What is an Envelope?

An envelope is a representation of how a particular musical parameter changes with time. An envelope itself is a graph with the horizontal axis (x) representing time and the vertical axis (y) representing the value of the parameter. By changing the shape of an envelope you can change how different parameters (such as volume, pan, reverb and so on) change with time.

The continuous line displayed in the Envelope View represents the envelope. Sometimes the envelope fades continually from one point to the next, other times it seems to change abruptly. The shape of the envelope (and the musical parameter it represents) is controlled entirely by the envelope points.

Envelopes allow you to shape different parts of your music for richer compositions. Rather than specify each individual controller for, say, master volume, you can create a master volume envelope that describes how the master volume changes with time. You can always reshape the envelope simply by moving around displayed points on the envelope.

It's also fun to loop perform a particular area and adjust various envelopes while the music is playing until you get the sound you want.