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Author Topic: Envelope is beyond me  (Read 1806 times)

masi

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Envelope is beyond me
« on: February 12, 2016, 05:26:13 pm »
Hallo!

An envelope in Spark has many more options than the classic ADSR. Sadly the manual fails to give any details on the individual options. I simply have no clue eg what excatly the predecay time is, etc.

Can somebody please enlighen me?

Thank you,
Masi

CC4

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Re: Envelope is beyond me
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2016, 08:45:59 pm »
The best way to figure it out is to hook up a simple modular patch with a Pad connected to the Envelope and Oscillator to the output.  Then you can hear what it's doing.

I think the "PreDecay Time" and "PreDecay Level" would be like the Hold stage on some AHDSR envelopes.  So after the envelope's Attack and before it's decay you can specify a length of time for the sound to hold there with the "PreDecay Time" knob and the level of the hold with the "PreDecay Level" knob.  (I think there's a bug with the "PreDecay Level" when it's set at 1.00 though, so try it at .99).

Set a larger Release Time and try the "Release Slope" to hear how it controls the shape of the release.  At one extreme the slope becomes convex, in the middle it's linear, and at the other extreme the slope is concave.

masi

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Re: Envelope is beyond me
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2016, 04:20:45 pm »
Thank you.

I fiddled a bit with the settings and got a better grasped how the work, but I still don't know how exactly the define the envelope. Eg I don't known why the volume drops to zero and the sound will never reach the release phase though I still hold down the mouse button. It looks like Spark automatically enters release right after decay phase. This would explain why there isn't any sustain setting.

I don't get it why the good folks at Arturia come up with a decent documentation of 100 pages, but fail to explain important aspects of their software. Just a single diagram of the envelope, would have spared me the tinkering. *

BTW, I think you are right about the bug. **

Masi

* I have purchased the bundle recently and noticed the same thing again and again for all products. A manual that could be quite good if it weren't so sloppy edited. Omissions and errors all over the place.

** Another common trait: small bugs and little glitches that nobody cares to fix. Not that Arturia is the only company in this respects, yet I find it annoying every time. After all we, the customers, have paid for the software.

CC4

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Re: Envelope is beyond me
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2016, 04:53:32 pm »
Yeah, so I guess it's more of an AHDR envelope.  The thought was probably that percussive sounds don't have much use for a sustain.  But with the PreDecay settings you could make a lengthyheld attack section of the envelope before the decay.

A good manual certainly is handy.  I think in comparison to some other manuals I've used, Arturia's aren't that bad.  The modular component wasn't part of the original Spark product, so it probably does suffer from omissions more than anything else.

** As a beta tester, I know Spark inside and out.  I'll pass this bug along.

masi

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Re: Envelope is beyond me
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2016, 08:42:07 pm »
Yeah, so I guess it's more of an AHDR envelope.  The thought was probably that percussive sounds don't have much use for a sustain.  But with the PreDecay settings you could make a lengthyheld attack section of the envelope before the decay.

Adding a predecay length works for me. Though I'm not sure if I got the predecay and decay levels correctly. This is how I interprete the settings:

A predecay level of 100% is the same as the attack volume, and 0% being the level of the decay.  A decay level of 100% is also the same as the attack volume, while 0% is silence .

If the decay value is higher than the predacay latter than the latter has no meaning. The envelope curve will never rise.

I think in comparison to some other manuals I've used, Arturia's aren't that bad.

That's true. I've seen "manuals" that shouln't be allowed to use that term in the document title.

Set a larger Release Time and try the "Release Slope" to hear how it controls the shape of the release.  At one extreme the slope becomes convex, in the middle it's linear, and at the other extreme the slope is concave.

I cannot verify that. At the minimum setting the release is linear, at the maximum convex. The same is true for the predecay. The attack slope OTOH works the opposite going from linear to concave.

The linear settings worked as I expected. For convex/concave things are a bit different. For starters the value is actually in ms, but I'm not sure how that relates to the actual envelope. At least for the decay slope I notice that a maxed setting results in a rather sharp drop of the volume and near flat curve for the remainder of the decay length just as

019297

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Re: Envelope is beyond me
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 07:45:41 pm »
I think arturia advanced the modular mode quite a bit in advancing updates of Spark 2, but didn't update the manual the same way. That's what I'm finding. At least modular mode is fun! I feel like i'm learning some weird arcane art.

masi

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Re: Envelope is beyond me
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 09:44:16 pm »
At least modular mode is fun! I feel like i'm learning some weird arcane art.

Sure it is. I didn't spend so much time to figure out how the envelope works just because I'm masochist ;)

Masi

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Re: Envelope is beyond me
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2016, 02:11:49 am »
Set a larger Release Time and try the "Release Slope" to hear how it controls the shape of the release.  At one extreme the slope becomes convex, in the middle it's linear, and at the other extreme the slope is concave.

I cannot verify that. At the minimum setting the release is linear, at the maximum convex. The same is true for the predecay. The attack slope OTOH works the opposite going from linear to concave.

The linear settings worked as I expected. For convex/concave things are a bit different. For starters the value is actually in ms, but I'm not sure how that relates to the actual envelope. At least for the decay slope I notice that a maxed setting results in a rather sharp drop of the volume and near flat curve for the remainder of the decay length just as

I'll have to check out the other slope settings.  With the Release Slope, to me it at least sounds like it goes from concave slope to convex.  What make you think that's not the case?  A slope setting can seen on some other synths, so I was just thinking they would model it just like the rest.

masi

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Re: Envelope is beyond me
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2016, 10:22:35 pm »
I'll have to check out the other slope settings.  With the Release Slope, to me it at least sounds like it goes from concave slope to convex.  What make you think that's not the case?  A slope setting can seen on some other synths, so I was just thinking they would model it just like the rest.

I rendered a track again and angain with different settings and checked the wave form. But I may have made a mistake while taking down notes.

Masi

 

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