Organic crescendos via triggers and ADSR envelope generators

Typically when driving an envelope generator with triggers an AD type is used. If you want to use an ADSR instead then the attack must be very fast else it enters the release phase before the attack attains a reasonable level.

In this video I use triggers from LameJuis to drive the ADSR build into the Bogaudio FM-OP. (patch at Dave Venom Music - Latest: 2 LameJuis/Rhythm Explorer long form ambient pieces - #115 by DaveVenom) I love the organic swells/crescendos in this piece, but for a while I couldn’t figure out how it was happening.

At first I thought it was overlapping delays, but that is not the case. What is happening is the attack is too slow to complete before the trigger ends and the release begins. But the release is slow enough that the starting level when the next trigger occurs is higher than before. This continues until full volume is reached.

The Rhythm Explorer / LameJuis patch has enough rhythmic variety that there are sometimes pauses between triggers, which gives the release time to die away and the build up must start again.

The end result is a piece with very organic dynamics, and I didn’t put any effort into making it happen!

It seems like this could be a generally useful technique.


Like repeatedly tapping bells or cymbals to build up the sound. Physical percussion are generally AR response on an impulse after all.