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To give a bit of background, we’ve had bug reports about all sounds from our main character being heavily biased to the front left speaker in 5.1 speaker configurations. Now our character is very slightly (5, 10 degrees maybe) offset from the listeners forward direction (the listener being the camera origin).

There seems to be nothing wrong with 3d position/normals passed to FMOD (all normalised etc), it’s just if the user is slightly offset from line of sight the bias in speaker volume is substantial.

The FMOD Designer ‘Surround Pan’ utility demonstrates this sharp pan in action, if I move the sound location along the very top from left to right, there is an abrupt snap from 50% volume in left speaker (0% right) to 50% volume in right (0% left) as you cross the listener forward axis. The sound location can be moved by a single pixel with the same result (very slight movement results in drastic volume changes).

Is there a way to smooth out this panning? Has anyone else experienced this? I get the impression this is how it’s supposed to operate, but in practice it’s problematic. Maybe configuring multiple listeners could smooth it out?

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We make a lot of sounds pan towards a 2D setup on distance, at 0.0 the sound is fully 2D so the designer can decide how they want it to sound when close, and at distance it’s fully 3D.

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Using the 3d pan level is definitely a good solution when getting too close to a sound source. In this situation though the sound can be five to ten meters from the listener, and still have quite a strong bias to one side.

I might play around with setting two listeners, maybe that will average out the volume levels.

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If you have two listeners there wont be any panning at all. It would be far too confusing if two or more people were playing split screen and the sounds had panning.

The 3d pan level is a scalar value so you set it to a small number to reduce the harshness of the panning without removing the all the bias. A small 3d pan value would make sure that there is never silence in one channel and full volume in another without making it sound 2d.

-Pete

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[quote="Jade_Lee":1o7nad50]To give a bit of background, we’ve had bug reports about all sounds from our main character being heavily biased to the front left speaker in 5.1 speaker configurations. Now our character is very slightly (5, 10 degrees maybe) offset from the listeners forward direction (the listener being the camera origin).

There seems to be nothing wrong with 3d position/normals passed to FMOD (all normalised etc), it’s just if the user is slightly offset from line of sight the bias in speaker volume is substantial.[/quote:1o7nad50]

This sounds like your centre speaker isn’t working. Are you testing this with headphones? The 5.1 setup I have here doesn’t send the centre speaker signal to the headphones, so when I test with headphones the pan does sound very abrupt. When I unplug the headphones so I can hear the centre speaker, the pan is smooth.

[quote="Jade_Lee":1o7nad50]The FMOD Designer ‘Surround Pan’ utility demonstrates this sharp pan in action…[/quote:1o7nad50]

The Surround Pan dialog is not really relevant here, as it uses a different speaker level calculation to the 3D spatialisation code. The Audition 3D dialog would give more relevant results.

Ben

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Another option, and something we do, is to base the position on the character, and not the camera, but use the camera to do rotation. This stops sounds changing volume if you spin around. It’s not ‘real’ but it sounds good.

We also play a lot of our players sounds just center.

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