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I am reading the following article

Schwarz, K. Robert. "Steve Reich: Music as a Gradual Process: Part I." Perspectives of New Music (1980): 373-392.

Here is a paywalled link. On page 385, there is a passage about Steve Reich's It's Gonna Rain . I don't understand the first sentence of that passage:

It's Gonna Rain is two parts, the first taking the title phrase from a unison synchronization of two channels through a complete shift of phase, and then back to the original unison again.

What is a "unison synchronization of two channels"?

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Unison usually means that two instruments are playing the same notes together. In this case, we have two tracks playing back the same recording - of the phrase "It's gonna rain".

Synchronisation means that things are aligned in time.

And the two channels are just the Left and Right channels in a stereo mix

Listening to the piece on headphones might make things clearer - I think the section being written about starts around 2:30 and ends about 7:30. You can hear the Left and Right stereo channels go out of phase, and then come back into synchronisation again:

Having said that, the particular phrasing "unison synchronization of two channels" is odd. Talking about unison and synchronisation is a bit tautological as the concept of unison includes the concept of being in sync; and arguably it's not so much that the channels themselves that are in sync so much as the snippets of audio that are being repeated.

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