Creating A Soundscape
Soundscapes are the subject of acoustic ecology that allows you to visualize all the acoustic frequencies that emanate from the environment (e.g. animal calls, environmental factors, human activity). Soundscapes can be visually displayed by aggregating sounds in different temporal and spatial scales (e.g. time of day, season, altitude).
Soundscapes allow a user to visualize all the frequencies that are dominant during certain times of the day or season, providing a framework to describe, compare and analyze acoustic information from many sites and many animal taxa simultaneously.
1. On the left menu click on Soundscapes followed by the + button.
2. Assign a name, select a playlist from the drop menu (i.e. the group of recordings that will make up your soundscape).
Time Aggregation: allows you to choose time of the day, days of the week, months, years, etc.
Normalize Data: checking this box will ensure that the data is normalized by dividing the number of recordings with a peak in a frequency bin by the total number of recordings collected during each time interval.
Bin Bandwidth (Hz): explore different bin sizes, maintaining the values of the other parameters and compare the obtained results.
Amplitude Threshold and Amplitude Type :
- Absolute – the raw amplitude value is assigned to each peak.
- Relative to maximum – the threshold is taken as a proportion of the maximum amplitude of the largest peak within the recordings used to create the soundscape.
Tip: If the recordings were collected using the same recorder model, then use “absolute.” If the recordings were collected with different recorders model, use “relative to maximum.”
Frequency: allows you to select the frequency threshold which determines the minimal distance between two peaks of sounds to be included in the soundscape.
In practice, we leave this value at 0 because the selection of Bin bandwidth already deals with the frequency variation.
3. Click Create
4. Wait a few minutes and then click on the Refresh icon.
You can always view the status of your analyses by clicking on Jobs.
5. Your new soundscape will appear in the Soundscapes list. Click on View to appreciate your results on the visualizer. You can export the results or delete it by clicking on Export or Delete.
6. The soundscape will display pixel shades or regions that represent the number of recordings that had an acoustic activity peak at the chosen time and frequency. You can edit the visualization options, amplitude threshold and color palette and then click Save & Close.
7. Start drawing on the soundscape to select a sample region to examine the recordings that contribute to the selected acoustic activity peaks.
8. Assign a name for the sample region (e.g. species name, doubt etc) and click + Add, wait 5 seconds.
9. Click + Sample, adjust the percentage to select the number of recordings to be inspected and then hit Create Sample.
10. Once you create the sample, click View to inspect the sample recordings. Here you can verify the species composition for that sampled region.