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How to make Flume's Rushing Back intro synth in Serum

Jan 28th 2020

Flume's sound design is always out of this word

Flume is one of the more unique producers when it comes to sound design. One of my favorite tracks off of his last EP is Rushing Back. The intro and verse synth is a highly unique sound that hits you right in the feels.

It sounds simple, but as with all things Flume, there's a lot to unpack. 

We're going to take a look at how to recreate this sound using Serum. 

Getting started with your sound recreation

I think it's always helpful to pull your reference song into your DAW session. Bouncing back and forth from Spotify or YouTube makes it a lot harder, and you can't leverage the tools in your DAW.

I've recreated hundreds of sounds over the past few years, and I always lean heavily on reference tools and plugins. Your ears can be tricked pretty easily in a dense mix in an unfamiliar genre, but it's a lot harder to deceive both your ears and eyes.

If you're not sure how to get the song into your DAW, download an app that allows you to record your computer's audio. Quicktime can do this as can Audacity (an excellent choice for PC peeps).

The first step, and arguably the most difficult, is choosing a similar starting waveform or wavetable. If you don't get good at doing this, reverse engineering synth sounds gets frustrating. 

The intro synth in Flume's Rushing Back sounds like a sine wave, but not all sine waves are created equally. Some have 2nd and 3rd order harmonics, some are more narrow resulting in less low frequencies. The synth sound in Rushing Back has some bite and higher harmonics which tipped me off that the actual sound is just a processed sine wave. Instead, it's most likely a brighter sounding waveform like a triangle or filtered saw. 

Download the presets and MIDI from this tutorial below!

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