Is Serum Good For Hip Hop? ( Detailed Explanation Included)

Xfer’s Serum is fantastic for HipHop. It’s a wavetable synth that can be used to re-create common sounds from Hip Hop, or even be used to load up 3rd party Hip Hop preset packs. Serum shines in all other genres too, and can suit any style of music.

We’ve personally used Serum in a tonne of type beats we’ve been making recently for beatstars, and it’s perfect for warm, smooth style leads, chords, and basses.

It all depends on how you choose to use Serum, or what packs you purchase for it.

We recently made a 330+ sound Lo-Fi Hip Hop pack using Serum as our main synthesiser for sound design, and created a tonne of cool presets that really fit the Lofi vibe.

Often people mistake Serum for being an EDM synth, but it’s really not that at all. Of course you can make some incredibly intricate sounds, and harsh basses, but you can also use Serum’s features for more chilled out, laid back, smooth beats.

Take a look at this sound design tutorial, and you’ll instantly hear how Serum could be used for Hip Hop, RnB & other smooth, Jazzy genres:

Serum has 2 oscillators, a sub oscillator, a plethora of FX to use, filters that can do anything from mangle, to soothe your sounds, and even a noise oscillator you can use for sampling.

You also get an incredible built-in, wavetable editor, that you can drag samples into, images and other things to create completely new, and unique waves for sound design.

The versatility of Xfer’s Serum cannot be understated. While there are only two wavetable voices, with the addition of a sub and noise oscillator, you have most of what you’ll ever need for designing sounds.

And, because it’s one of the most popular synths on the market, you’ll never run out of resources such as tutorials, or preset packs.

Serum is fantastic for Hip Hop. Omnisphere has an edge for sure, but comparing the prices, Serum is the better value for money option.

The Sound

Serum is easily, the most accessible synthesizer for new producers. The synth engine is incredible level and sounds even better, and on top of that, has a low CPU usage + tons of versatility.

You can make serum sound literally any way you might be able to think of. Whether you’re looking to create hip-hop samples, rich basses, synthesized drums or any other sound you can imagine, Serum can handle it all.

In fact, most of the sounds in our all new Lo-Fi Hip Hop Sample Pack are made with Serum.

Features

  • 150+ Wavetables and over 450 Presets
  • 10 built-in Effects
  • 2 wavetable oscillators
  • Sound or Image to Wavetable
  • 3rd party skin support

Pros

✅ Easy To Use

✅ Awesome FX chain

✅ Flexible and creative wavetable oscillators

✅ Support for skins, with a massive selection online

✅ Splice rent-to-own subscription

Cons

❌ Default skin looks dated

❌ Learning curve for beginner producers

Pricing

You can purchase Serum from ADSRsounds.com for $189. This is the full Serum package, with everything the plugin has to offer. A Free 3-day Trial is also available, if you want to test Serum out before purchasing it.

Additionally, Splice Rent-To-Own platform offers Serum for $9.99/month for 19 months, after which, you fully own the plugin.

No hidden fees or interest, this is probably the way most people have come to own Serum. Splice also offers a 3-day Free Trial, to try Serum out before purchasing.

Why Serum Is The Best Synth To Learn On

purple slush lofi hiphop serum presets

Serum is one of the best synths to learn on.

It’s intuitive enough that beginners can figure out the basics, but deep enough, that you you can create some incredibly intricate sounds and presets.

The simplicity, and visual feedback is something that really sells Serum as the best beginner synth. When you’re just now starting to work with VST synthesisers, you want to be able to see what’s going on easily and understand how to use it.

When comparing the GUI to other synths, it’s much easier for a beginner to pick up than something like Omnisphere, or Phase Plant.

Additionally, since Serum is such a popular plugin, you can find tons of tutorials and guides online.

Anything from hip hop basses, to deep house pads and lofi chords, can be made just following simple tutorials.

Lastly, Syntorial support Serum on their interactive synthesis learning software, so picking up both can be a great beginning to learning synthesis.

It’s an interactive synth learning environment, meaning it’ll tell you if you got things, “wrong”.

Looking for some Serum presets? Why not check out some of our free sounds available on our downloads page!

Do I Really Need A New Plugin?

If you’ve just now picked up your first DAW, we’d suggest leaving Serum for later. Most DAW’s now offer their own synths, that can be just as good as Serum.

Ableton’s wavetable is actually pretty similar to Serum, so it might be worth learning that instead.

Don’t expect for Serum to make your sounds instantly better.

To create compelling sounds you need to understand synthesis first. Serum is a still a sound design machine, and can make some fantastic sounds if you know how to use it, just don’t rely on it being a magic bullet.

We personally love Serum the most out of all our synths and we own some £400+ synths.

Serum is easy on the CPU, is versatile to any genre, and is really capable of anything. You can also use it as a separate FX unit on top of your other sounds, which is exceptionally useful when designing sounds like drums.

It’s also probably the most user friendly synth to learn and has the most 3rd party support and tutorials available.

If this is the first synth you’ll be purchasing, we know you won’t be disappointed. In fact, Serum is so good, that you rarely even need anything other than Serum.

If you already own other plugins like Omnisphere, Diva, Phase Plant etc. there is still a space for Serum in your collection. But don’t purchase it if you haven’t learned your other synths first and are expecting it to make your music a million times better.

Finishing Up

Xfer’s Serum is fantastic for HipHop. It’s a wavetable synth that can be used to re-create common sounds from Hip Hop, or even be used to load up 3rd party Hip Hop preset packs. Serum shines in all other genres too, and can suit any style of music.

So if you’ve gotten this far, you’re pretty much ready to produce your next Hip Hop track and Serum is ready to help you.