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Hi, I’ve searched the forum and couldn’t find anybody asking about this so I’m going to take the leap and just straight ask… :)

What is the best way (pre FMOD Studio) to do dynamic mix changes?? That is, to change volume (and ideally other effects) for groups/categories based on parameters or game state information.

At the moment the only way I can see to change the mix dynamically is through parameter based effects on individual sound events. Which is obviously a big pain if you want to change the entire mix for different game states in a mid/large size project as you would have to change each event individually.
Also you couldn’t have simple events without them being excluded from the mix change.

So is the solution to change property settings for groups/categories through code?
And if so does that limit you to the properties found under the categories tab, i.e. Volume, Pitch, Max Playbacks?
Also what about transition time between different volume settings? I assume that can be coded?

I realise the upcoming FMOD Studio should be able to do all this but we have a game being released later this year and so it may not be possible to implement that in time.

By the way, are you able to say when FMOD Studio will be released?

Many Thanks

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Hi.

There’s a few posts around on this subject but the basic gist of it is that you will need to group your events into categories and use them to drive the mix. If you want it done based on the signal level coming out of another category you need to write that yourself and it will cost you a bit of CPU time which you may or may not have. We nearly did a signal level based ducking system this at one point but ran out of time and had to opt for a data driven approach where if an event in category 1 triggers all categories below it duck by a set amound and releases when there’s a key-off. If something in category 2 triggers then the categoreis 2+ duck by a different amount and release after a set duration. That way you can build a system that broadly suits most of the sound in your game as you can put all your speech in one, all your gunshots in 2, all your loud loops in 3 etc. It certainly wasn’t flawless and could have done with some more iteration to get it sounding good but it worked ok and most importantly was very cheap to run.

Originally we were going to add a ducking amount, type and release time to the user properties in the events but the problem with this, if you’re short on memory, is that it turms them into complex events and we were trying to everything into simple events to save resources tso the two approaches clashed.

We had planned a dynamix mix system to sit on top of that which would simply have been a modifier that changed the relative levels of the categories and altered the range of the ducking operations by a factor in order to produce a greater or lesser dynamic range in the game. Again, not ideal but cheap to run.

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Hi stutman_psp, welcome to the FMOD forum.

[quote:3gijoxt9]So is the solution to change property settings for groups/categories through code?[/quote:3gijoxt9]
Yes, you cannot automate category volumes with EventParameters in FMOD designer so the only way to change them is through the API.

[quote:3gijoxt9]And if so does that limit you to the properties found under the categories tab, i.e. Volume, Pitch, Max Playbacks?[/quote:3gijoxt9]
I’m not entirely sure what you mean here, what else do you want to automate on the category? If you mean other things like effect parameters you can automate those too, anything is possible our public API is very flexible so your programmers can poke around and do almost anything. There is no way to add effects to categories in FMOD Designer though so it’s up to the coders to add those as well.

[quote:3gijoxt9]Also what about transition time between different volume settings? I assume that can be coded?[/quote:3gijoxt9]
That is correct, it’s up to the coder to manage the transitions.

A common approach when using the programmer API to extend the functionality of FMOD Designer is to use the ‘user properties’ of objects to associate information with that object for the programmers.

[quote:3gijoxt9]By the way, are you able to say when FMOD Studio will be released?[/quote:3gijoxt9]
No official release date has been set at this point, all I can say is we are hard at work on it! :)

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