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A novel technique for the design of analysis/synthesis filter banks, such as quadrature-mirror filter (QMF) banks, is presented. The technique is iterative, but each iteration step is mathematically simple. It is based upon a sectional approximation of the filter bank wherein the synthesis section is taken to be known from the previous iteration, and the analysis section is optimized according to the performance criterion. The strategy is then reversed, and the synthesis section optimized. At each iteration, each of these two steps results in an eigenvalue-eigenvector problem of a matrix with dimensionality equal to the number of taps. The technique is exemplified in detail for the QMF bank design problem.