I am implementing a fractional delay for resampling purposes, using the Farrow structure to enable continuously variable delays. For now I am simply using windowed sinc functions as my low-pass filters. My method was originally as follows:

  1. Create a series of $K$ $N$-sample windowed sinc functions covering the delay range: $N/2-1$ to $N/2$, and all the fractional delay values ($d$) in between.
  2. For each sample across all the filters, create a $K-1^{th}$ order polynomial in d to replace the coefficients.
  3. Stick the poynomial coefficients into a Farrow structure filter, and Bob's your uncle.

However, on reading some papers this for example, it became apparent that I need to consider the "overall filter"; all the separate polyphase branch filters from the farrow structure lumped together. Now, taking this into account, if I crate my individual filters as above, ranging from $N/2-1$ to $N/2$, then I have a problem, as shown in the image. The "overall filter" is not a nice lowpass function anymore. Essentially it the two filters at $N/2-1$ and $N/2$ are the same, just delayed 1 sample, so we get the reptition of values shown in the plot.

Bad sinc

My attempt at solving this is instead to create my initial filters over the range N/2-1+0.5/K : N/2-0.5/K. This way, they are still evenly distributed in terms of delay and now the "overall filter" looks great:

Good sinc (yes I know it's not windowed :)

BUT... now my delays do not cover a full sample of fractional delay, but instead $1-1/K$ samples. The only way to approach a full 1-sample range is to increase $K$, the number of filters created at the start, and this is not ideal as it just increases computation and I am VERY restricted in that sense.

I also tried a second approach, creating $K$ original filters, then approximating with an $L^{th}$ order polynomial, where $L < K$. This allows me to create a large ($K$) number of filters to start with, so I can get very close to the full N/2-1 : N/2 range, then approximate with a low order polynomial. This is OK, but it does introduce some unwanted artefacts into the "overall filter" response.

So, my questions is this: Is there a way to have it all; a low-order farrow fractional delay filter, that covers the full range of a sample delay, without introducing any nasties into the frequency response of the "overall filter"?

Any thoughts welcome :)

P.S. I know the sinc functions in the plots are rectangular windowed and thus have a high sidelobes, but this is not my problem.


2 Answers 2


Do you think this link could help you?


I'm not sure I understand 100% of your problem, but IIRC when implementing fractional delays with say a FIR filter of 13 coefficients, you should stick with a group delay between 6 and 7.


Use a lower order polynomial than K-1 and feed the polynomial fitter more sample points than K from your windowed Sinc, including below and above +-N/2. Otherwise the lobe interpolators within the Farrow structure won't splice together nicely without larger discontinuities at the splice points.

  • $\begingroup$ Ahhh, so you go beyond the required delay range. That didn't occur to me! Will give it a shot, thanks $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2016 at 8:51

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