Generating (and Saving) Tones with SoX

Posted April 19, 2012

by Lensyl Urbano

I’ve been using the command line program SoX to generate tones for my physics demonstrations on sound waves.

Single frequency tones can be used for talking about frequency and wavelength, as well as discussing octaves.

Combine two tones allows you to talk about interference and beats.

SoX can do a lot more than this, so I though I’d compile what I’m using it for in a single, reference post. For the record: I’m using SoX in Terminal on a Mac.

Using SoX

To play a single note (frequency 173.5 Hz) for 5 seconds, use:

> play -n  synth 5 sin 347

To save the note to a mp3 file (called note.mp3) use:

> sox -n note.mp3 synth 5 sin 347

The SoX command to play two notes with frequencies of 347 and 357 Hz is:

> play -n synth 15 sin 347 sin 357

and to make an mp3 file use:

> sox -n beat_10.mp3 synth 15 sin 347 sin 357

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2012. Generating (and Saving) Tones with SoX, Retrieved April 23rd, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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