Waveforms are graphical representations of the shape and form of a signal moving. Their shapes determine what the signal sounds like: its timbre. The sound produced by a waveform depends on its shape, and these can be random and complex. For example, synths and modern keyboards create sounds with complex waveforms. The waveform of steady periodic sounds affects its timbre. 

The Wave in Waveforms

A sound signal is a feature of a wave that can be a single pulse or a series of pulses that osculate following a specific pattern. A wave is a basic structure of periodic oscillations that occur with a fixed pattern and frequency. 

There are several properties that can affect how waveforms sound, such as noise, amplitude, and frequency. Firstly, the amplitude determines the size of the waveform; the larger the amplitude, the louder the sound. Secondly, the frequency determines the pitch of the waveform; the faster the signal changes, the higher the pitch.


Waveforms can be visualized in an oscilloscope. In addition, the most common types of waveforms include sine waves, square waves, triangle waves, as well as sawtooth waves. All types of waveforms involve time, wavelength, and amplitude. 

Sine waves are the simplest type of waveform. They include a single fundamental frequency. In addition, they don’t involve overtones or harmonics. Overall, they produce a clean and smooth sound. Square waves are a more complex type of waveform and they contain odd harmonic content. As a result, they sound rich and buzzy. Moreover, triangle waves include a fundamental sound, as well as odd harmonics. These waves produce a sound that audiences perceive as a combination of the sounds generated by sine waves and square waves. Finally, the sawtooth waves are the richest type of waveform and they contain both odd and even harmonics. These last type sound harsh and buzzy.