Serum’s wavetable os­cil­la­tors: the ba­sics

Future Music - - PRODUCER’S GUIDE TO | XFER SERUM -

The most im­me­di­ately recog­nis­able thing about Serum is its wavetable os­cil­la­tors. Here’s a quick guide to get­ting up and run­ning with them Wavetable syn­the­sis isn’t a new con­cept – it’s been around since the ’80s when Wolf­gang Palm re­leased the PPG Wave synth. Back then, dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy was still new and ex­cit­ing, and Palm’s break­through idea was to load as os­cil­la­tors not just one sound wave, but a col­lec­tion of them. Known as a wavetable, this col­lec­tion of waves could then be mod­u­lated to pro­duce a col­lec­tion of sounds that had been hith­erto im­pos­si­ble with ana­logue tech­nol­ogy.

While synth fash­ions have come and gone, Palm’s wavetable syn­the­sis has re­mained a firm favourite way of gen­er­at­ing sounds, with su­per­synths like Mas­sive – and, in­deed, Serum – us­ing the idea to gen­er­ate their own sounds, tak­ing the tech a bit fur­ther each time.

Let’s have a look at Serum’s os­cil­la­tors – the source of its wavetable son­ics. The ini­tialised patch gives us just a saw wave in os­cil­la­tor A. We can change it from the menu at the top of the os­cil­la­tor. Choose Ana­logue >> Ba­sic Shapes.

The point of wavetable syn­the­sis is to mod­u­late this wavetable po­si­tion to get an in­ter­est­ing, evolv­ing sound. Try out a few more waveta­bles, and run the WT Po­si­tion us­ing LFOs, en­velopes and other mod­u­la­tors to get mor­ph­ing son­ics in your patch.

This gives us a sine wave to start with, but we can change it by mov­ing the WT Po­si­tion con­trol. We can click the wave­form dis­play to see all the waves avail­able – the whole wavetable.

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