P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal?

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mrje1
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2005/11/09 10:43:44 (permalink)

P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal?

Hello everyone. I am studying the program and trying to grasp what certain things mean. I am new to the music arena still and trying to find out if project5 uses names/terms that are universal and all the music industry uses or as well as other music software.

For example, is the name envelop generator that project5 uses in the program used through out the music industry?

Thank you all for your help.

Jeff
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    fac
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/09 11:00:12 (permalink)
    Terms like "envelope generator", "LFO (low frequency oscillator)", "compressor", "delay", "track", "pattern", "loop", "filter", "aux bus", "automation", etc. are very common and widely used.

    Other things like "groove matrix", "device chain" and "MFX" are more Project-5 or Cakewalk related.

    Some of these terms are related to synthesis methods (ie.- envelopes, LFO's, filters), others are related to sequencing and mixing (ie.- track, pattern, aux bus, automation), and others are related to signal processors (compressor, delay, eq, reverb). There's a lot to learn but with some time and patience you can get to know all the basics. There are some good books and tutorials that may help you.

    An always great source are the Technical articles from the SOS magazine:

    http://www.soundonsound.com/articles/Technique.php

    http://facproductions.net

    Lots of gear. Not enough time.
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    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/09 11:20:42 (permalink)
    Thank you Fac. That helped. The next step is to research.

    I hope that cakewalk will start producing more up to date indepth tutorials and more explanation on what certain things mean. It seems like the help guide etc. is geared for some understanding of music in general. Atleast thats what it seems to me. There are people like me who are really new and need more indepth explanation.

    If anybody else has more advice please don't hesitate to.
    post edited by mrje1 - 2005/11/09 11:21:30
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    Nick Haddad [Cakewalk]
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/09 11:20:51 (permalink)
    Project5 does have one overloaded term (that I know of) - "pattern". In other apps and/or hardware a pattern can mean any number of things. In Roland hardware for instance, a pattern often refers to a full 16 part song or part of a song that can be looped.

    Nick Haddad
    Software Engineer
    Cakewalk
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    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/09 11:27:22 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Nick Haddad [Cakewalk]

    Project5 does have one overloaded term (that I know of) - "pattern". In other apps and/or hardware a pattern can mean any number of things. In Roland hardware for instance, a pattern often refers to a full 16 part song or part of a song that can be looped.


    Thank you Nick. Do you think you guys will start producing up to date tutorials for p5v2 users? or more indepth guides for people like myself who are really new?

    I have found some terms etc. from researching the net. Thank you again.
    post edited by mrje1 - 2005/11/09 11:28:09
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    fac
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/09 11:34:21 (permalink)
    Have you registered at www.project5.com ? There are some tutorials and videos up there.

    http://facproductions.net

    Lots of gear. Not enough time.
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    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/09 12:02:03 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: fac

    Have you registered at www.project5.com ? There are some tutorials and videos up there.

    Actually, I should of mentioned. Yes, I have looked everywhere. The tutorials that I found are fine, but I am looking for more indepth explanation on how certain things work. Right now I am studying the Modulators section in dimension. I am trying to find out what certain things mean and why? I will start playing around and see what happens. I am sure I will have a thread on this soon.

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    Nick Haddad [Cakewalk]
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/09 12:44:13 (permalink)
    mrje1,

    There is also some great resources on the Project5 Wiki, including more documentation, tutorials, and tips for lots of P5's instruments.

    Also, this forum is a great place to get your questions answered! The Project5-ers in who frequent this forum are top notch!

    Nick Haddad
    Software Engineer
    Cakewalk
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    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/09 14:35:39 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: Nick Haddad [Cakewalk]

    mrje1,

    There is also some great resources on the Project5 Wiki, including more documentation, tutorials, and tips for lots of P5's instruments.

    Also, this forum is a great place to get your questions answered! The Project5-ers in who frequent this forum are top notch!


    Thanks Nick. Yes, I have been there before. Great resource. Right now I am studying the Modulators section in dimension and looking for more indepth information on it. I am kind of stuck.
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    b rock
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/09 17:37:09 (permalink)
    Right now I am studying the Modulators section in dimension and looking for more indepth information on it. I am kind of stuck.
    That was going to be my next Dimension Semi-Pro tutorial topic, Jeff. It was postponed by 'inclement weather'. Is there anything specific that I can answer to help dig you out of the rut, or can you wait a while for the entire overview? Either way, Jeff, or both.

    It's half-written in my head, but it might be delayed a little further. Specific questions, though: I'd be willing to attempt an answer anytime.
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    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/10 03:14:36 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: b rock

    Right now I am studying the Modulators section in dimension and looking for more indepth information on it. I am kind of stuck.
    That was going to be my next Dimension Semi-Pro tutorial topic, Jeff. It was postponed by 'inclement weather'. Is there anything specific that I can answer to help dig you out of the rut, or can you wait a while for the entire overview? Either way, Jeff, or both.

    It's half-written in my head, but it might be delayed a little further. Specific questions, though: I'd be willing to attempt an answer anytime.


    Thank you B Rock. Appreciate your help. Cool. Can't wait for it to come out. Yes, I am probably going to have a huge list for you. Here is a few ?'s to start off with.

    In the modulators section you have p pitch-c cutoff-r resonance-p pan-a amplitude selectors. Are these called envelops? What do they mean and do? Are these universal terms? Where could I find more info about them?

    What is the main function of the modulators section?
    When they say in the help files note-on, do they mean when the eg status is set to on?
    In the graph area where you create nodes that turn into lines, what do they do in terms of how it affects the sample?

    I will stop here and give you some more later. Thank you again for your time B.

    Jeff
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    b rock
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/10 17:57:25 (permalink)
    OK, Jeff: sorry for the delay (pesky real-life experiences & all). Yeah, the Modulator section in Dimension displays an envelope section [the large graph with nodes and lines). It's called "Modulator", though, because it also contains a low-frequency oscillator [LFO] and a Keytracking control, stacked together on the right. So the modulation section includes three controls which modify a particular parameter; all grouped under the same heading. But the envelope is one part of it, and each of those 5 parameters [P-C-R-P-A] are duplicated over four Elements. You get 20 of each [EG -envelope generator, LFO and Keytracking].

    Having EG's is almost universal since synths have been around, but not in the form that you see in Dimension. Some early hardware called it Contour, which is really very descriptive. Most follow a convention defined by Morton Subotnik, which is the ADSR convention. He deduced that most natural acoustic instruments can be distilled to an Attack stage, a Decay, a Sustaining level, and a final Release stage that drifts to silence. Look at PSYN, or similar synths. You'll see these sections, but with an added Delay stage and an Amount control. Others might add a Hold section or two, or some other parameters like a Sustain Time, or multiple Decays. You'll see this as an acronym of the first letter of each section, like the ADSR description above. Here's a couple of links [Part A; Part B] to get you started with envelope generators, or look to any article in the complete series here to see some practical applications of EGs in synthesis.

    Dimension's envelopes take this one step further. By using nodes and curves, you can create any amount of these "ADSR-type" sections by adding more nodes, making it totally configurable for your vision. Need a instantaneous fast attack/linear decay from maximum to minimum to happen over one second's time? Drag the initial node to the upper-left hand corner, and create another in the lower-right. Drag the second node until it reaches one second [1000 ms.; look at the numeric display] and straighten out the line by dragging on it. You're done. If you need something more complex, you keep adding nodes and dragging curves until it's as crazy as you've envisioned.

    But what does this do? Well, there are hard-wired envelope generators, and assignable ones. The latter can be freely mapped to any parameter in a synth. Dimension has these pre-wired: one to control pitch, one each to move the cutoff frequency and resonance amount of a filter, one for spatial placement left-to-right with panning, and one that controls an Element's total level or loudness over time (Amplitude). Once again, this setup is duplicated for each of the four Elements.

    But what exactly is an envelope generator? In this case, it's a graphical interface that controls the amount of a given parameter over time. That's it. The vertical axis indicates a level, and the horizontal axis is time. Put the two together, and an amount of "effect' will be at a different place on each curve (or node) at a given left-to-right place in time. It's a way to animate a static parameter to give it some variation.

    Think of a straight-line Motocross track. When you press down a keyboard note (or the leading edge of a pattern note), the race begins. You might be flying up a jump two seconds into the race, and landing in a rut one second after that. When you lift your finger from the key, or the envelope runs it's course, the race is over. You've been travelling upwards and downwards through the course, and finish line signals the end. I'm over-simplifying, because things can happen "after the race" (a Release stage after your Note-Off, or finger-lift, as one example), but you get the idea.

    That's what they mean in the Help file: Note On is a keypress, and Note-Off is a finger-lift (or the trailing end of a pattern note). The EG status just turns the envelope section on and off. But the Depth control underneath is very important. You can have an EG On with a Depth of 0%, and hear absolutely no changes. The Depth control in each EG regulates the maximum amount of effect that an envelope graph can have over P-C-R-P-A. Notice that you can have a negative Depth, which effectively flips the graph upside-down. At any rate, think of the Depth as a master control that determines the range over which an envelope can swing.

    So, how does this connect to the rest of Dimension? Try this in any preset program: go to the Pitch envelope, and just click in a few random nodes. Pitch is easier to hear what's going on, but this applies to any of the other four parameters, too. Enable the EG On, and bring the Depth up to 100%. Now play a few notes on a keyboard, and listen to how the pitch sweeps will follow your curves. Now drag around the nodes all over, and even try changing the curve shape by clicking in the middle and dragging. Play those same few notes, and listen to how that has changed the pitch sweeping.

    The nodes are like "checkpoints" in that Motocross race. They determine the ending point of the curve before it, and the start point of the curve ahead. Curve shapes are similar to the steeper inclines and/or gentle slopes that might show up on that Motocross course. Nodes for general changes; curves for subtlety. Nodes for rough levels and times; curves for finetuning what happens between nodes. The LFO's and Keytracking sub-sections modify the same parameter as the EG there, but LFO's use a repeatable looping "curve", and Keytracking skews the levels over the entire range of a MIDI KB [if it had 128 keys, that is].

    If I missed anything, was unclear, or you just want to ask something else, please don't hesitate to do so, Jeff. I tend to get overzealous with complete answers, so I left out some things for enhanced clarity. HTH
    post edited by b rock - 2005/11/10 20:50:07
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    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/11 00:04:17 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: b rock

    Now play a few notes on a keyboard, and listen to how the pitch sweeps will follow your curves. Now drag around the nodes all over, and even try changing the curve shape by clicking in the middle and dragging. Play those same few notes, and listen to how that has changed the pitch sweeping.


    Wow, thank you B Rock for your answer. You are a great. I skimmed through it and some is coming to me. I wanted to get back to you because this could take time to read and process it in my brain.

    One thing I would like to clarify since you mentioned keyboard. Do you mean a MIDI keyboard or musical keyboard or computer keyboard? If you are talking about a non computer keyboard, I do not own one yet.

    I guess my question is, does the modulator section require a use of a musical or MIDI keyboard for it to work?

    Thank you again. I shall get back to you with other ?'s once I am finished reading your response and other sources you sent me.
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    b rock
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/11 01:53:26 (permalink)
    does the modulator section require a use of a musical or MIDI keyboard for it to work?
    No; don't worry about that for now. Just substitute everywhere that I mentioned a MIDI keyboard with some patterns from Project5's Editor Pane. Make yourself up a few simple patterns that consist of notes with varying lengths. You can even have a single note in a pattern for Modulator explorations.

    Just make sure that you have some with notes of short durations, some medium lengths, and longer durations of a measure or two. Some evolving envelope graphs will take a little longer to fully develop, and you don't want to miss anything. Other combinations of nodes and curves will sound better, or be triggered from a shorter note duration. Just mix 'em up, and try out different patterns with each new envelope.

    In the long run, I'd recommend looking into a cheap MIDI controller, especially if you want to explore MIDI Remote Control, or the MIDI Matrix in Dimension. But that's me talking. There are several guys around here that have proven that not using a MIDI KB hasn't stopped them from producing some great music. It's not an absolute requirement.

    Here's something you may want to try out, though: Bome's Mouse Keyboard. It's postcardware, and it'll get you halfway.
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    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/11 02:27:27 (permalink)
    Thank you again B Rock. Cool. I will start practicing and see what happens. Thank you for that link. Perfect. Seems pretty cool to have a virtual MIDI Keyboard. This could help me learn in the meantime until I get my very own. Otherwise, I shall keep you posted on how I am doing. I probably will have more ?'s for you soon.
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    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/11 13:20:04 (permalink)
    Hello B Rock. I have some more stuff for ya. Thank you very much for your time. I would love to send you a gift. I do appreciate it and I feel I got to give you something.

    Ok Here ya go.


    When you look in other instruments and see the same effects for example, like cutoff, reso, drive etc. that are in dimension aswell, do they perform the same tasks or have the same meaning?

    What does tdif mean in the node values on top of the modulators section?

    Having EG's is almost universal since synths have been around, but not in the form that you see in Dimension.


    For my understanding, when you say not in the form, you mean it looks different, but means the same thing and performs the same from dimension to maybe other products or non dimension articles etc.?


    But the envelope is one part of it, and each of those 5 parameters [P-C-R-P-A] are duplicated over four Elements. You get 20 of each [EG -envelope generator, LFO and Keytracking].


    Dimension has these pre-wired: one to control pitch, one each to move the cutoff frequency and resonance amount of a filter, one for spatial placement left-to-right with panning, and one that controls an Element's total level or loudness over time (Amplitude). Once again, this setup is duplicated for each of the four Elements.


    Could you explain a bit further? How do you get 20 of each. Maybe I missed the understanding when I was reading.



    But what does this do? Well, there are hard-wired envelope generators, and assignable ones. The latter can be freely mapped to any parameter in a synth. Dimension has these pre-wired: one to control pitch, one each to move the cutoff frequency and resonance amount of a filter, one for spatial placement left-to-right with panning, and one that controls an Element's total level or loudness over time (Amplitude). Once again, this setup is duplicated for each of the four Elements.


    So, hard-wired means physical non compurter/virtual EG's? When you say freely do you mean the user does the action? When you say Dimension has these pre-wired, basically saying that dimension behind the scenes has things already hooked up virtually ready for the users input?



    So, I played around with graph. I picked a preset placed a few nodes and put them in different positions. I did the same for all P-C-R-P-A. I went into the editor and put a bunch of notes. I put it into the arrange pane and started to play it.

    As you said, I heard the majority of the sound affected in the pitch envelope. It also seemed that the majority of the sound affected was from the first two nodes. You really didn't hear much difference when I curved the lines in between the nodes or added new nodes or even stretching them out. Also, with the other envelopes c-r-p-a I couldn't hear any difference. Maybe because I am not trained yet to pick up the differences. I guess practice, practice and practice.

    I went back to see again and played with different presets. Now with some I heard the effects and others like Dark Church preset I didn't hear any thing affected accept in the pitch envelope. Now it could be due to the note patterns I put in the editor. I am not sure. I will do more fooling around.

    Ok. I made less notes in the editor now with the Dark Church Preset and still didn't hear any differences except in Pitch. I guess it depends on the preset or something.



    Do you have to use the modulators section? Meaning, can you get similar effects of the modulator section from the other filters, eq's, fx's and etc. in dimension? I probably can answer this question my self by playing with those effects. Just want to make sure.



    Well, thats it for right now. Back to some more reading. Thank you again for your help and time.
    post edited by mrje1 - 2005/11/11 13:40:44
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    b rock
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/11 18:00:05 (permalink)
    This is cool, Jeff. I can tell from the nature of these questions that you're starting to "get it". I'll try to answer them in order:

    General synthesizer parameters are usually found across the board on different synth models. Filter parameters, the amplitude section, and many others are pretty much universal. The reason for this is that the overall structure is based on the early hardware analog synths. Of course, newer synths are going to contain wrinkles and terminology that aren't found in a general sense, especially something that exists in computer-based software. Even hardware synths nowadays are software-based, but there might be limitations on hardware features [sample memory; physical knobs and switches; attached keyboard, and the associated costs] that don't really apply to "pure software code" (for lack of a better term). So if you learn filters in one, the knowledge is transferrable to most synths. One thing, though: every synth's individual modules will have a distinctive sound to it, and perhaps a unique range of parameters; be it hardware or software. The differences are what makes the world go 'round.

    TDIF in Dimension refers to the time difference between nodes on the horizontal axis. It's the amount of time between the selected node, and the one that comes before it. For example: you have three nodes set: one at the start [0.0], one 50.0 ms. from the start, and the third 500.0 ms. from the beginning of the envelope. The TDIF of the first node would be zero (no node before it), the second TDIF would be 50.0 ms., and the third TDIF will be 450.0 ms. It just does the math for you between nodes, so that you can adjust different stages of the envelope, defined by two nodes.

    Not only do Dimension's envelope generators look different, they act differently. It might be better to say that they expand on what other EGs do. In my ADSR example above, you have an EG divided into four distinct components. In Dimension, it can be as many as you want. Each set of two nodes and a curve between represents the same thing as one of the ADSR components, so you could duplicate that setup with only five nodes. And in Dimension, you have control over the shape of the curved lines between, and several other options. It's an EG on steroids, with the ability to add envelope components or configure existing ones with a drag of the mouse. It can do the exact same things as other envelope generators, with a whole lot more on top of that.

    Each of the four Elements in Dimension is like it's own synth, so it's like getting four synths in one under common control. Since there's five EGs for each Element, times four Elements in total, you get 20 EGs in all (and 20 LFOs, and 20 Keytracking controls). The five parameters [P-C-R-P-A] apply to only that selected Element [determined by those E1-E4 switches at the top). But you get 5 for each of the Elements.

    I shouldn't have used "hard-wired" in the description. What I was saying was that Dimension's Pitch envelope is already connected to an Element's pitch function, and can't be routed to anything else. There are other synths that just have an assignable [general-purpose] EG, and you have to consciously choose the destination that you want it to effect. In that scenario, an assignable EG would do nothing until you "connected" it (virtually) to a parameter like pitch, cutoff, etc. Two different roads to the same place: one more versatile; the other more hassle-free.

    The majority of the "action" happening with the first two nodes means that either the note that you're triggering the synth with (in the Editor) is too short to hear everything, or the envelope that you drew is too long (same thing, really). Try adjusting things until the envelope is more obvious. I had you explore Pitch because it gives the fastest results. The others can be a little tricky. For example, if you have a filter in a patch that isn't too steep, you might not hear much difference by sweeping the cutoff frequency. Some of the filters don't feature resonance, so you won't hear much there with the "R" envelope, either. Try switching the filter to something serious like a LP 6p filter, and bring up the Resonance knob a little. [Careful of your speakers and ears.]

    The panning envelope should be obvious with stereo playback, but the Amplitude one can present some problems for new users, too. I don't want to confuse you, but there's a 'hidden' EG that works silently in the background. Check out Rene's DimensionalTips on the Wiki for an explanation. The 'visible' EG kinda overrides the 'hidden' one. It's just a way to control loudness over time. Think of a plucked guitar or piano string. Besides all of the harmonic changes going on, it starts out loud (with the pluck), decays to a sustained level, and gradually fades out as the string ceases to vibrate any more. So, to roughly emulate this, you'd have the intial node up high, the 2nd maybe a quarter down from the top, a 3rd one close to but under the second level, but way down the time axis, and a 4th at zero further still. There's more fine-tuning involved to get it right, but that's the general "shape".

    Presets are great, but it might be confusing to use them for envelope explorations. There might be a whole lot going on already, and it's hard to track down exactly what goes where. So here's my suggestion: Load up a bare instance of Dimension, and bring it up where you can see it. Instead of selecting a pre-made Program from the Program Browser [Empty Program line at the top], click on the Empty Multisample line a little further down. It'll open up a browser window, and you want to navigate to 00 - Wavetables. Choose any one of these, and start your EG explorations. Make sure that the EGs are enabled [EG On], and the Depth is set to 100% (for now).

    The advantages to this while learning are that you're only dealing with a single sound in one Element, and the EGs all have nothing in them. It's a lot more apparent when you start making changes and adding nodes under this situation, and the results will be easier to hear. Remember that moving the curves is more subtle than moving the nodes around. After you get a little more familiar with how everything works in the EGs, and what to expect from moving the nodes, the curve changes will jump out at you. In effect, you're changing how the parameter moves between two nodes, like slowly at first, and then faster, or straight through like an arrow. Don't worry about this yet, Jeff. It'll come.

    You don't have to use the Modulator section at all. You can keep a parameter static, and come up with some good sounds. You can even use your mouse to change the knob settings on, say, the cutoff frequency of your filter, and if you're good enough at it, come very close to what a "C" envelope would do for you. But what if you want to do *two* things at the same time, or more? [Trust me: you will.] Or what happens when you get that MIDI controller? The envelopes gives you extra sets of hands, like you had 31 talented people playing a synth and controlling the parameters at the same time. It's an automatic process to animate your sounds, and one that can be repeatable every time a note passes through Dimension. You can change a TV channel at the set, but everyone eventually comes to prefer using the remote.

    Did I catch them all, Jeff? Gee, you're being too easy on me. What else 'ya got? <g>
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    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/12 02:25:06 (permalink)
    Fantastic. Thank you again. I hope to get harder as I learn the easy basic stuff. Yes, I am starting to understand thanks to you. Here is something for you as I study on.

    TDIF in Dimension refers to the time difference between nodes on the horizontal axis. It's the amount of time between the selected node, and the one that comes before it. For example: you have three nodes set: one at the start [0.0], one 50.0 ms. from the start, and the third 500.0 ms. from the beginning of the envelope. The TDIF of the first node would be zero (no node before it), the second TDIF would be 50.0 ms., and the third TDIF will be 450.0 ms. It just does the math for you between nodes, so that you can adjust different stages of the envelope, defined by two nodes.


    So, TD is Time Difference, but what is the "IF" part of TDIF?

    To my understanding and by practicing it. As you put a node it will subtract from the node before it to get the TDIF amount. Now to put it all together. How does dimension use the TDIF to get the affect? I know you mentioned this: "so that you can adjust different stages of the envelope, defined by two nodes" If this is the answer to that question could you explain further?

    I now understand how you get 20 envelopes etc. thank you.

    I now understand, that for the most part parameters are universal.

    I took some more samples in the multisample player and it seems that I am still able to see results with the Pitch, Pan and Amplitude envelopes, but still don't get any results with the cutoff and resonance envelope. for the three that are working, I moved the nodes up, down left right and made the lines curvy. I now see what they can do with the sound of the sample. I will keep playing and see if I can eventually hear the cutoff and resonance.

    Is Project5 in general go by analog or digital synthesis? From me reading your replys to me it goes towards Analog.

    Try switching the filter to something serious like a LP 6p filter, and bring up the Resonance knob a little.


    I actually did this before. I thought I burnt out my speakers, but I didn't.

    Ok. back to work, let's see what else I have for you. Thank you again.
    #18
    b rock
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/12 07:11:17 (permalink)
    I was just kidding a little about the "easy" part, Jeff. There's nothing easy or basic about starting out with sound design programming, because there are so many interlocking concepts to wrap your head around. Dimension: even more so, because it's so deep. And it's not really that easy for me to explain, because these are things that I've learned, but I've gotten to the point where I don't think about the actual process and terminology. So this is good for both of us, and it forces me to reinforce my procedures & re-check the accuracy of what I'm telling you. Keep 'em coming.

    There's nothing to the "IF" in TDIF. It truncated and contracted like this: Time Difference. The Help file refers to this readout as "delta", which just means a change; the difference between one value and another. These values are just readouts that help you to navigate through the nodes, and know where you are at a glance. You'll see the EG type and node number together [like Amplitude - #0/0], the time from the beginning of the envelope, the time difference of the node from the previous node, and the level (vertical height) of that particular node.

    For now, don't get too bogged down on the exact numbers. A few fractional milliseconds either way won't make much audible difference. Soon you'll be relying solely on your ears to finetune an envelope, and only occasionally glance at the readouts for reference. Dimension already "knows" the values; the readouts are there to help you along.

    Say you want a relatively slow buildup in the initial Attack of a note (between the first & second nodes), and 786 ms. sounds just right. You want the whole envelope of the note to complete within 2 seconds, but an abrupt release of the note sounds unnatural, so you give it a 98 ms. drift to zero (between the third & fourth nodes). You can get out the calculator, or you can look at the TDIF between the second & third nodes, and adjust until you see 1116 ms., and that would be your initial Decay stage length. I'm trying not to make this sound complicated (like it does), but it's just a way to check back in "the middle" of an envelope that's already partially constructed.

    When I get a chance a little later on, I'll try to come up with an easy example to demonstrate the cutoff and resonance envelopes. It seems that you've already discovered how powerful certain resonance settings can be. That's because it's actually a feedback parameter, and takes a portion of the filter's output, and cycles it back to the input. Just like that classic microphone feedback sound, it can easily turn into "runaway" feedback and get out of control. Be careful when you do this, and click on that Limiter On button as a safety device. It'll help to clamp down on the craziness, and keeping your synth and track levels low during experimentation will save your speakers and your ears. Flirting with "self-oscillation" (yes, you can actually turn a filter into another oscillator doing this) is a delicate thing, but it can produce the most awesome sounds by "riding the edge" without going over the brink.

    You might try this: Load up a multisample from the folder that I described above [00- Wavetables]. Go to the Amplitude envelope turn it On, , and set a second node (first one's there as a default) way up at the upper-right of the graph (around 1000 ms.). Drag the curve down towards the bottom of the graph, so you have a gradual fade-in. Now right-click on the "A" button, and select Copy Envelope. Right click on both the "C" and "R" buttons, and select Paste Envelope. You now have identical envelopes in amplitude, cutoff and resonance. Go up to the Filter section, and choose LP 6p. Turn the Cutoff knob to around 9 o'clock (up a quarter of the way), and the Resonance knob up 3/4 (around 3 o'clock). You'll now have cutoff and resonance "sweeps" that follow the gradual volume buildup of the amplitude envelope. I think that'll get you started, and you can take it from there.

    Project5 is digital synthesis. Everything in software is, including modern hardware synths. If you happen to find an old analog hardware synth from the early '80's or earlier ... let me know. I'll buy it. Those were true analog synths, which used physical components like capacitors, resistors, and op-amps to produce their sounds. People used to **** about how complicated, unreliable, and unstable they were, and production died off for a time. It became more cost-effective and reliable to produce synthersizers using digital circuits. Then computers came along, and the cost-ratio dropped when folks realized that they were now powerful enough to use as a general sound design device.

    But something was missing. People now started complaining that digital synthesis sounded too perfect and sterile, and began to re-discover what true analog had to offer. Thing is, true analogs wear out, and were becoming too expensive to produce, and too rare to find intact. So manufacturers and programmers looked to ways to "model" or emulate the sound of analog synthesis within a totally digital environment. That's where the confusion lies. These synths are called "virtual analog", or "analog-modeled": copies of analog synthesis in a digital package.

    Most of the same naming conventions and component names (like envelope, oscillator, low-frequency oscillator, patch, etc.) have stuck, providing a nice continuity in the learning curve, but adding to the confusion. There's another development: some manufacturers have gone back to true analog synth production in search of capturing that original sound. Here's a very general rule of thumb: if you can't afford it, it's true analog. <g> Look to synths like the Alesis Andromeda, the Moog Voyager, or Dave Smith's Poly Evolver for modern examples of true analog.

    So, 99 out of a hundred times, you're dealing with digital synthesis. Some methods embrace that, some synths ride the line between, and some seek to emulate the analog synths from the past. But there's all digital; even a hardware synth like my Alesis Ion which "models" analog behavior. Dimension uses samples, wavetables (single-cycle "drawings" of an oscillator), and physical modeling (waveguide) synthesis. So you'll get a little "flavor" of true analog with the samples (which are digitized, often real-world examples), but it all just ones and zeros.

    It's how you creatively do the math that counts. It's all about the final sound, Jeff. Doesn't really matter how you get there. HTH
    #19
    fac
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/12 08:27:42 (permalink)
    Somebody please PDF this thread.

    http://facproductions.net

    Lots of gear. Not enough time.
    #20
    techead
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/12 08:40:49 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: fac
    Somebody please PDF this thread.

    I'm all ears! However, it is so dynamic at the moment I'm not going to touch it. However, I reorganized the Project5 Wiki: Project5 Documentation and Tutorials section to include General Synth Programming tips and I listed a link to this thread for now. http://p5.sonarama.com/p5/index.php/Tutorial_List#General_Synth_Programming_and_Sound_Effects_Tips
    #21
    b rock
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/12 08:56:41 (permalink)
    However, it is so dynamic at the moment I'm not going to touch it.
    I apologize, Bob. I'm creating a real mess here for organizational purposes, and it's loaded with dropped letters and mis-types. But I wanted to answer all of Jeff's questions as completely as I could in the order that I received them, so that it would follow the pattern of his particular learning curve. If this were a flowchart, it'd be all loop-back lines.

    It's up to me to reorganize all of this into a form that resembles a readable tutorial format. I didn't start out to make this a Semi-Pro installment, but I see that it may be mutating into one. Jeff: keep 'em coming just like you have been. Your questions seem to be shared by a lot of people, and you never know who's going to reap the benefits of this. That's exactly why I do this: it's reward enough. After you've reached a certain comfort level with Dimension's envelopes, I'll reel it all back in and try to give it some semblance of an ordered progression.

    See what I mean, Jeff? This is good for you, me, and everyone else who's interested. Next?
    #22
    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/12 12:43:22 (permalink)
    Thank you again. I am very happy that I have produced a thread that will be beneficial for everyone. I am all about helping people. Once I really learn this program maybe I can be like you (B Rock and everone alike) and put my 2 cents in. I am glad that I am helping you reiterate what you have learned. I am feeling really good.

    There's nothing to the "IF" in TDIF. It truncated and contracted like this: Time Difference


    Perfect, Now I see. T=Time DIF=Difference. Duh, normally I see these things.


    The reason why I asked about digital and anolog synthesis is because I picked up some articles that were about analog synthesis and I wanted to make sure I wasn't reading the wrong material. From what I understand and please tell me if I am wrong and As you said: "So manufacturers and programmers looked toways to "model" or emulate the sound of analog synthesis within a totally digital environment. That's where the confusion lies. These synths are called "virtual analog", or "analog-modeled": copies of analog synthesis in a digital package. Most of the same naming conventions and component names (like envelope, oscillator, low-frequency oscillator, patch, etc.) have stuck, providing a nice continuity in the learning curve, but adding to the confusion." That basically tells it all. Is that Project 5 uses Digital Synthesis, but uses the concepts of Analog Synthesis like envelope, oscillator, low-frequency oscillator and etc. So, if I were to read an article on Analog Synthesis like From HereI would be ok and it would apply to what I am trying to learn now, which is Project5.

    So, am I on the ball?

    When I get a chance a little later on, I'll try to come up with an easy example to demonstrate the cutoff and resonance envelopes. It seems that you've already discovered how powerful certain resonance settings can be. That's because it's actually a feedback parameter, and takes a portion of the filter's output, and cycles it back to the input. Just like that classic microphone feedback sound, it can easily turn into "runaway" feedback and get out of control. Be careful when you do this, and click on that Limiter On button as a safety device. It'll help to clamp down on the craziness, and keeping your synth and track levels low during experimentation will save your speakers and your ears. Flirting with "self-oscillation" (yes, you can actually turn a filter into another oscillator doing this) is a delicate thing, but it can produce the most awesome sounds by "riding the edge" without going over the brink.


    Because I am still new and I am sure I can do research on this, but as for the benefit of everyone if you can elaborate what is feedback in general.

    When comes to the "Limiter Button" Should you keep this on at all times? As you said: "it is a safety device." Could you give a few more instances on when you should have the limiter button on.

    You might try this: Load up a multisample from the folder that I described above [00- Wavetables]. Go to the Amplitude envelope turn it On, , and set a second node (first one's there as a default) way up at the upper-right of the graph (around 1000 ms.). Drag the curve down towards the bottom of the graph, so you have a gradual fade-in. Now right-click on the "A" button, and select Copy Envelope. Right click on both the "C" and "R" buttons, and select Paste Envelope. You now have identical envelopes in amplitude, cutoff and resonance. Go up to the Filter section, and choose LP 6p. Turn the Cutoff knob to around 9 o'clock (up a quarter of the way), and the Resonance knob up 3/4 (around 3 o'clock). You'll now have cutoff and resonance "sweeps" that follow the gradual volume buildup of the amplitude envelope. I think that'll get you started, and you can take it from there.


    As I tried this, the default node at its default setting and the second node at the upper right corner and dragged the curve toward the bottom. I played my sample and didn't get any sound, but when I moved the default node up a bit I then heard the sound and played with the cutoff and resonance knob and heard the changes. To clarify as I am still new with some terms. When you say "Sweeps" what do you mean? Maybe I need more practice, but I am not hearing the gradual volume build up. Is it subtle?

    I think this could be a stupid question. When it comes to "Level", does this mean the level of which you hear things etc.? I want to get a bit more technical with this.

    I hope I am not being redundant of anything. If I am, sorry.

    B Rock, I was going to ask some questions on LFO section. Should I in this thread?

    #23
    b rock
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/12 14:03:04 (permalink)
    You got it, Jeff. Analog synthesis concepts apply to most synths in a digital environment, so none of the research and learning process is wasted. The concepts are all transferable, even if some specifics are different. Learn envelopes in Dimension, and you can apply that to anything else. Once you get past the thought that the others are so primitive, that is. <g>

    Feedback is when you take some of the original signal [either a control signal like resonance, a delay module's control, or an audio signal] from the output of a device, and feed it back to the input. The Feedback knob regulates how much of the output signal is fed back to that input. As you can see, this could present a problem. Take the microphone feedback example: When you get a mic too close to a speaker, some of the speaker output gets pulled into the microphone, and amplified again. If this re-amplification happens enough times in a row, an oscillator is created. The signal re-loops and re-amplifies until it starts creating a signal of its own, which will vibrate at resonant frequencies. [What frequencies depends on a lot of factors, like the response of the mic, the speaker deign, mic position, speaker proximity, room size, etc.] It'll begin to oscillate uncontrollably.

    Same thing goes for resonance, and that's why you get those leaps in the audio signal level. The Limiter button is a brick wall ceiling. If you set the limiter to "limit" the level in Dimension, no peaks (like the resonance feedback) will go above that. The limiter isn't an unbreakable ceiling, though, and sometimes a signal will leak through. But it'll slow its ass down a bit. Should you leave it on all the time? That's debatable. Most of the presets in Dimension have it engaged, Dimension does provide "hot" levels, and I'd certainly leave it on in an experimental programming session (well, I don't personally, because I'm a glutton for punishment). But in a finalized & completed program, you have to decide whether your loss of dynamic range warrants the limiter. There are no easily adjustable settings, so that ceiling will knock the tops off your audio signal no matter what. Sometimes the occasional peak isn't that destructive, so you can leave it off and enjoy a greater range of dynamically changing loudness levels.

    With that quickie filter test patch that I gave you, the note triggering it will have to be at least one second long to hear it develop. That's going to depend on your note length in the triggering pattern and the overall tempo setting in Project5. Try a longer note (maybe a measure long), a tempo setting under 100 BPM, and loop that playback in the Editor. Try using a multisample with a few more harmonics; something like one of the fm .sfz's. I noticed when I tried this out, some of the bass sample choices didn't exhibit the characteristics that I was looking for as an example. In some of the other multisamples, the filter "sweeps" were there, but you really had to listen for it.

    OK, filter sweeps. It's just another term from the analog days that implies moving the cutoff frequency of a filter over time. It's commonly taken as a gradual raising of the CF from very low to very high, but that direction can be reversed or done differently. You'll hear it a lot in music; it's almost a vocal-like "wah" sound. That's just an envelope "sweeping" the frequencies, and it's often accompanied by high resonance. When you think of synthesized sound, this one comes to mind immediately. And this is what we're after in the quickie patch. It's not subtle, but there's no mistaking it when you've got everything in place. In the example, the amplitude envelope shouldn't be subtle, either. Did you turn on the envelope? Depth is up, too? It's a common mistake when you're starting out (I still forget it myself), but if it's "Off", that 'hidden' amplitude envelope takes over, and you won't hear the buildup.

    I knew that I was going to cause trouble with using "Level", but there's no better way to describe it. A level is just a number; an amount. It can refer to an audio level (overall static loudness), but it can also be a level measuring any quantity, like the amount of a control signal (not audio, but a signal that controls another parameter. You don't hear it, per se; you hear the results of it acting on another parameter.) In the EG description, level always refers to how high vertically a node is placed, while the time always points to how far to the right a node is horizontally.

    No need to apologize for anything, Jeff. We all had to learn this stuff at one time or another, and it doesn't necessarily come in a day or a week. It's more of a process. I had to do it by just doing, because the information just wasn't out there. But I did read everything that I could get my hands on that was even remotely related, and applied that general knowledge to the specifics.

    LFO's? Bob's gonna kill me. Yeah, sure, what the hey? Drop them in here; they're all part of the Modulation section. We'll throw in Keytracking, too. I've got some cool stuff to do with LFO's. You didn't ask this, but I'm going to add one thing to think about: We've been describing a single envelope in a single Element for the sake of discussion. Can you imagine what you can create with sixty of these things going on at the same time? Overkill, for sure, but it never ceases to amaze me that you can create anything you can think of with enough time and chops.

    It's a good time to be alive ...
    #24
    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/12 14:33:35 (permalink)
    Excellent.

    You got it, Jeff. Analog synthesis concepts apply to most synths in a digital environment, so none of the research and learning process is wasted. The concepts are all transferable, even if some specifics are different. Learn envelopes in Dimension, and you can apply that to anything else. Once you get past the thought that the others are so primitive, that is.


    Perfect. Now we can move on.

    Since I have to run out for the day, I was going to get into these parameters in the envelope section. The Vel->Tim, Vel->int and veltrack. I read on somewhat how it does in the help files. Maybe you can get into more depth on how it affects samples.

    #25
    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/13 12:55:20 (permalink)
    Sorry to back track a bit B Rock, but I am studying more in depth about the ADSR's. I went to this article from the complete series link, scroll down to envelopes, where it talks more in depth about the basics of ADSR's and what they mean. I started to understand and then got more confused, I guess by the diagrams.

    The attack, I understand, is where you reach a maximum loudness and is always an upward slope line. Now what I am getting confused on is the decay, sustain and release. If you look at this diagram as the example. When ever you can if you can explain what this diagram is showing to get a better understanding.

    Decay from my understanding is always a downward sloping line, the loudness is dropping to silent at a certain speed. In Dimension you can increase this spead of how fast it goes to silent is by placing the node closer to the one before it. Am I correct?

    Sustain and Release accoring to the diagrams I have presented to you is confusing me a little. According to the definitions I acquired from the articles are:

    Sustain- The level the loudness maintains until it decays to its final level (usually silence) in a time determined by the Release time.

    Release- Controls the time it takes for the note to die away when you release the key.

    From looking and reading about the ADSR's wouldn't you think to put Release before the sustain and it seems to me from these definitions that decay and sustain are the same thing almost.

    To go over a bit from this diagram, I see the attack and decay lines. From the ending of the decay line is it the release time? I am confused because the Release time arrows in the diagram does not start right at the end of the decay. Now that last sloping line wouldn't you call that a decay line as well?

    Let's see if I am correct. The straight line after the first initial decay would always in any other diagram be a release? If I am correct in my understanding.

    I will stop here. Sorry for this to be in messy order. I am going as my mind comes up with something.

    Thank you again B-Rock for your help.
    post edited by mrje1 - 2005/11/13 12:59:20
    #26
    b rock
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/13 19:57:08 (permalink)
    Well, Jeff, my weekend got a little crazy starting Thursday night. Let's see if I can recover these questions (and some brain cells), and get back on track.

    To back up to the earlier reply: Vel->Tim, Vel->Int and VelTrack all use the velocity messages that accompany a MIDI Note On to vary the envelope affected. Whenever you hit a key on a MIDI controller, it sends out a composite message in three parts: First, there's a "code" for the current MIDI channel that's transmitting. This keeps one controller's notes separated from any of 15 others (or more with Ports). Next, a MIDI note number from 1 to 128. The third message, velocity, indicates how fast (or subjectively how hard) you hit a particular key. This is usually used with loudness levels to give an expressive variation of level from note to note.

    But you can use the message for just about anything in P5. I use it all the time to control any parameter that I need hands-on control for, and use the 128 different variations to input some nuance under fingertip control. I think that the virtual KB that I pointed you to earlier sends a different velocity value depending on how "high" or "low" you click on the GUI key itself. At any rate, if you're using patterns in the Editor, velocity is the default MIDI message that comes up, and you can draw in variations with the Automation Tool. If there's no variation (all velocities are at the same level), it'll be difficult to hear what the Dimension parameters are doing.

    Once again, let's go to the Pitch Envelope. Load up an fm multisample, and draw a node or two in the P section; close to the beginning. If you trigger velocity variations now, you'll hear the same pitch envelope with each note. But try this: don't even turn the Status to On, but raise the Depth to +2400 [2 octaves]. Now "hard" notes of a velocity value of 128 produce a "pitch sweep" that climbs up to two octaves above, and "softer" notes produce sweeps anywhere from that point down to a pitch change of zero. That is, the original pitch envelope will always still be intact (if it's been turned On), but how high it goes as a maximum can be controlled by your note's velocity value. The Depth also goes down to -2400, and always is displayed in units that are appropriate to that type of envvelope (like percentages of amplitude levels). As you can tell, this parameter is always "On".

    For Vel -> Tim, I'm going to send you to the source: read DimensionalTips Attack with Velocity by Rene. As you know, it has to do with using your individual note velocities to expand or contract the timings that you've set in your node position in the envelope. This'll scale your envelope up and down, changing a two second total envelope to a four second one, by using a multiplier of 2.0, or a one second envelope with .5. It's got a huge range [.01 to 100], and it'll affect each segment setting (from left to right), but maintain the proportional distance beteen segments.

    Vel -> Int. This is tough to describe for me. It translates note velocity to intensity, which regulates how much the envelope gets involved. It's almost like VelTrack, but ... let's just try an example instead of confusing the issue. Go to that little Pitch Envelope example above, and double-click on VelTrack to reset it to defaults, and take it out of the equation. This is kinda interesting: Set the Depth to a maximum value, and the Vel -> Int parameter to the minimum [-2400]. Now if you hit the "hardest" velocity of 128, there is absolutely no pitch change. The two parameters offset each other perfectly. Anything less than 128, and you'll hear the pitch sweeping come in. I may be way off, but I think of this one as an "expression" device, and VelTrack as an "overall" control.

    You can see that these three velocity parameters would all be useful wiith live keyboard input. I'm going to give you the scoop on the ADSR stuff a little later on (it deserves a separate post in this thread), but I'll give you a head start on what's coming. First of all, remember that each node in Dimension represents both a level and a point in time simultaneously. So when comparing to an ADSR, an Attack time can also be an Attack level, and a Sustain level can also be bookended by Sustain "times". It's a little different approach; it really covers two modules with 3 nodes and two curves, and it's a whole lot more versatile.

    Something else to chew on before the next explanation arrives: DimensionalTips: Naturally Released. That'll help you with the whole Release stage concept, which can happen after your note is done "playing".
    Here's the one I mentioned that explained the 'hidden' Amplitude Envelope: DimensionalTips: Master of the Amplitude Envelopes.

    That'll get you going. Why get your financial information from the tabloids when you can read the Wall Street Journal? <g> I'll be back ...

    Edit: I'm just full of links tonight. Does that make me lazy? I'll still get to a step-by step reply to your last set of questions, but I need a little time for regeneration (Hehe. Yet another term for that feedback concept).

    Here's another set of Computer Music tutorials that includes ADSRs, and it's geared towards the beginning user. There's a great complete MIDI tutorial here at the MMA site. Make sure to cruise the whole main site for reference purposes from time to time.

    I'm going to take a somewhat unusual tact next. I'll use a specific synth's documentation to illustrate some general concepts; instead of the other way around. That Alesis Ion I mentioned earlier "models" the behavior of an analog synthesizer. The documentation is very complete in describing each section, or module of the synth, and it makes for an excellent primer on analog synthesis in general. If you get the time, try downloading the .pdf here, and read it in your spare time. Make sure to check out the Envelope section, and study the parameter descriptions. It's unusually good. HTH
    post edited by b rock - 2005/11/13 22:01:14
    #27
    mrje1
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/14 02:49:34 (permalink)
    Thank you. You don't have to worry about when you get back to me. Whenever you can is fine with me. I appreciate you and what you are doing for me and everyone else. I am very happy and I am sure everyone else is to, to have someone like you in this forum helping us (beginners or advanced) out. Keep up the good work.

    Back to work to try to add more fuel to the fire.

    Talk to ya in a few.

    Jeff
    #28
    techead
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/14 09:03:54 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: b rock
    ...but I need a little time for regeneration (Hehe. Yet another term for that feedback concept).


    The "feedback" concept or the "café cubano" concept?
    #29
    b rock
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    RE: P5 Terms/names like envelop generator etc. are they universal? 2005/11/14 20:48:09 (permalink)
    I can see where you're going with these questions, Jeff, and many of the conclusions you've reached are valid, but I can think of some exceptions to what you've said. I feel that I should clarify a few fine points, and hope that doesn't make envelopes more difficult to understand. The original line of questioning revolved around Dimension, and it's those points that I should bring up that set it apart.

    First, we'll take on the diagram. In the secret4.gif, you have a typical picture on an envelope that's descriptive of only one particular case. It's great as an example, but it leads you to believe it's true in all cases. The Attack is a time parameter, and in the typical ADSR, rises to a maximum level. One thing, though: the time length can be virtually instantaneous, for a "fast" attack (times). giving you an immediate maximum. I guess you could say that this eliminates the Attack stage; going straight to the Decay stage (though I'd go no lower than 5 ms. as a general rule.

    Remember that in Dimension, it's time and level for the nodes, so you could have an "Attack" stage that didn't max out in level, and a second to third "Attack" stage after that. Another way to look at it would be to have an Attack, followed by an "upwards"-moving Decay stage. And you can "flip" an envelope with a negative Amount, or Depth, As you can see, Dimension's graphical nodes and Bezier curve model works to throw the rules out the window, but can also be configured to emulate a "classic" EG.

    OK, Decay is a time parameter that joins the highest Attack level value with a constant Sustain Level. Unless that Sustain level is zero. the Decay doesn't necessarily fade out to nothing. It slopes down to a level set by Sustain, which could be anywhere (vertically). I can see where you'd get that, because Decay and Release are confusing terms; begging for misinterpretation. I'll note that in Dimension, you could have multiple "Decay stages", depending on how you approach it.

    OK. Sustain. In older synths, this was easy, because you could say the it was the level reached after the Decay stage, and which was maintained as long as you held a note down. Let go of the note, and the Release stage begins. Release is a time parameter, and it's how long the signal takes to die down to zero, from the Sustain level, and it begins the moment that you lift your finger. It can be almost instant; mimicking no Release stage, or long and drawn out, like a piano or guitar (Amp EG).

    Now it's more complicated, because some synths let you determine a Sustain Time parameter, too, which will override what your fingers are doing. And some allow you to configure a Release, or loop the entire envelope back on itself, and Release it only after severtal iterations, or not at all.

    In Dimension, you're literally drawing in the types of stage and number of each type, so it's highly configurable. You can make modules that don't exist anywhere in a standard ADSR. So that makes it wide-open, but a little more difficult to grasp conceptually. Use the nodes to set both a time and a level, and use what you need to cover your bases. You might load up 50 ms. of time with a fluttering dozen nodes, then use ony three more in the rest of the envelope. Or get away with two total. And the curves between act as "event processors", allowing you to change the relationships between time and level. You still travel the same "distance" over time, but you're speeding up in spots, slowing down in others, and under cruise control with linear "curves". And, yes: moving the nodes also changes how rapidly a transition occurs, and the shape of the curve between. They're interrelated; a symbiotic relationship of sorts.

    See what I mean? It's confusing: Decay could be labeled Release, and vice-versa. Release does "decay" from the Sustain level to zero, but it really means "a release of a key/voice". It's triggered (normally) by a Note Off event over MIDI. And Decay in some cases can be the final release. It depends on how you're configured. Use it to your advantage for whatever's easier.

    Oh, I almost missed the second diagram: the secret5.gif is just showing you how instruments or natural events might look as an Amplitude envelope. Note that the Filter EGs and perhaps the Pitch EG (along with the sample or wavetable that was the "source" or "oscillator" before the synth processing) would look quite different for the instruments displayed; radically different.

    The trombone has a fast-to-moderate attack time to maximum level, a moderate decay (I'd have thought it shorter), a healthy sustain level of more than 50%, and a fairly rapid release. The organ note jumps almost immediately to a sustain level, with a slightly-less-than instant attack. There is no decay or release stage. Lift your finger, and the organ note stops. The thunderclap: You hear it building up in the distance (slower attack), it peaks at a maximum point in level and time, then it decays slowly to zero as it fades into the distance. Since the is no sustain level, there is no release stage (or swap it for the decay stage; it depends on the programming approach).

    I hope that I clarified instead of throwing more mud on this. I want you to "get" the ADSR model, and the overall Dimension EG concept (did you check out the newest links above?), before I go into specifics of how to create "classic" ADSR envelopes in Dimension. Maybe I'll throw in a few unconventional EGs, as well. But you really need to have the basics in place first. You've got to know the rules before you can break them. Besides, I'm throwing a lot at you, Jeff. You really shouldn't be grasping this so quickly; it's not that easy.

    And yet: the questions build on the previous questions, and they still keep coming. So you're moving on out with the EGs. Bring it on.
    post edited by b rock - 2005/11/14 21:04:37
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