Envelopes & Attenuation - Maths or alternatives?

I’ve been using Maths for maybe 7 months now and am more or less just using it for envelopes, and attenuation of modulations going elsewhere. I deliberately have a very small case, and am wondering about swapping the Maths for some envelope/attenuation alternatives. Obviously not as cost-effective, but I’m thinking of ergonomics (i.e. spreading these functions around the case, having finer control of attenuation than the Maths). I’m thinking mostly of:

MN Function
ALM Pip Slope

Intellijel Triatt

Any combination of these (maybe one of each) seem to do what I’m needing Maths for.

General thoughts? A pointless exercise? I mostly bought Maths when I was starting out because ‘everyone uses it’, and haven’t gelled much with it.

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I’m thinking about doing a very similar thing, although I never actually owned a Maths in the first place.

Check out the Happy Nerding 3xMIA, that’s a cool 6hp attenuverting mixer that you can do a lot with!
For envelopes, you could also look at the Intellijel Quadra (you can build a 2hp version of the expander too, if you’re that way inclined) and maybe the NLC Triad, but that doesn’t have voltage control.

The quadra, plus 2hp expander, plus 3xMIA would get you 4 AD/AR envelopes plus 3 (6 kind of) attenuverters in 20hp, not bad! I think I’m going to combine the Triad and MIA with a Befaco Rampage. That’s 3 AD/AR envelopes and 3 attenuverters in 14hp.

[DISCLAIMER- this is what i’m planning, I’ve played around with most of these, but don’t actually own them and can’t fully vouch for them]

i just bought a 2hp TRIM module to put next to JF. It’s a passive module, only 2hp and $35.


@philmaguire I can understand if you need to retire Maths for ergonomic reasons, but I thought I’d send you a supplement pdf with some interesting Maths experiments. They’re all cool in themselves, but if you apply the principles in your own way for your own purposes, you can use Maths in many more ways than one might initially imagine…


hmm. tried to use the upload feature, but it doesn’t seem to have worked. I can send it to you if you or anyone else is interested.

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would you mind posting that here? i’m kinda in the same place as OP (small case, mostly using a relatively massive module for envelopes). thx!

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Actually I can’t for some reason. I’ve never tried uploading a pdf before but it isn’t working. It reports that it has uploaded 100% of the file but there’s nothing there.

The MW site has it. You can type Illustrated Maths into the search bar to find it. Or if you want I can email it to you.

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heads up that Pip Slope has had a revision, so look to get that version.

maths seems feature heavy despite the larger HP. and remember you can have ‘floating’ attenuators and multiples that are not connected to your rack. as they are both passive…

Here’s a direct link to the printable pdf.

Maths Illustrated Patches


i’m super happy with my pip slope, not so happy about the o/ax2
i would consider 321 instead
maybe you can do a 2x pip + 321 + 4hp logic…but you’re 18hp and you don’t have EOC/EOR

Went through a similar issue re-evaluating Maths a few months ago. I spent some focused time trying to use features beyond the envelopes and ended up getting really into creating complex modulation with sum / or outputs. I ended up keeping it, and the exploration actually led me down a path that changed the way I was patching across the board.

So - if Maths is just two envelopes in 20HP, definitely replace it…but if you find utility in creating complex CV modulation, it’s really great. There’s other modules that do similar things, but…I think Maths is pretty great.


the middle two channels of maths + the logic functions are my favorite part of it as well. I’m considering doubling up on maths to be able to chain together the sum + inverted outs in crazy cross patching.

definitely would go with the Triatt instead of the o/a/x2. When it comes to modules there’s few companies I really trust to do a proper circuit design and Intellijel is one of them.

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++ Triatt

I have 2 of them in my case and they’re really versatile. I don’t think I’d ever get another basic mixer, attenuverter, or offset.

I’ve seen Mutable Instruments’ Shades recommended over the Triatt. Does anyone here have experience of both? Any other attenuverter/ mixer/ utility modules to consider?

I know you have a small system, but maybe try adding an EG and some attenuators and see if you can free up Maths for more complex activities? Personally, I’m just so used to Maths at this point that I’ll probably never get rid of it. I love the snappy envelopes and complexity that reveals itself when you start self patching. That being said, the granularity of the attenuator controls is a valid criticism. If you like the MN sound in general, maybe try a Function and some 3rd party attenuverters.

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Of course I’d recommend Shades! :slight_smile:
But I know for sure that both are well designed modules and they really are quite similar in what they do.
Shades does have a unipolar and bipolar mode, while the triatt can either do unipolar positive or inverting attenuation or do bipolar attenuation. So the Triatt gives you one more mode. The LEDs on Shades are pretty useful sometimes.


I have MI Shades. But if I was buying now, i’d inquire into Frap Tools 321.

But I too want to know of a decent Maths alternative that isn’t 20hp

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I feel like anytime I’ve tried to find a smaller HP alternative to a Make Noise module, it never works out. Unless you’re willing to give up a feature or three, you’ll end up with more HP. The math only really works out if you just want that one thing the module does, without all the other stuff you don’t use. Like, ahem, the DPO. It’s been pointed out to me on many occasions that it’s big (28 HP, yes) but it’s efficient for all the bits and pieces that are packed in there.


Hey Phil, I just got hold of an adsrvca from wmd ssf. Definitely worth a look if your interested packing a lot of envelope functionality into a small case. Loving it so far.

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