Hegel was the first design to implement metasequencing, achieved by the interaction of envelope triggers and sequencers.

Envelopes

Audio

Selects the audio source for the envelope. Envelope amplitude is then applied to this audio stream before it is sent to the respective mixer channel. Env1 audio is sent to output mixer channel 1; Env2 audio is sent to output mixer channel 2; and Env3 audio is sent to output mixer channel 3.

If the envelope audio is off, internal logic disables the mixer channel path, for reduced CPU usage. So if you are not  using envelope audio output, you can save CPU by turning audio off. Alternatively, if you want to switch to another snapshot which uses an envelope’s audio output without interrupting the sound output, then leave the audio on in the envelope, and change the MUTE button in the output mixer channel to enable/disable audio instead.

Mode

The “Mode” list selects the way the envelope is triggered and gated. MIDI, sequencers, other envelopes, and LFOs can trigger the envelope. Operation is somewhat different depending whether envelope audio is on or off.

If audio is on, the envelope assigns voices for each incoming trigger and sends the pitch out to the rest of the instrument. Voices from all three envelopes (and voices from the “unisono” unit are merged, so all the voices available in the instrument are shared by all the envelopes. For this, the instrument contains its own voice allocation logic that assigns voices in the same way as Reaktor’s “OLDEST” voice assign mode.

If audio is on, trigger modes function as follows:

  • MIDI: Incoming midi notes gate the envelope polyphonically. If more than one envelope uses a MIDI source, then separate voices are assigned to each envelope.
  • Env1/2/3: The envelope is triggered and gated by another envelope. In other words the envelope tracks the other envelope exactly.
  • S1/2/3/4: Any combination of the sequencers can trigger the envelope, and gate time is controlled by the envelope HOLD time.
  • LFO1/2/3:When the respective LFO value rises above 0, the envelope retriggers.

If audio is off, the mixer does not receive any audio from the envelope channel, and additional voices are not assigned to the envelope. Instead the envelope gates on the same voices as for other envelopes. As a result, the envelope can still be used as an event and audio modulation source. For MIDI, sequencer, and LFO modes, all voices trigger monophonically (all voices trigger and gate in exactly the same way) because the envelope otherwise has no way of knowing which voice to assign for incoming triggers, but the envelope is nevertheless available as a modulation source for all voices. However if audio is off and the envelope is being triggered by another envelope, then the voice information from the source envelope is used to assign voices.

While this all sounds very complicated (and took a long time to work out), it’s easy to see the effect visually in the different modes with the voice level meter in each envelope panel.

Hold

For sequencer modes, the “Hold” list controls the duration of the high gate. All envelopes are fully polyphonic, so sustain and release phases an overlap for consecutive notes, up to the available polyphony in the Reaktor instance. Note, all three envelopes share the available voices, so if there are long hold periods for one or more envelopes, voice stealing can affect the sound.

For MIDI modes, the “Hold” value sets aminimum duration of the note. Even if just touching a MIDI key on an input keyboard, the gate will stay high for the hold period. If the MIDI key is held down longer than the hold period, the gate will stay high for as long as the key is held down.

Predelay and Repeat

The “Rpt” button provides additional modes in combination with the “Pre/Rpt” list. If the “Rpt” button is off, the “Pre/Rpt” value sets a delay before the note starts, regardless of the trigger source. If the “Rpt” button is on, the envelope retriggers itself at a frequency set by the “hold” and “Pre/Rpt” values. The actual behavior depends whether the “hold” or “pre/rpt” values is longer:

  • If “Hold” is longer, the note repeats only during the hold period, with a zero-length sustain. The “pre/rpt” value sets the frequency of repeats. For example, if Hold is ½ and rpt is 1/4, the note repeats twice at 1/4 intervals. This is good for Flam and complex melody building.
  • If “Rpt” is longer, the note repeats at the interval set by “Pre/Rpt,” with the gate remaining high during the hold period. With a MIDI gate, the repeat continues while the MIDI gate remains high. With other gates, the repeat continues until a new trigger is received from the respective source. This is good for building melodic complexity, or to make monophonic modes more interesting.

Note that PREDELAY also affects notes arriving from a keyboard, so if there is a predelay period you won’t hear a note for awhile after pressing a key.

Also note, if audio is off, predelay and repeat are applied to the gate signal from the MODE source. This means for example, if audio is off on Env1 and its trigger mode is ENV2, then setting a predelay on Env1 causes its gate from ENV2 to be delayed.

Mult

The MULT button in the envelopes is only effective when the envelope is being triggered by the sequencer. If playing notes from a sequencer and MULT is on, every single step from the sequencer creates a note. If MULT is off, a step with the same pitch as the previous step does not retrigger the envelope or create a new note.

If the first note in some sort of looped sequence is the same as the last note, then the first note from the sequence will also be masked out when MULT is off. If you find some notes aren’t present that you want, try turning MULT on. It may be for example that the matrix is modulating sequencer pitch and generating strings of identical pitch values in some manner. On the other hand if you want to add rests into a sequence pattern, you can turn MULT off.

What if you want two consecutive notes to be the same pitch, but also have note rests? Then set the pitch scale to say, C major, then put some sharps or flats in the pattern where you want repeating notes. The pitches will be different when they arrive at the envelope, but then when the envelope sends them to global pitch and oscillators, they will be remapped to the same note.

XY, LVL

The XY panel displays the current level of each voice. In addition the Y axis provides overall control of the envelope amplitude. Velocity modulations are applied to the level set in the XY control.

A, D, S, R

The A, D, S, and R sliders are the envelope’s preset attack, decay, sustain, and release values, before modulation by velocity, pitch, and matrix2.

By default Reaktor uses the current amplitude of an envelope as the starting value when an envelope is triggered. In other words, if one voice has a long release and high sustain, and is therefore still playing, then a new note on the same voice has a shorter attack because it starts from the amplitude of the already playing voice. Hegel therefore contains logic to bypass this undesired behavior.

Vsens

VSENS sets the velocity sensitivity. If set to 0, the envelope velocity is fixed by LVL. If set to 1, the envelope is fully responsive to velocity. If set to negative values, higher velocities reduce the envelope amplitude (useful for attenuating event modulation).

The PITCH module sets the global pitch characteristics for the oscillators; each oscillator can then have its own pitch settings. The PITCH module also contains a global MODE list.

Sequencers

The four sequencers are viewable in the A panel by selecting the “Edit” button. They are also editable separately in the B panel.

Enable

The “Enable” button turns on and off all four sequencers.

Zoom

The “zoom” button just causes the view to show just those enabled steps for each sequencer, and does not otherwise affect the sound.

Mode

For the MIDI modes, the sequence is transposed by the played MIDI key around middle C. For example, playing the D above middle C causes the sequence to be transposed up two semitones; but only for the MIDI modes! You can also use the event matrix to transpose the sequence; for example, sequencer 2 can transpose sequencer 1.

  • OFF: the sequencer is disabled.
  • LOOP: The sequence loops. Loop position is controlled by song position, and the four sequencers synchronize their steps when in loop mode.
  • MSTEP: On receiving a MIDI note-on event,the sequencer advances one step.
  • MGATE: While a MIDI note is on, the transposed sequence loops. Playing multiple MIDI notes causes the sequence to play separately for each note. The loop steps are synchronized with other sequencers, as in LOOP mode.
  • MSYNC: When any MIDI note on is received,the transposed sequence starts at step 0 on the next 1/96 clock and loops until there is a corresponding note-off event.
  • MSHOT: When any MIDI note on event is received, the transposed sequence plays through once, then stops.
  • HOLD: When a MIDI note on is received,the sequence starts to play. Additional keys while one key is held down add additional transposed loops. When releasing all keys, the loops continue until a key is pressed again, at which time all loops stop and the new loop starts.
  • 1/2/3/4SHOT: when the corresponding sequencer advances one step, this sequencer plays its pattern once, then stops.
  • 1/2/3/4STEP: when the corresponding sequencer passes through step 0, this sequencer steps forward once.
  • LFO1/2/3: when one of the voices on the corresponding LFO passes from 0 to one, the sequencer advances one step.

Rate

THE RATE list sets the duration of each step in tempo units.

SeqLen

The SEQLEN list sets the number of steps that are played in one iteration through the sequence.

Begin#

The BEGIN# field sets the first step for the sequence.

Permute

In the B panel, the PERMUTE module lets you edit the sequences in various ways.

Seq, from, to

SEQ selects the sequencer for the operation. The FROM and TO knobs set the range of steps for the operation.

Transpose, Rotate, Amount

The TRANSPOSE button shifts the steps from FROM to TO in SEQ by AMOUNT. The RORATE button rotates the steps clockwise or anticlockwise, by AMOUNT.

Copy, Paste, Clear

The COPY button places all the steps in the SEQ sequencer in the edit buffer. The PASTE button pastes those steps in the range FROM to TO. The CLEAR button empties the sequencer steps in the sequencer SEQ, in the range FROM to TO.

The three LFOs are all polyphonic. Envelopes 1-3 also contain envelopes 4-6 respectively, sharing the same gate and sync sources. The envelopes in the LFOs cause the LFO to fade in and/or fade out.