Synthesizer Basics – Lesson 2 [music]

Posted: July 18, 2010 in Audio Gear, Music, Tutorials
Tags: , ,

Lesson 1 went over the common components of a synthesizer, explained the functions of the Oscillators, and the mixer sections.
Now let’s have a look at the Envelope and Filter sections.

Envelopes
The envelope section allows you to modify the shape of the waveform when a note is played. Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release are the controls you’ll find.
Sometimes there are more than one set of envelope controls. There is usually a dedicated envelope for the amplifier, and then the other can be assigned to filter or something else.

  • Attack adjusts the start of the waveform, this will allow you to fade the sound in over time. Think of this as a way to control the volume of the tone from zero to full over a short period of time. From instantly on, to a very slow ramp up in level depending on how this control is set.
  • Decay is a time control to set how long before the sustain level is reached.
  • Sustain is the level the sound will be while the note is held.
  • Release is the opposite of attack. When a key is released the sound fades out over a period of time set by this control. [read]
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