I am doing some system identification using different signals such as single tone, multi tone, chirp and so on. These days I was trying to get an FFT of a chirp signal and I found a nice code here on Stack Exchange. I am pretty satisfied with the results except that I would like the resolution to be better between f0 and f1, the initial and end frequency. I have tried different methods of interpolating the FFT results, interpolating the magnitude (which is fine more or less but doesn't give me anything on the phase).

To give you a better idea of what I'm talking about, please take a look at the plot. Chirp and FFT Chirp and FFT - zoom

Would you know a way to get a better resolution?

Also the code:

%% Test script
close all
clear all
% create timevector
% get fs
fs =  10e4;
% create timevector
t = linspace(0,0.2,fs);
f0 = 1000;
f1 = 2000;
% chirp in timedomain
SignalChirp = chirp(t,f0,max(t),f1);
% Window length
nfft= length(SignalChirp);
%generate the vector of frequencies
halfn = floor(nfft / 2)+1;
deltaf = str2double(num2str(1/(nfft / fs)));
%deltaf = 1 / ( nfft / fs);
ffft = ((0:(halfn-1)) * deltaf)/t(end);
% perform FFT
X = fft(SignalChirp,nfft);
magni1(1) = abs(X(1)) ./ (nfft);
magni1(2:(halfn-1)) = abs(X(2:(halfn-1))) ./ (nfft / 2);
magni1(halfn) = abs(X(halfn)) ./ (nfft);

title(['Chirp Signal']);
semilogx(ffft,20*log10(magni1)),hold on
  • $\begingroup$ As a side note, why do you convert the calculated $df$ from a number, to a string and back to a number again? The subsequent use of num2str an str2double seems somewhat pointless. $\endgroup$
    – user883521
    Dec 7, 2017 at 19:20

2 Answers 2


Zero-padding before the FFT (which is equivalent to Sinc interpolation after the FFT) will give you a higher resolution plot. Symmetric zero-padding (centered or both edges) will give you similar FFT phase results to the original FFT.


As an alternative to @hotpaw2 ‘s answer. The frequency domain resolution $df$ equals $1/T$, with $T = NFFT / f_s$ the length of your FFT block in seconds. So, in order to increase the resolution between $f_0$ and $f_1$, you could also increase the length of your signal.


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