Rhythm Creation - Music Production and Sound Reocording

Sine, Square, Triangle and Sawtooth are the basic waveforms (a graphical representation of a sound) used in most popular synthesizers. Most oscillators (The part of a synthesizer which generates the basic waveform) can produce all four of these basic waveforms. All are very different sounding and have their own characteristics which can greatly affect the mood of the sound synthesized.

I believe that by learning what each of these basic waveforms sounds and looks like can be a great way for anyone starting out using synthesizers to be able to start learning to hear a synthesized sound and then go on to reproduce that sound on their own.

Below are images of these four basic waveforms as well as audio examples for each.

Sine Wave
The wave that most of use will visually imagine when we hear the word wave. Can be great for producing very low bass sounds that sound smooth.

Sine Waveform

Download a mp3 of this waveform.

As the name suggest the waveform looks square and this creates a unique sound compared to the other four waveforms.

Square Waveform

Download a mp3 of this waveform.

A triangle wave is a very basic waveform where the pattern rises and then falls by the same gradient creating a triangle shape.

Triangle Waveform

Download a mp3 of this waveform.

The dirtiest sounding of the four basic waves, it is named sawtooth because it looks like the teeth of a saw. You can also get a reverse sawtooth waveform where the slow gradient and steep fall are swapped around.

Sawtooth Waveform

Download a mp3 of this waveform.

Hopefully this article has allowed you to see and hear the basic waveforms so you can begin to identify them when you hear sounds that have been created using these waveforms as a starting point.

All images of the waveforms are made using Audacity Article written by Edward Cufaude for Rhythm Creation.

No votes yet


  • Please leave any comments you have below.