Standard advice for writing a preface tells the author to begin by answering the
question, “Why did you write this book?” The published answers almost always
include an explanation of how something is still missing in the already vast body of
existing literature, and how the book in question represents a valiant attempt to fill the
void at least partially.
This book is no exception. There still is a dearth of good collections of step-bystep
procedures, or recipes, for design and implementation of anything beyond just
the most elementary DSP procedures. This book is an attempt to fill this void—at least
partially. However, the tagline for this book is most definitely not meant to be, “Get
a result without really gaining much understanding along the way.” Here, the focus is
clearly on the recipes, but supporting explanations and mathematical material are also
provided. This supporting material is set off in such a way so that it is easily bypassed
if the reader so desires.
This book provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the nuances of certain interesting
topics within DSP. A good alternative title might be Exploring the Nooks and
Crannies of Digital Signal Processing. As with all books, every reader will not resonate
with every topic, but I’m confident that each reader will share an interest in a large subset
of the topics presented.
Note 1, Navigating the DSP Landscape, provides diagrams that map the relationships
among all the book’s various topics. One diagram is dedicated to processing techniques
that operate on real-valued digital signals to modify in some way the properties of those
signals while leaving their fundamental real-valued and digital natures intact. A second
diagram is dedicated to processing techniques that are concerned primarily with
conversion between real-valued digital signals and other entities such as analog signals,
complex-valued signals, and estimated spectra.