# Audio Engineering MCQ Questions and Answers – Sound Characteristics – Overtones and Timbre

This set of Audio Engineering Multiple Choice Questions & Answers (MCQs) focuses on “Sound Characteristics – Overtones and Timbre”.

1. What can be termed as frequencies higher than the fundamental frequencies?
a) Overtones
b) Timbre
c) Pitch
d) Frequency

Explanation: Overtones can be defined as frequencies higher than the fundamental frequencies. The base frequency i.e. the lowest frequency in the spectrum is called the fundamental and all of the other elements are called the overtones. The overtones are numbered sequentially from the fundamental.

2. How many set of frequencies comprise the spectrum?
a) 1
b) 2
c) 3
d) 4

Explanation: The set of three frequencies comprise the spectrum. For example, a sound might consist of sine waves at 100 Hz, 260Hz and 400Hz. Here the fundamental is 100 Hz and the overtones are 260 Hz and 400Hz.

3. What makes two musical instruments sound different when they are playing the same note?
a) Overtones
b) Timbre
c) Frequency
d) Pitch

Explanation: Timbre is what makes two musical instrument sounds different when they are playing the same note. When you hear some person’s sound and recognize him/her without seeing is called the timbre of sound.

4. The set of overtones does not have to be static.
a) True
b) False

Explanation: Individual overtones can become quieter or louder as the sound evolves through time. In fact, some overtones might disappear completely while new ones are created. So, set of overtones does not have to be static.

5. Overtones can be classified as harmonic or inharmonic.
a) True
b) False

Explanation: If the overtone is a simple integer multiple of the fundamental frequency then it is called harmonic, otherwise it is inharmonic. For example, a sound might consist of sine waves at 100 Hz, 260Hz and 400Hz. Here 260 Hz is inharmonic while 400 Hz is harmonic.

6. Which of the following sounds are considered inharmonic?
a) Thunder and splattering of rain
b) Thunder and trumpet
c) Saxophone and trumpet
d) Trumpet and flute

Explanation: A sound is called inharmonic when the overtone is not a simple integer multiple of the fundamental frequency. Environmental sound such as thunder, running water, footsteps, washing machine whirring and splattering of rain is considered as inharmonic sounds.

7. Which of the following sounds are considered harmonic?
a) Thunder and splattering of rain
b) Flute and trumpet
c) Thunder and trumpet
d) Thunder and saxophone

Explanation: Musical instruments often produce a harmonic sequence of overtones. This is true for instruments that rely on the resonance of tensioned strings (guitar, violin, piano etc.) or air columns (trumpet, saxophone, flute etc.). Musical instrument such as trumpet, saxophone and flute is considered as harmonic sounds.

8. Which sounds are generally pitched regarding human speech?
a) Vowels
b) Consonants
c) Amplitude
d) Resonant

Explanation: The list of overtones appears to be more or less randomly assigned through the frequency spectrum and it continuously evolves. So, vowels are pitched regarding human speech. Vowels are generally pitched and consonants are unpitched regarding human speech.

9. What is the interval between 400 Hz and 100 Hz?
a) 4
b) 16
c) 40,000
d) 128

Explanation: Here, n1 = 400 and n2 = 100
Absolute interval or interval = n1 / n2
Interval = 400 Hz / 100 Hz
= 4
The term interval refers to a step up or step down in pitch by the ratio of the frequencies is involved.

Sanfoundry Global Education & Learning Series – Audio Engineering.

To practice all areas of Audio Engineering, here is complete set of 1000+ Multiple Choice Questions and Answers.

If you find a mistake in question / option / answer, kindly take a screenshot and email to [email protected]