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"Sound envelope components":

 

Envelope Of Sound


An envelope of sound is composed of a sound's attack, sustain, and decay.  
 

http://filmsound.org/articles/ninecomponents/sound_envelope.gif

(1) Attack  
Sound begins at A and reaches its peak at levelB 

(2) Sustain  
It drops slightly in level and remains steady until C 

(3) Decay  
When the sound source is removed at C, the sound decays to a point of silenceD. 

    Fig1 

 

Attack


 

The way a sound is initiated is called attack.  

 

There are two types of attack: 

o    fast

o    slow

Fast attack  
The closer the attack of a sound (A) is to the peak (B) of a sound, the faster its attack is. 

Sounds that have a fast attack are.. 

o    gunshots

o    slaps

o    door slams

Slow attack  
Sounds that have a slow attack take longer to build to the sustain level. 

Sounds that have a slow attack are… 

o    a dog's short warning growl prior to bark

o    stepping on a dry leaf

o    slowly tearing a sheet of paper

o    closing a door slowly

o    an entire thunderclap

 

 

http://filmsound.org/articles/ninecomponents/thunderclap2.gif

Fig2

The entire thunderclap has a time span of approximately five seconds.  

By starting the sound at point A, the audience is prepared for the impending thunderclap.  

To have a frightening sudden clap of thunder, the slow attack has to be changed to a fast attack.