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Introduction to Digital Filters: with Audio Applications [Paperback]

Julius O. Smith III
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 8, 2007 0974560715 978-0974560717
A digital filter can be pictured as a “black box” that accepts a sequence of numbers and emits a new sequence of numbers. In digital audio signal processing applications, such number sequences usually represent sounds. For example, digital filters are used to implement graphic equalizers and other digital audio effects. This book is a gentle introduction to digital filters, including mathematical theory, illustrative examples, some audio applications, and useful software starting points. The theory treatment begins at the high-school level, and covers fundamental concepts in linear systems theory and digital filter analysis. Various “small” digital filters are analyzed as examples, particularly those commonly used in audio applications. Matlab programming examples are emphasized for illustrating the use and development of digital filters in practice.

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Introduction to Digital Filters: with Audio Applications + Mathematics of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT): with Audio Applications ---- Second Edition + Spectral Audio Signal Processing
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Julius O. Smith is a research engineer and musician devoted to developing new technologies for music. He received the B.S.E.E. degree from Rice University, Houston, TX, in 1975 (Control, Circuits, and Communication). He received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in E.E. from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, in 1978 and 1983, respectively. His Ph.D. research was devoted to improved methods for digital filter design and system identification applied to music and audio systems. From 1975 to 1977 he worked in the Signal Processing Department at ESL, Sunnyvale, CA, on systems for digital communications. From 1982 to 1986 he was with the Adaptive Systems Department at Systems Control Technology, Palo Alto, CA, where he worked in the areas of adaptive filtering and spectral estimation. From 1986 to 1991 he was employed at NeXT Computer, Inc., responsible for sound, music, and signal processing software for the NeXT computer workstation. After NeXT, he became an Associate Professor at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford, teaching courses and pursuing research related to signal processing techniques applied to music and audio systems. Continuing this work, he is presently a Professor of Music and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering (by courtesy) at Stanford University. For more information, see

Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: W3K Publishing (October 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974560715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974560717
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julius O. Smith III teaches a music signal-processing course sequence and supervises related research at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He is formally a professor of music and associate professor (by courtesy) of electrical engineering at Stanford University. In 1975, he received his BS/EE degree from Rice University, where he got a good start in the field of digital signal processing and modeling for control. In 1983, he received the PhD/EE degree from Stanford University, specializing in techniques for digital filter design and system identification, with application to violin modeling. His work history includes the Signal Processing Department at Electromagnetic Systems Laboratories, Inc., working on systems for digital communications, the Adaptive Systems Department at Systems Control Technology, Inc., working on research problems in adaptive filtering and spectral estimation, and NeXT Computer, Inc., where he was responsible for sound, music, and signal processing software for the NeXT computer workstation. Prof. Smith is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society and the Acoustical Society of America. He is the author of four online books and numerous research publications in his field. For further information, see

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical introduction to digital filters January 29, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've got to hand it to two particular authors for bringing the subject of digital filters to musicians and the subject of music to engineers and computer scientists - Perry Cook and the author of this book, Julius O. Smith. Until recently only Mr. Cook's books have been in print. Mr. Smith's books have been purely in the online realm unless you are an actual student of his. Now two of his online publications are available for those of us interested in the practical details of musical signal processing. There is this book, of course, and also the excellent "Mathematics of the Discrete Fourier Transform".

I've already read the two books in print - and skimmed through the dozens more Mr. Smith has on his website. The online access gives you a good idea of whether or not you want to purchase these books, but to get access to the problem sets you need the print version of the book. For the low price compared to other signal processing books, believe me it's worth it. By working through both the math and the practical applications of filter design in processing audio, the author gives the reader a real intuition for the subject. You might want to have Oppenheim and Schafer's book on the subject, "Discrete Time Signal Processing", on hand for the rigorous mathematics part of signal processing. Keep this one on hand if you want to see signal processing in action and explained carefully. I find both books to be essential depending on what I'm doing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book. I wish I had this 10 years ago December 5, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book. I've only worked my way about 1/2 way through it so far, but it gives a perfect balance of practical and theoretical background so real engineers can get real work done. For the areas it covers, this book is much more understandable than Oppenheim And Schafer. For the areas it doesn't cover, it's still more understandable though a little less informative. :-)

The great thing about this book is that it gives you pointers to real tools and real implementations for getting work done (i.e. lots of matlab examples, c examples, etc).

It's a bargain at twice the price.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb resource February 1, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have designed digital signal processing algorithms for twenty years. Having studied classic texts such as the Oppenheim and Schafer "Digital Signal Processing," I had a fairly good "technician's" understanding of how to use FFTs and design digital filters, or so I thought.

However, the underlying visual concepts eluded me. How do the signal analyzer outputs and Matlab plots really map to the complicated mathematics forming their foundation? Far too much was "left up to the reader," so forget the proofs and move on.

Then I encountered the Stanford University CCRMA resource created by Dr. Smith. I began to study the bite-sized chunks of core-course education on the DFT...a few chapters later, I was ready to add the hardcopies to my library.

As "Fretboard Logics" unlock the mysteries of guitar playing, so does this resource unlock the mathematics in terms that can be easily understood. Dr. Smith's instruction is revolutionary, a reformation in dissimenating knowledge all too carefully guarded by an academic elite. Is it a shame that a music department has to educate engineers in basic mathematical principles? No complaining...just buy the books!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!! There are few treasures like this one. December 19, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is free online, but I referred to it so many times that I decided to buy it. This book has an excellent flow with relevant matlab (or free octave) examples. It starts from the very basic and proceeds at a nice pace. I used it as a review and was very pleased with its contents. Thank you Julius for an excellent book.
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