The Weeknd "Take My Breath" Breakdown
As you may have already noticed, we are massive fans of The Weeknd, there is no song that he releases that we won't consider making a tutorial of it, and if the quality of the music he keeps putting out is similar to this single we will declare ourselves unconditional fans of The Weeknd from now on, this song is the lead single from his upcoming fifth studio album so expect great things in the near future, so with that in mind we decided to make a Serum tutorial on how to make all the sounds from "Take My Breath" by The Weeknd, let's give it a listen.
This article was possible because all of the presets from this breakdown came from our Dreampop Serum pack and it has have 20% off with the code: SP01To make this bass we use a basic mini waveform on oscillator "A" with frequency modulation coming from oscillator "B" and it has 5 voices, while oscillator "B" uses the ICanHasKick waveform in its position 215, both oscillators are being routed to the filter which is using Low 18 filter with high resonance and a cutoff modulated by envelope 2.
Now for the hardest part the guitar preset, If you are not familiar with Serum, I will tell you that this wavetable synth is the best to create your own waveforms, the only thing you have to do is import your audio to the oscillators and choose how you want to import your audio, so that's what I did I imported a Telecaster one shot in my oscillator "A" and a Stratocaster one shot in my oscillator "B", Now to give movement to the wavetables we use LFO 1 to modulate their position so its sounds as natural as possible.
Now two of the most important parts for this preset to sound as organic and natural as possible are the little variations in dynamics and length of the note, to do the first we routed the velocity to the level of each oscillator and the cutoff filter and when we write the notes in midi we gave a little variation to each note as you will see in the image below, now to give variation to the length of the note you need to modulate the decay of envelope 1 with an LFO.
This sound is quite simple, to start you need in oscillator "A" a Jno waveform and in oscillator "B" a Basic Mg waveform, now to make it sound a little dreamy you need to go to the Effects tab and add the hyper dimension, chorus and reverb effects and turn the knobs around 50% each, now for the final touch add the sidechain of your choosing either to do it inside Serum or use a vst like Kickstart.
This sounds like a Wurli, so to make this we need a SawRouded wavetable in oscillator "A" and a Ds Saw and Tri wavetable in oscillator "B", our LFO 1 is modulating the Amp from our Global Tab, the cutoff of the filter is being close by our envelope 3 and to give a little body to the sound we are cranking up the drive knob in the filter.
Now that we are on the bridge, new elements are presented, one of them is a keyboards with a vibrato that is progressively increasing and to achieve this, first, we use a PWM_Mdc in the oscillator "A" and a saw waveform, the trick to achieving this vibrato is use envelope 3 as an Aux Source so the curve of your envelope is what is going to dictate the speed of the vibrato.
Now to do the vibrato effect go to your Matrix tab and choose the envelope that you want to use to modulate the speed of the LFO that is affecting the fine-tuning of your oscillators.
Now for the final part, we are going to recreate the bass in the bridge, let's start by choosing a Basic Shape in its second position in oscillator "A" and use the sync knob around 1.3% in oscillator "B" use a Jno wavetable in its third position, now to make it sound a little reesy we use an envelope to close the cutoff of the filter and add a little resonance now add a little distortion and hyper dimension in the FX tabs and that's it.
If you like this breakdown you can read our tutorials of Blinding Lights, Save Your Tears and In Your Eyes.