Ishmael is a user-friendly, open-access bioacoustic analysis software, which has become one of the most widely-used analysis tools used by bioacousticians. It includes displays of sound waveforms and spectrograms, recording capability for real-time input, several methods for acoustic localization, beamforming, several methods for automatic call recognition, and a sound annotation facility. Improvements include better real-time sound input, incorporation of better software interfaces to, e.g., databases and localization algorithms, improved handling of large datasets, and better user interfaces.

Ishmael Downloads:
Current version:
Version 3.0 beta (supports Windows 7 and 10)

Older versions:
Version 2.5 (supports Windows 7, 8 and 10)
Version 2.4 (supports Windows 7 and 8 but not 10)
Version 2.3 (supports Windows 7)
Version 1.0

Ishmael Instructional Materials:

* Ishmael 3.0 beta User Guide (final version coming SOON!)

*PDF: "Exploring automatic detection capablities with Ishmael"
This is a presentation from a workshop sponsored by the U.S. Naval program Living Marine Reources January 18-20, 2017), including supplementary lecture PDFs used during the workshop presentation.

* Tutorial Booklet and Files used in the tutorial

These files are also on a Google Drive
The tutorial and associated files were used during the workshop "Exploring automatic detection capabilities with Ishmael".

* Instructional Videos

Videos are grouped into "Workshop Videos"and "Ishmael Software Videos"
Videos can be also found at Ishmael: Acoustic Monitoring Software, a YouTube channel.

Detector Configuration File (*.ipf) Downloads:
Current preference files (*.ipf) with detector performance evaluations (via a google map)

Data acquisition with NI DAQ boards:
requires the National Instrument DAQ library

Features overview:

Spectrogram and waveform viewer:
The most basic operation in Ishmael is viewing a sound by displaying it in a spectrogram and time series. Spectrograms in Ishmael show time on the horizontal axis and frequency on the vertical axis.

Sound recording:
Ishmael captures sound on disk in real time, either in the lab or in the field. The user is able to specify a sampling rate (up to 300 kHz), and a sampling schedule (such as 10 minutes every 2 hours, 3 hours every day, or continuous sampling). As the sound is recorded, Ishmael will produce a series of sound files, each of which may include a timestamp in the filename.

Automatic call recognition:
Ishmael bases its ACR on a detection function produced by various methods (e.g., spectrogram correlation). A call is "detected" when detection function exceeds a threshold for a set length of time. Ishmael can write the detection time to a log file and/or extract the call - a sound clip and write it to a new sound file.

To perform localization, the user selects a sound in the spectrogram/waveform, provides location information for the hydrophones, and selects a localization method. Ishmael supports four different localization methods: Phone pair, Beamforming, Hyperbolic, and Crossed bearings. Some localization methods produce a bearing angle, (ambiguous, with respect to the sound source being to on the left or right of the hydrophone array), while others produce a (collection of) points where the sound source is suspected to be.

System Requirements:
- Operating System: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, XP, or Win7 (instruction for MACs)
- Hardware: 486 or Pentium type processor
- Memory: at least 32 MB for Windows 95 and 98, and 64 MB for Windows 2000 and NT
- Screen Size: at least 800x600 (so that all dialog boxes fit)

For support please contact Dave Mellinger or Curtis Lending

Bug reporting:
In order to help us fix any issues you might discover, please provide the as much as possible of the following information:
1. Version of Ishmael you are running and the OS you are running it in (The current version number can be found in Ishmael's title bar)
2. The settings you used to trigger the problem (.ipf file). We will assume this .ipf is to be loaded as the default settings unless you specify otherwise.
3. ANY steps you took as a user after launching the program.
4. The file(s) used as input to the system. If you are unable/unwilling to make your files available for any reason (size/legal reasons/etc), please provide their file format, length, and sampling rate.
--> By providing a good bug report, you greatly increase the chances that we are able to replicate the issue you have discovered.

Sponsor: Office of Naval Research


Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies
2030 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR 97365, USA

E-mail: info[@]
Tel: (+1)541-867-0372
Fax: (+1)541-867-3907

LMR Simple Detection