Envelope++ Module Proves That Envelope Generators Don’t Have To Be Boring

Can an envelope generator be exciting?

Envelope generators are often seen as relatively utilitarian elements of a modular synthesizer. It’s a perspective that is challenging with their introduction of the Q179 Envelope++ module.

The Envelope++ is part of’s ‘++’ line, a growing collection of functionally-dense 5U modules.

In the single-unit width of a standard envelope generator, the Envelope ++ offers a full-featured voltage-controlled envelope generator, with many unique features including bizarre curves, a VCA and looping. Special modes offer dual-envelopes and 4-step sequencing.

And the Q179 can also be used as:

  • LFO;
  • gate divider;
  • gate delay;
  • arpeggiator;
  • quantizer;
  • random voltage source and more.


  • The envelope mode provides voltage-control of Attack, Decay, Release phases along with amplitude. Special features include control of initial Delay and Attack peak holding, along with linear, exponential and log curves.
  • Voltage control of slopes and amplitude is designed specifically to make using velocity signals from a keyboard intuitive and musically expressive. Press a key fast to produce a faster attack and higher amplitude. You can also use off-velocity from the Q174 MIDI Interface to control the release time according to how fast you release a key.
  • Positive and inverted outputs make it easy to send the output to a VCA and VCF without using a multiple and the THRU makes daisy-chaining simple.
  • A multi-colored LED provides a visual indication of the current state of the envelope.
  • Envelope looping occurs automatically when a gate plug is not inserted. It can also be controlled by a gate in GL mode (Gated Looping). When looping, the outputs can be used as a multi-segment LFO with voltage control of speed, slopes and amplitude, and a variable pulse-width is available at the THRU output.
  • The dual-envelope mode creates an attack/sustain/decay envelope at the +OUTPUT and a separate delay/attack/hold/decay envelope at the -OUTPUT. These envelopes can loop automatically or by gate control. The THRU output operates as a voltage-controlled gate delay and gate extender.
  • The Q179 Envelope++ also offers a 4-step sequencer mode, complete with an internal clock and quantized outputs. Forward, up/down and random sequences are available. This lets it work as a keyboard arpeggiator, or you can combine multiple modules to create longer sequences.

Here’s the official video intro and demos:

Pricing and Availability

The Q179 Envelope++ is expected to ship Feb 1, 2017, and is priced at US $256.

5 thoughts on “ Envelope++ Module Proves That Envelope Generators Don’t Have To Be Boring

    1. Honestly, I don’t think that there’s really anything directly comparable to any of the Dotcom ++ modules in Euro format. They’re all very cool, very powerful modules.

      Of course – there are a lot more modules in Euro nowadays that don’t have 5U counterparts.

      The SynthTech and Mutable modules are the ones that I’d most like to see in 5U format. FreeStateFX has done conversions of three of the Mutable modules, but I’d love to see them all available.

      1. i see…thanks for the info.
        i would love to have this module in eurorack. there are for sure some eurorack modules that have similar functions.
        the combination of the functions from the Q179 seems really nice.
        …but i will not start diving into 5U … 😉

        1. The Q179 looks pretty flexible, but there are quite a few advanced envelope generators for Eurorack: Intellijel Dual ADSR, Doepfer A-141-2, Verbos Multi-Envelope and Multistage …

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