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Envelope Speed and Contour

Exploring envelope differences between synths


How Fast is Your Envelope?

"Fast/Speed" is really not the most important measure of an envelope's behavior (or at least not the best terminology). If you have Attack at minimum, and measure a variety of synths, they are all going to complete the attack stage within a couple milliseconds... and that timing difference is basically imperceptible to humans, difference between 3.1ms and 4.3ms. (ie: 1/1000th of second or so)

The characteristic that is more important is the natural contour of the stages, at longer stage timings. For instance, when you have a 300ms attack or decay time, how does the amplitude progress over that 300ms. If the envelope has a naturally convex/snappy shape, it may reach 95% amplitude in half that time, and the second half will raise the other 5%. If it's linear, at the halfway point, it will be at 50% amplitude, and if its concave/inverted, it will be less.

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