How to create Spectral Morphing Psytrance synth sounds in Serum
Today we’re looking at a sound that’s widely used by Full-On Psytrance artists and is surprisingly easy to pull off; Spectral Morphing Psytrance synth sounds.
This technique takes advantage of Serum’s bundled “Spectral” wavetables, which were specifically designed for abstract sound design purposes. Serum’s wavetable import capabilities are incredible, not only are they capable of accurately re-creating waveforms, there are several unique FFT import modes that break apart the source’s spectral content rather than harmonic content. This is a great technique for importing sounds other than synth waveforms and being able to retain the original flavour of the sound.
Serum’s “Spectral” folder contains a collection of awesome wavetables derived from importing unique sounds using this abstract FFT import method, today we’re looking at some of my favourite ones to use for psychedelic synth sounds and how to modulate and arrange them for best results.
Let’s talk about Sample & Hold, which is the process of capturing and freezing a voltage or modulation amount of a continuously varying signal. In synthesis you generally have control over the clock of the Sample & Hold generator, and this allows you to create a stepped motion of random constant amounts at the interval that you choose.
Using Serum’s “Chaos Osc” in S&H mode emulates Sample & Hold behaviour, it’s a great source for endless slight variations in your sound or like in this example completely randomizing the source oscillator’s wavetable position. I like to render out large portions of this sound playing through varieties of random modulation patterns, and then cherry-pick the best parts. You can also render out several variations using some different wavetables to create a library of sound effects to pull from at a later stage.
For even more endless variations, you can apply a second “Chaos Osc” synced to the same rate, to several other parameters such as filters and effects.
For a more in-depth walkthrough check out the video here: