By Will Cragoe, Sacred Heart-Griffin H.S., Illinois, United States
This lab helps students understand the connection between sound, music and math. They'll get to hear for themselves how cosines combine to create sound on real speakers.
There is a strong connection between sound, music, and mathematics. Every sound signal has what is called a “fundamental frequency.” If a sound signal has a frequency of f Hertz, then the positive integer multiples of f are called the “harmonics” of that frequency. In this project, students will create a VI in LabVIEW that will illustrate what harmonics sound like.
This lab can be very useful when studying the mathematics related to sound. In particular, I use it in my Engineering/Infinity Project course during our chapter on digital sound and digital music. It could also be used in a physics class. In order to do this project, students first need an understanding of basic sound signals and creating Vis in LabVIEW, as well as using the numeric indicators, slider bars, wiring, add blocks, choose blocks, cosine generator, and using the speedy-33 DSP board.