About Sound Analysis Pro 2011

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Sound Analysis Pro is a free software that can be used for studying animal vocalization. It includes:

  • Multi-channel recorder threshold-activated sound detector
  • Automated playbacks, operant (e.g., by key-peck) or passive
  • Modern spectral analysis allowing flexible exploration of vocalization structure
  • Extracting spectral features that are correlated with articulation
  • Computing similarity measurement
  • Clustering vocal sounds to types
  • Presenting scatter plots (DVD maps) of millions of vocal sounds over extended periods
  • Full integration with mySQL database
  • Data exporting to Excel and to Matlab.



SAP2011 is supported by a R01 grant from the NIH Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) from 2000-2014.

Programming: Ofer Tchernichovski, Elena Kashtelyan & David Swigger

Algorithms: Partha Mitra, Ofer Tchernichovski & others (see below)

SAP2011 is based on a digital signal processing (DSP) engine called ztBirdEngine, developed for us by David Swigger (ZettaTronic Inc). It handles sound input from up to 10 channels and performs real time signal processing, recording and playback control. It is encapsulated into an ActiveX component, which is included in this package together with its entire source code and documentation.

Spectral analysis is done with the public domain FFTW (http://www.fftw.org) algorithm, including features for optimizing performance of frequency analysis to the hardware configuration of each computer (all those features are automatically and transparently implemented in SAP2011, but can be used for other applications). We included the implementation of these FFTW routines, together with routines of randomly accessing wave files in a Dynamic Link Library with open source code and appropriate documentation.

Calculation of acoustic features (pitch, Wiener entropy, FM, etc.) is now encapsulated in a C++ class developed by David Swigger, which is also included with this package with proper documentation.

Many of the algorithms used in SAP were developed by Partha P. Mitra. The algorithms for classification of syllable types were implemented by Aylin Cimenser at Columbia University.

All database routines were programmed using MySQL (http://www.MySQL.com) database engine. MySQL is also a public domain and open-code application. Implementation of the MySQL engine was done through the Core Lab MyDAQ3 package (http://www.crlab.com).

We used the Embarcadero RAD Studio 2010 to program SAP2011 (sing the C++ Builder module).

Many GUI features were programmed with SDL Component Suite (http://www.lohninger.com).

The Excel exporting was implemented using the XL Report by Afalina Co., Ltd (http://www.afalinasoft.com).

All other algorithms, implementations to C++ code, integration of components, software design as well as the GUI and help system were developed by Ofer Tchernichovski and Partha P. Mitra.

Many of the improvements in software design should be credited to user feedback and data sharing: we would like to thank Cheryl Harding, Michael Brainard, Heather Williams, Santosh Helekar, David Vicario, and Noam Leader for their help and data sharing.

Ofer Tchernichovski

September 2011