I have a little problem with the subject Theory of signal. We were told to make amplitude and phase spectrum of cosinus in MATLAB, but we don't have results nor materials from our teachers, so we have to study from many different materials and you can imagine what this is like. So I'm a little confused.

However, I did some graphs, that should be what I want, according to instructions, but I have never seen something like that, so I'm not sure, if that's right.

enter image description here

Do these graphs make any sense to you? I used fast Fourier transform (fft(y) in MATLAB) on the signal and then plot the result of transform versus sample frequency and I thought it's possible to get phase of the signal by angle(fft(y)), so I plotted this on the last graph. I'm very unsure especially by the third graph.

I would like to apologize for incorrect notions I might use, 'cause I'm not a native english speaker.

Thanks for any help.


This is the most simple FT that you should understand. The basic rule is: a sine of frequency f0 in time domain is a delta at f0 and -f0 in frequency. You can do this theoretically, as shown in http://mathworld.wolfram.com/FourierTransformCosine.html.

Those peaks in your graph are consistent with this. However, it isn't true that there is a peak in at 90Hz. The peaks should be at 10 Hz and -10 Hz. There are two possible approaches here:

a) Use fftshift to correct this issue. This will take each frequency to its real place.

Fs=100; %sampling frequency
T=1; %signal length
N=T*Fs;     %number of samples
f=-Fs/2:Fs/N:Fs/2-Fs/N; %frequency vector
plot(f,abs(Xf)) %magnitude

b) Assume the signal is real, so the spectrum is symmetric. It is true in this case, but it doesn't have to. You could just plot the first half of your fft, i.e. from 0 Hz to 50 Hz.

By the way, if you plot plot(f,abs(Xf)/N), you will find that the peaks have an amplitude of 0.5A (being A the amplitude of the sinusoid). The phase plot seems OK to me, especially after fftshift-ing it.


Look at this MATLAB function, it can calculate phase spectrum as well as amplitude spectrum with a perfect accuracy.

This program calculates amplitude and phase spectra of an input signal with acceptable accuracy especially in the calculation of phase spectrum.The code does three main jobs for calculation amplitude and phase spectra. First of all, it extends the input signal to infinity; because for calculation Fourier transform(FT) (fft function in Matlab), we consider our signal is periodic with an infinite wavelength, the code creates a super_signal by putting original signal next to itself until the length of super_signal is around 1000000 samples, why did I choose 1000000 samples? Actually, it is just based on try and error!! For me, a supper signal with 1000000 samples has the best output.

Second, for calculating fft in Matlab you can choose different resolutions, the Mathwork document and help use NFFT=2^nextpow2(length(signal)), it definitely isn't enough for one that wants high accuracy output. Here, I choose the resolution of NFFT=100000 that works for most signals.

Third, programs filters result of FT by thresholding, it is very important! For calculating phase spectrum, its result is very noisy because of floating rounding off error, it causes during calculation arctan even small rounding off error produces significant noise in the result of phase spectrum, for suppressing this kind of noise you can define a threshold value. It means if amplitude of specific frequency is less than a predefined threshold value (you must define it) it put zero instead of it.

These three steps help to improve the result of amplitude and phase spectra significantly.


Afshin Aghayan, Priyank Jaiswal, and Hamid Reza Siahkoohi (2016). ”Seismic denoising using the redundant lifting scheme.” GEOPHYSICS, 81(3), V249-V260. https://doi.org/10.1190/geo2015-0601.1

Thank you! Afshin Aghayan 2017

% This program calculates amplitude and phase spectrums of an input signal
% with acceptable accuracy especially in the calculation of phase spectrum.
% (version 1.0)
% "data" must be a 1-D signal.
% "dt" must be the time interval of signal
% "which_spectrum"
%       if you put 'a' the output is just amplitude spectrum
%       if you put 'p' the output is just phase spectrum
%       if you put 'ap' the output is both amplitude and phase spectrums (default)
% "color" you can specify the color of plots for example 'black', 'red', ...
%     default is 'blue' (good option for comparison of two signals)
% "threshold" you can choose a threshold value (it must be positive) for 
%      removing some frequencies with amplitudes lower than the threshold value; 
%      its default value is zero
% "deg_OR_rad"
%           if you put 'deg' the angle of phase spectrum is based on degree (default)
%           if you put 'rad' the angle of phase spectrum is based on radian
% n=0:1:999;
% dt=0.001;
% signal=cos(2*pi*10*n*dt+50)+cos(2*pi*73*n*dt-121)+cos(2*pi*184*n*dt+30)+...
%       +cos(2*pi*218*n*dt-57)+cos(2*pi*346*n*dt+74);
% ft_spect(signal,0.001,'ap','red',0.1,'rad')
  • $\begingroup$ Hi. Care to explain what the code actually does and what is the method behind it? It looks like script with constants which are not explained well. I am guessing that you are the author. $\endgroup$
    – jojek
    Jul 24 '17 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for useful comment, you were right, I updated my answer $\endgroup$
    – user29904
    Jul 25 '17 at 9:14

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