If you have an oscilloscope and feed in two signals, you get a Lissajous pattern. If the two signals have identical pitch and are in phase, you get a circle. If they are 90 degrees out of phase, you get a diagonal line. As the signal pitch changes relative to the reference pitch, the circle appears to spin, one revolution per cycle-per-second difference.
It would be really nice to have an app for a laptop that compares the reference tone presented by the laptop speaker with what is recorded by the microphone. Object: voice training. You can get a visual feedback of how far your (or your instrument) is from the reference pitch.
There was a piano tuner in the dormitory with high tech equipment (not the old fashioned way with tuning forks). He challenged me to sing on pitch. I found that I could hold the Lissajous circle absolutely steady, except for the tick from my heart beat.
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