Xfer Records has introduced Serum – described as an ‘advanced wavetable synthesizer’ for Windows and Mac.
Xfer Records says:
The dream synthesizer did not seem to exist: a wavetable synthesizer with low aliasing / high-quality sound, visual and creative workflow-oriented interface, the ability to create / import / edit / morph wavetables, and manipulate these tables further in real-time.
So Serum was created.
Here’s a video preview of the sound of Serum:
- Wavetable Editor – Serum has a Wavetable editor built right in- you can create your own wavetables in a variety of ways. Import audio directly from audio files. Serum has a variety of methods and options for analyzing audio for breaking it apart into individual waveforms. You can import single-cycle wavetables of course, as well as many at once (with in-built sorting options, or manual re-ordering). Morph between various wavetables using standard linear interpolation (crossfading) or via harmonic/spectral morphing. Draw directly on the waveform, with optional grid-size snapping and a variety of shape tools. Generate or modify waveforms using FFT (additive). Create or process waveforms using formula functions. Processing menu options allow you to do the other tasks you would want, such as apply fades, crossfades, normalize, export, and much more.
- ‘Ultra-clean’ Oscillators – n Serum, the native-mode (default) playback of oscillators operates with high-precision resampling, yielding an inaudible signal-to-noise (for instance, -150 dB on a sawtooth played at 1 Khz at 44100)! This requires a lot of calculations, so Serum’s oscillator playback has been aggressively optimized using SSE2 instructions to allow for this high-quality playback without taxing your CPU any more than the typical (decent quality) soft synth already does.
- Modulation – The modulation system allows for drag and drop connections between mod sources and destinations. Want an LFO controlling a filter cutoff? Simply drag the LFO title to the cutoff knob. This LFO->Filter connection will now appear in the Mod Matrix as well.
- Realtime Wavetable Manipulation – In addition to moving through the set of wavetables (up to 256 make up a single oscillator), you can manipulate the waveform itself in a separate realtime process referred to as Warp. This allows for FM/AM/RM/Oscillator Sync and many other ways to modify the waveform, including “Remap” modes – a graph editor for drawing your own custom table manipulations.
- Filters – Serum includes all of the filter types found in LFOTool in addition to some brand-new ones. Flangers, Phasers, and Comb filters all of which can key-track to the musical note you play. Dual filter types let you control or morph between filter types. Get creative with atypical processes for filters such as downsampling, or the unique filter types found nowhere before, such as the dirty-sounding French LPF.
- Effects – An effects rack with 10 effects modules is included. Effects can be re-ordered to any configuration you want. Virtually all effect parameters are also available as modulation destinations.
- Advanced Unison – Serum will let you stack a single oscillator to use up to 16 voices. Each of the wavetable oscillators have a number of unison advanced parameters. Stack settings allow for note (e.g. octave) layering to get a fuller sound for a single note-press. Set the unison voices to all have their unique waveform at once with the Unison WT Pos setting, or have them all skewed in a different way with the unison Warp control. A variety of unison tuning modes per-oscillator let you get the stack sound blooming or swarming like you want.
Serum is available through the end of October, 2014 for US $129; after that, $189. A demo version is available.
If you’ve used Serum, let us know what you think of it!