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Envelope generator

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A circuit which generates a signal, usually meant to control a voltage controlled amplifier for the purpose of giving dynamic contour to a played note (in order words, providing a rise and fall of the volume of the note). A typical envelope generator produces a signal which, as seen on an oscilloscope, appears as a series of line or curve segments. Controls are provided for setting the quickness or slowness of the rise or fall of the segments. The commonly found ADSR is one type of envelope generator. More advanced envelope generators provide more segments, allowing more complicated volume envelopes to be produced; the ultimate in this area can be seen in some of the newer soft synths which provide envelope generators with hundreds of segments. (Also see the universal event generator). In addition to volume, the output of an envelope generator is often sent to a voltage controlled filter to produce a timbre contour, or mixed with the control voltage input to a voltage controlled oscillator to produce a frequency coutour.

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