Time calculation

Hi there,
I’m a vet treating a dog with barking problem.
I’ve got a 10hour recording that I opened with Audacity.
Please see image attached.
20160905_133748.jpg
Can anyone please help me with working out how to select/find/crop the vertical scale, say above a certain db.
I need to be able to work out how many hours of the day in total is the sound above “X” db, so I can understand how many hours of the day the dog is barking for in total.

Is anyone able to help me asap?!!! please!

If the peaks above 0.4 are “barking”, then you can use “Sound Finder” (http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/silence_finder_and_sound_finder.html#sound) to mark those parts.
0.4 on the linear scale is about -8dB, so the settings you need are:
sound finder.png
The second control “minimum duration of silence between sounds [seconds’]” determines whether to count “three barks pause three barks” as the underlined parts:
woof woof woofwoof woof woof
or
woof woof woofwoof woof woof
A small setting will give separate labels for each bark. A longer setting will treat short gaps as part of the sound.

That will produce a label track with all of the barking marked with region labels.
The labels may then be exported as a text file (http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/importing_and_exporting_labels.html)

The first column of figures are the start times for the labels, and the second column are the end times. So you need to total the difference between the second and first column figures for each line. (A spreadsheet application may be useful if you know how to use one).

This is brilliant! Thank you SO much. This has been immensely helpful =)
I was 1/3 of the way there. I tinkered around and found this “sound finder”, but didn’t understand how to -db worked and also what the other selections meant. Then when I got the labels I didn’t know what to do with them!

This poor dog barked for 6.7 hours out of 10 hours at home alone…that’s a lot of barking!
This is before the medical treatment for anxiety started, so it will be great to monitor the period of barking as we go along in a more objective way =)

Thank you again for your super quick and helpful reply!
Kind Regards,
Nela

You’re not alone. This is a common problem for people that are unfamiliar with audio software.

“dB” measurement represents the ratio between one signal level and another. When referring to the level of a signal, it is a ratio of the signal level compared with “full scale” (full track height).

A doubling of amplitude is (very close to) +6 dB and a halving of amplitude -6 dB (minus six).
As a rule of thumb, we can convert dB ↔ Linear measurements of signal level as follows:

0 dB ↔ (+/-) 1.0
-6 dB ↔ 0.5 (1/2)
-12 dB ↔ 0.25 (1/4)
-18 dB ↔ 0.125 (1/8)
-24 dB ↔ 0.0625 (1/16)
-30 dB ↔ 0.03125 (1/32)
Note that for every 6 dB change there is a halving/doubling of the linear value.