




What is timbre?

Topic:
Square,Sawtooth, Triangle and Pulse waves 


Here is an animated version of a Square wave. You can see it changing from a Sine wave pattern to a Square wave pattern in the following diagram where the red lines are numbered 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and the scale of the vertical line is in fractions of 1: 

So, a Square wave is composed of only oddnumbered harmonics with amplitudes in the ratio 1/n (f, 3f, 5f, 7f... with amplitudes of 1, 1/3, 1/5, 1/7... ) 
You can see it changing from a Sine wave into a Sawtooth wave in the following diagram where the red lines are numbered 1, 2, 3, .... 20 and the vertical scale is in fractions of 1. The sound is richer than a Square wave sound because all the harmonics are involved here: 

So, a Sawtooth wave has both oddnumbered and evennumbered harmonics with amplitudes in the ratio 1/n (f, 2f, 3f, 4f... with amplitudes of 1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4...) 
A Triangle wave... ... has odd harmonics with amplitudes in the ratio 1/n² (f, 3f, 5f, 7f......with amplitudes or loudness of 1, 1/9, 1/25, 1/49, 1/81........)

This is an animated Pulse wave It seems to have a constantly repeating peak of amplitude.

Timbre mainly depends on harmonic structure. 

Try this Quiz about soundwaves. 