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血清合成器 Xfer Records Serum v1.35.b1 PC/MAC

ajin 2022-5-5 15:41 1174人围观 电子合成音效素材

大小:533 mb

Serum’s slick interface belies an extremely flexible wavetable synthesizer.

Serum is the first synthesizer from Xfer Records, creators of the enduringly useful LFO Tool. Its aims are simple: to be a ‘dream synth’, which in this case translates to a wavetable synthesizer producing high-quality sound from a ‘workflow-oriented’ interface.

Wavetables were first developed by Wolfgang Palm of PPG, the concept later taken up by Waldorf and Access (amongst others). The distinctive sound is derived from groups of digital waveforms, known collectively as wavetables. Movement and tonal complexity are introduced by scanning the table, either manually or by modulators such as LFOs and envelopes. Perhaps because of the potential for complexity, it’s a synthesis type well-suited to the graphical world of VST-land, hence the many examples that exist, trumping the older hardware in fidelity and in the number of wavetables.

Available in VST, AAX and AU formats (both 32- and 64-bit), Serum is much deeper than its unencumbered panel implies. It ships with a large vault of prepared wavetables and an extensive toolkit to roll and shape your own. As dreams go, it’s a good start...

Plain & Simple

After a brief and pain-free installation, you’re presented with an interface of unparalleled directness and welcoming clarity. Given the number of messy, confusing and inconsistent synth panels I find myself juggling each day, this one is a delight. I couldn’t even find fault with the grey background as it perfectly highlights the subtly coloured wavetables, filters, envelopes and LFOs. I doubt anyone will seek the manual with any great urgency.

Aided by a crack team of patch designers, Serum ships with approximately 450 factory sounds. A quick perusal reveals a wealth of sweet pads and bright, fuzzy strings, as you’d probably expect. Equally impressive, though, are the hard, deep and cutting basses, plus more snappy ‘plucks’ than a harpist on speed. Strolling through the collection, you’re left with an impression of shimmering uppers and rock-solid bottoms, peppered with razor-sharp leads. I did find it odd that the obvious capacity for atmospherics and cinematic sound design wasn’t more fully explored, whilst simultaneously relishing doing so myself.

Tables In Motion

The four possible sound sources consist of two independent wavetable oscillators, a sub-oscillator and a deluxe noise generator. It’s an architecture as familiar as it is logical, which means there’s nothing to stop you plunging in right away.

Selecting a single oscillator unprocessed by filter or effects, I began auditioning the factory wavetables. They’re selected from categories such as Analog, Digital, Spectral, User and Vowel, and while the names give a good idea what to expect, it’s the pervasive clarity that hits you. With over 140 tables to choose from, I could have happily spent days selecting wavetables and manually hurtling through them using the ‘WT Pos’ knob. Instead, I set an LFO to automatically update the position, achieving the task by simply dragging the header tile of a chosen LFO to the knob in question. This is one of several methods of assigning modulation and took around a second from thought to execution. The modulation range is shown by a blue arc, which in this case I extended around the knob in order to scan the whole table. You can see how many destinations each modulator has by numbers on the header tiles.

A long-time fan of wavetable synthesis, I was eager to make an original table. In Serum, a wavetable consists of up to 256 single-cycle waveforms, known as frames. Although it’s straightforward to edit an existing table, I already felt confident enough to start from scratch. A click of the pencil icon in the graphical window of either oscillator opens the wavetable editor. This is a fully stocked carpenter’s shop offering table construction by means of imported audio, drawn waveforms or mathematical formulae. The drawing of waveforms is one of those arts that seems incredibly exciting — until you try it. Fortunately, there are far superior ways to populate a range of frames. Serum can dynamically interpolate (ie. fill in the gaps) between waves using either crossfading or spectral morphing. It’s therefore entirely under your control whether the final table has smooth, buzzy or glitchy transitions.

If you opt to import a WAV, either into the current frame or to fill the whole table, you shouldn’t expect regular sample playback, although it is possible for the resynthesis process to create material that’s recognisable — speech and drum loops are great fun to experiment with. Anyone who’s spent unhealthy hours in near-darkness probing Waldorf’s ‘19-20’ wavetable will testify that a lot can be achieved with a minimal assortment of syllables, and Serum can cram in whole conversations! The maximum table size weighs in at around 2MB but most are much smaller. If you import data from large WAVs, it is truncated when the table is built.

The manual features tutorials aimed at creating high-quality wavetables from the output of other soft synths. However you choose to do it, your creations (or favourites from the factory tables) can be exported for use externally. Initially the supported formats were 8-bit (aimed at certain hardware modulars, eg. Wiard) or 32-bit WAV. Cheekily, I requested another option and was quietly stunned to see an update posted on Xfer’s forum soon afterwards. Serum now includes 16-bit WAV export too, which by happy coincidence is perfect to feed the PCM oscillators of my Roland V-Synth. My blagging wasn’t entirely selfish because plenty of other instruments can benefit from exotic digital waveforms too.

The effects rack can be dynamically re-ordered and most of its parameters modulated.
The effects rack can be dynamically re-ordered and most of its parameters modulated.
Remaining within Serum, there’s a huge number of ways that waveforms can be manipulated. This powerful magic is stored in the lengthy Warp menu. Warp’s modes and parameters are unique to each oscillator and the results can sound like a mega-sophisticated tone control one moment, a psychedelic waveform twister, wrapper and bender the next. The less adventurous may prefer to start with a familiar process such as PWM, but even this isn’t fixated on squarewaves — it’ll squeeze anything you throw at it. At the other end of the adventure spectrum, user-customisable ‘wave remaps’ are probably the pinnacle of advanced waveform squishing. Whatever Warp mode you choose, each is a great candidate for modulation, from sources located a few pixels away.

Continuing to cherry-pick through the Warp menu, there are various types of sweet, clean-sounding sync and a quantise option that turns everything decidedly nasty and rate-reduced. After that it’s extremes all the way, courtesy of AM, FM and RM (Ring Mod). All these modes force the otherwise pristine oscillators beyond their usual comfort zone.

With wide-spread waveform mashing taking place, the best way to grasp the effect of each Warp mode is to switch to the 2D view. With a single click, the scrolling wavetable becomes an invaluable real-time waveform display.

Last but not least, voices may be stacked in a powerful unison mode. The extra voices can be detuned for extra lushness, but the freakiest stuff comes with the introduction of Warp or wavetable position offsets. This makes each unison voice unique, although with a corresponding CPU cost.

All your modulation connections in one convenient location.
All your modulation connections in one convenient location.
The sub oscillator is basic (and no less useful for being so), but the noise generator is a bit special. It’s a stereo sample player loaded, as you’d hope, with noise of every colour. But it doesn’t stop there. Joining the noise are sampled ambient whooshes, windchimes, vinyl crackles, dripping water and atmospherics galore. Adding samples of your own is as easy as dropping them into Serum’s ‘Noises’ folder, remembering that stereo samples consume twice as many voices. This could be an issue if you’re prone to extravagant CPU-taxing chords.


血清是Xfer Records的第一个合成器,是持久有用的LFO工具的创造者。它的目标很简单:成为一个“梦幻合成器”,在这种情况下,它被翻译成一个波形合成器,从一个“面向工作流”的接口产生高质量的声音。

波形首先由PPG的Wolfgang Palm开发,这个概念后来被Waldorf和Access(以及其他)采用。这种独特的声音来源于一组数字波形,统称为波形表。运动和音调的复杂性是通过手动或调制器(如LFO和包络)扫描表来引入的。也许因为潜在的复杂性,它是一种合成类型,非常适合VST-land的图形世界,因此存在许多示例,在保真度和波形表数量方面胜过旧硬件。







选择一个未经滤波或效果处理的振荡器,我开始试听工厂的波表。它们是从诸如模拟、数字、频谱、用户和元音之类的类别中选择的,虽然名称给出了一个好主意,但是它击中了你的普遍的清晰度。有超过140张桌子可供选择,我可以愉快地花上几天时间挑选波纹餐具,并用“WT Pos”旋钮手动快速穿过它们。相反,我设置了一个LFO来自动更新位置,通过简单地将选择的LFO的标题平铺拖动到所讨论的旋钮来完成任务。这是分配调制的几种方法之一,从思考到执行花费了大约一秒钟的时间。调制范围用蓝色圆弧表示,在这种情况下,我绕着旋钮扩展,以便扫描整个工作台。您可以看到每个调制器在头瓦片上按数字有多少个目的地。







原作者: ajin
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