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I'm quite new to digital signal processing and I know about the existence of Matlab's Signal Processing Toolbox, which seems to be broadly used among signal processing researchers. I was wondering if anybody knew about some Python software libraries for signal processing that have similar features and assets of it.

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There are several, but here are some essential ones (IMO):

  • Numpy: Not exclusively a signal processing library, but fundamental due to its powerful array operations, which are essential for handling and manipulating numerical data in signal processing tasks.

  • Scipy.signal: This library builds on NumPy and provides a substantial collection of algorithms for signal processing, including filtering, windowing, Fourier transforms, and more. It's a go-to choice for many standard signal processing operations.

  • Matplotlib: For visualizing signals and the results of signal processing operations, Matplotlib is a highly versatile plotting library. It's essential for data exploration and analysis in signal processing.

  • Librosa: This is a specialized library for audio and music signal processing. It provides functionalities for audio analysis, such as spectral analysis, beat tracking, and feature extraction.

Each of these libraries has its own strengths and is suitable for different aspects of signal processing. The choice of library often depends on the specific requirements of your signal processing task, such as the complexity of the algorithms needed, the type of signals you are working with (audio, time-series, etc.), and the level of integration with other data processing or machine learning pipelines.

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If you're going to do image processing, add OpenCV to Jdip's excellent suggestions for Numpy, Scipy (really, all of it not just scipy.signal) Matplotlib and Librosa.

Note that I don't use MatLab or any of its clones any more because as soon as you get past a hundred lines of code the ease of doing structured and object-oriented code in Python makes it vastly superior to Matlab for maintaining software in the long term. In addition, if you want to actually deploy your work, you can actually just do it in Python.

You may want to look into Jupyter -- it gives an easy-to-use notebook format to using Python. For those tasks that involve ten lines of code, some graphs, ten more lines of code, etc. -- Jupyter is a good replacement for the Matlab console.

If you're doing image processing, OpenCV has an excellent Python port. It tends to be underdocumented in itself, but it follows C++ OpenCV closely enough that you can usually get by on that documentation. After a bit of struggling, you'll get the hang of how the documentation translates (and, for that matter, the documentation for all of the other C++ to Python ports) and things will go smoother.

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