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Hi there,

Does anyone have any smart tips/hints for implementing sfx for large ocean areas. We are using Fmod as the API for our new title, with our own proprietary front end.
My problem is in maintaining the directionality of the ocean sound whilst maintaining the mass of sound required. As of now, i am simply scattering out a vast amount of 3d sound objects where the ocean will appear in the playfield. After much trial and error it seems that we require literally hundreds of sound objects to create the desired combination of mass and directionality. Less than this and we experience "gaps" in the sound whilst walking along the shoreline, as if you have all of a sudden walked past the ocean. As you can imagine, this is incredibly time consuming, and seems to be a highly inneficient method for achieving the effect we’re after.

One method i considered is to place out sound sources way way back in the ocean (further than the player would be able to go), and setting a huge minimum distance on the sound source. Thing is with this approach is that once the player has entered the ocean the sound should then be perceived as coming from all around him, and not just way out to sea where the sound sources are positioned.
Another option is to use a fixed 3d environment triggered when entering a sensor volume. This would indeed solve the "gaps" problem and allow us to acheive the mass of sound i am talking about. But it would of course mean we lose directionality of the sound when not in the ocean itself.

A combination of the two might indeed be best. As in a few 3d sound sources positioned way back in the ocean, coupled with a fixed 3d environment that is triggered when entering the ocean, which in turns fades out the 3d sounds.

Does Fmod contain any smart features that could achieve the combination of directionality and mass of sound we are looking for? I find it hard to believe that there isn’t a simpler solution to this than what i am doing at present.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated,

thanks in advance,

Simon Poole.

Audio Director
The World Online
Funcom, Oslo.
simonp@funcom.com
http://www.funcom.com

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you could possibly use the 3D Pan Level effect for this. i’m using it to implement a ‘smart pan’ feature. the idea of this is that you have a sound source that sounds 3d when you are far away from it, but fades into 2d as you move closer.

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yes 3d pan level effect is built with this. You can put it in in conjunction with a distance parameter.

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Thats the method we use for ‘large’ sounds. We fade from 3d positional (which also moves inside a bounding volume, so it appears much larger than it is) to a 2d speaker-panned sound.

Sounds great :)

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Thanks a lot for the suggestion guys. I’ll get the 3D Pan Level effect hooked up to our system and try it out.

Much appreciated.

Simon.

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