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Signal Statistics

This example shows how to perform statistical measurements on an input data stream using DSP System Toolbox™ functionality available at the MATLAB® command line. You will compute the signal statistics minimum, maximum, mean and the spectrum and plot them.


This example computes signal statistics using DSP System Toolbox System objects. These objects handle their states automatically reducing the amount of hand code needed to update states reducing the possible chance of coding errors.

These System objects pre-compute many values used in the processing. This is very useful when you are processing signals of same properties in a loop. For example, in computing an FFT, the values of sine and cosine can be computed and stored once you know the properties of the input and these values can be reused for subsequent calls. Also the objects check only whether the input properties are of same type as previous inputs in each call.


Here you initialize some of the variables used in the code and instantiate the System objects used in your processing. These objects also pre-compute any necessary variables or tables resulting in efficient processing calls later inside a loop.

frameSize = 1024; % Size of one chunk of signal to be processed in one loop

% Here you create a System object to read from a specified audio file and
% set its output data type.
hfileIn = dsp.AudioFileReader(which('speech_dft.mp3'), ...
            'SamplesPerFrame', frameSize, ...
            'OutputDataType', 'double');

fileInfo = info(hfileIn);
Fs = fileInfo.SampleRate;

Create an FFT System object to compute the FFT of the input.

hfft = dsp.FFT;

Create System objects to calculate mean, minimum and maximum and set them to running mode. In running mode, you compute the statistics of the input for its entire length in the past rather than the statistics for just the current input.

hmean = dsp.Mean('RunningMean', true);
hmin  = dsp.Minimum('RunningMinimum', true);
hmax  = dsp.Maximum('RunningMaximum', true);

Create audio output System object. Note that audio output to speakers from small chunks of data in a loop is possible using the AudioPlayer System object. Using sound or audioplayer in MATLAB, either overlaps or introduces gaps in audio playback.

haudioOut = dsp.AudioPlayer('SampleRate', Fs, ...
                            'QueueDuration', 1);

% Initialize figures for plotting
s = hfigsstats(frameSize, Fs);

Stream Processing Loop

Here you call your processing loop which will calculate the mean, min, max, FFT, and filter the data using the System objects.

Note that inside the loop you are reusing the same FFT System object twice. Since the input data properties do not change, this enables reuse of objects here. This reduces memory usage. The loop is stopped when you reach the end of input file, which is detected by the AudioFileReader object.

while ~isDone(hfileIn)
    % Audio input from file
    sig = step(hfileIn);

    % Compute FFT of the input audio data
    fftoutput = step(hfft, sig);
    fftoutput = fftoutput(1:512); % Store for plotting

    % The hmean System object keeps track of the information about past
    % samples and gives you the mean value reached until now. The same is
    % true for hmin and hmax System objects.
    meanval = step(hmean, sig);
    minimum = step(hmin, sig);
    maximum = step(hmax, sig);

    % Play output audio
    step(haudioOut, sig);

    % Plot the data you have processed
    s = plotstatsdata(s, minimum, maximum, sig.', meanval, fftoutput);
pause(haudioOut.QueueDuration); % Wait for audio to finish


Here you call the release method on the System objects to close any open files and devices.



You have seen visually that the code involves just calling successive System objects with appropriate input arguments and does not involve maintaining any more variables like indices or counters to compute the statistics. This helps in quicker and error free coding. Pre-computation of constant variables inside the objects generally lead to faster processing time.


Following helper functions are used in this example.

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