News and Revision History
- The new UltraSoundGate 116Hnm variants represent the smallest and least expensive members of the UltraSoundGate product family. The bundled Avisoft-RECORDER USGH software provides a number of unique functions that can turn a compact Windows tablet PC into a powerful bat detector with capabilities that are not available in any other competitive product.
- The label editing dilaog box has been extended in order to accelerate the intercative editing of a series of labels. The newly added “proceed to next” option will move the focus of it to the next label when the OK/Next button is clicked (rather than closing the dialog box).
- The new “pause” option on the command “Monitoring” / “Shutdown / Sleep time…” has been added in order to reduce the power consumption on PC’s that do not support a sleep mode.
- The command “Monitoring” / “Daily alarm actions…” adds the option “Move recorded files to external drive”, which can be help minimizing the power consumption of battery-operated recording systems.
- The Automated Call Parameter Measurement tool has been extended. The “peak amplitude”, and “energy” parameters have been added and the new option “reject if amplitude < xxx dBFS” can provide more reliable min/max/mean frequency measurements (similar to the corresponding option on the Automatic Parameter Measurements tool in SASLab Pro). There is an additional log file (calls_files.*) that lists the class frequencies (number of detected calls) for each .wav file. Note that the internal meaning of some of the options have changed in version 4.2.16. It is therefore recommended to execute a reset and re-enter the desired settings on previously saved configuration files.
- A curvature parameter has been added to the Automated Call Parameter Measurements tool that can help classifying barbastelle bat calls.
- The new option “seamless loop mode” on the “Play”/”Settings…” dialog box will perform the “Play”/”Loop” mode seamlessly without any gap between the end and the start of the playback file.
- The file list on the playlist window has been improved and the Insert/Append commands now support multiple selections.
- New “Energy” and “dB” parameters on the Pulse Train Analysis tool.
- The zoom functionality has been imroved for touch screen operation (the former pan function on the main windows now also allows to zoom in and out by vertical dragging gestures.
- Frequency resonse files (.flf) can now also be defined with (negative) logarithmic attenuation values expressed in dB rather than linear factors between 0 and 1.
- The command Analyze/Overview Parameters… now allows selecting (or hiding) the individual channels of multichannel .wav files (“Show Channels” section at the bottom of the dialog box).
- The Automatic Parameter Measurements command “Remove gaps between detected elements from file…” has been added to the batch processing command.
- A cluster analysis option (“create automatic classes”) has been added to the spectrogram cross correlation classification tool, which can help analyzing repertoires.
- The “Previous/Next file” commands now also work with .son files on the spectrogram window.
- The new “sleep” option on the command “Monitoring”/”Shutdown / Sleep time…” facilitates putting a laptop or tablet computer regularly to sleep in order to extend the battery life in long-term monitoring applications.
- Resume from sleep and hibernation now functions smoothly even if the monitoring was running at the time when the PC was put to sleep/hibernation.
The new “Device” listbox option “Playback” on the Configuration dialog box allows visualizing and processing the waveforms played through the Play menu.
The ‘WAV File Folder’ device option will now processes the entire folder tree and supports the ‘Automated call measurements’ tool.
- The GPS interface now also supports the Windows Location API, which makes it possible to use it on the new Windows 8 tablet PC’s that come with an inbuilt GPS/GNSS receiver.
- The new option “Play” > “Show playlist entries on touch panel” facilitates conducting interactive playback experiments on tablet PC’s.
The new command “File”/”Heterodyned playback mode…” allows playing back ultrasound recordings just like on a common heterodyne bat detector (virtual bat detector mode), which can help understand how bat detectors work or may be useful to those who are used to work with heterodyne bat detectors and would like to continue this method on full spectrum recordings.
The command “File”/”Specials”/Georeference .wav files…” has been extended in order to accept also the GPS coordinates that are stored in the .wav files created by the Avisoft-RECORDER software (new option “use the custom Avisoft Bioacoustics .wav file GPS chunk”), as well as .KML (Google Earth version 5.2 or later) and Garmin Training Center .TCX tracklog files.
All georeferencing tools can now directly create the ESRI shapefile format (.shp), which can simplify the GIS-related workflow.
The threshold of the Pulse Train Analysis tool can no be defined relative to the overall peak amplitude (new option “rel.”), in order to better manage varying pulse intensities.
- New comamnd “Tools”/”Labels”/”Save labeled sections of same class into single .wav files…”
- New batch command “Create section labels from waveform events”
- Unchecking the new option “launch setup dialog boxes” on the “Batch processing” dialog box allows bypassing the setup dialog boxes, which can simplify the (repeated) usage of this tool.
- The newly implemented ESRI shapefile format (.shp) options on the GPS module provide a more straightforward interface to professional GIS applications such as ArcGIS or Quantum GIS. The optional user-defined dXML data records (including weather data) will also be saved directly into the shapefiles.
- The continuous KML tracklog file now optionally supports the “MultiTrack” format that adds time stamps (compatible with Google Earth 5.2 or later).
- An additional ‘WAV File Folder’ device list box option supports batch processing of .wav files. That way, the Bat Call Filter can be applied for instance to recordings that have been made with third-party bat monitoring systems. The related option ‘copy source files into the subsolders ACCEPTED or REJECTED depending on the occurence of at least one trigger event’ on the File Name Options dialog box facilitates filtering automatically recorded bat calls that are affected by unwanted noise. See also Using the Avisoft-RECORDER Bat Call Filter.
- The Bat Call Trigger Filter has been improved by adding a maximum duration limit option, which can help rejecting unwanted signals that look similar to bat calls but exhibit a longer duration.
- BUGFIX : The incorrect handling of file numbers (introduced in version 4.2.10, 20 April 2012) that can under some circumstances overwrite older .wav files has been fixed. It may also be necessary to reset the Read Only attribute of the file “filename.txt” that is located in the data folder.
- The Playback Volume command now allows adjusting the individual channels of a stereo .wav file separately.
- A configuration preset selection box has been added, which will be launched at the very first start of the software in order to simplify its setup for a specific application.
The Automatic Parameter Measurements window has got two preset buttons (“whistles” and “barks”) providing appropriate settings for either pure-tone, whistle-like vocalizations or noisy barks. The new “break” option allows directly measuring the silent time interval from the end of the preceding element to the start of the current element.
SMPTE and LANC timecode can now be synthesized either onto the UltraSoundGate DI track or normal audio waveform tracks (commands File>Specials>UltraSoundGate DIO>Insert timecode / pulse train… and Edit>Insert>Synthesizer>Insert timecode / pulse train…).
- The SASLab graphic user interface can now be configured for touch screen operation in order to improve its usability on tablet PC’s (command Tools > Touch Screen Optimizations…).
- The Previous/Next file command has been further extended (new options on File > Specials > Previous/Next file command settings…)
- The new command “Tools” >”Real-time processing…” can execute various processing commands (similar to the batch processing tool) on newly recorded sound files as soon as they have been terminated by the recording software.
- The content of the “Class Count Statistics” report list will now be saved to disk in real-time (filename: ClassCountStatistics.txt, .html or .xml).
- The Graphic Synthesizer GUI has been improved (pan functionality added)
- The new command “Tools” > “Labels” > “Filter labels…” allows to remove labels based on their label text strings. A related function has been added to the Label Settings dialog box (new button titled “Select…”).
- The bound frequency cursors on the spectrogram window now also measures the frequency slope between the two cursors expressed in kHz/ms or Hz/ms.
- The new commands Playback > Pause and Playback > Mute have been added
- The individual items in the log files are now separated by tab stop characters in order to better access them from Excel.
- The new options at “Options”/”Configuration management”/”Save mode on exit/” allow to define whether the configuration file should be saved when the program is closed.
- The GPS receiver and weather station software interface has been improved in order to better manage removed devices.
- Avisoft Bioaoustics sponsored the workshop on Mouse ultrasonic communication in Paris. See the Avisoft Bioacoustics presentation. The workshop nicely demonstrated that Avisoft Bioacoustics is the leading supplier of both ultrasound recording/playback hardware and sound analysis software for investigating USVs in rodents.
- The new “Options”/”Spectrogram Settings…” dialog box allows adjusting the FFT window and color map of the real-time spectrogram, similar to SASLab Pro/Lite.
The new option “Options”/”Display”/”Status display” provides summarizing status information for long-term monitoring applications, which can be sent as compact email messages (from “Monitoring”/”Daily alarm actions…” > “create template for sendEmail.exe!”)
- The new trigger option “call class other than “?” allows limiting the triggering to certain call types according to the class defintions made on the command “Options”/”Automated call measurements settings…”
- A gate option has been added to the playlist tool, which allows to limit the playback of the files in the playlist to user-defined daily time intervals.
The whistle tracking algorithm on the Bat Call Filter has been improved by adding the new option “accept only monotonic structures”, which can now better disginguish between (simple) frequency-modulated calls and noise.
The new command “Monitoring”/”Ring buffer…” allows accessing the waveforms acquired by the UltraSoundGate hardware in real-time from other custom software via a simple ring buffer (circular buffer) that resides on the hard disk.
- The main window waveform and spectrogram overview display has been improved. The new option “Optimize waveform and spectral envelope overviews” on the command “File”/”File Open Settings…” can significantly accelerate viewing large sound files without missing short sound events. The underlying waveform and spectrogram envelopes will be saved to disk when the option “save envelopes to disk (*.env)” is activated, which will further speed up opening large files.
The spectrogram overview on the main window now supports floating point arithmetic that can create more precise spectrogram images.
The spectrogram calculation now supports multithreading in order to improve the performance on fast multi-core processors (new option titled “Threads” on the Spectrogram Parameters dialog box).
The frequency cursor on the main window can now also be activated by pulling it out of the top margin of the overview spectrogram.
The metabase display window can now be resized.
The whistle tracking algorithm has been further improved by adding the new option “monotonic” that can now better distinguish between (simple) rapidly frequency-modulated calls and noise.
It is now possible to record from the UltraSoundGate units through the newly implemented ring buffer of the RECORDER USGH software (new option on File/Sound Card Settings…).
- An additional GPX/KML export tool on the metabease dialog box allows to export selected fields (columns) of the metabase table (containing GPS coordinates) into common .gpx or .kml waypoint files.
- The command Tools/Labels/Export label data… has been improved in order to facilitate the export of labels for (manual) measurement purposes. (see manual measurements using labels).
- A “normalize” option has been added to the Graphic Synthesizer command Tools/Scaling…
- A “phase spectrum” option with phase unwrapping capabilities has been added to the “One-dimensional Transformation” tool.
- The “Scan frequency contour and amplitude envelope” command has been added to the batch command.
- The spectrogram cross-correlation classification tool has been further improved.
- The new spectrogram window option “Display”/”Limit measurement decimal places to spectrogram resolution” allows to control the number of the decimal places on the acquired measurement values.
- The spectrogram cross-correlation classification tool can now process more templates (new option “use all template files in the selected folder”), can simultaneously perform automatic parameter measurements and will perform faster when executed in a batch process.
- The spectrogram overview on the main window can now be configured in such a way that short sounds don’t disappear in large files (disable the new option ‘fast mode’ for a more precise spectral envelope display)
- The batch command can now process the files in all subfolders (option “include all subfolders”).
- The previous command “Monitoring” / “Test signal / Daily LOG File Reset…” has been replaced by the revised command “Monitoring” / “Daily alarm actions…”, which provides additional options for managing reference signal generators and level measurements in long-term monitoring applications that require regular microphone performance tests.
- The trigger buttons (button1, button2 and button3) can now be remote-controlled via DDE poke (App: RECORDER, Topic: main, Item: button1, Data: “on” or “off”) or DDE execute (App: RECORDER, Topic: main, Item: “button1 on” or “button1 off”).
- The automatic call classification tool can now add the determined class either as a filename prefix or suffix.
- The newly implemented second time derivative in the Automatic Parameter Measurement tool (Location of measurements > more) allows to find reversal points in frequency contours (of bat echolocation calls). See an example.
- The metabase handling (command Metadata/Create virutal Metadatabase…) has been further improved.
- The new option “clock reference pulses on USG DI (LSB)” on the Time Axis Format dialog box can help syncronizing different data aquisition systems.
The new option “Metadata”/”Save changes without prompting” can accelerate the process of entering metadata.
- The new command “File”/”Specials”/”Previous/Next file command settings…” allows to select the desired file order for the Previous/Next file commands.
- The command “File”/”Specials”/”Auto Browse…” can execute the “Next file” command in an automated, timer-controlled way, which might be useful for visually examining large numbers of soundfiles.
Main window command “Analyze”/”Frequency cursor” added.
New buttons on the Metabase Query dialog box allow to copy, delete or rename the .wav files that satisfy the metabase query request. The new query filter options “null” and “not null” allow to select files whose specific metabase fields are either empty or not empty.
- The new command “Monitoring”/”Trigger level calibration…” can be used to adjust the trigger levels in a precise and repeatable way, which is important for acoustic bat monitoring projects at wind energy facilities (see the German manual).
- The new command “Monitoring”/”Log file date format” selects the preferred date format (MM/DD/YY, YYYYMMDD or DD.MM.YY).
- The new Configuration dialog box option “enable USG TRG button as alternative trigger source” on the RECORDER USGH allows to trigger a recording either by the “level of this channel” or by pressing the USG trigger button.
- The dXML metadata functionality has been further improved. The “dXML metadata record” dialog box command “Reset” resets all fields and the command “Save” saves the current record into the previously recorded .wav file (otherwise, any changes made in the “dXML metadata record” panel will only affect the subsequently recorded .wav files).
- The newly implemented automated call parameter measurements tool (command Options/Automated call measurements settings…) allows quantifying and classifying the detected calls in real-time. The created measurement log files provide a quick overview on the acquired data, which can certainly be useful for bat monitoring applications at remote field stations with low-bandwidth internet access (GSM, GPRS).
The bat call trigger filter has been improved by adding a hold time parameter that determines how close calls are treated.
The management of the daily (_RECENT) log files has been improved (command “Monitoring”/”Test Signal / Daily log file reset / Run program…”), which now also allows to run external command line programs for sending emails for instance.
The new option “Options”/”Large buttons” simplifies the operation of the software on computers with touchscreens.
The GPS receiver interface has been improved in order to avoid potential problems in conjunction with BlueTooth GPS receivers.
The new acoustic monitor option “digital gain” allows to boost the acoustic output signal, which can be useful in conjunction with the new UltraSoundGate 116Hnb devices that come with a fixed lower gain setting.
- Loop playback option implemented (command File/Playback settings…).
- The “Avisoft Bioacoustics” data folder management has been improved in order to manage situations where the default folder /username/Documents cannot be accessed (in case the folder is located on a network drive). As a workaround, the desired path can now be specified in the user-created text file /Program Files/Avisoft Bioacoustics/path.txt.
- Improved navigation through detected elements on the automatic parametere measurements (Crtl+ Left/Right Arrow on the spectrogram window moves the spectrogram view to the previous/next element).
- Improved label editing workflow (labels can now immediatley be deleted by right-clicking at them while the Shift key ist pressed).
- Improved Frequency Countour Template cross-correlation
- A peak-to-peak amplitude option on the Spectrogram Parameters dialog box allows to analyze very short pulses that would otherwise averaged out by the FFT window.
- The new option “active low” on the Control Output settings dialog box allows to modify the TTL output signal behavior.
- The new option “create playback log file” on the Playback settings dialog box allows to prevent the creation of the file playback.log.
- The newly implemented real-time oversampling option allows to play .wav files having any sample rate lower than 500 kHz directly through the UltraSoundGate Player 116, Player BL Light and Player BL Pro (including USG Player 216H). This new option also enables the direct playback of time-expanded recordings that have a sample rate of for instance 44.1 kHz.
Improved overload indicator
- The new UltraSoundGate Player 216H provides two channel ultrasound playback at a sample rate of 1 MHz. The bundled RECORDER USGH playback software (version 4.1.4 or higher) includes a real-time oversampling tool that allows to play any 16 bit mono or stereo .wav file whose sample rate is <= 1 MHz. The device provides two integrated power amplifiers, which allow to attach two speakers for conducting preference tests.
- The command ‘Edit’/’Format’/’Sampling Frequency Conversion…’ has been expanded for processing multichannel files.
- The newly implemented command ‘Edit’/’Insert silent margins…
, which is also available as a batch command option, can insert silent sections at the begin and end of a .wav file.
- The new options ‘keep DIO state’ on the FIR Filter and Sampling Frequency Conversion commands allow to preserve the UltraSoundGate DIO information (such as timecode or trigger signals).
- Avisoft Bioacoustics supported the art exhibition “Dissonate” by Evgenija Wassilew
- The newly added dXML metadata functionality (command Options/dXML metadata input settings…) can embed user-defined database records directly into the recorded .wav files. These XML-formatted metadata records are saved into application-specific “dXML” RIFF chunks of the .wav files, which can subsequently be processed in Avisoft-SASLab Pro (version 5.1 or higher).
- The new metadata menu on the main window provides advanced metadata handling capabilities. It supports user-defined (XML-based) metadata fields with pick-list and validation options (dXML chunk). Measurement data can now also be stored directly into the .wav files (mXML chunk). A versatile metabase command can collect metadata records from a set of sound files on-the-fly and then subsequently query that virtual database. See also the sample.
- JPG sidecar files that should be associated to a particular .wav file can be created by dragging the desired .jpg file into the SASLab Pro main window, which will copy and rename it accordingly.
- An additional classification option ‘Frequency Contour Templates’ (with options for normalized durations and time warping) allows to classify whistle-like vocalizations in a more general way.
- A section label option on the Pulse Train Analysis tool (‘Group Analysis’ > ‘use section labels as groups’) allows to count pulses that occur within labeled sections.
- New Automatic Parameter Measurements option ‘Harmonic-to-noise ratio’ implemented.
- The new option ‘relative stddev of entire element’ in the Automatic Parameter Measurements allows to quantify for instance frequency or amplitude modulation.
- The newly implemented ‘time derivative’ parameters in the Automatic Parameter Measurements tool that are available through the ‘more…’ button can help to quantify frequency changes within whistle-like calls.
- The CORRELATOR module (version 3.0) can now also process one-dimensional data such as waveforms, envelopes and spectra.
- The newly implemented LANC and SMPTE timecode decoding options (Analyze/Time axis format…) allow to synchronize video with (ultra)sound recordings more easily. In addition to that, timecode information can also be extracted from the “bext” metadata chunk of the .wav file header.
- New new command File/Rename allows renaming existing sound files, which can be supported by user-defined text modules. These text modudles can also be accessed from the labeling dialog box. An unlimited number of additional text modules can be imported from a text file (menu ‘File’/’Rename by text module/Define text module’/’External text file’).
- The command ‘Tools’/’Labels’/’Georeference labels…’ and it’s batch version can now also take filename prefixes (that are separated by space characters) as species references, which can for instance support documenting bat field surveys. If the species labels / filename prefixes match the text modules defined from ‘File’/’Rename by text module / Define text module’, then the created .kml file will contain species-specific icons. See also the Avisoft Bat Survey sample.
- The batch classification commands now allow to add the detected class names to the original .wav file names, which can improve the file handling, certainly for processing field survey data that are further processed by the above ‘Georeference labels’ command.
The new command ‘File’/’Specials’/’Edit BWF (bext chunk) Metadata…’ allows to view and edit metadata according to the Broadcast Wave Format standard.
- The command ‘File’/’Specials’/’Georeference .wav files…’ has been further improved and now allows to save the GPS coordinates directly into the BWF .wav file header as metadata. A log file output can assist troubleshooting time stamp deviations. See also the Bird Species Map sample.