simple activites with sound

using the software oscilloscope

using calculator based datalogging





A useful way to examine sound is to use a microphone connected to an oscilloscope. A storage version can capture the sound for display but there is a cost factor and it is not popular among non specialist science teachers.

Today free oscilloscope software is available on the web or on the Junior Science CD, information here. It can be used to capture sound to computer using a simple common interface. All students could do this. There is a basic help file.

Run the Oscilloscope software. Click OnLine to register the sound entering the computer microphone. This will work even for simple inbuilt microphones in laptops. Whistle to see the sound and click Hold to capture it as you do so.

You can capture longer or shorter sections with the buttons shown and the size of the sound can be changed by dragging the Gain control.

Saving to Logger pro allows for further analysis within a familiar interface. The oscilloscope software is flexible and capable but suits more specialist users familiar with the details of oscilloscopes.

Run Notepad and in Oscilloscope Edit...Copy data then in Notepad Edit...Paste Save the file as text. Run Logger Pro and File...Import from...Text file and find your file. This can also be done in spreadsheet software like Excel but for basic scientific data manipulation and analysis, Logger Pro is recommended.

When a data file is saved by File...Save data it is not in a suitable format for import. Copy is recommended for that reason.

Any sound editor could also be used.







If a lower pitch whistle is made the shape changes. If a louder sound is made it changes again. This can form the basis for student worksheets and investigations. If only one computer is available in the class, printouts of examples can be made.