[PD] fft beginner question

Chuckk Hubbard badmuthahubbard at gmail.com
Tue Nov 20 17:01:44 CET 2007

On Nov 20, 2007 5:39 PM, Frank Barknecht <fbar at footils.org> wrote:
> For some calculations polar, for others cartesian coordinates are
> easier to use. To quote Miller:
>   The main reason we use complex numbers in electronic music is
>   because they magically automate trigonometric calculations. We
>   frequently have to add angles together in order to talk about the
>   changing phase of an audio signal as time progresses (or as it is
>   shifted in time, as in this chapter). It turns out that, if you
>   multiply two complex numbers, the argument of the product is the sum
>   of the arguments of the two factors.

I still don't exactly understand why one couldn't just use (x, y)
vectors; why the y value has to be multiplied by something imaginary.
I mean, i/j is *defined as* the square root of -1, but it can't really
*be* the square root of -1...  I've accepted it and moved on to more
practical questions, but that is still mysterious for me.


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