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I find your 2D speaker names confusing, especially in regards to 7.1.

Currently, FMOD designer seems to work as follows:

2D Speaker LR = feeds what’s commonly known as the Left Surround Channel in 5.1 and which can also referred to as the Left Side channel in 7.1.

While the

2D Speaker LS = feeds what is commonly known as the Left Rear Channel or Surround Back Left channel in 7.1 (only)

A current version of FMOD designer manual referred to the 2D Speaker LS as "dB level in the ‘left Side’ channel " This is misinformation. The signal does NOT feed the "side" speaker at all – it feeds the 7.1 left REAR channel. This incorrect labeling could stem from a misunderstanding of the 7.1 formats. For 7.1 – it is the REAR channels that are the added speakers – not the sides (which is really wrong to me – but a totally different topic).

Please check these references for further clarification on 7.1:
http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entert … er-set-up/
http://www.dolby.com/consumer/setup/spe … index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.1_surround

Bottom line is – the current system actually works fine it is just incorrectly labeled and described in your literature.

I suggest renaming these speaker properties to avoid further confusion. In the scenario listed below, nothing changes under the hood – you guys just update what the user sees in FMOD Designer. This should ensure backwards compatibility, but make it a lot easier for users to keep these surround formats straight:

FROM – 2D Speaker LR – TO – 2D Speaker Ls = Left Surround Speaker (side in 7.1)
FROM – 2D Speaker RR – TO – 2D Speaker Rs = Right Surround Speaker (side in 7.1)
FROM – 2D Speaker LS – TO – 2D Speaker Lr = Left Rear Speaker (7.1 only)
FROM – 2D Speaker RS – TO – 2D Speaker Rr = Right Rear Speaker (7.1 only)

Check it out – let us know – thanks,

-Rich

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Hi Rich,

Thanks for your post. You have raised two issues here: the labelling of surround channels and sound coming out of the rears rather than the sides when you set your system to 7.1.

You are right that the labels in FMOD don’t conform to the commonly used standard you have described. Many surround stream formats, audio software (Dolby, Microsoft, Protools etc), hardware platforms and sound card manufacturers can’t agree on this and use unconventional ordering. The PS3 platform uses the ‘rears before sides’ ordering which can’t be consistent with the standard you describe, for example. It’s not just a matter renaming these speakers in the tool – these labels also correspond to the naming conventions and routing of the FMOD API for platforms such as the PS3. So the only thing you’ll need to remember when using FMOD’s surround channels is that rears are the ‘5.1 surrounds’.

As for sounds coming out the rears instead of sides, this very much depends on your hardware and setup. There’s often options in the sound drivers to manually map your outputs or at least select between two 5.1 setups (sides or rears) so that the 7.1 ordering will work out. If you use Windows 7, you should be able to physically switch the rear and side jacks and then select the second 5.1 option when configuring the speaker setup for 5.1 so that the surround channels come out the ‘rears’ output instead of ‘sides’.

I hope that helps, let us know if you have any other issues.

Regards,
Gino

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Hi Gino,

Thanks for responding. Unfortunately, your response confuses me. I don’t think I do have two problems, I’m pretty sure it’s all the same problem.
[i:3e6lnc7f]
"You are right that the labels in FMOD don’t conform to the commonly used standard you have described." [/i:3e6lnc7f]

Why not? Why wouldn’t FMOD want to conform with this most commonly used standard?

[i:3e6lnc7f]"Many surround stream formats…"[/i:3e6lnc7f]

I know, multichannel stream ordering differs and it’s a pain – but my question has nothing to do with this multichannel ordering – I’m only questioning your 2D speaker labeling and descriptions.

"[i:3e6lnc7f]you’ll need to remember when using FMOD’s surround channels is that rears are the ‘5.1 surrounds’.[/i:3e6lnc7f]"

This is silly – I wouldn’t HAVE to ‘remember’ this if FMOD Designer simply referred to this speaker output as a surround – which is the most common name for it!

I’m glad you brought up PS3. Let’s take a real-world scenario…

Let’s say Joe Gameplayer is using his PS3 and HDMI output to feed his new Pioneer 7.1 receiver. Let’s assume that Joe likes that big 7.1 sound and may not be the most technically savvy – so he’s going to use the receivers default 7.1 set-up. He’s NOT going to go into the receivers options menu and switch the sides and rears – he’s going to use the default set-up that the receiver ships with. The default speakers be checked by allowing the receiver to send it’s built in pink-noise around around to each channel as you make sure that the speaker that is listed on the the receiver’s display corresponds to what you hear.

In the above scenario, if Joe Gameplayer plays his video game and triggers a 2D sound event that is set to solely play out of the ‘2D Speaker LS’ – which in FMOD Designer is described as "The default of the [b:3e6lnc7f]side left speaker[/b:3e6lnc7f] for the event" – Joe will in fact hear this sound come out of his [b:3e6lnc7f]left Rear 7.1 channel[/b:3e6lnc7f].

As and FMOD user, do I also have to remember that ‘when using FMOD’s side channels is that ‘sides’ are the ‘7.1 rears’?!?

Before you respond – please go and test this on a few regular old commercial 7.1 receivers and a PS3. You don’t need a multichannel stream – just a mono 2D Event.

My original request for relabeling of ‘2D speakers and their corresponding descriptions’ remains as put forth in my original email.

Thanks,

Rich

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Hi Rich,

After testing out a designer project playing back through a PS3 using a standard 7.1 receiver via HDMI, we found that sounds routed to side speakers using the 2D speaker settings do end up in the rears and vice versa, just like you described in your scenario. We’ll look at how we can fix this for designer. As a side note – The channel order and naming in FMOD Ex actually changes for PS3 as well as channel labels so users of the FMOD Ex API won’t have this problem. 3D-panned sounds will also come out of the correct speakers, it’s the 2D speaker levels in Designer which are wrongly labelled for PS3 (just clarifying for other users). Microsoft (Windows 7 in particular) supports two channel configurations for 5.1 – one of which uses sides/surrounds while the other uses the rear surrounds to account for different surround conventions. The ordering and labelling of the Designer 2D speaker levels may be right or wrong for PC users with a surround system, depending on how their speakers are configured and plugged into their PCs.

FMOD initially aligned itself with the channel ordering and naming conventions of Microsoft, Direct X and other popular game technologies at the time. Even though we have been aware of the standard surround labelling conventions (and growing adhesion to them) since then, the main issue with changing ours to match is of breaking compatibility with existing projects. Renaming these in designer will not completely fix the issue (although switching rear and side labels for PS3 will fix it for the scenario you described). It’s not possible to rename the speakers without affecting the channel order (and/or virtual speaker positioning for 3D sounds) as well as the levels set on existing projects since designer doesn’t have separate configurations for 5.1 and 7.1. I agree that, had we started with standard surround labelling (and channels 7 & 8 were rear surrounds instead of 7.1 sides), things would be a much simpler. However, as it stands, this shift will involve changes to Designer, it’s API and FMOD Ex API. We do believe that the standards you have referred to are more correct and we’ll look into how we can change over to conventional labelling with minimal disturbance to existing users.

Regards,
Gino

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Sad to see this issue never addressed – makes things so confusing.

Updating links that had moved –

http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entert … er-set-up/
http://www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/set … index.html

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Due to the way the MS mapping is embedded in fmod’s API and the backwards compatibility issues , we’re going to add a flag for ps3/ps4 only, to make the MS speaker map flip to dolby mapping internally, so designer will stay the way it is, but it will come out the correct speakers without having to change anything on the consoles.

Fun fact – XBox One is actually in the PC format (WAVEFORMATEX), so it should be correct the way it is! Its just the Sony platforms we just confirmed.

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[quote="rcarle":35uveigg]Hello,

I am a little confused about when to use the forum and when to use the support@fmod.org email address, but when I last reached out to you via the email address you pointed me back to the forum so, hopefully, this is ok.

[/quote:35uveigg]

If you write to support@fmod.org we can help you debug stuff by sending attachments, we don’t just bounce you back here, unless you want us to reply to the forum post which is what we’re still doing.

[quote:35uveigg]
This sounds like you guys do NOT support DD Live functionality, is this the case? In order for Fmod Designer to work correctly, do you require that DD Live/DTS output NOT be used?
[/quote:35uveigg]

DD Live has nothing to do with fmod or any audio middleware. It is a driver feature for windows, so we just send a raw 6 channel pcm stream to the driver like everyone else.

[quote:35uveigg]
Fmod Designer downmixes from 7.1 to 5.1 and, like Brett points out, in a Windows environment the extra 2 speakers are now inserted between the rears and fronts, and are listed as SL and SR So a fold down to 5.1 involves spreading the added sides the fronts and rears…
Right?
[/quote:35uveigg]

FMOD doesn’t really downmix. It mixes natively in 5.1, but yes a mono signal that does a pan to side speakers, just looking at the code, will put the virtual sides in the fronts and rears, as you’ve described there.

[quote:35uveigg]
So, in my Dev environment, where I’m developing for PS4 and XB1 as well PC – I must flip the channels in order to achieve the desired results on the consoles like Gino has advised me [quote:35uveigg]the only thing you’ll need to remember when using FMOD’s surround channels is that rears are the ‘5.1 surrounds’.[/quote:35uveigg] Consequently, when I send a sound explicitly to the BACK speakers in the PS4/XB1 – I have to route them to the SIDES, LS and RS (because they are not internally flipped in Designer – see earlier post). Now, when I listen to this sound on the PC version of my game and thru Fmdo Designer tool, it comes out my FRONTS and SURROUNDS (fmod "rears") because Fmod folded down the added SIDE channels on my windows machine like in the picture above.
[/quote:35uveigg]

Yes it looks like if you were specific about backs becoming surrounds in the switch, it would look like that (edit: only PS4! – see below post), most people just treat them as rough ‘surrounds’ because who knows where the user will place them when in a PC environment, and its just the sides that are the issue, but its a less than ideal situation.

I think we might add a flag to the runtime to do the flip for you like studio does, and then you can just author as though the surrounds are surrounds, and on pc they are internally flipped to be the ‘sides’. Using this logic i’d just author with that in mind. We can probably do this by monday.

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Hello,

I am a little confused about when to use the forum and when to use the support@fmod.org email address, but when I last reached out to you via the email address you pointed me back to the forum so, hopefully, this is ok.

Brett – [quote:k8lpq8yi]I need you to test without that DD live sound card encoding, and use something like 4 analog outputs to test with.[/quote:k8lpq8yi]

This sounds like you guys do NOT support DD Live functionality, is this the case? In order for Fmod Designer to work correctly, do you require that DD Live/DTS output NOT be used?

Gino – [quote:k8lpq8yi]DD Live is really irrelevant to this conversation[/quote:k8lpq8yi]

I still agree with you Gino on this assertion because when windows is in control of the sound card like it is on my machine, Fmod Designer downmixes from 7.1 to 5.1 and, like Brett points out, in a Windows environment [quote:k8lpq8yi]the extra 2 speakers are now inserted between the rears and fronts, and are listed as SL and SR[/quote:k8lpq8yi] So a fold down to 5.1 involves spreading the added sides the fronts and rears…

[attachment=0:k8lpq8yi]MS71to51folddown.jpg[/attachment:k8lpq8yi]

Right?

So, in my Dev environment, where I’m developing for PS4 and XB1 as well PC – I must flip the channels in order to achieve the desired results on the consoles like Gino has advised me [quote:k8lpq8yi]the only thing you’ll need to remember when using FMOD’s surround channels is that rears are the ‘5.1 surrounds’.[/quote:k8lpq8yi] Consequently, when I send a sound explicitly to the BACK speakers in the PS4/XB1 – I have to route them to the SIDES, LS and RS (because they are not internally flipped in Designer – see earlier post). Now, when I listen to this sound on the PC version of my game and thru Fmdo Designer tool, it comes out my FRONTS and SURROUNDS (fmod "rears") because Fmod folded down the added SIDE channels on my windows machine like in the picture above.

Does this mean that, if I am developing a game for three platforms – PS4, XB1 and Windows – using Fmod Designer, that a consumer, who uses a Dolby or DTS 5.1 output on their Windows version of my game will hear sounds that I have[i:k8lpq8yi] explicitly[/i:k8lpq8yi] mapped to the REAR channels (on both the PS4 and XB1)– coming out their FRONT channels (and SURROUNDS)? Like I do now right now on my PC? Isn’t this, in fact, the expected behavior for ALL windows sound cards regardless of Dolby Live or DTS or Analog (that sides are spread to rears and fronts in windows)? Using Fmod Designer, what is the best way to send a sound explicitly to the REAR channels of the XB1 and PS4 and PC?

Thanks,

Rich

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[quote:3nqtkedy]Studio now conforms to the dolby type of standard, and actually flips the last 2 pairs internally so that you dont notice it, and can author to 1 standard the whole time.[/quote:3nqtkedy]

I’m glad to hear that you’re finally fixing this in Studio, but I still wish you would fix it in Designer as well, since that’s what were using to develop PS4 and XB1 titles on.

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There is confusion in this thread so i’ll clear it up hopefully.
the labelling for a start, appeared long before any consoles even supported 7.1, which is ps3 only , then later xb1 and ps4.

FMOD only supported 7.1 on windows, so it followed the windows standard as would be natural.
Lets look at their layout, this is a generic windows speaker selection dialog, win8 in this case. Same with win7 and even XP.

[img:2qav3nfw]http://i.imgur.com/HBwmGW1.png[/img:2qav3nfw]
You can clearly see they refer to the 5.1 rears as rears, and are positioned as such they are not ‘surrounds’. This is the way you’re supposed to be set up for ‘PC’.

[img:2qav3nfw]http://i.imgur.com/SXOp2KF.png[/img:2qav3nfw]
Next 7.1 is selected, you can see the extra 2 speakers are now inserted between the rears and fronts, and are listed as SL and SR, which microsoft calls sides, but surround is just as appropriate because they’re roughly in the right position as a dolby surround as well.

PS3 does have the last 2 channels being ‘backs’ and the pair before it being ‘surrounds’, but note – importantly 3d sound panning pans correctly using a circle which maps to the right speakers, regardless of if it is ps3 or windows.

Designer lets you have different speaker levels for ps3 or windows, so for specific 2d sounds that you’re talking about, you can set it up differently for each platform.
Studio now conforms to the dolby type of standard, and actually flips the last 2 pairs internally so that you dont notice it, and can author to 1 standard the whole time. I think I mentioned this in another thread in the studio forum.

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