Serum by XferRecords is one of the most versatile software synthesizers out there. With its broad range of use and the ability to create a large spectrum of different sounds because of its additive synthesis engine, it quickly climbed to the top of most used software synths of the modern era.
Creating a Keyboard Split
As you probably already know, Serum has a lot of highly useful functions. However, in this tutorial, I will only show you how to create a keyboard split. This technique can be pretty useful whether you’re using Serum in live performances or simply for your daily studio productions. Since Serum possesses two oscillators it offers the ability to have two separate sounds which can be placed on different keyboard zones. This means that the sound from oscillator 1 will be heard when you are playing keys from octave 1 to octave 3 and the sound from oscillator 2 will be heard from octave 4 to octave 6.
In the following image, you will see Serum loaded on a newly created MIDI channel within SoundBridge. As I mentioned before, there are 2 oscillators inside Serum. I have tweaked the oscillators a bit and now we can hear that oscillator 1 has a Saw based sound while oscillator 2 has a Square based sound. Let’s hear how they sound together, ranging over entire keyboard.
~ Oscillator 1 & 2 melody
Next, I will split these 2 oscillators on the keyboard. To do this I have to find the note macro section. It is located in the VST’s lower right corner. The basic shape looks like a saw waveform. Instead of that, I will drag the points to create a square shape. This is because I want to set the points where oscillator 1 ends and where oscillator 2 begins on the keyboard.
The next step would be to actually modulate the volume of OSC. 1 & 2. This can be done by dragging and dropping the anchor icon from the note macro and placing it on the level parameter on the OSC 1 and 2 engines. The difference will only be the starting point of the level parameters. We will leave the first oscillator at the maximum, while the second oscillator will be set to minimum.
Now, when you play the melody you will hear the oscillator 1 from octave 1 to octave 2 and the oscillator 2 from octave 3 to the rest of the keyboard.