5 Reasons Xfer's Serum is the Best VST Soft Synth November 10 2014
I've been a sound designer and music producer for the past 7 years and no other piece of software has ever had me as excited as Xfer's Serum. Here's why:
1. Sound Quality
Steve Duda's Serum is simply unparalleled for its high quality sound. Specifically the ultra-clean oscillators within the synth produce significantly less audio artifacts than other wavetable oscillators on the market (cough, massive, cough). Artifacts within the audio generated by oscillators results in sounds that aren't necessarily what you were hoping to create, resulting in your mix containing unwanted frequencies and tones. Serum manages to make this issue almost negligible due to the obsessive care and number crunching that wen't into the oscillators programming - noticeable from the first patch you create.
2. Intuitive Modulation
Want to modulate the wave-table position of Oscillator A with LFO 1? Simply drag and drop. When NI's Massive hit the market it set the benchmark for modulation possibilities inside a VST soft synth. Xfer's Serum came and absolutely smashed that benchmark. With a few exceptions nearly every parameter within Serum can be modulated, meaning the sonic possibilities within Serum are truly endless. The modulation matrix tab also gives you another perspective to see all the modulation going on - really useful for those complex patches.
3. Wavetable Heaven
Before Serum, if you wanted to create your own wave-tables you had to use separate software to create them and export them before loading them into your synth. To achieve the same with Serum, you only need to software itself. Serum lets you draw in and create your own waveforms and wave-tables within the VST itself. If that wasn't enough you can even create your own wave-tables using any piece of audio you want - simply drag and drop a .wav onto the oscillator. This allows you to easily create your own unique sounds quickly and easily. If you haven't already, head over to the Xfer Records forums where there are tonnes of users sharing their own wavetables such as replications of old classic synthesizer wavetables.
4. In-Built Suite of Effects
Okay so a synth having built in effects these days is nothing new, but that being said the quality of the effects within Serum really are second to none. You have your standard reverb, delay, phaser, flanger and chorus effects. But in addition you have some pretty unique effects such as the hyper dimension and dual-waveshaper. As already mentioned, most of the parameters within the effects section are able to be modulated with any of the modulation sources within Serum.
5. A Visually Stunning GUI
Last but certainly not least, Serum has one of the most visually impressive interfaces of any software on the market. In an interview with YouTuber SeamlessR, Steve explained that the code required for the visual aspect of Serum alone was more than the rest of the synth combined - and it shows. Being able to see the parameters being modulated in real time is probably one of the most under rated features of this synth. Simple but super useful visual ideas such as being able to see the outline of other envelopes behind the one you are programming make Serum stand out visually leagues above any other synthesizer on the market. Serum is not only gorgeous to look at, but insanely practical, resulting in a sound design workflow like no other.