At the laboratory scale, locating acoustic emission (AE) events is a comparatively mature method for evaluating cracks in rock materials, and the method plays an important role in numerical simulations. This study is aimed at developing a quantitative method for the measurement of acoustic emission (AE) events in numerical simulations. Furthermore, this method was applied to estimate the crack initiation, propagation, and coalescence in rock materials. The discrete element method-acoustic emission model (DEM-AE model) was developed using an independent subprogram. This model was designed to calculate the scalar seismic tensor of particles in the process of movement and further to determine the magnitude of AE events. An algorithm for identifying the same spatiotemporal AE event is being presented. To validate the model, a systematic physical experiment and numerical simulation for argillaceous sandstones were performed to present a quantitative comparison of the results with confining pressure. The results showed good agreement in terms of magnitude and spatiotemporal evolution between the simulation and the physical experiment. Finally, the magnitude of AE events was analyzed, and the relationship between AE events and microcracks was discussed. This model can provide the research basis for preventing seismic hazards caused by underground coal mining.