In electronics and telecommunications, modulation is the process of varying one or more properties of a periodic waveform, called the carrier signal (high frequency signal), with a modulating signal that typically contains information to be transmitted. In telecommunications, modulation is the process of conveying a message signal, for example a digital bit stream or an analog audio signal, inside another signal that can be physically transmitted. Modulation of a sine waveform transforms a baseband message signal into a passband signal.

A modulator is a device that performs modulation. A demodulator (sometimes detector or demod) is a device that performs demodulation, the inverse of modulation. A modem (from modulatordemodulator) can perform both operations.In digital modulation, an analog carrier signal is modulated by a discrete signal. Digital mod- ulation methods can be considered as digital-to-analog conversion, and the corresponding demodulation or detection as analog-to-digital conversion. The changes in the carrier signal are chosen from a finite number of M alternative symbols (the modulation alphabet).