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

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.


XBAT has been in development since mid 2002, and in use by researchers, students, and visitors in our group since late 2002. Due to its ease of use and extensibility, XBAT now serves as the analysis software for most of our projects, and continues to develop in response to these needs.

As the word got out, people started to ask about using or licensing XBAT. Since the project had achieved a critical (minimal) level of maturity by mid 2005, we decided to start preparation for a public open-source release.

Beyond making XBAT available, our goal is to foster a global community of users and developers that together can advance applications in ways that cannot be done otherwise. We also hope that XBAT will attract external contributions, and that the development "team" will grow to include a community of researches in acoustics and in related relevant fields.

XBAT was created and continues to be developed by Harold Figueroa at the Bioacoustics Research Program of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. To help with the increased workload that an open-source release demanded Matt Robbins joined the team in the fall of 2005 as a full-time developer.


XBAT owes its existence to the initial support, financial and otherwise, of Christopher Clark and Kurt Fristrup. Since then, it has been funded through various grants from sources such as CI, NIH, ONR, and SERDP.

Its success within our group is owed to the open communication between researchers and developers that has existed in the Bioacoustics Research Program (tremendously critical during the early stages of development when documentation is sparse or simply non-existent).


We want to develop tools that promote communication, clarity, and openness to accelerate the translation of research into applications. We also strive for simplicity and beauty in the tools we make, because simple and beautiful things work better.


  • Harold Figueroa, Lead Developer
  • Matt Robbins, Developer