Xfer Record’s Serum synth has been a favorite production tool in the music production community for years now and for good reason. Serum has the unique ability to pretty much make any sound that you want, and while it is primarily used for genres like dubstep and drum & bass, producers of genres like trance and melodic house have also been leveraging its incredible functionality as well.
Klur is one such producer, who used Serum extensively while writing his latest album which was recently released on Colorize.
So to celebrate the release, we decided to sit down with Klur and pick his brain about how he uses Serum in his melodic house productions to achieve his lush, beautiful, and soaring sound design.
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What makes Serum your favorite synth for producing melodic house music?
The interface is very intuitive and easy to get an overview of. The sound quality is great and it has a lot of options for different wavetables, plus the option to draw your own, instead of just the usual saw, square, or triangle that most synths have.
Also, the detune section has so much more control and options than other synths.
Which are the most interesting parameters to tweak when using Serum that give interesting results quickly?
Mixing in your own “noises” or foley samples can make very unique sounds when layered with a wavetable. It can make the synth sound more analog, dirty and unique if that is what you want.
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What are the best plugins you use to process sounds from Serum?
Lately, I’ve been using the Valhalla bundle a lot for all types of effects – mostly delay and reverb.
Even though you are able to add effects within the VST itself, I prefer using Valhalla because it’s ease of use for me, personally.
What are your favorite preset packs for serum when producing melodic house and why?
I usually don’t download preset packs anymore. I like to make my own sounds as much as possible. But there are great ones out there tailored for specific genres as progressive house, for example, that are great for starting out and learning how the synth works.
When do you utmost often reach for Serum for sound design compared to other synths in your arsenal?
Usually when I need a lush pad, my go-to is Serum, because of the detune possibilities and clean sound.
I feel like this is the reason why Serum is such a popular VST amongst electronic producers and why it’s remained a staple for many years.
Share your one golden rule of production when it comes to using Serum.
Use the “random” or “chaos” parameters when producing to make it sound more analog.
For example, modulate a tiny bit of chaos to the envelopes and filters so that the synth sounds a little bit different every time a note hits.