I checked the FMOD API documentation for HRTF (Head Related Transfer Function) to enhance the spatiality of the 3D sounds, but wasn’t able to confirm how the software mixing in FMOD works nowadays.
I found [url=http://www.fmod.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=16585&sid=d6c91cfe822f9277fc203f9501bebf9d:p6e9f2f0]this old topic[/url:p6e9f2f0] where HRTF functionality is discussed, but at least by quickly searching, couldn’t find a more recent reference to it.
So my question is:
Is the software-mixed 3D sound in FMOD using HRTF (or FMOD’s proprietary equivalent of it) by default on all 3D sounds, or does it have to be specifically enabled?
Also, if it has to be enabled, is it more resource heavy than basic surround panned sound?
[quote="mattconnolly":9wnlludy]No doubt that HRTF sounds better on headphones. The answer is in the "H" (Head).[/quote:9wnlludy]
I meant to say, that HRTF with normal priced stereo headphones actually sounds more immersive than Dolby Digital with an expensive 5/7.1 speaker& amp setup. Usually the more expensive stuff sounds better. Not in this case. I wonder if my own 5.1 amp emulates HRTF when using it with headphones. Doesn’t sound like it.
On the other hand, HRTF is trickier to calibrate, because everyone’s head and ears are different. The look-up tables are usually based on averaged test subjects.
FMOD_INIT_SOFTWARE_HRTF has to be added and this adds lowpass filters per voice.
It is not a smart hrtf at all right now, just a placeholder that dulls the sound when the sound goes behind the listener, until something better is put in its place.
It is more expensive than no filter per voice, but it is not that bad. The same filter is used for occlusion filtering.
That was being created by a 3rd party company that hasnt come through, they are still working on it apparently but we can’t rely on them any more. There are several companies doing this sort of thing so we’re talking with companies that can actually deliver us something rather than just talking about it
Looking forward to it, here’s hoping it’s coming soon.
I have experimented with binaural recording (using ear mounted mikes) and some free HRTF VST plugins, and the verdict is that HRTF greatly enhances the immersiveness of 3D games, especially first person ones. Interestingly, it actually sounds better and more immersive with headphones than with an expensive 5.1 speaker setup. It also sounds surprisingly good on stereo speakers – but it is definitely at its best with headphones.
If I recall right, the Source engine by Valve has some form of HRTF implemented into its audio.
No doubt that HRTF sounds better on headphones. The answer is in the "H" (Head).
I think it would be very nice for games with 5.1 output to have the option of HRTF stereo output for headphones.
Although there are some consumer amplifiers that have this functionality built in, like dolby digital headphones, it might be nice for this technology to shift into the console/pc to reach more users.
- mattconnolly answered 8 years ago
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