In music, timbre (/ˈtæmbər/ *TAM-bər*, also known as tone color or tone quality from psychoacoustics) is the perceived sound quality of a musical note, sound or tone. Timbre distinguishes different types of sound production, such as choir voices and musical instruments, such as string instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments. It also enables listeners to distinguish different instruments in the same category (e.g. an oboe and a clarinet).
In simple terms, timbre is what makes a particular musical sound have a different sound from another, even when they have the same pitch and loudness. For instance, it is the difference in sound between a guitar and a piano playing the same note at the same volume. Both instruments can sound equally tuned in relation to each other as they play the same note, and while playing at the same amplitude level each instrument will still sound distinctively with its own unique tone color.
Here is an excerpt of timbre major attributes by Robert Erickson taken from the Wikipedia page:
- The range between tonal and noiselike character
- The spectral envelope
- The time envelope in terms of rise, duration, and decay
- The changes both of spectral envelope (formant-glide) and fundamental frequency (micro-intonation)
- The prefix, or onset of a sound, quite dissimilar to the ensuing lasting vibration
Fragment is able to construct any timbres with several methods.