SoundPLAN essential 4.0

Why SoundPLAN essential?

The majority of environmental noise simulations are small to medium projects tasked with checking the legal compliance of a planned road or an expansion to an industrial facility. These projects do not require the same complexity as is being offered in the full strength noise planning software products such as SoundPLAN. Noise modeling software suited for these projects must be specially designed to quickly acquire the model data via an import interface or to allow digitizing the essential data on top of an aerial photography or plan bitmap. Results must be obtainable quickly without much formatting, yet it must be customizable enough so your company standard can be represented and you can be proud of your work.

Click on the images to get an enlargement.

Click on the images to get an enlargement.

New: SoundPLAN essential 4.0

SoundPLAN essential is now available in the version 4.0, combining the full strength SoundPLAN calculation core with a simplified data entry editor to offer the noise modeling market a tool that can be learned in minutes yet powerful enough to allow engineers to do most of the noise modeling jobs. If your project is smaller with one industrial facility or some roads/railway lines, then SoundPLAN essential is better suited than a program designed to handle the complexity of noise mapping for an entire country. The data entry facilities are less complex but with the data import interfaces and 2D / 3D solid model viewing and the standard Dynamic Search SoundPLAN calculation core, the program offers enough flexibility and power to build a noise model quickly and get the results print ready in a snap. As the data structures are shared with the full program, the upgrade paths for data and also for the software itself are a possibility in case you do get the gigantic noise modeling job.

SoundPLAN essential 4.0 offers:

bullet Road / railway /industrial calculations
bullet Road standards: RLS 90/VBUS/TNM/NMPB-96/NMPB-2008/CoRTN Leq/CoRTN L10/   Russian road/Hj2.4-2009-China/EMPA StL95
bullet Railway Standards: Schall03/VBUSch/RMR 2002/CoRRN/French Rail/    Russian Rail/Semibel
bullet Industrial standards: ISO9613 / BS 5228/ Hj2.4-2009-China
bullet Import interface
bullet Data entry on top of bitmaps
bullet Continuously triangulated Digital Ground Model as elevation base for screening and ground effect calculations and for the placement of receivers in a Grid Noise Map.
bullet Calculation of single receivers
bullet Calculation of noise contours
bullet Calculation of grid based noise maps
bullet Direct management of 2 variants: without / with noise control
bullet Full Documentation of the results in tabular form
bullet Pre-defined graphics for Grid Noise Maps and Noise Contour calculations.
bullet Add-on module Building Acoustics Outside to evaluate the noise levels inside a building from the calculated noise levels outside.

Improvements and new features in SoundPLAN essential 4.0 include:


New libraries for industrial noise; work with reference frequencies; convert sound pressure levels into sound power Lw


New dynamic search calculation core with multi threaded -parallel- calculations on a multi core CPU.


Use the noise standard of your choice instead of using “country sets.”


Combine road, rail and industry projects instead of using just one noise type.


View spectra at the receiver in the documentation.


Improved export of noise maps and documentation to PDF


Many small improvements are made to all areas of the program.

The data entry Editor

Although SoundPLAN essential was conceived for smaller projects, this program has limits of project size. With the data import interface you can import even big models.

For very big and huge models we recommend to switch to the full version as these projects tend to need more editing capabilities than SoundPLAN essentials can supply.

SoundPLAN essential offers all basic object types you need to model road, railway and industrial noise.

View the model in 3D

A visual inspection of the model and its relationship to the 3D surface defined by the triangulated mesh, is paramount in a noise model. When using the appropriate cursor, you can activate an object in the 3D solid view. Click on the object to view the details.

The objects attributes and the coordinates are visible on the right hand side of the editing canvas.

Digitizing data on top of a bitmap

Often data from other sources are not available for import and a model must be made by digitizing the objects directly on the canvas or with the help of a digitizing tablet. The easiest way is to work with a background bitmap (plans or aerial photography) and trace the objects on screen.

Bitmaps however are only 2D coordinates and special attention must be given to develop the 3D capacity first by entering relevant elevation locations or elevation lines that then can be turned by the calculations of SoundPLAN essential into a 3D mesh. New objects then are placed directly on top of this canvas.

Defining noise emissions

For road noise the emissions of  the road are derived from the vehicle numbers, their speed and the condition of the road surface. All parameters are dependant on the standards so the emissions data entry will look slightly different depending on the standard you selected for your model.

On the left you see the road emission data entry fro the NMPB.

Converting Lp into Lw

Defining frequency dependant industrial sources with octave bands of third octave bands. The library has provisions to convert entered sound pressure levels into a sound power spectrum. In the editor itself the overall sound power can be adjusted for each time slot to reflect the fact that a source may not run 24/7



Emission Tables

After you entered al relevant sources you can generate a listing of all emissions in tabular form. There are separate tables for roads, railway and industry.

List of the receivers with details

SoundPLAN essential offers the possibility to calculate noise maps and single stand alone receivers. What the graphics do for the noise maps, the table of single receiver results does for the single receivers, a documentation of the noise levels and the noise limits.

Single stand alone receivers

The tabular information from single receivers can be combined with a graphical view. Here a description box with a bitmap depicting the road is shown with the tables for the receivers noise levels for day and night.

Combination of Bitmap and Noise Map

Noise maps can be presented in combination with the bitmap that was used for digitizing. This sandwich gives a better understanding of the situation than the few objects that were used in the simulation.


Contour Lines in Line Format

While single receivers my be all that is needed by law, the contour lines drawn with line smoothing to a color scale depict the noise scenario for the entire area and give a better understanding of the noise situation.

Here the contour lines are printed in the line format.

Contour Lines with Color Fill

Here the same noise map as above is presented with color fill.

SoundPLAN essential offers all the described facilities and more for half the cost of the Startkit of the full program. If you are interested in more information, a trial version or an offer for this product, contact


Additional information about SoundPLAN essential 4.0 can be found on

More information about the full program SoundPLAN 7.4 are available here:

Learn about the differences between SoundPLAN essential and SoundPLAN 7.4 here:

The Highlights of SoundPLAN 7.4 can be seen here:

See an overview of all SoundPLAN 7.4 modules:

Copyright 2016 SoundPLAN international LLC, Shelton, WA 98584, USA