Revision 5 of the XBAT Preview is available for Download. It contains many bug fixes, new features, and it runs on Linux and Mac OS X as well! Check out the Screenshots page.



XBAT is an extensible sound analysis application and MATLAB platform for developing sound analysis tools. It is open-source, licensed under the GPL.

  • Users can access and visualize sounds, browse and search for salient events, and annotate and measure events.
  • Developers can quickly create easy-to-use extensions with a powerful plug-in architecture.

An extensible sound analysis application


ARU in Big Woods

XBAT has been developed in collaboration with conservation scientists and animal communication researchers at the Bioacoustics Research Program of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

It was designed to satisfy the diverse sound analysis needs of scientists who deal with large-scale data sets from both marine and terrestrial environments. The power and flexibility of XBAT have quickly made it the preferred analysis software for most of our group's projects.

You can see some projects that have used XBAT in the Projects page.

A MATLAB platform for developing sound analysis tools

MATLAB provides an excellent learning and prototyping environment for research in signal processing and numerical computation, thus it has become a standard language in academia and industry.

XBAT aims to extend MATLAB to facilitate interactive and large-scale sound analysis (of recordings lasting many hours, days, or weeks) as well as the efficient integration and reuse of community contributions (decreasing development times from days to hours or minutes).


XBAT Design

The design of XBAT models typical stages in the sound analysis process. The extensible architecture allows the basic components to be interchanged and share a common infrastructure.

XBAT users come from a range of fields: animal communication, applied mathematics, computer science, conservation, ecology, electrical engineering, and more. So we also see an important role for XBAT as a communication tool within this diverse group.

The goals and principles presented above are reflected in various XBAT features, for example:

  • Extended and improved access to sound file formats and transparent access to arbitrarily large multiple-file recordings
  • Efficient and flexible spectrogram computations (a staple of exploratory sound analysis)
  • Log files to uniformly store the results of computation such as events, and event annotations and measurements
  • Integrated interactive automatic detection and measurement (this sounds like jargon, but it is an accurate description, it's best just to see it!)
  • Efficient programming interfaces that allow extending and varying important processing stages
  • GUI development framework to promote fast development of familiar and easy-to-use extensions

More information on XBAT features is available in the Features page.