OneOfManyPauls wrote:I've never seen a synth manufacturer count the initial value for the attack as a stage in its own right. Can you cite any examples of manufacturers using this term in that way?
Not off the top of y head but I've used several softsynths that do and it is a standard feature in the SynthEdit envelope module that nobody ever bothers to hook up.
I don't know which SynthEdit envelope that you're looking at but this is not the case for ADSR or ADSR2 which are both four stage envelopes with no ability to control initial attack level. Moreover, I don't see how having that feature would refute OOMP's point that being able to adjust the level of a "stage" does not make it a new stage.
Also, AFAIK, there's nothing in the SynthEdit docs that refers to either ADSR or ADSR2 as a five stage envelope. ADSR2 says nothing and ADSR refers to the stages as "sections." From the help:
This module provides a standard 4 section envelope generator.
A stage in an EG refers to a timed window. The timing of the sustain "stage" is determined by how long the key is held down, but there is still a time for that stage. Changing a parameter of an existing stage, e.g, it's initial level, does not make that stage into two stages. I think that you're just confused on the terminology here. That a few other people may also be confused isn't evidence that a confused understanding is correct. Stages can also have level parameters, e.g. the sustain level is obvious, but if you don't have a time window then the note doesn't pass through a different stage (in time).
Although he doesn't give an actual definition of the word, take a look at how Gordon Reid uses the term.
Parts 7 and 8 talk about stages.
I can cite Dave Smith as referring to their DADSR envelopes on their standalone synths as "five-stage envelopes" - see prophet 12, mopho x4, the new prophet x etc.
I don't see the point, why would you want to delay the envelope in a VCA or even for a mod envelope. I can see that it might have weird uses in a modular but not in a hard wired synth.
For a VCA envelope in THIS synth, I agree, there's not much point to delaying it, however, that doesn't negate the other types of five stage envelopes. However, the mod envelope has many uses delayed for the same reasons that one delays LFOs. If you can't think of reasons, perhaps you aren't quite as tuned in to synthesis as you want everyone to believe.
Now, for many other synths, as Gordon Reid discusses above, there can be uses even for a delayed VCA. You don't have to go all the way to modular, you only need the ability to have two separate voices for it to be immediately useful. For example, the Matrix 12 has DADSRs that can be applied to the VCA.
OTOH, having your envelope trigger from a value other than zero can be very handy.
No doubt, that doesn't make it an "envelope stage" though, and even though you are misusing the term, I agree with OOMP, that an experienced hardware designer isn't very likely to do that.