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Best Tone Shaping Envelopes?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Best Tone Shaping Envelopes?
Gringo Starr
After playing with the Cwejman S1 I was shocked to hear how the ADSR’s affected the tone. A slight move of the decay or sustain seemed to have a fairly significant tone shaping effect. Unlike anything I’ve noticed on a modular system before.

Im not a noob to modulars but this is a bit of a noob question. I’m wondering... does this have more to do with how the filter and vca is responding to the ADSR or is it the ADSR itself? Both? And if it is the ADSR are there specific ADSR’s in Eurorack format that you feel do this best? Or any envelope/filter/vca combos that respond to each other more significantly than other combinations? Besides Cwejman. :-)
cptnal
Maybe some cosmic Cwejman stuff going on with the response curve. Can you look at the ADSR on the scope?
ehness
I had a similar discovery when first getting a pair of WMD MMEs - playing around with the curves of each stage yielded different results in terms of volume and tone response, but the difference being that there wasn't necessarily a change of the tone itself. Perhaps the Cwejman curve shapes are imparting some magic into the sound?

What you're describing sounds really cool. Do you have any clips comparing the Cwejman with another we can hear?
mskala
I like my own, of course, but I honestly don't think there is much difference between different ADSR envelopes on this point. The big issue is just that using a full ADSR and not going insane with trying to make it "fast" are each important; beyond that, it's mostly in the way the filters and other modules respond.

Maybe the height of the peak - whether it's Doepfer-standard 8V, or 5V like some others use, or what - makes a difference too, by eliciting different responses from filters and VCAs. But if you have an amplifier that can change the level, you could try putting the envelope CV through that to control this effect with any envelope.
Parnelli
I can't help but wonder if it is a relationship between the waveform amplitude and the module it is feeding. For instance take my 2hp Verb; if I hook the output right up to the Mixup in 4L & R I need to attenuate it to have some control. If I attenuate the input I only need one attenuator as I usually run it mono to stereo, but the fullness of the sound is not as rich as it is when I use two attenuators and attenuate the output instead, allowing a full volume signal to be fed to it.

So I'm wondering if in using a VCA to modulate signal levels and sending a signal that is less than a full range input has sort of the same effect in pre-attenuation to a module as my pre-attenuation experience into my Verb.

Just some food for thought.
peripatitis
I have a couple of ctg's and they are great. Having said that probably having the voltage's perfectly in tune plays a role. On of the biggest problems in euro is that everyone does whatever they won't with those, and especially with envelopes. Some output 5v others 7-8, others 10v. It is a mess.
bollyhood
There is a big difference, Cwejman is on a whole different level. The shapes are just wonderful like the sound was processed by some 20k high end compressor. I find the Doepfer ones great too at modern shapes. System 100M clones are really good too. Most others arent on that level imo.

But with modular and alot of modulations etc, a better approach most of the time would probably be get a good compressor to control the levels and shape the envelopes as a last stage.
mskala
bollyhood wrote:
There is a big difference, Cwejman is on a whole different level. The shapes are just wonderful like the sound was processed by some 20k high end compressor. I find the Doepfer ones great too at modern shapes. System 100M clones are really good too. Most others arent on that level imo.


I'd like to see a blind A-B test, controlled for peak voltage, to establish that listeners can even tell which shape is which. Until then, it seems more plausible to me that people hear the difference with their eyes instead of their ears. Just something magic about those khaki panels...
bollyhood
mskala wrote:
bollyhood wrote:
There is a big difference, Cwejman is on a whole different level. The shapes are just wonderful like the sound was processed by some 20k high end compressor. I find the Doepfer ones great too at modern shapes. System 100M clones are really good too. Most others arent on that level imo.


I'd like to see a blind A-B test, controlled for peak voltage, to establish that listeners can even tell which shape is which. Until then, it seems more plausible to me that people hear the difference with their eyes instead of their ears. Just something magic about those khaki panels...


Theres big differences even when you take a look at the curves and shapes in scopes and graphs. Theres some nice graphs of some envelopes someone did here on muff in one of the 100M threads I think. But a blind test would be awesome.

But then again, most people probably cant tell the difference between an LA-2A, DBX 160 or a 1176. Its nuanced differences for sure. And probably doesnt matter that much for alot of sounds. smile
mskala
bollyhood wrote:
Theres big differences even when you take a look at the curves and shapes in scopes and graphs.


Like I said, hearing with the eyes instead of the ears.
bollyhood
mskala wrote:
bollyhood wrote:
Theres big differences even when you take a look at the curves and shapes in scopes and graphs.


Like I said, hearing with the eyes instead of the ears.
'


If you have a Maths, do you hear the difference when you change the slopes between log/lin/exp? Or do you think it mainly looks different in graphs? hihi
mskala
Keep trying! If you post the right emoticon, your claim will become true!
Blairio
My first adsr was a Doepfer A-140, which I still use 7 years later. My second was a tiptop Z-4000. This seemed to make filters sound better, vca's more punchy... until I adjusted the output level of the Z-4000 to match the A-140.

The Z-4000 is still an awesome envelope generator, with great curves and cv-able everything, but I learned that when some adsr's seem 'hotter' than others, it may just be the output level.

This is exacerbated by the fact that vca's can be non-linear in their response to cv, as can filters be too.
MindMachine
mskala wrote:
bollyhood wrote:
Theres big differences even when you take a look at the curves and shapes in scopes and graphs.


Like I said, hearing with the eyes instead of the ears.


Hearing with eyes. Is that like listening to images with your eyes closed?
Branconnier
What about Radar? Any comments. I'm new on this site.
Branconnier
Zadar, sorry
tito_tunes
I’m thinking about getting a Mutable Stages for a super tweakable envelope. But I wonder if it’s basic sound quality isn’t good, being 14 bit and all. Would you hear artifacts at super slow and fast speeds?
mskala
tito_tunes wrote:
I’m thinking about getting a Mutable Stages for a super tweakable envelope. But I wonder if it’s basic sound quality isn’t good, being 14 bit and all. Would you hear artifacts at super slow and fast speeds?


No, you wouldn't. Fourteen bits is a few more than necessary for an envelope, but the extras are not going to make an audible difference.
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