How to Embed LFOs in Absynth Envelopes For Greater Modulation Control
Many synths allow you to assign an envelope to modulate an LFO, but it’s a bit different with this one. Absynth envelopes allow you to embed an LFO directly inside of them!
Say you want to have an LFO modulate the pitch of an oscillator, but you only want the modulation to begin after a few seconds of build-up. In most synths, you would simply assign an envelope to control the delivery of that LFO and away you go. Well, with Absynth things are handled a bit differently. Here you embed an LFO directly within Absynth envelopes to achieve the same results. It may seem a tad confusing at first, but it is quite intuitive once you get going. This approach centers around the flexible envelope system that is the backbone of this incredibly deep and seemingly unstoppable synth. For each breakpoint you add to an envelope’s curve, it’s just one more opportunity for deeper control over how an LFO affects the parameter that the envelope is assigned to. Let’s take a quick look at how this actually works.
I have a basic sine wave loaded into Oscillator Module A in the Patch window. I have created an envelope to modulate the pitch by right-clicking on the Transpose parameter in the module itself.
Now when you switch over to the Envelope window, you will see that there is a new envelope available called Oscil A Main Pitch. This is how easy it is to add new Absynth envelopes to just about any parameter you want to gain more control over, and/or modulate over time.
To add an LFO to any of the Absynth envelopes, all you need to do is select the envelope in the left-hand sidebar and then click on the LFO tab near the top of the window. You should instantly see some new graphics appear in the display.
So let’s make this oscillator drop its pitch and then rise back up again, but with a wobble applied as it climbs back up in pitch. This is actually quite easy to do due to how Absynth envelopes work. All you need to do is add a new breakpoint to each spot that you need to either enact a change or provide deeper control. Here you can see that I have added a few new breakpoints and that the LFO activity is not exactly consistent throughout its delivery. This is because I have applied different setting to each of the new breakpoints. This is also how I was able to keep the LFO from being applied throughout the entire pitch drop portion of the envelope curve. Let’s take a closer look.
All you need to do is click on a breakpoint box to set up the LFO parameters for that portion of the envelope curve. Absynth envelopes are pretty intelligent and actually interpolate the necessary changes between the fixed points along the curve. This makes for very smooth transitions and allows you to create incredibly complex variations in how your LFO is applied and in turn affects the sound. Below is an image of what is displayed when the first breakpoint is selected.
The next breakpoint is the Attack point and you can now see that the LFO will start to kick into action here, even though I have not set up anything on this particular breakpoint to make this happen. It is the next breakpoint (second image below) that introduces the wobble and Absynth has interpolated the necessary change to make this a smooth transition.
These last three shots of the envelope curve share the last three breakpoint settings used to achieve the desired effect. It’s the flexibility of the Absynth envelopes that make this kind of control possible.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how this all works, try experimenting with more complex envelope curves and varied LFO settings. You should also try creating new Absynth envelopes for many more parameters besides just pitch and see what kind of fun you can have!
Have A Question Or Comment About This Tutorial?
Want to ask a question about this tutorial or perhaps you have something to add ?
Click through to our forum post about this tutorial and join the conversation!