I am trying to describe the acoustic environment at a nature reserve based on continuous passive acoustic monitoring. I am using calibrated SM4 (Wildlife acoustics).

KaleidoscopePro does provide batch processing producing SPL, but I can get only min., mean and max. I find min and max values to be not the most useful or reflective.

My goal is to produce a similar figure to this presented by Ladegaard et al. (2021) but for terrestrial recordings (using it for various time frames - e.g., specific hours, parts of the day (morning/evening), days of the week, etc.) enter image description here

Is there a way to get L10 and L90 for many files? For example, any R package? From what I understand, PAMguard provides such measurements but only for the marine environment and not for terrestrial recordings.

Thank you so much for your attention, Yael


1 Answer 1


The latest versions of PAMGuard supports terrestrial measurements where levels are referenced to 20 micropascals rather than the 1 micropascal used for marine measurements. Just select 'medium' from the file menu and chose 'air'. It won't make the pretty plots from Ladegaard et al for you, but from the PAMGuard database output, it will only be a few lines of R or Matlab code to import data directly into one of those languages and make a similar plot.

  • $\begingroup$ Great news! I'll surely try it out. I was certainly not expecting it to create the final figure, as you said, it is a few lines in R once I have the acoustic analysis. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2022 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, I tried to use PAMguard for calculating noise exceedance levels as advised. I simply couldn't find the appropriate configuration files for this purpose. Also, found no relevant tutorial or instructions, feeling a bit lost... (I did find where to choose "air" in the menu). Can you please give me some additional info? I'd highly appreciate that! $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2022 at 6:37
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    $\begingroup$ I’m afraid there isn’t an ‘off the shelf’ configuration for this, so you’ll have to make your own. The modules you’ll require are 1) A sound acquisition module 2) The Noise Band Monitor module (you can have more than one of these if you want to generate multiple metrics with different filters). 3) A Database module The configuration of the noise band monitor module is described in the online help files. As you can see from the Ladegaard et al paper, they output measurements every 10s. $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2022 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ The module will only output mean and peak levels for each band for each 10s sample to the database. The percentile measurements of these will have been calculated in R or Matlab over longer time periods based on the mean values in the database. These are the ‘RMS levels after those filters’ described in the paper. Be aware therefore that the percentile levels are the percentiles of RMS measurements over 10s. $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2022 at 12:55

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