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Sequencer as Envelope Generator
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Sequencer as Envelope Generator

If a sequencer outputs stepped voltages in time-controlled manner, can these "stepped" voltages be interpolated in any way to sort of force the sequencer to be an envelope generator? I've never used a sequencer before so I'm interested in getting one and just curious if it could offer this kind of dual functionality.

Simply use a glide/slew. Some sequencers have this built-in. Or get a sequencer that has note ties. Offcourse the sequencers also needs a start input and a way to stop, usually there'll be a stop input or on some there's the option to set any step to stop...
Yep. There are even things like the Buchla 248 or the Encore Electronics Universal Even Generator.
Sweet. Can the ER-101 do this?
If upper sequencer has multiple channels of output, you could even use a slew with voltage control to get smooth or stepped parts of the envelope.

I use a Buchla 250e as a multistage envelope all the time. Luckily, it has per step interpolation or stepped outputs.

I've also used an Oberkorn to do this, some sequencers (when fast enough) could be used as a oscillator of sorts.
ear ear
rishin wrote:
Sweet. Can the ER-101 do this?

Yes, look at the Orthogonal Devices website where you will find the ER-101 manual.
ear ear wrote:
rishin wrote:
Sweet. Can the ER-101 do this?

Yes, look at the Orthogonal Devices website where you will find the ER-101 manual.

d'oh! thumbs up w00t
As others have said, the Buchla Multiple Arbitrary Function Generator is a great example of this. As it it's simplified cousin, the Verbos Voltage Multistage.
Thanks for the responses everyone. I'm deciding between the Er-101 and Control Forge at this point.
You might also be interested in the Verbos Voltage Multistage:
Modular Grid-Voltage Multistage

Edit: oops-missed spotting the mention of this already in the post from Triglav.
you don't really need to slew it if you don't mind the artifacts or have a filter in the output path
I've used the Eurorack PM Foundations Synthola sequencer for envelope and modulations duties. It has a built-in slew and a few other attributes that make it a great choice for this sort of thing.

I managed to patch up an envelope from my Korg sq-1 and a few other modules. The sq-1 doesn't have a run input or a reset, but it is still workable because of the two channels and the gate sequencer. Here's what you need:

Sq-1 (obviously)
A clock source
a sequential switch with the option of switching between two inputs to one output (Doepfer a-151v2 works for this, so could the Pico Seqs).
An OR logic module or dc coupled mixer
Gate source (for me it’s pressure points of meng qi voltage memory)

Set the sq-1 to parallel forward mode (separating the two channels). Enable all the gates on the top channel and only the last gate on the bottom channel. Set the knobs of the top channel in the shape of the envelope you want and set the voltage range to either 5v or 8v. Take the cv of channel 1 to your slew, and the gate output of channel 2 to your OR combiner.

Connect the gate out of your gate source to the OR combiner (so now it will output a gate when either the sq-1 OR your gate source output a gate). Connect the output of the OR combiner to the trigger in of the seq switch.

Take your clock source and plug it into channel 1 of the sequential switch. Leave channel 2 empty. Connect the output of the seq switch to the clock in of the sq-1.

Take the output of the slew to your filter/vca/whatever.

What should happen is that every time you send a gate the sequential switch will send clock to the sq-1 advancing the sequence and when it gets to the last step it will advance the seq switch to the empty slot, stopping the sequence. Adjust the clock for slower or faster envelopes; adjust the slew to taste. Also the last step of the sq-1 should be set to 0 voltage, so that your envelope can have a full release.

edit: the reason I said to activate all the steps on channel 1 of the sq-1 is because the sq-1 only outputs a new voltage for each step if the gate is activated (like a s&h). If you want to hold voltages for several steps you can disable these gates.
Nice timing for this topic because I thought about it last week.

I use my Verbos Voltage Multistage as an envelope when I use my Beatstep Pro for sequencing. (When not utilizing the BSP, I use the Multistage as my mainsequencer in my Eurorack rig).

Anyway - I was wondering when the distinction between envelope and sequencer gets blurred. When I use the VMS as an envelope, I will adjust the "time" as necessary to get results that sound good. Sometimes, I'll slow it down and each stage is distinctly noticeable. In this case I felt like it was simply acting as a cv sequencer that is running at its own clock rate - independent of everything else. Except that it's being triggered as programmed in my Beatstep Pro.

So - just because I have every stage on the VMS set to slide, and I'm triggering it with another sequencer, is it really being used as an envelope ?

Does it really matter what it's called?
I get how a sequencer could be used as a looping envelope, but how would you trigger a single envelope from a gate?

I'm thinking in particular of a Metropolis.
SuppleWhat wrote:
I get how a sequencer could be used as a looping envelope, but how would you trigger a single envelope from a gate?

I'm thinking in particular of a Metropolis.

The patch I posted above explains how to do it with an sq-1 but it also seems doable with the metropolis (and maybe simpler). Basically you have to gate your clock source so that the sequencer runs as long as the gate is high (you could use an AND gate for this or a vca). With the metropolis you would mult the gate to the reset input as well so it always starts on the first step. You might also want to run the cv out into a vca which you open and close with your gate and then run the output into a slew. That way wherever you stop the envelope in the sequence you'll get a release stage (without the vca the envelope would just hang; without the slew it would cut off abruptly).
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