I’ve finally gotten around to using Stages for envelopes more often, but I’ve been disappointed in that both my LPG (Two Tone - passive) and VCA (Tangle Quartet) tend to pop without very slow attack times. I’m not sure there is much I can do, but if anyone has any tips or has had a similar experience, I would appreciate your thoughts!


With short attack times, its not the problem of the envelope but a variety of factors:
-harmonic content of input signal
-point in cycle of oscillator
-possible dc offsets

Any envelope can make a vca pop if the vca reacts quickly enough.
Did you try different curve settings?


Usually pops are a sign of DC offset, do you happen to have an oscilloscope? Or at least a good multimeter?


I’ve tried a few things. I can do some more thorough “debugging” of my process soon.

I have a mediocre multimeter? :sweat_smile: I can give that a swing anyway. What should I look for? Any tips would be very welcome.


I would check if the module does output a steady DC voltage in envelope mode when it’s not being gated. Theoretically the voltage should be zero.
In my experience clicks and pops are usually the product of some DC offset. The envelope should start at zero and end at zero, and a properly designed VCA should be completely closed at 0V. If everything works like it’s intended you should not get any clicks.
To check if your VCA closes just send a steady sound to it and turn it down to zero. If you still hear something it doesn’t fully close.
I did check my Stages and its output voltage is about 0.1mV (so basically zero) when nothing is triggering it.

I did misread your post earlier though and thought you had problems with longer attack times.
With short attacks the problem might simply be one of the causes @DonKartofflo pointed out. The point cycle of the oscillator might be the more obvious cause, if the attack is faster than the frequency of the oscillator you get various distortions of the harmonic spectrum, which create the click. Depending on how the VCA reacts to the envelope – i.e. depending on how linear the response is or not – this effect can then be further augmented.


I’ve experimented with this a little more this evening with an ADSR envelope.

It seems there’s a very tight range that’s pretty far from 0 that gives me as pop-less of an attack as I expect I’ll get. I tried with both an LPG and a VCA with similar results. It does the job, but differently than I expect. (I’m using an audio-rate LFO from Stages as the sound source.)

I’m also finding it quite difficult to tune the speed of the attack and the release stages.

I’ll just have to keep experimenting. :thinking: Something is throwing me off.


might be worth trying with another sound source. Stages is unipolar, and not really primarily intended to be an audio-rate oscillator


Hi, I’m sorry if this veers off track but I have a question regarding the sequencer function :when used as a sequencer of sorts can the time (hold?) parameter be applied to create steps of varying durations?


Had a bit of a play with Stages as an envelope generator and clocked LFO the other day.

Stages is generating pitch and amplitude (Decay) envelopes for the kick, triggered by Grids.

Sound source for the kick is Ripples, initially with white noise from Kinks, then I turn the resonance up until the filter begins to self-oscillate. Cutoff frequency modulated by Stages Decay envelope.

Veils is the VCA for the kick.

I had fun messing with the decay shapes for the pitch and VCA envelopes on Stages.

Stages also provides another Decay envelope, triggered at the same time as the kick, which envelopes the same Kinks white noise source, which is then passed through Shelves, modulated by Stages clocked LFO, with another Veils channel as VCA.

Plaits on hat/snare noise, triggered by the 2nd Grids channel and modulated by another clocked LFO from Stages.

Braids through Clouds on nasty drone, with a couple of Clouds parameters modulated by clocked Stages LFOs.

Dervish on reverb, and Streams squashing everything.

As usual, minimal musical content, and way too long.


You can mix STEP and HOLD stages to create steps that are either clocked or that lasts for an adjustable duration.


Just ordered a Stages to add to my “Mutable” rack; which now consists of: Elements, Clouds, Marbles, Kinks, Stages plus a Malekko Heavy Industries AD/LFO and a Doepfer ‘Source of Uncertainty’. Apart from integrating it into my ‘rhythm section’ (2 x Grids, Qu-bit Rhythm, 3 x TRL Stepper Acid, 2u Div, Doepfer multiples and clock divider/sequencer) it also works well as a standalone unit for creating sound by itself with little or no input from me.

Planning to do a long performance with it once the Stages arrives, where my only input will be to press Start . . . (and Stop at some point)