Simple envelope follower.

in RTcmix/insts/jg/FOLLOWER

quick syntax:

FOLLOWER(outsk, insk, dur, CARAMP, MODAMP, windowsize, SMOOTHNESS[, PAN])

CAPITALIZED parameters are pfield-enabled for table or dynamic control (see the maketable or makeconnection scorefile commands). Parameters after the [bracket] are optional and default to 0 unless otherwise noted.

Param Field Parameter Units Dynamic Optional Notes
p0 output start time seconds no no  
p1 input start time seconds no no  
p2 duration seconds no no  
p3 carrier amplitude multiplier relative multiplier yes no  
p4 modulator amplitude multiplier relative multiplier yes no  
p5 power gauge window length samples; try 100 no no  
p6 smoothness – how much to smooth the power gauge output 0-1; try .8 yes no  
p7 pan 0-1 stereo; 0.5 is middle yes yes default: 0.5

Parameters labled as Dynamic can receive dynamic updates from a table or real-time control source.

Author: John Gibson, 1/5/03; rev for v4, JGG, 7/24/04

FOLLOWER extracts the amplitude of an audio input signal and applies it to another signal. The source code for this instrument is probably very useful for deriving similar kinds of instruments. See also the FOLLOWBUTTER or FOLLOWGATE instruments for examples.

Usage Notes

FOLLOWER applies the amplitude envelope of the modulator to the carrier. The carrier is supplied as the “left” channel, the modulator as the “right” channel.

The “left” input channel comes from the bus with the lower number; the “right” input channel from the bus with the higher number. See the bus_config scorefile command for information about how RTcmix busses are used.

Currently in RTcmix it’s not possible for an instrument to take input from both an “in” bus and an “aux in” bus at the same time. So, for example, if you want the modulator to come from a microphone, which must enter via an “in” bus, and the carrier to come from a WAVETABLE instrument via an “aux” bus, then you must route the mic into the MIX instrument as a way to convert it from “in” to “aux in”. If you want the carrier to come from a file, then it must first go through MIX (or some other instrument) to send it into an aux bus. Since the instrument is usually taking input from an aux bus, the input start time for this instrument must be zero. The only exception would be if you’re taking the carrier nd modulator signals from the left and right channels of the same sound file.

The envelope follower consists of a power gauge that measures the average power of the modulator signal. The “windowsize” (p5) is the number of samples to average. Large values (> 1000) track only gross amplitude changes; small values (< 10) track very minute changes. If the power level changes abruptly, as it does especially with long windows, you’ll hear zipper noise. Reduce this by increasing the “SMOOTHNESS” (p6). This applies a low-pass filter to the power gauge signal, smoothing any abrupt changes.

You’ll probably always need to boost the modulator amplitude multiplier (“MODAMP”, p4) beyond what you’d expect, because we’re using the RMS power of the modulator to affect the carrier, and this is always lower than the peak amplitude of the modulator signal.

The output of FOLLOWER can be either mono or stereo.

Sample Scores

very basic:

   rtsetparams(44100, 2)
   source_listen = 0  /* set to 1 to hear carrier and modulator separately */
   dur = 20
   /* play carrier to bus 0 */
   bus_config("WAVETABLE", "aux 0 out")
   waveform = maketable("wave", 1000, 1, .5, .2)
   amp = 15000
   WAVETABLE(0, dur, amp, freq = 440, 0, waveform)
   WAVETABLE(0, dur, amp, freq * 1.02, 0, waveform)
   /* play modulator to bus 1 */
   bus_config("WAVETABLE", "aux 1 out")
   ampenv = maketable("line", 1000, 0,0, 1,1, 19,1, 20,0)
   incr = base_incr = 0.15
   notedur = base_incr * 0.3
   freq = 1000
   for (st = 0; st < dur; st = st + incr) {
      amp = irand(5000, 30000)
      WAVETABLE(st, notedur, amp*ampenv, freq, 0, waveform)
      incr = base_incr * irand(0.5, 2)
   /* apply modulator's amp envelope to carrier */
   bus_config("FOLLOWER", "aux 0-1 in", "out 0-1")
   setline(0,0, 1,1, 10,1, 20,0)
   caramp = 1.0
   modamp = 4.0
   winlen = 10       /* number of samples for power gauge to average */
   smooth = 0.5      /* how much to smooth the power gauge curve */
   pctleft = 0.5
   if (source_listen) {
      bus_config("MIX", "aux 0-1 in", "out 0-1")
      MIX(0, 0, dur, 1, 0, 1)
      FOLLOWER(0, inskip = 0, dur, caramp, modamp, winlen, smooth, pctleft)

See Also