Steve Duda on Serum’s Success & Parallels Between Music and Programming

This week, Steve Duda sat down to chat for the EDM Prodcast.

Steve Duda is the founder of Xfer Records and creator of the ever-popular Serum synth. He has been in the industry as both an artist and programmer and has a wealth of experience to share with producers.

We dive into his background and how he studied music composition in college, which opened the door to many different opportunities (despite the ‘normal’ career trajectory of becoming a teacher).

This set off a chain reaction of events, including a short DJ career in leagues with acts like Skrillex and deadmau5, which eventually lead him to learning programming and starting Xfer.

We also cover the massive success of Serum, and how it performed better than how he could have ever imagined, including the rent-to-own partnership with Splice.

Steve is excellent at drawing parallels between music production and programming and has many great pieces of advice for upcoming producers.

Links:
Learn more about Create 30 → https://create30.com
Serum Rent-To-Own → https://splice.com/plugins/15493-serum-vst-au-by-xfer-records
Songwriting For Producers → https://www.edmprod.com/songwriting-for-producers/

Connect with Steve Duda:
Xfer Website → https://xferrecords.com/
Twitter → https://twitter.com/steve_duda

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 2:38 Interview start & moving to Mexico
  • 5:23 Studying Music Composition in college
  • 9:26 The evolution of DAWs and computers
  • 10:41 Rejecting the traditional ‘college teacher’ route
  • 16:01 Being a jack of all trades
  • 17:10 Pursuing the opportunities around you
  • 18:33 Rich EDM kids and buying careers
  • 21:09 What are you willing to do to achieve success?
  • 23:51 Avoiding ‘purist constructs’
  • 24:41 Meta-music and influencing music in indirect ways
  • 27:14 The Reverb filter and Riddim
  • 30:36 Future updates and constantly innovating
  • 32:15 Serum overtaking Massive & visual feedback
  • 36:04 Teaching himself programming
  • 39:26 Make what you would like!
  • 41:24 Splice and rent-to-own
  • 46:03 Serum 2.0 and not charging for updates
  • 50:03 Serum’s competitors
  • 56:51 Imagine yourself but younger
  • 57:46 BSOD and prioritising the tools over writing
  • 01:01:54 Customer support and being accessible
  • 01:05:20 What mistakes are producers making?
  • 01:11:45 If you had a time machine, what would you go back and change?
  • 01:14:42 What’s coming up in the next 12 months?
  • 01:17:29 Wrapping up

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