Recording Wavelength Frequencies

My son is doing a Science Fair project on guitar harmonics. On audacity, how do you record wavelength frequencies? We saw an example of what a wavelength should look like as a recording, but we don’t know how to access wavelength recordings. I hope you can help us.

I don’t know that anybody ever speaks of wavelength of an audible tone. Frequency we can do.

This is the Analyze > Spectrum Analyzer of one piano note. G1, I think. Two octaves below middle C. The richer and and more lush and dense the instrument tone is, the more stuff in this display. The fundamental tone is where the cursor is and the note has harmonics every two and three times that frequency. The more harmonics, the richer the tone. So 49Hz, 98Hz, 147Hz, etc. Flutes tend to have pretty simple displays. Wooden instruments very complex.

Did that help?

If you really need wavelength, then you need to get into pipe organs and how they work. Their waves are created in pipes and you can take your Sears and Roebuck tape measure and climb up there and measure them. Guitars are a little hard because you can change the waves two ways. You can move your finger, or you can tighten or loosen the string, so the lesson gets a little fuzzy.


We have one more question. On the Audacity website, we saw a picture of what looked like another type of frequency recording, but it was listed as Linux. Can you explain what Linux is or how to get it?


Linux is a computer operating system. Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, Linux.

That’s the software that makes a pile of expensive electronics into a useful computing tool. They don’t actually do anything by themselves. They allow you to create, buy, or download tools and applications to do useful work. One of those useful tools is Audacity. There are versions of Audacity that are useful on all three computers. Generally, you download the Audacity appropriate to the type of computer you use.


As said, Linux is an operating system. There are many different versions, some designed for desktop computers, some for web servers, some for portable devices, for super-computers, some for all manner of specialist applications. The thing they all have in common is that they are based on the “Linux Kernel” (the core of the Linux operating system).

One way in which Linux differs from Mac and Windows is that it is primarily “open source software”. Most versions of Linux are free.

One of the most popular versions of Linux is “Ubuntu”. It is free, and it runs on ordinary PC computers. It also includes a full suite of programs (also free and open source) for doing just aboutanything on your computer. There is a full office suite, graphics programs, music programs, e-mail, web browsing, instant messenger, educational programs and more. Ubuntu is a very good version of Linux for both beginners and experienced computer users. You can find out more about it here: