An inverter multiplies an incoming control voltage by –1. In the case of a gate or logic inverter, it reverses the high and low states so that (for example) 0v becomes 5v and 5v becomes 0v. This is sometimes referred to as a polarizer, as it changes the polarity (+ versus –) of a signal.
A control voltage inverter is often combined with an offset voltage to adjust the output voltage into the desired range. For example, if you had an envelope generator that had an output range of 0 to +8 volts, and you just inverted it, the result would be 0 to –8 volts. Since some modules such as voltage controlled amplifiers usually expect only positive voltages, you would then need to add 8 volts to that result to get an upside-down (inverted) envelope that still had an overall range of 0 to +8v.« Back to Glossary Index