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We’re still riding the excitement from the Make Noise 0-Coast (which we will see plenty of in the coming days and weeks) and its release party last night in Burbank hosted by Modular On The Spot creators, Rodent and Bana Haffar. This weeks Pulse Tip, using envelopes as oscillators, happens to be applicable to Eurorack modules as well as the 0-Coast Slope function which mostly mirrors channel 4 on everyone’s favorite function generator, Maths. But as we will see, many envelope modules are capable of triggering at audio rates.
While cycling envelopes are handy for generating LFOs and non-1V/Oct tracking oscillators, by turning the looping mode off and triggering the envelope at an audio rate, the output signal should adhere to the clock source in some sort of harmonic relationship. The most effective way to begin is to send a square wave output from an oscillator to trigger a short AD envelope. By mixing the envelope output with another wave shape audio output from the oscillator, you should be able to hear how these two signals are connected.
With a more complex AD function generator like Maths, the repeating shape can be manipulated and changed to create harmonic and sub-harmonic frequencies. The Vari-response knob makes this particularly easy. The ADLFO from Malekko excels at generating saw or ramp waves in lower octaves. Any envelope should work, including ADSR envelopes, however it may be best to keep the sustain and release zeroed or off. As well, you might consider using a voltage offset to shift the otherwise unipolar signals generated by envelopes to modulate through the 0 point, more in keeping with bipolar oscillators.
How are using envelope modules in a creative fashion? Let us know in the comments!