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The audio programmer I work with and I have been trying to sort out a way to effectively place the 3D sound listener in an environment with an isometric camera, and using 5.1. In a situation like this, there really is no forward or backward, just up, down, left and right.

We’ve tried attaching the listener to the character model, but the problem we faced is that the sound attenuates and pans according to the character’s facing, which can be disorienting. We have also tried to place the listener to the center of the screen, but pointing up. However the result is any sound that is triggered below the listener gets panned and attenuated in an ‘unnatural’ way.

What we are trying to achieve is a set up that keeps events sounding directional, but only in the front channels, while they are on screen. When they move off screen, they are attenuated and panned according to the direction they are heading. In other words, if a sound moves off screen in an upward direction, it is simply attenuated and stays in the front speakers. When it moves off screen in a downward direction it moves to the rears and gets attenuated.

Does any of this make sense?

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I would go with the center of the screen pointing up, but lift the 3rd axis a bit so that sounds dont suddenly jump from back to front, ie they go under the listener not through it.

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Nice, that makes a lot of sense. We’ll test it out and report back. Thanks!

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