The initial part of a sound, from its onset to the point where its AMPLITUDE reaches a maximum.
See: CLICK, PULSE, TRANSIENT, diagrams under ENVELOPE, FOURIER ANALYSIS. Compare: DECAY, RISE TIME, STATIONARY STATE.
The attack characteristics of many sounds in the contemporary environment have changed significantly from their older counterparts, often as a result of their electroacoustic production. For example, the electronic triggering of emergency warning signals results in a very fast attack time, whereas earlier devices were constrained by mechanical inertia. See also: IMPACT SOUND.