Zoë Blade's notebook

Vladimir Ussachevsky

Vladimir Ussachevsky was a composer of electronic music. At Columbia University, he co-founded the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center.

Perhaps his biggest influence on electronic music was realising that an ADSR envelope generator would be very versatile, and asking an undergrad engineering student at Columbia, Bob Moog, to design and build some for him.[1] The ADSR envelope generator soon became a standard 900 Series module, number 911, and was subsequently copied by almost everyone, to the point it's now almost inconceivable for a synthesiser to not have ADSR envelope generators.


Ussachevsky placed the first order for envelope generators and envelope followers. It was his specification that gave rise to what you find on every $500 synthesiser. It was Vladimir Ussachevsky in 1965 with the ADSR business. It's not mine, it's not ARP's, it's not Buchla's, it's Ussachevsky's.

Bob Moog, 1977[1]


  1. "Robert Moog" Carter Thomas, Synapse, May 1977, pp. 27—30

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