How EnvelopeShaper works

I’m a bit confused as to how EnvelopeShaper actually works. The plug-in reference document explains pretty much nothing.

To make things simple, let’s imagine a VST synth which we are going to use to play one single note. If I’m understanding it right, the effect has to detect when a key has been pressed, so that it can apply the envelope. If one were to press many keys after each other, it would also detect these and recognise them as separate notes, and apply the effect separately to each note instance? Or does it wait until the input wave is silence before resetting the effect? Or am I under completely under the wrong impression?

Also, as a side question, is another name for an “envelope shaper” a “transient shaper”?

Many thanks

Yes indeed, transient shaper is probably a better terminology.
It’s not a midi plugin, it detects audio like a compressor, but can accentuate or curtail the
‘transient’ ,and likewise boost or cut the decay or release. Of course this is all done in milliseconds, so
say on a simple snare track it would be easier to hear it’s effects but on a group of channels it may become
more difficult. It’s like a simple compressor/expander in one. Like most people I know, you have to learn the
theory, then play about and listen over and over to really grasp the subtleties of dynamics.

By the way, I’m still trying and learning !


Aloha guys and just to chime in.

I really don’t know ‘jackshyte’ about
this plug but I do love using it!

then play about and listen over and over to really grasp the subtleties of dynamics.

Right on!
My ‘technique’ is to just muck about till something sounds good.
And it doesn’t usually take very long.

I do have third party stuff that does this (and does it much better) but
having the ES right there on the strip means I’ll grab it right off.

Tanx for that one Steiny.

Thanks for the replies. I understand that it is an audio effect, and that is the key to my question. I guess I’m asking how intelligent it is. As an audio effect receiving just a waveform, when does it reset the envelope effect? Can it recognise notes that overlap, or does it wait until it hears silence?


Reading between the lines of your posts… i’m just wondering what you’re after achieving with it…

some real world uses i personally have for them are for getting a snare drum to ‘pop’ in a mix by slightly increasing its attack phase, reducing the amount of room noise with mic’d drums by lowering the release slightly. controlling the attack of the pick with an acoustic guitar when eq doesn’t quite do the trick by either raising or lowering the attack.
occasionally on toms to control the attack and or release, i usually use an expander to control the decay on toms but sometimes i find an envelope shaper a better option…


I had been using the on board envelope shaper as well but found that I really couldn’t fine tune the attack transient with any real precision. I just got the Sonnox Trans Mod transient modulator (finally installed) and it’s fantastic. I would recommend a quality third party trans mod plug in to everyone. What a difference!


It works similarly to compressor, only that it works relative to original signal. It works on difference between envelopes of original and effected sygnal. Meaning that it does the same independently of signal level. Like if you have hihats with different level, it will work the same on all hihats, no matter the level. While compressor only has desired efeect on certain level of signal.
Read this, same principle: