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.


  • Create a VI that will create and add together at least 6 cosine signals and then output them to the speakers.
  • Describe what the VI file does to create the sound(s) they hear.