MATRIXSYNTH: Envelope Generator B: Static & Fast ADSR Sound Demo #TTNM

Friday, April 03, 2020

Envelope Generator B: Static & Fast ADSR Sound Demo #TTNM

Published on Apr 3, 2020 THE TUESDAY NIGHT MACHINES

"Sound demo for Marienberg Devices' ADSR B, modulating filter cutoff. MORE INFO BELOW :)


The Marienberg Devices Envelope Generator B lets you create precise ADSR control voltages to fit any filter or VCA response. Here are a few examples of static ADSR shapes on fast sounds.

More information here"

"Hey, I thought I’d make a new thread for this cool upcoming 5U module to talk about it, but also about envelope generators in general maybe.

I have been in regular contact with Marienberg Devices over the past year and I’ve received a prototype of their upcoming VC Envelope Generator B (just called “ADSR B“ from hereon) for testing last week. It will go into production soon.

First off: Yes, it is planned that this module will also be available in MU format, so that you don’t have to modify the screw holes and make an adapter power cable (which isn’t that difficult, but still, having it in MU format is nice). If you’re interested in an MU version, post in this thread or e-mail Marienberg Devices directly. The more people voicing their desire for MU Marienberg modules, the quicker this will happen. Price hasn’t been fixed yet, but there have already been pre-orders as I have been told :goo:

A brief history regarding this module:
Steffen Marienberg and the people in his circles have extensively analyzed classic synthesizers in the past and Steffen is fascinated by the interplay of envelopes and filters or VCAs. They found that an envelope‘s shape has a significant impact on the sound of a synth. This is obvious of course, yet many people apparently aren’t aware of the incredible extent of this behavior. Especially when talking about snappiness or other characteristics of envelopes, their resulting audio is closely linked to a filter’s or VCA’s response and it can even happen that an envelope is not snappy at all for example, but only a filter’s response makes it sound like that. Long story short, they wanted to build an envelope module that allowed musicians to experiment with ADSR shapes freely, to emphasize or even counteract filter and VCA responses and to explore new sound possibilities. The ADSR B is the basis of this project, with another expansion module for it in the works.

Here’s a front panel shot of the prototype (the front panel graphics are just a sticker on a bare aluminum plate):
It looks complicated at first, but it is actually quite easy to understand. I will also make demo videos, so stay tuned.

Generally, it’s an all analog, linear ADSR, with the Attack, Decay and Release stages having two parts with individual rise/fall times. For each ASR stage you set a threshold voltage (0-10V) which divides the stage. So for example if you set the Attack threshold to 5, the 1st Attack part will rise until 5V and then the 2nd Attack part will start from there until the maximum 10V is reached. Then 1st Decay follows until the Decay threshold is reached, etc.
So we basically have a linear 7-stage envelope generator. This already lets us create some cool shapes, but the fun really starts when using the many modulation CV inputs. Every stage/part parameter can be modulated and there are gate outputs for the individual stages and parts too.

Feeding back the envelope output CV to one or more of the stage part CV inputs (ideally through an attenuator or attenuverter) bends their shapes, making the affected parts rise or fall exponentially or logarithmically to various degrees. This lets you create fun shapes like this:
Cyan: Gate
Yellow: Envelope
Purple: Saw wave through modulated filter (just for fun)

I’m quite fascinated by this module, as I have not yet explored envelopes past the common AD or ADSR types extensively yet. I’ll post more oscilloscope traces and information about the ADSR B in this thread as things develop :yay:

In the meantime let me know if you have questions or other insights on the envelope topic :tu:"

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