Comb filter

A processing filter implemented by adding a delayed version of a signal to itself, causing constructive and destructive interference.

In signal processing, a comb filter is a filter implemented by adding a delayed version of a signal to itself, causing constructive and destructive interference. The frequency response of a comb filter consists of a series of regularly spaced notches, giving the appearance of a comb.

Comb filters are used in a variety of signal processing applications. These include:

  • Cascaded integrator–comb (CIC) filters, commonly used for anti-aliasing during interpolation and decimation operations that change the sample rate of a discrete-time system.
  • 2D and 3D comb filters implemented in hardware (and occasionally software) for PAL and NTSC television decoders. The filters work to reduce artifacts such as dot crawl. One application for comb filters is separating NTSC and PAL color and brightness signals.
  • Audio signal processing, including delay, flanging, and digital waveguide synthesis. For instance, if the delay is set to a few milliseconds, a comb filter can be used to model the effect of acoustic standing waves in a cylindrical cavity or in a vibrating string.
  • In astronomy, the astro-comb promises to increase the precision of existing spectrographs by nearly a hundredfold.

In acoustics, comb filtering can arise in some unwanted ways. For instance, when two loudspeakers are playing the same signal at different distances from the listener, there is a comb filtering effect on the signal. In any enclosed space, listeners hear a mixture of direct sound and reflected sound. Because the reflected sound takes a longer path, it constitutes a delayed version of the direct sound and a comb filter is created where the two combine at the listener.

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Comb filter
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Adapted from content published on wikipedia.org
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Last modified on October 25, 2020, 2:56 pm
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