Overview

The Oxford Envolution plug-in provides comprehensive control over the transient and sustain portions of an audio signal. Unlike most alternatives, attack, hold and release can be independently adjusted, enabling a wide variety of effects.

In addition to this, the effect of the transient and sustain processing may optionally be applied in a flexible frequency dependent manner. This is achieved without splitting the signal into separate bands, so unlike conventional multi-band processors, Oxford Envolution may be freely used in parallel routing configurations without creating phase-cancellation problems.

The Main Level Controls

To enhance or reduce the Transient or Sustain portions of the input signal, simply increase or decrease the main level control.

Gain is set in dBs and will not exceed the selected setting, regardless of the Profile settings. The current level of the gain envelope is displayed in the circular meter inside each level control.

Centre Panel Assignment

The centre panel can be assigned to three views. Use the left-hand buttons to assign the panel to a different view.

Scope

See Envelope Scope

See Envelope Scope

Transient Frequency Mix

See Spectral Shaping

See Spectral Shaping

Sustain Frequency Mix

See Spectral Shaping

See Spectral Shaping

Envelope Scope

The Scope display shows an amplitude over time trace for the input signal (grey), Transient envelope (yellow), and Sustain envelope (purple).

By default, the scope operates in Scroll Mode, in which the time axis scrolls freely from right to left.

When using Envolution in a tempo-mapped project, the Bar Sync modes are more appropriate. To select a different mode, click the settings panel which appears with the mouse cursor over the Scope display.

Particularly in Scroll mode, it may be useful to freeze scope display in order to inspect the shape of the envelopes. To do this, just click anywhere inside the Scope display. When frozen, a blue border is drawn around the display. Click again to unfreeze.

Frozen scope display. Click to un-freeze.

Frozen scope display. Click to un-freeze.

Envelope Shaping

Transient Profile Controls

Transient Profile Controls

For high-quality and versatile detection and processing, all time constants are automatically adjusted based on characteristics of the input signal. Because of this, the timing profile parameters are shown as a percentage of the available range.

While the Attack, Hold and Release controls perform similar functions for both the Transient and Sustain sections, their behaviour in use is quite different. These differences are outlined in the following sections.

The Scope display in the centre panel of the plug-in helps to visualize the sensitivity and shape of the gain envelopes which are applied to the signal.

See Envelope Scope

See Envelope Scope

Transients

Attack

This can be used to smooth the leading edge of the transient envelope over time. Slower attack times allow some of the initial edge of the detected transient event to pass through the plug-in unchanged.

Fast Transient Attack speed

Fast Transient Attack speed

Slow Transient Attack speed

Slow Transient Attack speed

Slower Attack times also decrease how sensitive the transient detection is to small, fast transient events. However, the Sensitivity control will be more effective!

Hold

This delays the onset of the release portion of the envelope, and is very powerful for shaping the sound of processed transients. For example, when boosting, increasing the hold time a little can give the impression of more low frequency 'punch' without overly lengthening each transient event.

No Transient Hold

No Transient Hold

Long Transient Hold

Long Transient Hold

Another useful application of Transient Hold arises when processing plucked or strummed acoustic instruments; with some performances there may be multiple transient events very close together. When processed separately these can begin to sound unnatural due to multiple fast excursions in the gain envelope. Increasing the Hold control will effectively group adjacent events together, which can provide more pleasing results.

Release

This smooths the release portion of the transient envelope over time, resulting in longer transient events with a smooth decay.

Fast Transient Release

Fast Transient Release

Slow Transient Release

Slow Transient Release

Try reducing Transients by 3 to 6 dBs with a slow Release time for a level-independent compressor-like effect which will leave sustained signal components untouched!

Sensitivity

This Sensitivity control adjusts how sensitive the gain section is to small transient events in the gain envelope. At 100%, all detected transient events are allowed to contribute to the gain envelope. As Sensitivity is increased, more transient events are detected.

Default Sensitivity – not all of the audible transient events are detected!

Default Sensitivity – not all of the audible transient events are detected!

High Sensitivity – all audible transient events are detected and processed.

High Sensitivity – all audible transient events are detected and processed.

If the Transient processing ever sounds like it is 'distorting' or 'fluttering', try reducing the Sensitivity control.

Sustain

Hold

This delays the onset of the attack portion of the Sustain envelope.

No Sustain Hold

No Sustain Hold

Longer Sustain Hold

Longer Sustain Hold

In conjunction with the Sustain Attack control, this allows you to shift the focus of the Sustain envelope later in time, so that only the 'decay' portion of the signal is processed.

Longer Sustain Hold and Release, pulling up only the decay

Longer Sustain Hold and Release, pulling up only the decay

Attack

As in the Transient section, this smooths the leading edge of the Sustain envelope over time. However, this is much more useful here!

As Attack time is increased, the Sustain section takes longer to reach the target set by the main Sustain Level control. Adjusting the Sustain Attack can also help when adjusting the speed of the Sustain envelope to match the speed of a musical performance.

Fast Sustain Attack

Fast Sustain Attack

Slower Sustain Attack

Slower Sustain Attack

If the Sustain processing ever sounds like it is 'distorting' or 'fluttering', try increasing the Attack control.

Release

This sets the speed with which the Sustain envelope returns to 0 dB in response to a detected transient event.

As such, it is usually best left at the default setting, which is quite fast.

Fast Sustain Release

Fast Sustain Release

Slow Sustain Release

Slow Sustain Release

However, this control can be used as an alternative way of enhancing or reducing Transient events. For example when reducing Sustain, increasing the Release time will soften the leading edge of each detected transient, without using the Transient section's processing. When increasing Sustain, increasing the Release time will allow the beginning of transient events to be boosted as the envelope releases back towards 0 dBFS. So, the Release control can be used to adjust how 'punchy' the Sustain processing sounds.

This can be useful when the Transient section is already being used for another effect, perhaps focussed on a different frequency range.

Spectral Shaping

The Frequency Mix (FREQ) controls allow the Transient and Sustain effects to be applied by different amounts in different frequency ranges.

To view these controls, click the FREQ button for the Transient or Sustain section.