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Assignment 3: Spectrum & Spectrograms

September 11, 2009

Stable Harmonic Sound:

For this one I found a clip of someone playing a G-scale on a fiddle. I left the spectrogram pretty much untouched, just tweaked the scale a bit to see more of the sound. It shows great harmonics and this is reflected in the spectrum in its linear form.

Sounds of Stanford
Sounds of Stanford

To add onto this, I found it interesting to see a similar shape emerge when looking at a slide whistle. It’s great how well you can see the pitch change on the spectrogram, though the spectrum is rather untouched. (I used the 3rd whistle in the clip)
Sounds of Stanford
Sounds of Stanford

Sharp Attacks:

Here I was able to locate a good chunk of the sounds made as someone is typing on an old typewriter. With this sound, there is very little to see in the spectrum as the sounds consist of just noise and very quick ones at that. The spectrogram is useful when the time scale is enlarged to be able to see the attacks go through many frequencies simultaneously.
Sounds of Stanford
Sounds of Stanford


This sound is of a metal plate being banged (original, I know), but it really does show a great amount of detail in the inharmonic range of frequencies that show up at the same time as the sound diminishes when looking in the spectrogram. In taking a segment of the sound at the beginning of its decay in the spectrum, you can see that there is a steady range of frequencies that die off over time.
Sounds of Stanford
Sounds of Stanford


In the last section, I found a good recording of a nightingale singing. I chose a part that had a great visual representation of the change of pitch within the spectrogram and similarly was able to find the range of the harmonics displayed in the spectrum when it similarly was in a linear scale.
Sounds of Stanford
Sounds of Stanford

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 13, 2009 6:08 pm

    Not a very good player recorded the violin sound!!

    It would have been better to plot the frequencies with a linear scale, so we would see the harmonics equally spaced. Also in the spectrum, the amplitudes would be better shown in DB scale. The whistle is really nice.

    Typewriter, metal plate and bird are nice.


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