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What's New in Raven Pro 1.5, 1.4, 1.3, 1.2.1, 1.2

For a list of the most recent updates to the product in recent public builds, visit the updates page.

To read about the history of the Raven project, see the Raven News and Development History page.

This document briefly summarizes the new features that have been added to Raven Pro since the release of Raven 1.1. If you prefer to view PDF files containing most of these descriptions, visit "What's New in Raven 1.3", "What's New in Raven 1.2.1", and "What's New in Raven 1.2".

Documentation of several new Raven Pro 1.5 Features.


What's new in Raven Pro 1.5

18 January 2017

Stable Release

The Raven developers have officially removed the "beta" designation from Raven Pro 1.5 with build 29. Raven Pro 1.4 users may want to consider installing Raven Pro 1.5, free with your current license, to take advantage of all the new features, improvements, and bug fixes.

13 January 2014 (BETA)

New Selection Creation Modes

This build introduces several new selection modes and toggles.

  • Paste Selection (Border) Mode:Previously, when a user wanted to copy and paste a selection border, the user would need to use the context menu or View menu to select Copy Border from the Active Selection submenu. When the user wanted to paste the selection border, the user would need to right click (or Control click on Macs) in the view and selection Paste selection border. Now, there is a button on the View tool bar for copying the active selection border to a clipboard, and there is a new mouse cursor mode to allow users to paste the selection border to a new location in the sound window. You can get into this mode by clicking on the toggle button in the View tool bar. Clicking in the view when in this mode pastes the selection border so that it is centered on the mouse cursor location. Having the Caps Lock engaged causes the frequency of the pasted selection to be locked in place to match the original selection. We are considering creating a configuration dialog to allow users to choose the frequency behavior of the created selection.

    When pasting in a selection border, a user can choose to have the pasted selection shrink around the higher energy portion of the sound. This creates a tighter selection border around the sound than could be easily accomplished by a person, and it helps people to standardize their selection process. Without any key modifiers, the selection border is pasted with the same duration and bandwidth as the original selection border. The key modifiers and their associated behaviors are listed below. The lock keys are provided so that users do not need to hold down keys for long periods of time. If multiple keys are pressed, then the default is to use shrink by percentile.

    1. Alt key or Num Lock: Shrink by percentile: this method finds the energy distibution throughout the selection and shrinks the selection to the center N percent of power spectral density. The default is to use the 90th percentile power measurement and to create the new selection at the 5th and 95th percentiles of both time and frequency. There is a preference for setting the percentile, but we hope to include this configuration option in a configuration dialog in the future.

      raven.ui.selection.adaptivePercentile=80 (default 90)

    2. Shift key or Scroll Lock: Shrink by decibel level threshold: this method finds the peak power of the selection and then measures down a certain number of decibels to determine a threshold. It then searches in from the edges of the selection until it finds a portion of the spectrogram that is equal to or above that threshold.

      raven.ui.selection.adaptiveDecibelLevel=30 (default 24)

  • Below is a summary of the features and keys:

    Key to Press
    Key to Lock
    Lock Frequency Range  
    Caps Lock
    Shrink by Percentile
    Num Lock
    Shrink by Decibel
    Scroll Lock

  • Adaptive Selection Mode:This is a separate mode but does share some simillarities with decibel level thresholding in paste selection (border) mode. You can get into this mode by clicking on the toggle button in the View tool bar. Once in this mode, you can just click in the view, and Raven will look at a certain number of pixels in a square around the mouse location to find a peak power value, then it will start at that peak location and move down through the power values around the peak until it drops 24 dB (configurable) below the peak, and then it draws the selection there. There are several preferences that users can set in order to change the way that adaptive selections get created.

    raven.ui.selection.adaptiveDecibelLevel=30 (default 24)
    raven.ui.selection.adaptiveAllowedTimeGapWidth=3 (default 1)
    raven.ui.selection.adaptiveAllowedFreqGapWidth=15 (default 4)
    raven.ui.selection.adaptivePixels=20 (default 16)

    • adaptiveDecibelLevel is the same preference that's used for paste selection mode, but in adaptive selection mode, the search starts at the peak and goes down from there looking for the threshold, as opposed to starting at the selection borders and moving up until hitting the threshold.

    • adaptiveAllowedTimeGapWidth and adaptiveAllowedFreqGapWidth are the number of time grids and frequency grids, respectively, that are allowed to fall below threshold and still continue expanding the selection. These parameters are similar to the "minimum separation" parameter in the band limited energy detector.

    • adaptivePixels is the number of pixels in each direction that Raven will look for the peak power value when the user clicks in the spectrogram view. By default, the value is 16 pixels, which means that the area in which Raven will look for the peak is roughly the same as the 32x32 pixel cursor that appears on the screen.

  • Toggle to Immediately Commit Selections: There is a new button on the View tool bar to the right of the mouse cursor buttons that allows the user to toggle between needing to press the Enter key to commit a selection and having it done automatically as soon as the user clicks in the view. Previously, this configuration option required a preference to be set and Raven to be resetarted.

Frequency Contour Measurements

Previous versions of Raven have been able to trace frequency contours by using the Split Selection Border and Split All Selection Borders features of the View menu. These features would split a selection into time slices and then measure the peak or other frequency in each of the subsequent time slices. The new frequency contour measurements go further and are much easier to use. When a frequency contour meaurement is added to the selection table, Raven will make a frequency measurement in each spectrogram frame within the selection and will report a vector of frequencies spanning the entire selection. On the view, these frequencies will be plotted as connected dots if the view is smoothed, or they will be plotted as horizontal lines if the view is not smoothed. In the selection table, the vector is reported as a list of numbers separated by semicolons. If the parameters of the spectrogram are changed, then the measurements will be automatically recomputed. In addition to the contours themselves, there are also measurements on the contours.

  • Peak Frequency Contour (vector, Hz)
  • Peak Frequency Contour Max Frequewncy (Hz)
  • Peak Frequency Contour Min Frequency (Hz)
  • Peak Frequency Contour Slope (vector, Hz/ms)
  • Peak Frequency Contour Max Slope (Hz/ms)
  • Peak Frequency Contour Min Slope (Hz/ms)
  • Peak Frequency Contour Average Slope (Hz/ms)
  • Frequency Contour Percentile 5% (contour, Hz)
  • Frequency Contour Percentile 25% (contour, Hz)
  • Frequency Contour Percentile 50% (contour, Hz)
  • Frequency Contour Percentile 75% (contour, Hz)
  • Frequency Contour Percentile 95% (contour, Hz)

4 December 2013 (BETA)

Silence Detector

For those users who want to detect periods of silence instead of periods of signal, we have introduced a preference to allow the Band Limited Energy Detector to be used to look for signals that are a certain SNR below the background noise instead of above it. This has already been used by one researcher, and there may be more who can benefit so we're making it available to everyone. Use Edit > Preferences, paste in this line, save, and relaunch Raven. There will be no change to the user interface of the detector.



14 October 2013

New Command Line Options

New command line options allow users to (1) start Raven with a different set of preferences and presets, which can be useful for group analysis projects requiring all team members to use the same parameters, and (2) start batch detection jobs from the command line instead of using the graphical user interface, which has allowed some internal Cornell users to save a lot of time by creating scripts that start batch detection runs.

Selection Review and Annotation Improvements

The Review side panel is now divided into collapsible and expandable sections that allow users to concentrate on those parameters that are important to them without needing to look at all of the parameters. We will be looking for other places to use these expandable panels.


12 June 2013

Video Analysis

For several years, we have had prototype code in Raven Pro to allow users to open video files (*.mov) and to analyze the audio in sync with the video. When using "Open Sound Files", users can open video files and analyze the audio, but using "Open Video", users can now analyze the audio alongside the video. This is still prototype code, but we are making it available to users in the hopes that it will be valuable to some. It depends on outdated QuickTime for Java software that is no longer supported by Apple, but some users have found this feature essential for their analysis. To enable the feature, go to Edit > Preferences, then add the following line to the file, save, and relaunch Raven.


Playback options

The new playback options introduced last fall are now enabled by default.

Selection Table Autosave

If you'd like to autosave your selection table after a certain number of changes, then set the following preference using Edit > Preferences. Remember to restart Raven in order for the change to take effect. If the preference is not set, then you need to save the table manually. This feature can interact with the detector autosave feature so please work with it a little while before running a long batch detection.


Selection Crosshairs

For those of you who want to configure the length of the crosshairs for point selections, you can now set the length, which can include 0 if you don't want them to show at all.



12 April 2013

Diagnostic Information for Detectors

The Band Limited Energy Detector in Raven has been difficult for even experienced users to configure. This should no longer be the case with the addition of diagnostic annotations returned by the detetor that tell the user why a candidate event was not selection as a detection. A new Frame Length annotation and a Reason annotation are returned when diagnostics are enabled. Reason gives a reason like "too long", "too short", or "too sparse" to explain to the user which parameter needs to be changed in order to change that rejected event into a detection.

New Measurements

Raven now contains sample number and sample length measurements.


Raven now ships a file called DefaultRavenPreferences.txt that contains the default preferences that are copied by Raven on its initial launch and put into a user folder so that users can modify them using Edit > Preferences without modifying the defaults. This will help to clear up some confusion about which preferences file Raven is actually reading when it launches.


23 January 2013

Sound Selection Tables

If users add in the Begin Path and File Offset measurements into their selection tables, then the table files that are saved will contain information about the sounds from which the selections come. By adding these measurements, users will now be able to open up selection tables without first opening up the underlying sounds. Look on the File menu for "Open Sound Selection Table". You can also drop selection tables onto the Raven window and hold down the Control key to have them treated as sound selection tables, being opened into their own sound windows. Note that the sound selection table feature will require a preference to enable it until build 16 (due in January 2014), when it will be enabled by default. Until that time, please go to Edit > Preferences, then add the following line to the file, save, and relaunch Raven.


Selection Review and Annotation Improvements

Paremeters on the Review side panel are now saved and restored across Raven invocations and in workspaces. Selection activation in the context window will now update the review thumbnails. A new "visited" feature allows for a yellow border around thumbnails that have already been reviewed. Tab after classify, the default behavior, can now be turned off using a preference. A new review tool bar allows users to select the hour using a button, or they can use function keys to choose the hour.

Amplitude Fade In and Fade Out

New amplitude tools have been added to allow fade in and fade out operations on selections.

Font Type and Style on Axes

New preferences allow users to set font type and style on their time axis and other axes.


You can also set the font information on the Encapsulated PostScript files that you export from Raven using these preferences.


5 October 2012 (ALPHA)

Selection Review and Annotation

Now you can quickly review and annotate large numbers of selections, created by either a detector or by a human. You can configure the review thumbnails in the same way that you configure Raven windows, with multiple views (including spectrogram slice and selection spectrum) and also see a context window showing a wide angle view of a portion of the entire recording. Key mappings can be set up to allow a single keystroke to add annotation values to multiple columns in the selection table. Bulk annotation and classification is now possible, as well as the ability to filter what selections you see based on their annotation values. For those users using the new clock time feature alongside selection review, you can filter the selections by hour of day in order to review those events that occurred in a given hour.

Clock Times for Recordings

Raven's time axis can now display the time at which a sound occurred, not just the offset into the recording. Raven can read from a filename template to allow it to display times for all files in a file sequence, even those recorded on a duty cycle with gaps in the recording. Use a Date and Time preset to allow you switch between multiple file name formats. Raven has new measurements called Begin Date, End Date, Begin Clock Time, End Clock Time, Begin Date Time, and Begin Hour that work alongside this new feature.

Compare Selection Tables

Raven allows you to compare the results of a detector run against a truth table created by a human. This allows you to see the true positives (TP) that the detector found, the false positives (FP) that the detector found but should not have, and the false negatives (FN) that the detector missed. This new feature will allow users to quantitatively assess the performance of their detectors.

New Playback Features

We've added support for padded playback, which plays some context around the active selection, and synched playback, which synchs the time position marker with the play cursor during playback to allow the spectrogram slice view to display the spectrogram slice of the part of the sound that's playing.

Vertical Views with Flipped Axes

For those users used to viewing time on the vertical axis, Raven now has a preference to allow you to change between time on the horizontal axis and time on the vertical axis. To enable this feature, use Edit > Preferences and add the line below. Save the file and relaunch Raven. The new control for flipping the axes will be on the Layout side panel.


New Measurements

Raven now contains Min Entropy and Max Entropy measurements for a different angle on entropy than we've had before with Average Entropy and Aggregate Entropy.


What's new in Raven Pro 1.4

30 November 2010

Batch detection

Now you can automatically run a detector on many files or file sequences simultaneously.

Filtered playback

Raven now gives you the ability to play only a specified frequency band of a signal, or to filter out that freqency band during playback.


6 August 2010

New options for multi-channel files

Now when you open a file with multiple channels, you can choose which channels you want to open and assign a name to each one. These channel names can be used in the file name template when you save selections from your file. 

New type of sound file

Raven can now open sound files in the FLAC format (Free Lossless Audio Codec), which uses lossless compression to make your sound files smaller without losing quality. 

Improved selection spectrum view

We've improved the usability and performance of our selection spectrum view, so that it's now easier to create 24-hour average spectrum views. 

Improved progress manager

Now the messages in the progress manager stick around after their tasks are finished, so you can set a job up in Raven, come back later, and see exactly what happened. 

Improved scrolling and axis labeling

When you make a selection off the edge of a sound window, the window will now scroll automatically to follow the edge of your selection. Also, when you open a very short sound, the time axis will now display the time in milliseconds. 

Improved naming

Now Raven automatically adds a (2), etc. to the filenames of clips if the clip's original name is taken by another file. Also, the names of the selection tables created by detectors now include their sound's name by default. 


16 February 2010

Support for large datasets

To make it easier to work with large sets of data, we've added a progress manager, a background task indicator, the ability to split up selection tables, and improved support for dealing with large sound files. We've also made it easier to navigate large selection tables with a "find selection" box and the ability to automatically highlight rows of selections. Finally, we've added the option to save annotation names in exported file name clips. 

Improved visualization

We've added new ways to view your sounds: color bar views to map spectrograms' colors, user-defined custom spectrogram color maps, grids which can be overlaid on spectrogram views, unsmoothed spectrogram and beamogram views, and enhanced support for setting brightness and contrast. We've also added the ability to plot measurements in user-chosen colors directly atop sound views. 

Auto-play and auto-advance

To help avoid repetitive motion-based injuries for people scrolling through large amounts of data, we've added the ability to advance automatically through a sound's selections, and play each of them as you go; and the ability to automatically advance your file's pages based on a set timer. 

Improved correlator

We've improved our correlator and batch correlator so that they can run faster while using less memory, and added the ability to sort correlation columns. 

New operating system

Raven Pro can now run on Linux. 

New detector options

We've added exclusion band and bandwidth options to our energy detector, and the ability to auto-save or auto-split selection tables, run on a particular time or channel subset, and renaming options to all our detectors. 

New selection modes

Raven Pro now has three selection modes: clicking can create a new selection, activate an existing selection, or allow you to grab and scroll your sound view. 

New playback options

We've added new ways to play a sound in Raven, including the ability to play only selected channels. 

New amplification and filtering features

We've added the ability to amplify a recorder, and updated our filters with an adaptive line enhancer. 

New measurements


What was new in Raven Pro 1.3 Release Candidate 2

22 February 2008

Increased Performance

We've made further performance enhancements to make Raven's spectrogram builder and energy detector run faster.  

More Batch Operations

We've added batch operations for filtering and amplifying collections of sounds.  

Usability Features


New Measurements:


What was new in Raven Pro 1.3 Release Candidate 1

25 January 2008

Increased Performance

We've increased speed signficantly on certain Raven functions including running detectors, opening and saving selection table files, displaying spectrograms, and selection operations.  

Improved Printing

We've made improvements on printing precision and offer better support for multiple pages 

Localized Presets and Preferences

For non-admin users, Raven can now be customized by storing presets and preferences in the user's directory 

Improved Functionality and Reliability of Correlation

Raven now can correlate using log or linear scaling with results consistent with Canary  

Improved Workings of Detectors and Selection Tables

Raven now allows copying selections between tables and long detector runs are more reliable 

Added Reverse and Looping Play Functions

Raven Pro can now play a sound backwards or repeat it 

Progress Dialogs

We added more progress dialogs to track lengthy operations such as copying of thousands of selections 

Added Spectrogram Clipping Function

Raven Pro can now clip power values below a threshold - like in Canary 


What was new in Raven Pro 1.3 Beta 3

1 February 2007

Revised User's Manual

The Raven User's Manual has been extensively revised. Highlights include a more concise Getting Started chapter, new chapters on Correlation and Automatic Detection, and a section on Beamforming. 

Java Energy Detector

In addition to our Python-based band-limited energy detector, we've added a Java version with easy to use Presets. 

25 January 2007

New Batch Correlator

Raven Pro can now cross-correlate two sets of sound files and display the matrix of peak correlation values. 

12 January 2007

New Amplitude Detector

We've added an amplitude detector, which finds parts of the signal that exceed a threshold amplitude. 

Enhanced Tool Bars

Raven Pro now has 5 tool bars with a variety of buttons to make tasks easier to perform. 

Ability to Open Audio CD Tracks

Raven Pro can now open tracks from audio CDs on Windows. This is the same feature that is in Raven Lite 1.0. Previously, Raven Pro could open audio CD tracks on Mac OS X, but not on Windows. 

Enhancements to other features

We've been adding enhancements to earlier features and fixing bugs. 


What was new in Raven Pro 1.3 Beta 2

22 September 2006


It is now possible to execute quantitative comparisons between spectrograms or waveforms using the correlation feature in Raven 1.3. Correlations are performed by ‘sliding’ two inputs (either two spectrograms or two waveforms) past each other in time. At each time offset, a correlation coefficient between the input files is calculated. These correlation values are then plotted versus time in a correlation plot to show a measure of similarity between the files. See the Tools > Correlator... menu item to get started.

Certain user-selected options and parameters relating to the correlation process are also enabled, although there is no general way to describe how these options will affect specific correlation values and related plots. Since the correlator behavior depends on both the data and the correlation options and parameters, a certain degree of experimentation is advised to achieve the most meaningful results. To read more in-depth material regarding correlation features, please see Chapter 7 in the Canary User’s Manual at: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/brp/software/canary/CanaryUsersManual.pdf


Detection of target signals within a sound is currently implemented in Raven. Included are capabilities for detection processing within the real-time recorder, within large data sets, as well as interactive detection for parameter testing. See the Tools > Detector menu or the Interactive Detectors menu item on the View menu or context-sensitive menus to get started. 

Multiple Selection Tables

In conjunction with detection processing, Raven 1.3 will generate multiple selection tables representing detections made with alternate user-specified sets of parameters. Users may also create additional selection tables, useful, for instance, for grouping or categorizing different kinds of signals. 


What was new in Raven Pro 1.3 Beta 1

15 June 2006, 5 September 2006

This section of the document briefly summarizes the new features that have been added to Raven since the release of Raven 1.2.1. 

Extensible multi-channel audio input device support

Raven 1.3 includes support for multi-channel recording using both NI-DAQ (National Instruments Data Acquisition hardware) and ASIO (Audio Stream In/Out) audio input devices. The NI-DAQ technology provides input capabilities of up to 32 channels with an adjustable voltage range. ASIO devices provide 24-bit audio sample size capabilities. Both of these are Windows platform devices; Raven also supports Java Sound for Windows. Java Sound supports mono and stereo recording. The Macintosh version of Raven supports Java Sound as well as Apple’s Core Audio, which allows for multi-channel recording. 

Power Spectra Calculation

Raven 1.3 introduces a slight change in the calculation of power spectra. The new method includes energy in the negative frequency bins of the Discrete Fourier Transform, as well as normalization of the power spectrum by the number of points in the DFT window. Power measurements made using this method will differ from the same measurements performed with previous versions of Raven by a multiplicative factor of 2/Nfft (1/Nfft for the zero frequency component). To use this updated power spectra calculation, check the box on the OPTION screen that appears when Raven 1.3 starts for the first time.

This new Raven 1.3 power spectra calculation should be used in cases where measurements need to be consistent with those made in Canary.

The power spectra calculation method that Raven 1.3 uses can be changed by editing Raven’s preferences file. Also, the performance of the two power spectra calculation methods can be compared by simultaneously opening two instances of Raven, one with the Raven 1.3 method active and the other with the Raven 1.2 method active.

For detailed information about how to make these comparisons, see http://help.RavenSoundSoftware.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63 

Clip Exporter within real-time recorder

The Clip Exporter in Raven 1.3 allows sound clips to be saved before the audio data in the real-time recorder leaves the audio buffer. This facilitates making manual selections in a recording while the recording process is in progress. When a selection is committed, the audio data in the selection is saved to a file.

To use the Clip Exporter, open a New Recorder and check the box next to “Export selections to clip files.” Two new tabs appear in the Configure New Recorder dialog box: Clip Format and Clip Names.

The Clip Exporter is an alternative to the Schedule Tab with the “Record To: File” option. (The Schedule Tab appears in the Configure New Recorder dialog box when the “Record To: File” option and the Advanced option are chosen.) The Schedule Tab option allows a recording to be made each time the red record button is pressed, however, the system needs to be configured to do retroactive recording in order to record sounds that are already in the buffer, and the red button needs to be pressed before the end of the retroactive time limit. In contrast, the Clip Exporter allows a selection to be made at any time within the 30-second buffer.

Also, the Clip Exporter is similar to “File>Save Active Selection As,” however, it allows all of the names that will be assigned to the files to be pre-configured, since there isn’t time to fill in this information before the sound leaves the buffer.

For more information regarding the contents of exported text files, see http://help.RavenSoundSoftware.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64, and for more information on exporting multi-channel sounds, see http://help.RavenSoundSoftware.com/forum/showthread.php?t=65

Exporting samples from various views to text files

A list of the numerical sample values contained in the active view of a sound can be exported to a text file. This facilitates examination and analysis of the data using other software applications. For instance, it might be useful to export spectrographic information from Raven for display as a 3D plot.

For waveform views, spectrogram views, correlation views, and beamogram views, samples are exported from the current page. To export from a segment of sound other than what is represented on the page, update the page size. Samples in spectrum slice views and selection spectrum views are exported from the represented slice or active selection respectively.

In a Sound Window, Click on the narrow, vertical, view selection button to the left of the view (waveform, spectrogram, etc.) for which you want to export sample values. The color will change from white to blue when highlighted. Choose File > Export “Sound Samples….A suggested name, ..samples.txt, appears in a dialog box. Files can be saved in either Tab-delimited .txt or Comma-separated Value .csv format. To finish, click Save.

The specific axis values contained in Raven views are not included in the exported text files. That is, only sample power values are exported; the specific values on the x- and y-axes are not included. For 2- dimensional data the sample values are organized in a single column, with reference to the x-axis values of the Raven view (but not the actual values) represented vertically. Multi-dimensional data is exported as power values also, however in this case columns represent the Raven view’s y-axis values, and rows represent the Raven view’s x-axis values. 

Saving a subset of channels from an open signal

Use the Channels window of the side panel Layout view to save a subset of channels from an open signal. Click the channel number(s) (to the right of the check box) of the channel(s) that you want to save; the channel number(s) will become highlighted in yellow. (Ctrl-click can be used to select more than one channel.) Then choose File > Save Selected Channels As…. You can choose to Save the new file in a number of different formats: 8-bit, 16-bit, or 24-bit .aiff or 8-bit, 16-bit, or 24-bit .wav. Choose the file type, then click Save.

This new method allows an entire channel or channels of data to be saved and replaces the need to include an entire view within a selection. 

Batch Channel Exporter

To export a specific subset of channels from a collection of sound files, put the collection of files (or copies of the files) in one directory. Then choose Tools > Batch > Channel Exporter.... The Batch Channel Exporter dialog box appears. As the Input Folder, enter the name of the directory containing the collection of files you’d like to change, then enter the name of the Output Folder in which you want to store the new files. Choose the channels that you would like to export and click OK. 

Selectable look & feel and desktop background color

The color and texture of the Raven application (the “look and feel”) can be selected so that it mimics the appearance of several standard application types, or retains Raven’s unique appearance. Choose Window > Look and Feel, and select Metal, Motif, or Windows. Metal is Raven 1.3’s standard appearance, and is the standard “look and feel” of Java applications. Motif mimics the appearance of Unix and Xwindows traditional applications, while Windows mimics the appearance of Microsoft Windows and Windows Classic applications. On the Mac, choose Aqua to mimic the appearance of Mac OS X applications. Choose Window > Background Color… to open the Background Color Editor panel and set the color of the main Raven screen area (the desktop) through Swatches, HSB, or RGB color definitions. 

Beamforming View and Max Bearing Measurement for Multi-channel Bearing Analysis

Beamforming in Raven is useful for determining sound source locations, as bearing lines, relative to a 2- dimensional, multi-channel array of sensors. The result of Raven’s beamforming process is a set of angles, displayed in a beamogram view, that represent potential bearing angles between a reference direction and potential bearing line directions. Raven iteratively tests all possible locations within a range of angles specified in the beamogram configuration. The relative darkness of lines on the beamogram indicates the relative likelihood that specific bearing angles represent actual sound source bearings.

In the beamogram, bearing angles (beams) are represented in degrees on the y-axis, and time is represented in seconds on the x-axis. To find the bearing angle with the maximum power for a specific selection in Raven, choose the measurement Max Bearing (not to be confused with Maximum bearing, which is a parameter in the Beamforming Bearing Grid).

To create a beamogram, open a multi-channel sound file and choose View > New > Beamogram View…. Or choose the icon from the New View Buttons. Then enter the information about recording medium, array geometry, bandpass filtering, and beamforming in each of the tabbed pages. Choose OK to apply the configuration and close the Configure Beamogram window. Or choose Apply to preview your parameters without closing the window.

For detailed, preliminary documentation about how to set parameters, see http://help.RavenSoundSoftware.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66

Measurements added to Raven from Canary:

Average Power
(all view types)
The power in the selection divided by the duration of the selection. Units: dB

Center Frequency
Center Time
(all view types)
The amplitude-weighted central time of the selected interval. Units: sec

Delta Power
(all view types)
The total energy in the selection. Units: dB

These measurements from Canary are implemented slightly differently in Raven. However, for an overview of what they represent, see Chapter 6 in the Canary User’s Manual, beginning on page 92, at: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/brp/software/canary/CanaryUsersManual.pdf 


What was new in Raven 1.2.1

8 July 2005

This section of the document briefly summarizes the new features that have been added to Raven since the release of Raven 1.2.

Save All Selections

You can now save the sound data in all selections in a sound as a series of separate sound files by choosing File > Save All Selections As.... Raven will display the Save All Selections dialog box, which allows you to specify a file format and a naming scheme for the files to be saved.

Tile / Cascade Windows

When you have multiple sound windows open, Raven can arrange them neatly for you on the desktop. If you choose Window > Tile Windows, Raven resizes and repositions all of the windows so that they are all the same size and fill the desktop (as nearly as possible) without overlapping each other. If you choose Windows > Cascade Windows, Raven resizes and repositions all of the windows so that they are all the same size and as large as possible, overlapping so that their title bars are all visible.

Apply current window layout to all windows

To apply all of the active window's layout to all currently open windows, choose View > Apply To All. Window layout includes all of the information that would be stored in a sound window preset, including window size, view visibility and scale, spectrogram parameters, and spectrogram brightness and contrast. A complete list of window properties affected by the Apply To All command is given in Table 1.1 in the Raven User's Manual.

Resolving workspaces whose files have moved

Earlier versions of Raven could not open workspace files if any of the sound files that they include had been moved. If Raven 1.2.1 cannot find a sound file needed for a workspace that it is opening, the program will present a dialog listing the missing file(s), and allow you to find the file by browsing through the file system.

Filter presets

Raven now allows you to save named presets for bandpass or bandstop filters covering a specified frequency band. To define a new filter, choose Edit > Filter Active Selection With > Other or Edit > Filter All With > Other. In the ensuing dialog box, you can specify Bandpass or Bandstop and the filter limits, and optionally save the filter settings as a preset. To apply a saved filter preset to the active selection or to the entire sound, choose choose Edit > Filter Active Selection With > filterPresetName or Edit > Filter All With > filterPresetName.

Quick access to recently opened files and folders

To open a recently used sound file, choose the file's name from the list of recent files at the bottom of the File menu. By default, Raven displays the four most recent files on the menu. To open a file from a folder that you recently used within Raven, choose File > Open Recent Folder > folderName.

Drag and drop opening of workspaces

You can now open a Raven workspace by dragging the workspace file's icon from the computer's desktop, or from a Windows Explorer or Mac Finder window, and dropping the icon on the Raven desktop.

Open more audio file formats

Raven 1.2.1 enables you to open sound files in .mp3, .mp4, and .aifc formats, as well as the sound tracks of QuickTime movies (.mov file format). In order to access files in these formats, you must have QuickTime (QT) for Java installed on your computer. Raven 1.2.1 does not include the ability to save sound files in these additional formats.

On Mac OS computers, QT for Java is already installed. Users on Mac OS computers can also open CD audio tracks with Raven 1.2.1. Audio CD tracks will be displayed in the /Volumes folder as AIFC files that can be accessed from Raven's Open Files dialog.

On Windows computers, you can check whether QT for Java is installed by looking at the Download QuickTime Installer item on the Help menu in Raven 1.2.1. If QT for Java is already present, the menu item will be disabled. If the menu item is enabled, click on it and follow the instructions that appear in your web browser to install QT for Java. In addition to installing QT for Java, you will also need to update the Java search path by one of the five methods described below.

Updates to Windows computers (choose one):

  1. Users can download the lasted Raven code from the Raven download site. This code will contain updates to the search path so that Raven can find QT for Java. Note that the QuickTime player must still be installed separately.

  2. If users installed Raven to the "Raven 1.2" folder, then users can copy an updated RavenLauncher.lax file from this page. Just right-click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" then save this file to your "Raven 1.2" folder.

  3. Users can edit the RavenLauncer.lax file contained in the Raven folder on their computers. The modified line is shown below.
  4. lax.class.path=Raven12WinFixes.jar;Raven12Fixes.jar;Raven12Plus.jar;Raven12Win.jar;Raven12Base.jar;mail.jar;activation.jar;jai_imageio.jar;QTJava.zip;c:\windows\system32\QTJava.zip;c:\windows\system\QTJava.zip;c:\winnt\system32\QTJava.zip;lax.jar
  5. Users who run Raven using the Raven console can copy an updated RavenConsole.bat file from this page. Just right-click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" then save this file to your "Raven 1.2" folder as RavenConsole.bat rather than RavenConsole.txt as it is named on the server.

  6. Users can edit the RavenConsole.bat file already in their "Raven 1.2" folder by replacing the existing text with the line shown below.
  7. jre\bin\java -Xmx256M -Xbootclasspath/p:AiffFileWriter.jar -cp Raven12WinFixes.jar;Raven12Fixes.jar;Raven12Plus.jar;Raven12Win.jar;Raven12Base.jar;mail.jar;activation.jar;jai_imageio.jar;QTJava.zip;c:\windows\system32\QTJava.zip;c:\windows\system\QTJava.zip;c:\winnt\system32\QTJava.zip clo.brp.raven.Application


What was new in Raven 1.2

4 August 2004

This section of the document briefly summarizes the new features that have been added to Raven since the release of Raven 1.2 Release Candidate 1.

Recording speed correction

When opening a file or recording a new signal, you can specify that the sound is recorded at a speed other than normal speed. Speed corrections are expressed as a speed-up or slow-down factor relative to normal speed. Speed corrections are particularly useful when recordings have been sped up or slowed down to shift infrasonic or ultrasonic signals into the human audible range. To correct the speed for saved sound files, use the Speed tab in the Configure New Sound dialog that appears after you choose a file to open. To set a speed correction factor for a recorder, click the Advanced button in the Configure Recorder dialog box, then click on the Speed tab.  

Length measurement

The new Length measurement displays the number of frames contained in a selection. For waveform views, the number of frames equals the number of samples in a single channel. For spectrogram and spectrogram slice views, the number frames equals the number of individual spectra in the selection in one channel. For selection spectrum views, the number of frames always equals 1.  


What was new in Raven 1.2 Release Candidate 1

28 July 2004

This section of the document briefly summarizes the new features that have been added to Raven since the release of Raven 1.2 Beta 2.

Selection Spectrum view

Raven now offers a fourth view type, called the selection spectrum view. The selection spectrum view displays the average spectrum of the time interval defined by the active selection. To create a new selection spectrum view, click on the New Selection Spectrum View button in the toolbar, next to the New Spectrogram Slice button (it looks like the New Spectrogram Slice button, but with a red instead of blue icon).  

Open Sound Files... opens single files and file sequences

The Open File Sequence command has been merged with the Open Sound Files command. If you choose multiple files in the Open Sound Files dialog box, Raven will ask you in a subsequent dialog whether you want to open them in separate windows or as a file sequence in one window.  

Selection tab in side panel

The side panel now has a fourth tab, called "Selection". The Selection tab displays the Begin Time, End Time, Delta Time, Low Frequency, High Frequency, and Delta Frequency for the active selection. All six of these fields are editable, so you can adjust the selection bounds by typing values into these fields. For multi-channel signals, the Selection tab also displays a list of the channels in the signal, with editable checkboxes indicating the channels in which the active selection is defined.  

Up and Down buttons in selection table

The selection table now displays Up and Down arrow buttons in its title bar. Clicking on these buttons activates the next selection up or down in the table from the current active selection, given the table's current sort order.  

Fill Up and Fill Down in annotation columns

If you select a series of consecutive cells in an annotation column in the selection table, you can have all of the cells filled with the annotation value in the top (Fill Down) or bottom (Fill Up) cell. To perform a Fill Down or Fill Up operation, type Ctrl-D (Windows) or Command-D (Mac OS), or Ctrl-U (Windows) or Command-U (Mac OS), or choose Fill Selected Cells from the selection table's contextual menu.  

Export Image and Copy Image

The new Export Image command on the File menu lets you save an image of either (a) the entire Raven window, (b) the active sound window, (c) all views of the active window, or (d) the active view of the active window. Images of any of these can be saved to files in PNG, TIFF, BMP, or JPEG format. Choices (c) and (d) can also be saved in EPS format. Using the Copy Image command on the Edit menu, you can copy an image of any of these four choices to the system clipboard for pasting into any other program that supports pasting graphic images.  

Preset Manager

Raven now has a Preset Manager, accessible either from the Window menu, or from any preset menu in Raven. The Preset Manager allows you to delete or rename a preset, and also allows you to create and delete folders, and move presets between folders.  

Configure View Axes

Using the new Configure View Axes... command, you can explicitly specify the horizontal and vertical position and scale for a view by typing in exact values. The Configure New Axes... command is available on the contextual menu for any view, and on the View menu (where it refers to the active view).  


What was new in Raven 1.2 Beta 2

26 May 2004

This section of the document briefly summarizes the new features that have been added to Raven since the release of Raven 1.2 Beta 1.

New selection behavior

Earlier versions of Raven required you to choose between Single Selection Mode and Multiple Selection mode. These modes have been eliminated in favor of a new protocol in which a selection is considered uncommitted when you first create it. To commit a selection, press the &ltEnter> key whenever one of the selection's control points is active. An uncommitted selection is cleared the next time you create another selection (thus behaving like selections in the old Single Selection mode). A committed selection persists until you explicitly clear it (as in the old Multiple Selection mode). Uncommitted selections are drawn with dashed rather than solid borders. The selection table displays entries for both uncommitted and committed selections. 


You can now add annotations to selections. An annotation is a user-defined text string that appears in its own named column in the selection table. To create and name a new annotation column, choose Add Annotation Column... from the selection table's contextual menu. To enter an annotation value for a particular selection, you can either (1) click on the annotation cell in the selection table and then type the annotation value, or (2) choose Annotate Selection from the View menu or the selection's contextual menu. A dialog box will then appear in which you can enter values for each of the named annotation columns. You can also specify whether you want the Annotate Selection dialog box to appear automatically whenever you commit a selection, and you can specify a default value for each annotation column. 

Selection text

Selections can now be displayed with an optional selection text overlay. The selection text can display the selection ID number and/or any combination of measurements or annotations that are shown in the selection table. By default, the selection ID is displayed in the selection text. To toggle display of the selection text on and off, use the checkbox in the component list of the side panel's Layout tab. To choose which measurements are included in the selection text, as well as specifying font size and a string to use as a separator between items in the selection text, choose Configure Selection Text from the View menu or any view's contextual menu. You can specify colors for the active and inactive selection text via the color scheme editor (View > Color Scheme > Edit...). 

Selection renumbering

Raven can now renumber selections based on the sort order of entries in the selection table. For example, if you have a set of selections that were not created in order of their times in a signal, you can renumber them in order of their Begin Time measurements by clicking on the Begin Time column header to sort the entries in the selection table into ascending time order, then choosing Renumber Selections from the table's contextual menu. 

Channel-restricted selections

In earlier Raven versions, a selection made in one channel of a multi-channel signal would be defined in all channels. As of Raven 1.2 Beta 2, a selection will apply only to the channel in which you create it, unless that channel is selected (i.e. it is highlighted in yellow in the side panel channel list), in which case the selection will apply to all selected channels. Destructive edit operations like cut and paste performed on the active selection will still apply to all channels, regardless of the channels to which the selection applies. 

Workspaces and named selection tables

The selection table now displays its own title bar, which shows the name of the selection table file, if the table has been saved. Although earlier versions of Raven allowed you to save and retrieve selection files, they did not protect you from inadvertently losing your selections if you closed a window without first saving the selections. Beginning in Raven 1.2 Beta 2, you will be prompted to save selections when you close a sound window if the selection table contains unsaved changes (see below). When saving a previously unsaved selection table for a sound that has been saved, Raven will propose a file name of the form "mySound.selections.txt", where "mySound" is replaced by the name of the sound file. You can either use the proposed name or change it to any file name that is valid under your operating system.

When you save a workspace, if the selection table contains any unsaved changes, you will be prompted to save the selection table before the workspace is saved. Note that if you choose not to save the selection table when saving a workspace, unsaved changes to the table will not be saved in the workspace.  

Unsaved changes indicators

Raven now uses an asterisk (*) in the title bar of a sound window or selection table to indicate unsaved changes. If a sound has been altered since it was last saved, an asterisk will appear before the window name in the window's title bar. If a selection table has been altered since it was last saved, an asterisk will appear before the words "Selection Table" in the selection table's title bar. 

Drag and drop file opening

When Raven is running, you can now open any WAVE or AIFF sound file by dragging its icon from an Explorer (Windows) or Finder (MacOS) window or from the desktop and "dropping" the icon anywhere in the Raven window.  

New keyboard shortcuts for Print and Play

Formerly, Ctrl-P (Windows) or Command-P (MacOS) invoked the Play command. In order to comply with widely used standards, these keys now invoke the Print command. To play, use Ctrl-Shift-P or Command-Shift-P. 


What was new in Raven 1.2 Beta 1

25 Feb 2004

This section of the document briefly summarizes the new features that have been added to Raven since the release of Raven 1.1.

Opening Canary files

Raven can now open sound files saved in the Canary file format. Under Mac OS X, Raven 1.2 can open these files directly. In order to open Canary files in Raven on a computer running Windows, you must first convert the files to MacBinary format on a Mac OS computer, then copy the files to the Windows machine. Converting the files to MacBinary format is necessary because Mac files have a two-part structure that is not properly preserved if the file is simply copied from a Mac to a Windows machine. The MacBinary format stores both parts of a Mac file in a single file that can be transferred to a Windows computer with no loss of information. You can convert Canary files to MacBinary by using a conversion program available free here

New Configure Spectrogram dialog box

Several enhancements have been made to the Configure Spectrogram dialog box, which is used for configuring spectrogram views and spectrogram slice views. You can now choose a window size indirectly by specifying a desired 3 dB bandwidth. Raven will choose the window size that results in the bandwidth that is as close as possible to the value you specify. You can also now choose a DFT size that is any power of 2 greater than the window size, which enables finer frequency grid spacing than was achievable in Raven 1.1 A new window type, the Kaiser window, has been added. The Kaiser window allows you to set an additional parameter, called beta, which can vary between 0 and 20. For a given window size, larger values of beta yield larger bandwidths but lower sidelobes. Finally, the parameter formerly called Time Grid Size is now called Hop Size. 

Linkable spectrogram parameters

Spectrogram parameters are now linkable properties of a spectrogram view. If the parameters that you specify when creating a new spectrogram or spectrogram slice view are the same as those of a pre-existing view, the new view will have its parameters linked to those of the pre-existing view. When two views are linked by spectrogram parameters, changing the parameters for one automatically changes the parameters for both. This is particularly useful when using a spectrogram slice view to view a cross-section of a particular spectrogram. Views can be unlinked or linked by spectrogram parameters by the same methods used for other linkable properties.  

New selection controls

By default, the active selection now displays nine control points that can be dragged with the mouse or moved with the arrow keys. Control points are displayed as small squares, one on each side and corner of the selection, and one at the center of the selection. Only one control point may be active at any one time. The active control point is displayed as a square filled with the color of the active selection border; inactive control points appear as open squares. To activate a control point, click on it. The active control point can be manipulated by the keyboard arrow keys. The corner or edge control point that is closest to the mouse location will be drawn larger than the other control points to indicate that it is the control point that will move to the mouse position if you shift-click. Control points can be hidden by turning off a checkbox in the Components pane of the side panel's Layout tab. 

Copying, pasting, and cloning selection boundaries

Raven 1.2 provides two mechanisms for creating a selection that duplicates another selection in frequency boundaries and duration. To create a selection identical to the active selection, but located at a different time, first choose View > Copy Active Selection. Then position the mouse pointer at the point in time where you want the new selection to be centered, right-click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Mac OS) to and choose Paste Selection from the contextual menu. To create a duplicate selection that is superimposed upon the active selection choose View > Clone Active Selection. The new selection will be activated and displayed on top of the previously active selection. You can then manipulate the new selection via its control points. You can use cloning to segment a sound into a series of contiguous selections by the following procedure: (1) Create the first selection in a series, either in a waveform or spectrogram view. (2) Clone the selection as described above. (3) Drag the new selection's left edge to the right, past the selection';s right edge to the end time of the second selection in the series. The edge that initially defined the end of the selection now defines its start, which is at the same time as the end of the first selection. The edge that originally defined the start now defines its end. (4) Clone the second selection, and then repeat step 3 as needed.