The mechanism of sound production in tettigoniids is examined by applying the method of 'cepstrum' analysis to insect calls. The power cepstrum is defined as the inverse Fourier transform of the logarithmic power spectrum. This analysis shows that the tettigoniid sound signal is a convolution in time of probably two components. The first is caused by the initial impact of teeth of the stridulatory file on the left wing against the plectrum on the right wing (termed the input pulse); the second is caused by the oscillating properties of the tegmina (these being a function of the intrinsic frequencies of dorsal fields and mirror and their damping properties). In the cepstrum each component appears as a varying number of peaks. The tooth impacts cause a very low frequency peak probably representing the time in which the two tegmina are in contact during each impact and high frequency peaks representing the impulse repetition rate. The oscillating properties of the tegmina cause two major frequency peaks which can be clearly related to the size of the dorsal fields and of the mirror respectively, and therefore to their intrinsic frequencies. The high damping factor of the tegmina together with the transient shape of the tegminal input pulse causes a strong time limitation of the impulses and is therefore responsible for the broad frequency bands occurring in the power spectra of the tettigoniid songs. The impulse generation of a synthetic tettigoniid song is discussed.