Xfer's Serum is probably the most popular VST instrument for sound design. Whether you want to make rough bass sounds, or quick pluck sounds, Serum is perfect for that.
The GUI of Serum can start to look a bit dated, so producers have enjoyed using the serum skins feature, to get fresh inspiration from a familiar plugin.
Here's the ultimate list of Serum Skins you can download for free:
- Hotline Miami
- Ableton Live
- Serum Master Edition
- Colorful XS
- Porter Robinson Worlds
- Virtual Riot
- Kill The Noise
- Pixel Terror
- Rick and Morty
- Serum Pro
- Dirty Teal
Hotline Miami is a very simple skin, essentially replacing the Serum Green, with a nice mix of purples and teals, which evokes that classic 80s vibe.
Woodgrain is a great looking Serum skin, that feels right out of the 1970s. With a wooden texture, and a brass face plate, with classic brass knobs, this skin looks more like an old amp, than a synth.
Miruku is one of the more popular skins for Serum. Entirely grayscale, with a hint of ahegao anime-girl in the background. Use this one at your own discretion, but we think it's pretty awesome.
Anthracite is an amazing skin, if you're looking to make Serum feel more modern. A rich Purple colour adds to the minimal, but functional UI, making this skin clean and modern.
The Ableton Live Serum skin mimics the orange and light-gray of the default Ableton Live skin. If you're using Ableton Live, and wan't Serum to match with your DAW, this is perfect for you. Even if you don't, this is still one of the better looking free serum skins around.
The free Tascione skin is based around the vibrant red and purple tones associated with the Tascione brand. Whether you're a fan of his music or not, this is a very cool looking skin.
Ghostify is a ghost-production site. Whether you support that or not, you can't deny the Ghostify serum skin looks stunning. It's very similar to the default Serum skin, with a darker and more sleek look overall.
Serum Master edition is a beautiful, yellow and blue themed skin. The knobs are a nice blue, in contrast to the wavetables and modulation sections in a neon yellow.
Colorful XS is a skin from the Colorful line, this time, in a deep teal and orange, made to stand out. The wavetables and modulation curves are in a green, and it also features a purple gradient piano roll.
Inspired by the great Porter Robinson, Worlds is a colorful and serene looking serum skin. Probably the most artistic on this list and one of our favorites.
Made by Cymatics, a developer all producers should be familiar with by now, Frost offers a complete redesign with a focus on whites and light blues. Compared to Dirty White, Frost by Cymatics looks softer, and more subdued.
The light blue accents that Cymatics have used, make this one of the nicer looking light skins.
Justin Fowler puts out another artist-themed banger with KOMPANY. The skin is similar to KOMPANY's music, and evokes an image of heavy machinery.
The amazing dubstep producer, Virtual Riot has his own Serum skin, which turns Serum into a Red and Teal themed dubstep synth (not that it actually changes the sound).
Kill The Noise is another producer inspired Serum skin, this time, featuring a lot of purple and pink neon colors.
A more playful skin than the ones that we've listed before, Pixel Terror overlays a lot of the background of Serum, with a cartoony 16-bit character design. Inspired by the production duo Pixel Terror
Antidote is another producer inspired Serum Skin, this time, a collaboration between Qoiet and Antidote. A nice and textured look, complimented by snow-white accents, adds up to a great looking GUI.
The Rick and Morty serum skin is perfect for any fans of the show. While it takes a high IQ to fully enjoy this Rick and Morty skin, you can't deny that it looks great.
Sketch is one of the more unique serum skins. With sketch, your Xfer Serum GUI will look hand-drawn, with jagged lines, off-kilter text and simple controls. Great for a more playful looking interface.
Serum Pro is a great looking, dark blue themed skin for Xfer Serum. It features the stock wavetable and modulation curve colors, while enhancing everything around it. Pro is not a complete overhaul, it's a fresh improvement on the original.
Another great skin from the Echo Sound Works Dirty line, Dirty Teal. Dirty Teal is one of the best light serum skins, It looks sharp and bold, and the Teal accents make it look that much better.
How Can I change My Serum Skin
It's very easy to install serum skins, you just have to make sure you install Serum skins where they need to go.
First, download your skin. These usually come either as folders, or zip files with folders in them.
Open your DAW, and set up an instance of Serum. In the top right, you'll see a menu button. Clicking “menu” gives you a lot of options to click, but we want to click the “show serum presets folder” button.
The serum preset directory is usually Documents/Xfer Serum Presets/Skins.
This brings us to the folder where Serum looks for it's resources. In here, there's a folder called Skins. Drop or unzip your downloaded skin into this folder.
Next, restart serum, by deleting the channel, and opening serum again. Now, by clicking on the serum logo at the top left, you'll be able to navigate to the Skins submenu and select your newly installed free serum skin.
Boom, done, wasn't that easy?
How Do You Get Serum Skins?
Finding working, free Serum skins can be a bit of a pain. Since all skins are 3rd party, the download pages can tend to be all-over-the-place. More often than not, free Serum skins are uploaded with DropBox, so this is where a lot of the downloads will live.
All free Serum skins come either as a folder download, or a .zip file, which contains the Skin folder. Xfer Serum has it's own serum skins folder, where your skins folder will live.
As always with user-created 3rd party software, it can be a mixed bag of great, amazing, functional skins, and skins that just won't work at all. Finding working skins can be tough, but once you've set up your Serum with a new skin, you'll fall in love with the plugin all over again.
Our favorite skins on our list are the Ableton Live Skin by Nasko, and Miruku by Miruku. These are really clean and sharp, and make Serum look amazing.
How Much Is Serum?
You can purchase Serum for $189 or, alternatively, you can rent-to-own Serum for $9.99 a month, over on Splice. It's a great deal, is 0% interest and allows you to freeze payments + pick up where you left off when you can afford it again.
It's how we bought Serum, and probably so many others did too!
This is also great if you're just interested in testing Serum out for the first time, since, the first 3 days are free, you can cancel or pause at any time, and it's just $9.99 for a month of Serum.
Hopefully you enjoyed our ultimate list of free Serum skins.
A lot of producers like these custom free skins, including us. So whether you're looking for a dark version, or one that brings new inspiration to your music, there's a free skin out there for you.
Toms is a music producer & DJ, born and raised in Post Soviet Latvia. Currently based in Brighton, Toms has had over 6 years of experience with all things production and in that time, he's done a tonne of cool stuff! He's played multiple festivals, had experience in the field with mixing & mastering and even become a freelance journalist in the music industry.
Toms currently creates music under the alias Sovereign. Producing music that's intimate and subtle, while full of edge and energy, the young producer combines the artistic sounds of Trip Hop artists like Massive Attack, with the energy and youthfulness of producers like Flume, Jamie XX and Yaeji. You can check his stuff on Soundcloud.