Hello everyone. I have been trying to convince my devs for a few months to invest in Fmod. I don’t know how to answer some of their questions. Could you please help me?

Here are some concerns they noted:

1) We have to be extremely careful about performance for VR and this can sometimes mean sacrificing some quality by limiting realtime effects, number of sounds playing, and how transitions are done from one sound to another.

2) If we supported modding it would be unfortunate if people had to learn how to use FMOD Studio just to make a sound mod.

3) No matter if middleware is used or not, our game will take our programmer time to connect sounds to gameplay elements, because the gameplay has different hooks and some things need to communicate with notoriously complex systems such as physics and binaural audio. Switching to Fmod Studio doesn’t make the work go away, it in fact hits the reset switch and the copious work that has already been done needs to be done again and then some. We’ll readily admit that not enough focus or time has been devoted to make even some of the more basic connections exist to the point where sounds can be plugged in. But either way, that work will still exist regardless of audio solution.

4) Think of Fmod Studio like a piece of AV equipment that has as many or as little outputs as the sound designer wants to create. Unity is the other receiving piece of AV equipment, but the programmer has to create his own input for every output that the sound designer creates. So the more outputs you make, the more inputs and internal routing our programmer has to do. That is just part and parcel to the job. One of the disadvantages to Fmod is that this ongoing work is 1-to1, so he has to do this each time for everything. With Unity’s built-in audio, much of the basic routing and inputs have already been created, with only the very obscure formats still needing inputs. The downside to Unity’s audio is that not as many of the fancier functions the audio designer wants to mess with are available off the bat, so there is a bit of back and forth to creating those last 10% of audio features. That’s just the way it is, but given those pros and cons, it’s not that one software has a leg-up on the other, you are just trading weaknesses.

There’s a lot that I think are wrong with those 4 points. I am totally ignorant on #1 (VR performance), #2 supporting modding, #3 not sure I understand what they are talking about here and #4 I think he is very wrong about Fmod Studio only having 10% more features than Unity.

How can I explain? Is there a good resource out there for explaining why a sound designer seriously needs to use middleware?

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I´ve been using Fmod for 3 years now. I come from a composer-spund designer background and very use to DAW workflow. As you mention the advantages of the implementation-functionalities are not many, very similar to those in Unity.
Where Fmod is a great advantage is in the creative process. Fmod Studio, with the DAW like interface and the PARAMETERS features allows the designer and the composer the possibility of adding amazing interactive possibilities. That´s where Fmod really shines. If the sound designer or composer uses it well it can add a fourth dimension to each one of the events.
Each event can have many interactive parameters very easily implemented.
I teach Fmod in a Masters program for composers in Madrid, Spain, my name is Luis Neira. If you have anymore questions /or need samples you can contact me at epistolatico@gmail.com

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