I'm following a tutorial about the FFT. It's well explained but I don't understand the meaning of the frequency vector:

Fs = 150; % Sampling frequency
t = 0:1/Fs:1; % Time vector of 1 second 
f = 5; % Create a sine wave of f Hz.
x = sin(2*pi*t*f); 
nfft = 1024; % Length of FFT

% Take fft, padding with zeros so that length(X) 
is equal to nfft 
X = fft(x,nfft);
% FFT is symmetric, throw away second half
X = X(1:nfft/2); 
% Take the magnitude of fft of x
mx = abs(X);
% Frequency vector
f = (0:nfft/2-1)*Fs/nfft; 

% Generate the plot, title and labels. 
title('Sine Wave Signal'); 
xlabel('Time (s)'); 
title('Power Spectrum of a Sine Wave'); 
xlabel('Frequency (Hz)'); 

Can someone explain me what is this for:

f= (0:nfft/2-1)*Fs/nfft;

Here is the link


1 Answer 1


nfft = 1024
Fs = 150
so f = (0:511)x(150/1024)
ie f will go from 0x(150/1024) = 0 to 511x(150/1024) = 75
So, you are plotting the magnitude of the frequency spectrum from 0 to 75 Hz.
The spectrum is periodic & will repeat for 75 to 150 Hz hence you are plotting from 0 to Fs/2

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer, can you explain me why we do nfft/2-1 and Fs/nfft. Thanks a lot! $\endgroup$
    – Pulse9
    Jul 29, 2014 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ The frequency spectrum information is stored in nfft bins when u do fft. U need to plot from 0 to Fs/2 with Fs number of samples in between. U only need nfft/2 number of bin data to plot the frequency spectrum. -1 is just so that u have nfft/2 number of samples since 0: nfft/2 will have 513 samples instead of the 512 required $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2014 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot, just one last question, why we take the first half and not the second half,(X = X(nfft/2:end); ) because it goes from MaxFreq to 0 Freq to Max Freq, if we take the first half we should get the [Max Freq to 0 Freq] isnt it? and the second should be the correct one? from 0 to Max Freq? the outer should be the Max Freq and the center the 0? $\endgroup$
    – Pulse9
    Jul 30, 2014 at 2:48
  • $\begingroup$ when u take fft of a real signal, u get a negative & positive frequency component. ie. if your x axis is (0,Fs) & u take (0:nfft-1) as ur freq. vector, then u will get 2 signals, one at 5 Hz & other at Fs-5 Hz. This 2nd signal is actually the negative frequency component. Therefore (0 : nfft/2-1) will give positive frequency component & (nfft/2 : nfft-1) will give negative frequency component. $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2014 at 8:05

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