BlogGuides & HacksWhat is ADSR (attack, decay, sustain, and release)

What is ADSR (attack, decay, sustain, and release)

What is ADSR (attack, decay, sustain, and release)

What is ADSR (sometimes spelled A.S.D.R.) (attack, decay, sustain, and release) mean in music?

ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release) is a term used in music production to describe the envelope of a sound, which is essentially its volume over time. The four parameters of the ADSR envelope – Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release – are used to shape the sound of an instrument or a synthesizer.

  1. Attack: The attack determines how quickly the sound will reach its maximum volume after it is triggered. A fast attack will result in a sharp, percussive sound, while a slow attack will produce a more gradual and softer sound.
  2. Decay: The decay sets the rate at which the sound will drop from its maximum volume to the sustain level. This parameter controls how quickly the sound will fade after the attack phase.
  3. Sustain: The sustain is the level at which the sound will remain until the note is released. The sustain level determines the overall volume of the sound.
  4. Release: The release sets the time it takes for the sound to fade away after the note is released. A fast release will result in a sharp cut-off of the sound, while a slow release will result in a more gradual fade-out.
ADSR Attack, Sustain, Decay, Release; envelope commonly used to shape a wave form.
ADSRAttack, Sustain, Decay, Release

In summary, the ADSR envelope is used to control the volume of a sound over time, shaping it into a desired musical expression. This technique is widely used in music production and is an essential aspect of synthesizer programming. By adjusting the parameters of the ADSR envelope, producers and musicians can create a variety of sounds, from bright and percussive to soft and sustained.

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