Can an envelope generator be exciting?
Envelope generators are often seen as relatively utilitarian elements of a modular synthesizer. It’s a perspective that Synthesizers.com is challenging with their introduction of the Q179 Envelope++ module.
The Envelope++ is part of Synthesizers.com’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:
- gate divider;
- gate delay;
- 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 Synthesizers.com Q179 Envelope++ is expected to ship Feb 1, 2017, and is priced at US $256.