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Hi there-
Seems like this should be obvious but I can’t find the answer anywhere. How is dialog ducking best accomplished in FMOD?
Thx!

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If you’re using the event system API, it’s pretty easy. =)

Make sure your dialog audio is in a different EventCategory from your other audio. When the dialog audio is going to start, you can lower the category volume (EventCategory::setVolume) of the other categories.

For example:

If you have the hierarchy:
master/dialog
master/fx
master/music

You can then lower the volume of master/fx and master/music during dialog. It’s up to you if you want to build a system to fade it gradually, etc. In our game, we built a simple system of EventCategory presets so we can even apply ducking to explosions and other effects with fading in and out, etc.

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I’m hoping in future we can set the volume of entire event system (master category) to -3db (70%), then boost the volume of the category we want amplified by +3db (142%). Saves all the overhead identifying the categories to exclude, and net effect would be the same.

Things can get pretty messy when you have hierarchies of categories (if you drop the volume of the parent and child category, you get double the attenuation, which is not what you want). This is where this type of technique would be really handy.

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Just duck all categories hanging off the master category apart from the dialogue, that’s what we do and it works well. You shouldn’t have to go any deeper into the tree than that. Unless your category tree has dialogue hanging off another branch lower.

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We’ll probably allow volume boosting in the future (fmod ex 5.0 low level engine has a few radical changes coming), but yeah as long as dialog is separate and on the same level as fx and music you shouldnt have a problem.

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