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The type property of the OscillatorNode interface represents the shape of the oscillator wave generated. Different waves will produce different tones.


var oscillator = audioCtx.createOscillator();
oscillator.type = 'square';


A DOMString specifying the shape of oscillator wave. The different available values are:

  • sine
  • square
  • sawtooth
  • triangle
  • custom

Note: You can use the OscillatorNode.setPeriodicWave method when using custom to use a custom wave type.


The following example shows basic usage of an AudioContext to create an oscillator node. For an applied example, check out our Violent Theremin demo (see app.js for relevant code).

// create web audio api context
var audioCtx = new (window.AudioContext || window.webkitAudioContext)();

// create Oscillator node
var oscillator = audioCtx.createOscillator();

oscillator.type = 'square';
oscillator.frequency.value = 440; // value in hertz


Specification Status Comment
Web Audio API
The definition of 'type' in that specification.
Working Draft  

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 14 webkit (Yes) 23 No support 15 webkit
22 (unprefixed)
6 webkit
Feature Android Chrome Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Firefox OS IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support No support 28 webkit (Yes) 25 1.2 No support No support webkit

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: abbycar, alxjnssn, chrisdavidmills, lamarqua, fscholz, arslonga
 Last updated by: abbycar,