How To Create Atmospheric Pads in Serum (Free Serum Preset Pack DL)

Creating sounds from scratch in Serum might seem daunting, especially if you are new but don't worry - it's not too challenging once you understand the basics of sound design. Today we're going to walk through how to create beautiful, atmospheric pads in minutes. 

What is a Pad in Sound Design?

A pad is simply a broad term for a sound with a longer attack. It's surprisingly difficult to define what a pad actually is since it it's as cut and dry as something like a bass or kick. Generally pads are used to add atmosphere to tracks, but could also be used as a lead to drive the song melodically. 

Anyway, let's make a pad in Serum.

If you are more of a visual learner, we have also recorded a quick video which can guide you through it:

Our Free Serum Preset Pack

If you want to bag yourself some fantastic atmospheric Serum Presets then you should definitely check out the Atmosphere Serum Preset Pack by Symitone. It's completely free and comes with over 23 presets, ranging from wide basses to 80s style plucks. If you're interested, check it out here. There are only 100 free versions available, so make sure you get yours before it's full price.

How To Make A Pad In Serum

  1. Starting from a fresh Serum layout, we are going to want to enable oscillator B and choose "Analog BD Sin".
  2. Lower the octave by 1 on Oscillator B, and up the unison to 16.
  3. Moving onto Oscillator A, I'm going to choose Juno, and turn it to wavetable position 3. Up the unison here as well.
  4. For the filter we'll use MG Low 6, with a cutoff at around 3-400hz.
  5. On envelope 1, we'll need to up the attack, change the decay and lower the sustain by a few db. For the release, I'm going to turn it to about 500 milliseconds.
  6. This is how we can create these long chords that almost feel like they evolve.
  7. On lfo 1, change it to trigger mode and make sure bpm and anchor are selected.
  8. Pair lfo 1 to the cutoff knob, wavetable position of oscillator B and the level of A.
  9. Finally, let's move onto the effects. I've gone with a Flanger at 7% mix, Chorus, turned to 26%, and reverb with the low cut turned up a bit.

And there you have it, you've just made a pad in serum! With designing pads you can get really creative, and there are a thousand and one ways to make them but this is typically what I will use as a starting point.

I hope this has been helpful, as always check out for MIDI Packs,
Sample Kits, Presets Packs and more.

How To Create Your Own Unique Pad in Serum

Now that you've got a basic pad down in Serum, let's take a look at some ways you can tweak it to make your one completely unique pad:

1. Change the Wavetable

Changing the wavetable on either Oscillator A or B (or both) is one of the fastest ways of transforming the pad entirely. Even if you leave the rest of the settings how they are, you can easily make thousands of unique pads just by playing around with these two options, combined with tweaking the wavetable position. Remember, some wavetables can introduce harmonics which may not suit your production, so to make sure the pad you have just made sounds good I would definitely recommend playing a chord with several notes through it just to check it does the job.

2.  Change the Effects

By adding different effects, either within the Serum effects rack or by adding external plugins, you can get some highly unique sounding pads with ease. I would personally recommend trying out Kickstart, Raum (by Native Instruments) and Choral (also by NI). Another brilliant option as long as you have an EQ to cut out some of the low end is HalfTime.

3.  ADSR Baby!

Here's a really easy tip - if you are finding that your pad is two slow and it's not meshing well with the other melodic elements of your song, the first thing to tweak is the envelope - perhaps shorten the attack, so the notes come in quicker, or cut down the release. 

Conclusion - Making Atmospheric Pads in Serum can Be Easy Once You Know How

So there you have it - the Symitone guide to making Pads in Serum. The process is fairly similar actually, regardless of which synthesizer you are using, and that includes physical hardware too. A huge part of making a great pad is simply:

  • Multiple Voices
  • Longer Attack
  • Large Reverb / Delay

With pads, there isn't really a single "best" way to make them - as the saying goes, there are a thousand ways to skin a cat, and sound design is an area where this definitely applies. Thank you so much for checking out our guide. If you found this helpful and are on the look out for some brilliant resources for music producers, we have a wide range of free and premium content. From free Drum Kits and tutorial videos to mammoth bundles for music producers, we are sure you will find something to help you take your music production game to the next level.



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