Confused by Amp Envelope in Halion 6 Sample Zone

Hi everyone, I’ve been slowly learning Halion 6 and it’s really great. I am awfully confused though by the envelopes in certain situations.

Yesterday I was playing around with presets from Studio Strings. Many of them have long release times when you release the key. Normally this would reflect either reverb or an envelope with a long release.

I bypassed the insert effects but it was still sounding like a long release. So then I turned my attention to the amp envelope, and that’s where things get weird. Each zone/sample has its own envelopes as far as I can tell.

First of all, the time axis on the amp envelope doesn’t start at zero. It starts at a number, decreases to zero, and then increases again. The “sustain” portion of the note is at zero. Not sure why this is.

Even more confusing though is that at the sustain point, the value is zero on the Y-axis. So there should be no volume at the sustain point. But there is volume.

Then there’s a period of another second between the sustain and release where the value on the Y-axis value is zero. So there should be no volume during this. But the sample continues to play and fades out.

I checked and there are no parameters that I could find like “Fade Out” which had non-zero values anywhere.

So clearly I am missing something. Can someone help me understand what is going on? How is the amp envelope working in the sample player? Am I missing some envelopes at a higher level in the program which are overriding the ones in the zone?

Hi rlared ,

So clearly I am missing something. Can someone help me understand what is going on? How is the amp envelope working in the sample player? Am I missing some envelopes at a higher level in the program which are overriding the ones in the zone?

Each zone has its own envelope. But this envelope can be “offset” by quick control or a macro page control. That’s what is happening here.

When you assign an amp attack to a control on macro page you’re not changing the time of the second node of amp envelope directly. You’re changing a parameter called “DCAAttOffset”. You can find the offset parameters in parameters list. They have a range of -100%/+100%.

Now if you look at the macro page of Studio Strings amp envelope, the decay and release have a range of -100/+100. They are mapped to their offset parameters directly. With attack and sustain value of -100 (or any negative value) doesn’t make make sense so those two parameters are connected to a script parameters. Script limits the range of the offset parameters so you can only use the positive range.

If you set the macro page amp envelope controls to zero (no offsets) you should get the envelope from zone editor.

Thank you, that is quite helpful. In addition to reading your response, I spent a few hours last night watching videos and looking through the parameters list, macro editor, etc and got some insights. But there’s still a few confusing things for me.

  1. If I’m understanding correctly, for certain parameters I will have to look at the “edit” tab for the value and also the instrument macro page for any “offset” value. Any idea why this is set up like this versus just having all of the macro page parameters linked directly to the parameters in the “edit” tab? It seems like it makes it harder to understand the setup of an existing instrument preset.

  2. In the macro editor, it doesn’t show the parameters being “connected” (for example the amp release offset) under each zone. But the release fader is clearly assigned to the release offset and I can see the parameter value changing when I move the control. Even more confusing, if I right click the release fader, it lists something like “Amp Env.Release - String E0” (I’m not at my computer so I don’t remember exactly) which is NOT the name of a parameter in the “Amp Env” list. What the heck is going on?

  3. How can I quickly tell which parameters are being affected by macro controls?

  4. It appears the envelopes are available at the zone level. So how is the macro set up to effect the same parameter in every zone (for example amp release offset) inside of a layer? Why is there no amp envelope control at the layer level?

  1. It’s mostly just the envelopes that work this way. When you look through the parameter list you will find there’s no parameter for time or level of a specific node of envelope so there’s no way to connect it to macro page directly. When you right-click in zone editor envelope section you get the option to map offsets. I’m not sure why is it designed this way. Maybe backward compatibility. But the idea is once you build your instrument and setup a macro page with the most relevant parameters there’s no need to go back and forth between editors and macro page.

  2. Yes, that’s because it’s connected to more than one zone. Don’t know why.

  3. Usually controls on macro page have a label or a tooltip. If not select it in the macro page editor and check the value field.

  4. Check this thread:

Thank you very much! Just what I needed!

I’ll start using the macro page for existing instruments. I had previously tried Falcon, where the macro page is directly linked to the parameters in the synth so it’s just a mindset change.