Short impulse with frequency. Possible?

Dear all,

I am a super newbie in SuperCollider. I was wondering if it is possible to create a short impulse with a certain frequency. I suppose that impulses do not have frequency because they are too short? So I wonder if it’s possible to create an impulse, long enough to create the percept of a tone with a certain frequency (short-duration since wave). Is this possible?



Sure, as a starting point you can check short envelopes multiplied with an arbitrary source. For the envelope you can take EnvGen, Decay(2) and a number of others. For quick testing of perceptional thresholds you can plug a MouseX into the decay/release time.

x = {, 0.01, 0.03) *, 0, 0.1) }.play


// or use Env with perc, triangle etc.

x = {, 0.1, 1).poll), *, 0, 0.1) 


My favorite for this is a ringing filter:

a = {
	var pulse =,
	// note, the decaying-sine grains will overlap "for free"
	decay =, 0.5);, 440, decay).dup

If the attack is too sharp, see Formlet. (I’ve built almost entire pieces around Formlet.)


Thanks a million, @jamshark70, @dkmayer! I’ll have a closer look at it and get back to you in case of doubt.