A Bode Plot of a filter frequency response separately graphs the log-magnitude and phase versus log-frequency.16We are only concerned here with log-magnitude plots, and will omit consideration of the Bode phase plot, which happen to behave as expected naturally. The usual choice of log-magnitude units is decibels (dB) (relative to an arbitrary reference, such as ), and the log-frequency axis is typically either in octaves ( ) or decades ( ). Thus, a single pole is said to give a roll-off of dB per octave or dB per decade. Octaves are typical in audio signal processing while decades are typical in the field of automatic control.
Figure 1 illustrates the Bode plot and its associated ``stick diagram'' (comprised of asymptotic gains) for a single pole at . We see that the response is flat for low frequencies, drops to dB at the break frequency , and approaches the dB per decade asymptote, reaching the asymptote quite well by one decade above the break frequency at .
For a general filter transfer function having poles and zeros
where , , , and is typically or . For mathematical simplicity, however, we'll choose instead and , giving
where . In this choice of units, integrators give a magnitude roll-off of ``nepers per neper'', while differentiators give a slope of in the Bode magnitude plot
Our problem is to find poles and zeros of to minimize some norm of the error
where denotes the derivative of with respect to , is the desired slope of the log-magnitude frequency-response versus log frequency , and denotes a real, nonnegative weighting function.
As a specific example, for the Chebyshev norm and a uniform weighting between frequencies and , we have
That is, we wish to minimize the worst-case deviation between the desired slope and the achieved slope over a specific (audio) band .