Serum Vs. Ableton Live 10’s Wavetable

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!

Serum Workflow and Speed: 7/10

Wavetable Workflow and Speed: 8/10

By | 2018-02-01T21:56:12+00:00 December 21st, 2017|Ableton, Producers Blog, Vst Review, Wavetable|8 Comments

Fast Songwriting with Odesi and Ableton Live

Sometimes I want to sit down and just hash out an idea. I might not have a keyboard with me or just feel like exploring unknown territory. Odesi has been a magic tool for me to do this. It’s fast, intuitive, and helps me discover new ideas in minutes.

Odesi is a stand alone program made by the people at Mixed in Key. In this video, I walk you through how to use Odesi and give you a deeper idea of what you can do with the program.

After I made that video I realized I wanted to take it a step further. I wanted to show the ease of which you can create a song and then take the parts into Ableton Live. Once there, you can start putting sound design to it and build out your track. I have started sketches for a track in 10min or less using this program. Granted this is just a seed. You need to extend it out, build the composition, modulate, and all that stuff. Basically, think of Odesi as a fast idea generator, but you have to go build out those ideas.

I will also say I don’t generally use Odesi for melody creation. It just never “gets me” as a listener or producer. Seems a little flat, but some good ideas come out of it. As far as chord movement and beat… this program is rad!

Here is my video walkthrough of using Odesi and Ableton Live. Check out Odesi by Mixed in Key.

By | 2017-08-29T19:02:26+00:00 August 29th, 2017|Ableton, Producers Blog, Vst Review|0 Comments

Top 6 Free Glitch Effects and Devices

If you ever want to spice up your music, then adding some well placed glitch effects and sounds will bring on the heat.  I love taking a violin part, vocal, or lead and glitching it out.  It adds a really unique sound and captures the listener. There are lots of tools out there to morph and mangle. In this article I am going to give you a rundown of the top 6 VST’s and effects I use for glitching out samples.


1. Hysteresis by Glitchmachines

Let’s start off with a pinch of some smeared out granular delay. Hysteresis is a free VST for Mac and PC by This device will take any input and stretch the sound, though a combination of delays and granular filters. In their words, it “creating robotic artifacts and abstract musical malfunctions.” Hysteresis_UI Glitch Effect

I love throwing these devices on drums or leads and using the Random button. I will then tweak it until I get these strange mechanical stretching sounds. I’ll resample that sound and use it as a strange layer in my track. This VST definitely makes some strange noises, and many of them are unusable. Just mess with it and edit the sounds to give you some interesting top layers to your track. Check out their demo video.


FIRE is a hidden weapon in my arsenal.  It’s a combination of short delays and panning to give this sharp little sparkles. It’s very easy to use and is available for MAC and Windows.  I  love using this VST on instruments more then on drums. It can add a really unique ghost delay. Perfect for pianos, or plucked instruments.

With shorter settings it works great on snare and high-hat to give a stuttered tail to things.


3. dblue Glitch

First off lets get this out of the way, this VST is Windows only. Yeah… I know, bummer. Luckily I use a PC (Yes, you can tell me how my life can be better in the comments). I have been using dblue Glitch free VST for a long time. The random feature and simple controls make it really easy to come up with new rhythmic glitch patterns. All you have to do is throw it on any track and start tweaking the pattern and the different effects. It’s similar to Effectrics in this way, but it only has one layer.

Good News for the MAC users out there is that Glitch 2.0 has come out on PC and Mac. It is, however $59.

Glitch VST Effect for Ableton Live (more…)