Phasor lookup in cosine

One common usage of the phasor~ object is to readrepeatedly through a stored table of numbers. In that way, instead of just producing a simple linear ramp shape, phasor~ can actually be used to produce any shape. In this example, we're using it to read repeatedly through one half of a sinusoid, so that we repeatedly get just the positive half of a sine wave.

Phasor as control signal

The phasor~ object is an oscillator that makes a "sawtooth" waveform, repeatedly ramping from 0 to 1. (Technically, it goes from 0 to almost 1, because whenever it would arrive at exactly 1, it wraps around and begins again from 0.) You can listen to this sawtooth waveform, but phasor~ is perhaps even more useful as a control signal, to provide a repeated linearly-changing value in your program.

Multiplication of sinusoidal tones

Multiplying one tone by another, in effect, imposes the contour of one waveform on that of the other waveform. For example, mutiplying a 1000 Hz sinusoidal tone by a 3 Hz sinusoidal tone yields something very much like a 1000 Hz sine tone, but with its amplitude continually shaped by the low-frequency oscillator (LFO). Because the LFO goes from 0 to 1 to 0 to -1 to 0 each cycle, the amplitude of the 1000 Hz tone goes from 0 up to 1 and back down to 0, then to -1 and back to 0 for each cycle of the LFO.

Many Unrelated LFOs

By combining numerous low-frequency oscillators with unrelated repetition rates, you can create irregular shapes of modulation and patterns that never exactly repeat, creating a sound that changes in ways that seem constantly varying in somewhat unpredictable ways.

Irrationally out-of-sync phasors

Two oscillators with a ratio of frequencies that's an irrational number will never have exactly the same phase relationship. So, phasor~ objects that have an irrational frequency relationship, when combined, will create a rhythm that never exactly repeats. In this example, you can hear that the sum of the two phasor~ objects with a constantly changing relationship will create a constantly changing rhythm.