Electronic Music Interactive v2

7. Phase

Sometimes it is useful to be able to describe various parts of a single waveform cycle. The term phase is used to specify a particular point in time on the waveform, or to compare the relative position in time of two waveforms.

A waveform can be assigned points in the same way points are described on a circle: from 0 to 360 degrees, with 90, 180, and 270 marking the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 points, respectively.

Diagram 7-1: Phase.

Making phase comparisons allows a musician to express the temporal relationship between two waves. For example, one waveform might be 45 degrees "out of phase" with another waveform.

Comparing Two Waveforms

Example 7-2: Waveforms can be assigned points from 0 to 360 degrees. The waveforms illustrated here can be set so that they are 45 and 90 degrees out of phase.

Phase is an important descriptive element that Electronic Music Interactive will use in the discussion of specific waveforms.