In this article, I will be looking at xfer Serum versus Ableton Live 10’s Wavetable. In the article, I hope to lay out the major differences and similarities to help you decide which synth you want to invest money and more importantly time into learning.
When I first wrote this article I got a lot of comments on how these are totally different synths. Like Apples versus Oranges. Well… first of all, those are both fruits. They’re both round… lots of similarities here. Serum and Wavetable are both wavetable synths. They both do this through 2 oscillator wavetable synthesis. The difference is found in the different approaches and parameters you have to control and shape that sound. In this article, I hope to show those differences and where they’re strengths lie.
Video Walkthrough of Serum Vs Wavetable:
I made a video version of this article and you can watch it below:
Workflow and Speed:
If you can grab a synth and make a fairly similar sound but 2x as fast, you would probably always use that synth. Granted that usually means certain synths are much faster at certain sounds and every synth has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to workflow.
Serum has a lot of options. It has extensive routing options and quick controls for LFO’s and modulation. This does mean the workflow is a little complicated. It can take a while to find the parameter you are looking for. Setting up the Matrix can take longer, and so on. The click and drag nature of the modulators is pretty slick though.
I’d say Serum is has a fantastic workflow, but still complicated enough to be a little slower at certain things. My biggest pet peeve though is the load time! When switching between presets I have to wait up to 30sec. Seems like no big deal unless you spend 10 min just flipping through a handful of sounds. This slowly drives me crazy.
Wavetable is lightning fast. You can see most parameters on the first page, and in the expanded view you can see everything. The Matrix setting is really intuitive and fast to use. I find I can make a lot of sounds really fast without even questioning where a parameter is. And I am new to this synth!
Load time on presets is almost instant. Thank god!