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Spectral analysis HTML5


Why does each musical instrument have its own timbre?

Why does the same musical note played on two different instruments result in different auditory sensations?

The electrical signal produced by the microphone is a faithful image of the sound emitted by the loudspeaker. The oscilloscope shows us this signal as it changes over time. The signal is is periodic and its frequency corresponds to the pitch of the note.

A study of the frequencies, with the aid of a spectrum analyzer, enables us to represent the same signal in a different way.  It is thanks to this frequency analysis that we can explain the differences in timbre among musical instruments.

Select an instrument on the synthesizer then press a key. The two middle buttons enable you to choose the format of the graphic display.

Rollover the screens to get more information.

Learning goals

  • To distinguish between the ideas of "period", "frequency", "temporal analysis" and "frequency analysis"
  • To illustrate the principle of wave decomposition using Fourier analysis.
  • To approach the basics of musical acoustics.

Learn more

A synthesizer, as its name implies, permits the generation of different sounds. Sound is a mechanical (or acoustic) wave that propagates through a fluid, in this case air.

In order to perceive…

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