My question comes from MUS 204, stating: If we know that the noise wave being looped is 128 samples long, and that the audio playback rate is 44,100 samples per second, calculate the expected pitch of the sound, and compare this to what you measure with a frequency meter.

(I believe samples per second, in other words, is cycles per second. Not completely sure.) I am unsure whether to divide 44,100 samples per second by 128 samples, finding the numbers of seconds, or leave the 44,100 samples per second as is and, if samples per second indicates cycles per second, equate the pitch to be 44,100 Hz. What do you think?

1 Answer 1


If you divide 44,100 by 128, you don't get the number of seconds- you get the number per second, (number of what? cycles, I'll get there...) which is the unit for frequency. Look at your units- you have (samples/second)/samples => 1/second. Then, you just need to look up what pitch this frequency corresponds to, using a table.

Intuitively, this makes sense because frequency is just cycles per second. You are told that a cycle is 128 samples long, and a second is 44100 samples long. How many cycles fit in a second?

The pitch is not 44,100- this answer results from not understanding what a sample is. Your class notes or textbook will probably be the best place to read about this, but here is an additional online source.

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