A slope generator in the context of modular synthesizers is a module that generates time-varying control voltage (CV) signals with customizable shapes and rates. The output voltage rises and falls (or “slopes”) over time, making it suitable for various modulation tasks, such as controlling the pitch, amplitude, or timbre of a sound. Slope generators can be used as simple envelopes, low-frequency oscillators (LFOs), or even basic oscillators when used at higher frequencies.
Some common features of a slope generator module include:
- Rise time: This control determines the duration of the rising phase of the slope, which is the time it takes for the output voltage to go from the minimum to the maximum value.
- Fall time: This control sets the duration of the falling phase of the slope, which is the time it takes for the output voltage to go from the maximum back to the minimum value.
- Shape control: Some slope generators provide a control that allows you to adjust the shape or curvature of the rising and falling phases, ranging from linear to exponential or logarithmic.
- Trigger/gate input: This input allows you to trigger the slope generator using an external gate or trigger signal, so you can synchronize the slope generator’s output with other events in your patch.
- Looping: Many slope generators offer a looping function, which means that the module will continuously cycle through its rise and fall phases, effectively turning the slope generator into an LFO or basic oscillator.
- CV inputs: Most slope generators provide CV inputs for controlling the rise and fall times or the shape of the output signal, enabling dynamic modulation and more complex control schemes.