ADSR vs AD envelopes

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thiagozt
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ADSR vs AD envelopes

Post by thiagozt » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:35 pm

I am considering swapping 1 of my functions for an Intellijel ADSR. Obviously it doesn't have CV over the paramenters but that's why I would keep 1 function. One important thing to say is that the type of music is, for the lack of simplicity, synth pop - so no bleep blooping, just melodic stuff if that makes sense.

I am using a uVCA as the main VCA and a DPO+Dixie combo as the sound source, with wavefloding and filtering in between.

With that setup in mind, does an ADSR envelope sound that much different from an AD one?
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Post by mypetrobot » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:45 pm

When notes are sustained (fed a longer gate from keyboard, etc.), yes they sound different. If they are fed a trigger or a short gate (from a sequencer, etc.), not so much.
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Post by wmbb » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:48 pm

I have asked about this myself and don't believe it will sound different at all - unless you are using a keyboard or are going to use tricks to create gates like using comparators, PWM, or special modules like V-Gates.

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Post by thiagozt » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:52 pm

I just remember having this doepfer ADSR paired with my uVCA a while ago and it sounded more pleasing than I can get the funcion+uVCA to sound but maybe I am idealizing/imagining it... hence the post.
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Post by ben_hex » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:19 pm

Well you have 4 stages to the envelope instead of 2. I like ADSRs and find them more musical on both filters and amp envelopes. But that's coming from musical / melodic lines rather than anything more abstract or experimental.

I'd go for a situation of having both. Dual ADSR from intellijel and a maths would be the ultimate! :)
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Post by Beermaster » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:32 pm

If you're using a keyboard then you really need ADSR because it's all about the Sustain which is determined by the length of the gate (when a key is held down) which is as long or as short as you want it to be and maybe a different length for each successive key stroke. Without this Flexible sustain option you're missing out on 80% of a musical performance. Not to mention the more interesting contours too

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Post by en c rmato » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:09 pm

+1 for adsr when you are playing musical stuff.Yes,for this type of setup ADSR will sound different from AD envelopes and actually much better...
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Post by kindredlost » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:17 pm

ADSR was conceived to produce transients to the initial attack stage before sustain. Of course the advent of ADSDR (attack decay sustain delay release) or DADSR (delay attack decay sustain release) and so forth led to so many further variations. It has gotten out of hand in the last few years with ramp generators and things but it is all good in the end for more variety.

The whole idea was to emulate natural instruments like a brass blat level or a pitch skew on an overblown saxophone attack. The use of more than one ADSR with different settings to vco, vcf and vca can create all sorts of interesting sounds which are lost in a more simple A/R envelope, or at least harder to manage with one.

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Post by thiagozt » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:21 pm

I usually use my system to make sequences of short notes, that's why I never bothered to get an ADSR but I wish it had more juice and the decay was sweeter. I think I'll give the Intellijel Dual ADSR a try.
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Post by wbuttler » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:17 pm

thiagozt wrote:I just remember having this doepfer ADSR paired with my uVCA a while ago and it sounded more pleasing than I can get the funcion+uVCA to sound but maybe I am idealizing/imagining it... hence the post.
That is my experience as well. Even for short sounds, I find the extra control of even a humble Doepfer A-140 makes a difference - for example, a short decay with a low sustain and then a short release creates a "plucky" kind of sound that really can't be replicated with a AR or AD envelope.

You need both. For some sounds (percussion), it's overkill to use up your ADSRs, but you may want CV control for accents.

FWIW, I have:

- Quadra
- TipTop VCADSR
- Doepfer A-140
- Doepfer A-141
- Function
- PEG

The A-141 is my favourite, even though it hogs rack space. It has knobs for all the CVs and just seems to produce nice sounding envelopes without much effort.

What I would really like is a dual or quad AR with CV control. The Quadra expander is too big, and the PEG is fun, but not really an EG. The new Hex-inverter Galilean Moons may fill this role (with a couple of VCAs thrown in for free).

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Post by wmbb » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:19 pm

en c rmato wrote:+1 for adsr when you are playing musical stuff.Yes,for this type of setup ADSR will sound different from AD envelopes and actually much better...
Do you mean to include musical stuff that does not involve keyboards?

Except that using a fixed width gate might give you some sort of brief, fixed length, sustain, how does the S in ADSR have any meaning meaning where, say, only a sequencer is used?

Why would an ADSR sound different than and AD in this common circumstance?

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Post by en c rmato » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:51 pm

wmbb wrote:
en c rmato wrote:+1 for adsr when you are playing musical stuff.Yes,for this type of setup ADSR will sound different from AD envelopes and actually much better...
Do you mean to include musical stuff that does not involve keyboards?

Except that using a fixed width gate might give you some sort of brief, fixed length, sustain, how does the S in ADSR have any meaning meaning where, say, only a sequencer is used?

Why would an ADSR sound different than and AD in this common circumstance?
Mostly about keyboard...But with a sequencer even when the sustain tends to not matter a lot,you still get full decay and release(not both summed).This gives your sound better angles,so you can really design your sound even for just a bit.When sequencing(jamming) with friends i tend to use simple A/R because i end up tweaking knobs around that area.When i jam alone,i use a vc-adsr(synced lfo to vc ins of A-141)so things get to change over time their own,that helps me to tweak or get creative for drum parts,hits,drones... :guinness:
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Post by cger » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:10 am

I have Intellijel Dual ADSR, Quadra and Maths with two uVCA's
For standard keyboards playing and more traditional music, definitely ADSR.
For short notes Quadra and Maths.
In the end it's nice to have them all and do whatever you want.

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Post by ipassenger » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:11 am

I only have the quadra in my system and I guess I would like a normal adsr. But reckon i can get one if I combine an AR and ASR from my quadra in my doepfer min/max, i'll have to attenuate the ASR output, which in my case would mean using a channel on my VCAM. The max output should make adsr envelope, I'd need to keep the attack speeds simlar or i could end up with a two part attack, an AADSR. :)

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Post by ipassenger » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:16 am

Thinking about, it surely if I can just mix an AR and ASR and take that mixed output, it should be possible to approximate an ADSR, albeit with some slightly wonky phases, where the AAs and RRs combine.

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Post by ben_hex » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:42 am

The quadra and quadra expander can make ADSR envelopes if I remember rightly.
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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:44 am

I have a ADSRjr which I bought mostly for the CV control element. My go-to envelopes are the MFB dual ADSR and Doepfer Quad AD modules though. I don't see no reason why you'd need an ADSR for your situation except if you find the ADs lacking enough control or you intend to use a keyboard. It all depends on your intent.

For instance, a really musical function of the ADSRjr is when it's used to clock a sequencer (in my case an STG Graphic Sequencer). With changes on the sustain part the STG freezes on a specific note which means it get's repeats that it wouldn't get with a normal clock.

en c rmato wrote:This gives your sound better angles
:hmm:
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Post by ipassenger » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:04 am

ben_hex wrote:The quadra and quadra expander can make ADSR envelopes if I remember rightly.
I haven't seen the expanders in stock anywhere for ages, which is a bugger as I got the quadra with an aim to add the expander at some point..

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Post by arnoux » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:07 am

This argument is of my interest.
I'm going to swap a Doepfer Quad ADSR for a Quadra (NO EXPANDER) + Maths combo, one of the AD section will surely be used with a ribbon controller in the future, IIRC both Maths and Quadra are able to offer an "Hold" stage which for what I've understand is basically a Sustain, or am I wrong? Aren't you loosing just the Decay portion?

Don't want to derail to much but anyone using a ribbon controller with a Maths or Quadra (NO EXPANDER)? Are AD enough to have a bit of control over the envelope generation?

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Post by evirob » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:52 am

arnoux wrote:This argument is of my interest.
I'm going to swap a Doepfer Quad ADSR for a Quadra (NO EXPANDER) + Maths combo, one of the AD section will surely be used with a ribbon controller in the future, IIRC both Maths and Quadra are able to offer an "Hold" stage which for what I've understand is basically a Sustain, or am I wrong? Aren't you loosing just the Decay portion?

Don't want to derail to much but anyone using a ribbon controller with a Maths or Quadra (NO EXPANDER)? Are AD enough to have a bit of control over the envelope generation?
Yes, the quadra holds as long as there is a gate. I really like it, had the Doepfer 143-X (correct me if I'm wrong) and it felt bigger, less flexible and non-sexy at all.

Will try to get ahold of an expander soon though, looks nice!

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Post by flo » Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:41 am

^ On Maths, you can (of course) patch up a full ADSR...

Apart from that, yeah I also feel that you need both. While I only have ADs so far (Maths, A142-4, PEG, Envelator), I plan to add an ADSR soon (actually also the Intellijel one). This will be not only for keyboard playing, but also for usage with sequencers that allow to vary the gate length (in my case mainly an Acidlab Bassline 2 that I like to use live with the modular).

But, if you have several ADs, you can get quite complex already as well. Definitely try to have separate EGs for filter and VCA to get "plucky" sounds (quick decay on filter, longer on VCA). VC over the stages is also useful to "fake" longer sustained notes...

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Post by Navs » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:37 am

wmbb wrote:how does the S in ADSR have any meaning meaning where, say, only a sequencer is used?

Why would an ADSR sound different than and AD in this common circumstance?
Even the output of an LFO as clock has a duty cycle, a relationship between on-time and the frequency of on-times, so the sustain portion can be addressed.

Don't think of it just in terms of sustain. It's an extra level/ stage of control. Being able to dip to another level of brightness before fading away when using filters or folders, for example. A trumpet just would be a trumpet without an ADSR :hihi:

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Post by 0netwo0netwo » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:42 am

the more the merrier!! :guinness:

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Post by moofi » Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:08 am

On a Doepfer Quad ADSR every envelope´s outputs for End of A, D + R in combination with the envelope´s gate and retrigger are quite interesting.

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Post by raccoonboy » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:04 am

flo wrote:^ On Maths, you can (of course) patch up a full ADSR...
I'm not 100% sure (as I don't own a Maths yet) but I think the A and R sections of the Maths must share the same curve and maybe the same time as well.

So I was thinking some point down the line I would get a MATHs and a Function. Then I would have an ADSR where the three time stages are variable AND can be changed independently from exp/lin/log which nothing else can do in the Analogue world.

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