Saw wave


Audio: saw wave (0:02)

Saw wave
Figure: saw wave

saw wave plays a saw wave. The saw wave figure shows that its waveform is shaped like a series of saw teeth.

A saw wave or sawtooth wave consists of a harmonic series of sine waves in which the amplitude of each sine wave, or partial, is inversely proportional to its number.

The fundamental in saw wave has a frequency of 100 Hz, the second partial is 200Hz and its amplitude is one half of the fundamental, the third partial is 300Hz and its amplitude is one third of the fundamental, and so on.

A saw wave synth can be used to write melody and harmony. It produces a bright and buzzy though rather harsh sound that sounds a little like a brass instrument.

A saw wave is excellent for writing harsh noisy sound effects such as zippers and buzzers.