 wavetables taken from Producer Hive’s Analog and Vintage Wavetable Packs, which have over 400 wavetables from various hardware units.
In this pack you’ll find 158MB of content, with wavetables suitable for fat basses, pads, leads, and stabs. There is an emphasis on clear and bright lead sounds that can be used at the very front of your mix.
These wavetables work in Serum, Ableton Wavetable, and many other popular wavetable synthesizers. Just consult your synth’s manual for instructions on importing custom wavetables.
Inside you’ll find:
- 70 analog wavetables.
- 31 digital wavetables.
- 49 additional analog wavetables from MGF’s AnaWaves pack.
- Instructions for using wavetables with Serum and Ableton Wavetable.
If you like them, xfer serum review Archives, make sure you share them around! They’re royalty-free, so you’re welcome to use them in your own professional synth patches.
Download them here.
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5 Advanced Features Of Xfer Serum
Xfer Records’ Serum soft synth, created by producer and Deadmau5 collaborator Steve Duda, is a powerhouse of sonic possibility which took the music production community by storm back when it first dropped in 2015.
It has fast become one of the best-loved and most used soft synths in the game, cementing its place as the primary synth we create presets for at ModeAudio some years ago now too.
This catalogue now spans thousands of .fxp presets of all shapes and sizes, and all that time spent in the company of just a single user interface has resulted in an extensive knowledge of some of Serum’s quirkier, xfer serum review Archives, hidden or otherwise more advanced features.
Today, I’d xfer serum review Archives to share my top 5 of these lesser known yet extremely powerful features with you, which I very much hope you can take away and use to further your studies within the wonderful world of synthesis and sound design, xfer serum review Archives. Let’s get started!
Serum offers 3 assignable envelopes which can be mapped to a vast array of different parameters. A classic use for an envelope is to shape the volume or amplitude of the output of a synth’s oscillators, which is perfectly possible in Serum by mapping an envelope to one or more of the 4 oscillator ‘Level’ knobs.
What isn’t immediately obvious from Serum’s interface however, is that the first envelope, ‘Env 1’, is already hardwired to act as a volume envelope across the output of all oscillators. This is why when you change any of the ADSR settings for this envelope, you will alter the way Serum’s overall output volume is shaped.
If you want to pair your volume envelope with other parameters, such as Filter cutoff, then all you have to do is map ‘Env 1’ to the ‘Cutoff’ dial and you will have an envelope which modulates both parameters at once.
Assigning single modulation sources to multiple parameters is a powerful way to build up networks of modulation, sonic movement and control in the sound your synth produces, and mimics how real instruments respond to a performer’s actions in the acoustic world.
For example when a guitarist plucks a string with a xfer serum review Archives, the more force he or she applies to the string, the louder the resulting note.
Crucially however, this isn’t the only acoustic ‘parameter’ that the performer’s action affects; it also increases the xfer serum review Archives brightness of the sound (a bigger vibration of the string will produce more harmonics or partials), the length of the transient or attack portion of the sound, how long the note decays for and several other aspects of the sound the guitar makes.
2. Expression: Aftertouch & Random
A somewhat ‘hidden’ feature of Serum (that’s if you haven’t read the manual, of course!), aftertouch modulation is pretty important in creating expressive presets and sounds which respond to a number of different gestures from the performer.
Of course there are many types of sound and even entire genres (read: Synthwave) that have little use for such additional expressive control, but for those of use who want to take our MIDI keyboard meanderings to the next level, then aftertouch mod is something you’re going to want to become familiar with!
The reason the feature is not entirely apparent upon first loading the synth is because it is not directly accessible from the main screen of Serum’s UI, or as a draggable mod source in the way that the Mod Wheel (simply labelled ‘Mod’) is.
To assign aftertouch therefore, you need to dive xfer serum review Archives Serum’s mod matrix, accessible via the ‘Matrix’ tab at the top of the UI, xfer serum review Archives. You’ll find when perusing the dropdown list of available mod sources that both ‘Aftertouch’ and even ‘Poly Aftertch’ (sic) are assignable, as well as some other extremely useful randomisation sources.
These sources really are a bit of a game changer when it comes to bringing new levels of expressivity and ‘performativity’ to your synth sound design and building them into your presets will introduce new dimensions of sonic complexity and control to your production and performance toolkit.
3. Voicing: Poly
The little ‘Poly’ box located in Serum’s ‘Voicing’ section is used to determine the maximum number of oscillator voices that can xfer serum review Archives simultaneously in a given patch.
If you have a preset with just a single oscillator activated, with no extra unison voices (i.e. the ‘Unison’ box displays a 1) then this box tells you how many keys you can play at the same time.
For most presets however, the picture will be a little more complicated; you’ll most likely have multiple oscillators active (the ’Sub’ and ‘Noise’ oscillators count here too) and even multiple voices triggering in the main ‘Osc A’ and ‘Osc B’ oscillators.
This all eats into your total voice count, reducing the total number of MIDI notes you can trigger at the same time.
If you’re just playing lots of single notes, then this isn’t really a problem (unless the amplitude envelope release is very long); however, xfer serum review Archives, if you want to play chords, xfer serum review Archives, you’ll find that the oscillator engine starts to reset whenever the maximum voice limit is reached, resulting in jarring, abrupt shifts in sound.
There’s a simple way to combat this of course; make sure you set the threshold high enough to cover the total number of voices you want to sound simultaneously. There’s of course a trade-off here; the higher the Poly count, xfer serum review Archives, the higher the toll on your CPU usage. Just being aware of the issue is an important first step, however!
4. Voicing: Unison Width
Width has become an increasingly important aspect of modern music production, xfer serum review Archives, arguably mirroring the quest for every greater volume. As such, many modern synths come prepackaged with many tools and tricks for affecting the apparent width of the sound they produce.
We’ve already discussed Serum’s ability to stack unison oscillator voices in a single preset, which helps to produce a thicker, xfer serum review Archives, psychoacoustically ‘bigger’ sound, and another aspect of this is the way these stacked voices are spaced out across the stereo field.
When you add unison voices to either Oscillator A or B by increasing the number displayed in the ‘Unison’ box, they are automatically spread out across the full stereo field, which is great for producing big, xfer serum review Archives, wide results.
However, whenever your arrangment calls for more than xfer serum review Archives a single synth, you’ll quickly find that too many big, wide sounds playing together in your mix produces muddy, messy results; this is where Serum’s ‘Unison Width’ box comes into its own.
Under the ‘Global’ settings tab at the top of Serum’s UI, you’ll find a range of controls for affecting how Serum’s voice stacking, or ‘Unison’, function operates. The first column affects ‘Osc A’ and the second, xfer serum review Archives, ‘Osc B’ and the ‘Width’ box, set to the maximum of 100 by default, can be changed simply by clicking and dragging.
Use this when you want to dial back the width of the sound in question; for example, it can be interesting to have a primarily or foreground oscillator set to a narrower width range, say 30 - 50, xfer serum review Archives, with a secondary or background oscillator layer set to the maximum value.
5, xfer serum review Archives. LFOs: Making The Predictable Unpredictable
Besides enveloping, the other quintessential modulation source open to synthesists is the humble Low Frequency Oscillation, or LFO. These very slow-moving waveforms, typically in the region of 0.1 to around 20 Hz, allow for seamlessly cycling modulations in your sound, from simple tremolo or vibrato effects to shimmering Sci-Fi pitch sweeps and far beyond.
Assigning LFOs as they come in the box is a great way to introduce classic synth flavours to your sound; however, a modulation which simply cycles at a fixed rate indefinitely is a bit of a blunt instrument, producing limited scope for sound design.
Something we like to do often in the presets we create for our catalogue here at ModeAudio, combats this by using LFOs to modulate themselves, producing more complex and less predictable shifts and evolutions in sound.
For example, one of the most basic and yet one of our favourite uses for this technique is to modulate oscillator pitch, creating that irresistibly xfer serum review Archives, warbling effect so beloved of analog synth enthusiasts (such as ourselves!).
To do this, simple drag one of the ‘LFO’ xfer serum review Archives sources to the ‘Rate’ dial of the LFO that you will then assign to the ‘Fin’ or Fine pitch control in either or both oscillators. The effect really sounds best in subtle amounts, so start pycharm free activation code Archives just modulating the pitch by say 10 - 15 cents or so.
Set your main LFO to something very slow, say 0.3Hz, with the LFO used to modulate the main LFO’s rate to something slightly higher, say 0.6Hz. Even this simple, 2-layer LFO network produces a satisfying pitch warble that is obviously shifting constantly but IObit Uninstaller Pro 14.5.0 Crack With License Key 2021 Free at an obviously fixed rate.
You can obviously hugely expand on the network by introducing a 3rd LFO to modulate the 2nd LFO’s rate, use the initial or main LFO to also modulate the second LFO’s rate in turn and so on, and this is before we even think about changing the LFO’s shape to build in more complexity to the way the modulation affects Serum’s parameters.
A Workhorse, A Sonic Universe
I hope the above has helped to shed some light on some of the more shadowy aspects of Serum’s functionality, which can nevertheless unlock new dimensions of creative control and musical possibility for your productions.
From modulation and expression to voice stacking and width, these features touch upon a wide range of Serum’s celebrated synthesis capabilities and I hope you’re looking forward to incorporating some of them into your synth workouts soon!