Envelopes and Gates - Newbie Understanding

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Righty
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Envelopes and Gates - Newbie Understanding

Post by Righty » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:19 pm

Coming from a SQ-1, Mother 32 and 0-Coast to a modular, I have struggled to work mainly with gate signals and envelopes. I bought a Doepfer A-140, but I need more 1 envelope generator. I have a Maths and LOVE the "snappy" envelopes I can get with it, but it can do so much more. I also have a Quad VCA, but I am rarely satisfied with what I can do when I run a sequencer gate to its CV inputs. So, before I just run out and buy X or Y quad envelope, can anyone please walk me through different ways you work with your sequencer gate outputs? I get and understand A, D, S, and R, but start with basics please and if you have some more advance ideas of things to try, much appreciated. Sorry if this is stupid, but this is the one topic where I am just not getting it. Finally, module recommendations please.

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Post by luketeaford » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:29 pm

I'm not sure what you're asking exactly-- if you want different behaviors, just patch Maths differently?

I have a largish system and only one ADSR: the Make Noise Contour (which is cool and simple and most importantly has EOR/EOC outputs for chaining to large envelopes and the Attack and Decay times can be voltage controlled. And there is a variable response.

If I want ADSR (unusual for me), I just patch it myself with Maths or with a Verbos Voltage Multistage etc.

As far as working with sequencer gate outputs is concerned, I use them to trigger envelopes, flip switches, in clock dividers, in S&Hs, as an "accent" by adding a little bit of a gate to the filter level for an additional brightness boost, for example (many, many, many other ways to patch accents)

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Post by Righty » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:12 pm

Sorry, I am strictly talking about using them to trigger envelopes. The other stuff I am actually understanding and having a lot fun trying new things. I may be working with 3 VCO at a time and want to shape an envelop on each. I like what Maths does a lot, but then I can't use it for anything else. Maybe the answer is as simple as I need more... Should my Quad VCA be able to help or what am I missing?

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Post by luketeaford » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:53 pm

Righty wrote:I may be working with 3 VCO at a time and want to shape an envelop on each.
If you want three envelopes, you would need either another EG or to derive the third envelope from the other two Maths functions which can be done with mixing and using OR SUM INV bus. Look into the voltage mirror patch, for example.

More voices generally require more modulation which is why new players often become frustrated by buying a lot of modules and not having the necessary utilities.

In a Make Noise system, you could use gates/triggers to strike some of the low pass gates available and that removes the need for an envelope. Of course, you could also just let one voice drone or be creative about how to gate it-- maybe a simple gate is a sufficient envelope for one voice.

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Post by Righty » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:59 pm

luketeaford wrote:
Righty wrote:I may be working with 3 VCO at a time and want to shape an envelop on each.
If you want three envelopes, you would need either another EG or to derive the third envelope from the other two Maths functions which can be done with mixing and using OR SUM INV bus. Look into the voltage mirror patch, for example.

More voices generally require more modulation which is why new players often become frustrated by buying a lot of modules and not having the necessary utilities.

In a Make Noise system, you could use gates/triggers to strike some of the low pass gates available and that removes the need for an envelope. Of course, you could also just let one voice drone or be creative about how to gate it-- maybe a simple gate is a sufficient envelope for one voice.
Thanks, I did buy a lot of utilities, but not enough of "basic" - quantizer, adder, switch. logic modules... not thinking about envelopes. I think that is my main problem. Well, I have lots of problems...

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Post by dubonaire » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:49 pm

Righty wrote:Sorry, I am strictly talking about using them to trigger envelopes. The other stuff I am actually understanding and having a lot fun trying new things. I may be working with 3 VCO at a time and want to shape an envelop on each. I like what Maths does a lot, but then I can't use it for anything else. Maybe the answer is as simple as I need more... Should my Quad VCA be able to help or what am I missing?
With an ADSR envelope the gate length dictates the overall time of the ADS stages. What some people often don't realise is that while the A, D and R pots control time, the S pot controls the sustain voltage level. Sustain length being a function of gate time - (A + D times). This is a good diagram from musicfromouterspace.com showing how gates and triggers work with envelopes, the top right figure you can do with the the A-140 if you send a trigger to the retrigger input.

Image
Last edited by dubonaire on Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by authorless » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:56 pm

If you want to use one envelope to control a VCA for three oscillators, use a mixer to mix the oscillators into a single output then send that single output to the VCA. If you want to use a single envelope to control the pitch of three oscillators, you want to use a mult to send that signal to all three. If you want three oscillators to have their own VCA and envelope, mult the gate to send it to the three envelopes. You really aren't clear on what you want, though.
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Post by insoul8 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:04 pm

If you’re using the Intellijel quad vca, each cv is normalized to the next so if you have 3 oscillators going to inputs 1, 2, and 3, and an envelope only plugged into cv 1, it will cascade down to cv 2, 3, and 4 already letting you use the same envelope for all the inputs.

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Post by Righty » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:37 am

authorless wrote:If you want to use one envelope to control a VCA for three oscillators, use a mixer to mix the oscillators into a single output then send that single output to the VCA. If you want to use a single envelope to control the pitch of three oscillators, you want to use a mult to send that signal to all three. If you want three oscillators to have their own VCA and envelope, mult the gate to send it to the three envelopes. You really aren't clear on what you want, though.
If you’re using the Intellijel quad vca, each cv is normalized to the next so if you have 3 oscillators going to inputs 1, 2, and 3, and an envelope only plugged into cv 1, it will cascade down to cv 2, 3, and 4 already letting you use the same envelope for all the inputs.
Okay, you both are helping. I wasn't clear because I didn't even know what I didn't know. What I want now is to use one envelope for two VCOs each playing a different sequence.

Say I have two 8 note sequences. They do not all play notes and the same step one has "rests" when the other is playing a note, and some times both are "resting" on the same beats.

I tried mixing the two gates in Maths and then sending that to CV 1 of the Quad VCA, but I have two problems. Gates are clicking away for both channels and both VCOs ring away on a C until the next note.

Or I try the advice above. I mix the CV signals from both VCOs send that to one channel of the Quad VCA, but what the heck do I do to have the envelope play on each note? What do I do with the two gates outs from each channel of the sequencer?

I can use either the Maths or A-140 for envelopes and I have a Trait.

What stupid oversight am I making here please. I am Gate/Envelope challenged...
Last edited by Righty on Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by authorless » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:50 am

Righty wrote:
authorless wrote:If you want to use one envelope to control a VCA for three oscillators, use a mixer to mix the oscillators into a single output then send that single output to the VCA. If you want to use a single envelope to control the pitch of three oscillators, you want to use a mult to send that signal to all three. If you want three oscillators to have their own VCA and envelope, mult the gate to send it to the three envelopes. You really aren't clear on what you want, though.
If you’re using the Intellijel quad vca, each cv is normalized to the next so if you have 3 oscillators going to inputs 1, 2, and 3, and an envelope only plugged into cv 1, it will cascade down to cv 2, 3, and 4 already letting you use the same envelope for all the inputs.
Okay, you both are helping. I wasn't clear because I didn't even know what I didn't know. What I want now is to use one envelope for two VCOs each playing a different sequence.

Say I have two 8 note sequences. They do not all play notes and one has "rests" when the other is playing a note., and some times both are "resting" on the same beats. I tried mixing the two gates in Maths and then sending that to CV 1 of the Quad VCA, but I have two problems. Gates are clicking away for both channels and both VCOs ring away on a C until the next note.

Or I try the advice above. I mix the CV signals from both VCOs send that to one channel of the Quad VCA, but what the heck do I do to have the envelope play on each note? What do I do with the two gates outs from each channel of the sequencer?

What stupid oversight am I making here please.
If you want two independent sequences they will need to be independent voices. What that means is they will need their own envelopes, their own filters, their own VCAs.
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Post by flashheart » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:51 am

To do what you want you need 2 envelopes, you can't use one for 2 different sequences. You have 2 AD/AR envelopes with Maths so feed 1 gate sequence to one side and the other to the other. take these out separately to 2 VCAs. I think that's what you want.
I'm not buying a maths though, not my idea of fun...

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Post by Righty » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:54 am

flashheart wrote:To do what you want you need 2 envelopes, you can't use one for 2 different sequences. You have 2 AD/AR envelopes with Maths so feed 1 gate sequence to one side and the other to the other. take these out separately to 2 VCAs. I think that's what you want.
Great, I get that now. But would you mind telling more of your example on cascading the CV gate in the Quad. In that case I would want the two sequences to be playing notes at the same steps, correct?

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Post by Fallen_lassen » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:48 am

Look at this topic about env

viewtopic.php?t=106396&sid=918f7f3fd404 ... c87ee2a940

Maybe it will help you understand how and what.

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Post by strawberry » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:34 pm

:yay: :yay: ^^this^^ :yay: :yay:

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Post by authorless » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:56 pm

Righty wrote:
flashheart wrote:To do what you want you need 2 envelopes, you can't use one for 2 different sequences. You have 2 AD/AR envelopes with Maths so feed 1 gate sequence to one side and the other to the other. take these out separately to 2 VCAs. I think that's what you want.
Great, I get that now. But would you mind telling more of your example on cascading the CV gate in the Quad. In that case I would want the two sequences to be playing notes at the same steps, correct?
If you plug a CV into the CV input of one of the VCAs of the Quad VCA it is normaled to feed into the VCA below it. If you plug something into the CV in of a VCA it breaks that normalization because the jack has a switch in it. It would be a single CV controlling the VCAs below it IF there is nothing plugged into their CV input. Meaning they would open and close at the same time - they would play together on the same steps.
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Post by Whelm » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:02 pm

Something hinted at that might help you as you go forward is that, particularly if you're dealing with gates and triggers, and AD or AR envelope is often more useful than an ADSR. ADSRs are particularly well suited to keyboards. If you aren't playing with a keyboard, you generally just need the Attack and Decay.

Not always, to be sure, but generally.

Sustain, ie S, is only in effect as long as the gate signal is high. This is really helpful for keyboards etc, because you want the note to continue being played as long as the musician is pressing the key, but not terrifically useful for sequencers or triggers.

It does come into play if you are modifying the length of your gate signals, ie. by modulating the pules width of a square-wave clock source, but you can often fit 2 AD/AR envelopes into the space of a single ADSR, and so you'll find that lots of folks don't bother so much with ADSRs in modular.

Not sure if that's helpful or not but something to think about as you build out your system.

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Post by Righty » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:12 pm

Whelm wrote:Something hinted at that might help you as you go forward is that, particularly if you're dealing with gates and triggers, and AD or AR envelope is often more useful than an ADSR. ADSRs are particularly well suited to keyboards. If you aren't playing with a keyboard, you generally just need the Attack and Decay.

Not always, to be sure, but generally.

Sustain, ie S, is only in effect as long as the gate signal is high. This is really helpful for keyboards etc, because you want the note to continue being played as long as the musician is pressing the key, but not terrifically useful for sequencers or triggers.

It does come into play if you are modifying the length of your gate signals, ie. by modulating the pules width of a square-wave clock source, but you can often fit 2 AD/AR envelopes into the space of a single ADSR, and so you'll find that lots of folks don't bother so much with ADSRs in modular.

Not sure if that's helpful or not but something to think about as you build out your system.
Thanks. Yes helpful. I certainly know how to use a single envelope. I was confused about how I might share one. I didn’t make that clear. My trail of stupid questions is quite well established here!

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