Plaits trigger vs gate

I’m new to modular though have a semi modular (Mother-32). Controlling plaits with beatstep pro - but notes start and end quickly - not for as long as I hold down pad. I think this is a difference between a gate input and a trigger input like plaits has. So how can I control note length? Gate output from beatstep to gate input on m32 and 0-coast seems to work fine. What am I missing?

Plaits has a TRIG input that triggers the internal (D) envelope and pings the LPG - none of these have sustain.

You can either patch the gate signal to Plaits’ LEVEL input (or to both TRIG and LEVEL if you want to trigger the internal D envelope too), or stop treating Plaits as a complete voice module and patch it into a VCA with a proper ADSR envelope modulating it.


Cheers - thanks for coming back to me so quickly.

To add to above:

Some envelopes have ASR (attack sustain release).

Alot of modular envelopes only have attack and release. The trigger (or gate) initiate the envelope but the length of the gate is ignored.

ie: Only adsr or asr envelopes will respond to you holding down the pad on the beatstep. Andd this envelope should be patched into the’level’ input. It is common (but not necessary) to then patch the output into a filter. You can mult the level envelope and patch into the filter cutoff CV (or use a different envelope or lfo random etc.)

1 Like

Sorry for the daft question again - would I patch the beat master into a VCA (that’s being modulated by my Contour) then into the levels input? I’ve only just bought a vca but for some reason thought it came later in the chain? So much to learn!

What is the beat master? Is that a module?

A standard vca when used with an audio signal will act as an automatic volume knob. In a modular synth you need to provide a ‘control voltage’ (cv) which tells the vca what volume to play.

A beatstep pro will output pitch cv and gate cv. Pitch cv is usually not a high enough voltage to turn the volume up. It is generally used to change notes. A gate signal will turn the volume immediately on to maximum volume and hold maximum volume until you release the pad, at which point it will turn immediately off.

To have the volume gradually rise and then fall you need an envelope. The envelope doesn’t begin until you tell it to by sending it a gate.

You can also use an LFO to vary the volume up and down. You can also use other modular audio signal to rapidly turn the volume up and down (it happens so quickly that it alters the tone of the sound).

Ie: beatstep pro pitch goes to 1/oct input, beatstep pro gate goes into envelope generator. Envelope goes into Level. The output the goes to your mixer and speakers.


Thank you so much. It hurts to be a newbie. Even called my beatstep pro a beat master for some some reason! :worried:

FYI - on your 0-coast you have two types of envelope an Attack-Decay (ad) and an Attack-Decay-Sustain-Release (adsr).

Patch beatstep gate out in to each (trig in and gate in) and the envelope output into Level in of Plaits and you will hear how the sustain responds to holding down the pad… good luck have fun. If you get stuck, just post another question.

1 Like

I’m very sorry to over-complicate this, but if you truly want to learn the basics, here is the correct patch:

Beatstep CV to Plaits’ V/O input (to contro pitch)
Beatstep Gate to Contour Gate input (to have the envelope react to key presses)
Contour out to VCA CV input.
Plaits out to VCA audio input.
And your “final” signal is the output of the VCA.

Of course, you can follow abortivechronicles’s advice, but keep in mind that Plaits’ LEVEL input does many things at once:

  • It controls the amplitude of the signal.
  • It controls the filter cutoff of the signal (this can be turned off).
  • It responds with some softness to the increases and decreases in the LEVEL CV (this can be turned off).

This softness in its response can make it look like the Contour is not doing its job correctly.