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Hey Guys,

This is a CRITICAL effect for me and my team so I hope you can look at this soon.

Repro –

  1. Open the Fmod EX Designer (4.44.26, or 4.44.22) example file (examples.fdp)
  2. Go to the sound Event – WeightAndPlayPercentage in FeatureDemonstration\Randomization
  3. add the effect "Speaker Level" to this event
  4. turn down all channel level effect values to zero (Front Right, Front Left / Sub, Center / Rear Right, Rear left)

Result = sound will come out of the 5 channels equally (can’t tell if sub as well)

Expected result = no sound should be heard as the effect should override any 2d values at the event level

Further testing –
1. now save the above modifed examples.fdp as examples_mod.fdp including the modified event above
2. open this examples_mod.fdp in Fmod Designer 4.42.00
3. play the modifed event – WeightAndPlayPercentage

result, as desired = no sound will play when triggered since values are all set to zero.

Thanks,
Rich

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[quote:28pdl1e4]- Sub/ctr – sends to also sends to FL, FR and CTR (didn’t test sub)
– Rear LR – sends to Surrounds and Fronts (didn’t test rears)[/quote:28pdl1e4]

I can not reproduce these results I described earlier, so I must have been doing something wrong or my soundcard was acting up.

As Brett guessed in his first response, I believe my original results were caused by the side channels being on at full through out my tests an issue Brett has already addressed by allowing the sides to be visible upon instantiating the effect.

The fact the that…
[quote:28pdl1e4]in older versions of designer i think it was ignoring the sides for speaker modes lower than 7.1 (which was bad)[/quote:28pdl1e4] would explain why this is an issue now.

Still, I don’t want to obscure the fact that, sound designers, who are developing for the PS3/PS4/Win and using the [b:28pdl1e4]Speaker Level Effect[/b:28pdl1e4] will need to understand that, currently, in Fmod Designer (4.44.27 and earlier) that sending to Fmod’s ‘Sides’ will produce signal in the console’s rear channels and vice-versa just like the 2d speaker properties.

This has more serious implications when sound designers want sounds sent explicitly to the Rear channels of the PS3 AND Win. This is currently NOT possible – because to send to the rears on the PS3 will produce signal in the Sides on a Win machine and vice versa. Currently, without FMOD internally flipping these channels, either one platform or the other will playback incorrectly (with the sides and rear flipped).

Fmod is aware of this issue and has agreed to fix it soon – viewtopic.php?f=8&t=14403#p58251

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The effect ‘Speaker Level’ must use the same paths that the 2D Speaker Properties on the Event page use, because this – [url:3bs0oz2w]http://www.fmod.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=14403#p58251[/url:3bs0oz2w]is the same exact issue.

It makes me wonder about all the games over the years that have shipped using fmod designer. When designers, like myself, were using the Speaker Level properties (or the Speaker Level Effect) and developing for both Windows and the consoles (PS3, WIN)… Sending signal to Designer’s "LS and RS" channels to get to the Rears on the consoles – only to have these sounds end up in the Fronts on the Windows 5.1 environment…?!

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hi rich, will look into this now and get back to you ASAP

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i was more concerned with this comment

  • Sub/ctr – sends to also sends to FL, FR and CTR (didn’t test sub)
  • Rear LR – sends to Surrounds and Fronts (didn’t test rears)
    (- Side LR – sends to Surrounds and Fronts (didn’t test rears))

Which isnt the case, i put the side one in brackets because it probably is the mono mixing the virtual sides in 5.1 to the fronts and surrounds like you said.
‘rears’ would never send to fronts unless you were in stereo mode
‘sub/ctr’ would never sent to fronts unless you were in stereo mode (ie you’re not running fmod designer in 5.1 at all, sounds more like stereo to me)

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Hi Rich,
The issue is that you still have ‘side left/ side right’ active but not visible in your effect. When 7.1 levels are mixed down to your speaker mode, then the sides will still have some influence, and feed to your output.
Its possible 7.1 downmixing was improved in a recent version , but the speaker level effect in designer wasn’t changed.

If you right click on the speaker level effect, and do effect properties, click ‘add’ button, and tick side left/side right and then you’ll see the new envelope appear with 1.0 as the level.
I’ll see that sides get added by default when this effect is created to avoid confusion.

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I ran a test on a current project of mine to see what happens on the stereo fold-down with respect to the Side channels (aka the additional channels for 7.1). I haven’t checked the 5.1 fold-down yet, but I will. The results vary depending on which version of Designer I used. Specifically:

Version 4.44.15
With "Side Right,Side Left" set to 1.0 (and everything else set to 0.0), I hear nothing in the fronts. This is unexpected, but maybe this can be explained somehow.

Version 4.44.20 & 27
With "Side Right,Side Left" set to 1.0 (and everything else set to 0.0), I only hear the something in the front right.

I got the same results with a RME HDSP 9632 as I did with the HDMI out of an ATI Radeon 5700 (to a Yamaha receiver). Both systems are running Win7 64bit. I’ll test 5.1 with both setups as well.

Could my results be related to my event template being setup using the "Surround Pan" tool to "Apply speaker levels" with the "mode" set to 5.1? I may have done this way back, thinking it was necessary to do so, to limit the event to 5.1.

Thanks,
Sean

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Hey Brett,

Thanks for the quick response.

Okay – adding the effect property Side Right/ Side Left and then turning it to zero does in fact stop all sound from flowing through. However…

Sending signal through this parameter is also feeding my front and surround channels. Yet in Designer 4.28.08 it does not. So it looks like Speaker Level effect is still broken like this –
– Sub/ctr – sends to also sends to FL, FR and CTR (didn’t test sub)
– Rear LR – sends to Surrounds and Fronts (didn’t test rears)
– Side LR – sends to Surrounds and Fronts (didn’t test rears)

I don’t have a 7.1 set up – so I am unable to test the rear channels in 7.1 test.

I am testing using a Sound Blaster xfi Fatatlity with a built in Dolby Digital Live encoder chip – running through a commercial Onkyo receiver.

On a related note:

This 2 year old issue was never addressed – see forum entry "2D speaker descriptions = incorrect for 7.1"

I still don’t understand why you guys didn’t just change the labeling – at least for the console skus. I can’t believe we (Designer users) still have to deal with this confusion where sending signal to the 7.1 sides actually produces audio from the rears on Console titles. I still don’t understand how this isn’t a 2 second fix code-side as described in my original post.

Last thing – Is there anyway I can convince you guys to set the default for the "Side Channels" to zero rather than one? Either this, or at least include the "side channels" in the Speaker Level effect when it gets instantiated. As you describe, right now, when you add this effect you only see the 5.1 controls yet the side channels are sending at at Max by default. This little secret send has created many surprise bugs for us in the past.

Thanks,

Rich

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in older versions of designer i think it was ignoring the sides for speaker modes lower than 7.1 (which was bad), and in later versions it added the distribution to the fronts and rears as currently being experienced.
edit: here is the change in revision.txt for the programmer API, it should probably be in the designer revision.txt oo

[code:qy6yemrq]

26/08/13 4.44.20 – Stable branch update

  • Fix mono and stereo sounds not being audible if side left/right speaker levels were being set on it.
    [/code:qy6yemrq]
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just an update to let you know we’re working on a solution for this now. Should have something tomorrow to report.

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Hi ,
The speaker level effect is sending to the correct speakers, as I mentioned before in the other forum thread. I’ve got a breakpoint in the debugger looking at the 6 channel signal, they do not go to the wrong speakers, but beyond fmod, we’re still thinking its going to be something to do with your sound card setup, especially due to the DDLive thing, but we didnt get further feedback on that. We still havent got verification of output on a soundcard besides this. I asked you to email support@fmod.org so we could send you stuff to test with.
I need you to test without that DD live sound card encoding, and use something like 4 analog outputs to test with.

Here is a print out of the signal playing a mono sound through 5.1, with the effect, and everything set to silent except for the envelope for RR and RL

[img:2hi79i9u]http://i.imgur.com/9tseObg.png[/img:2hi79i9u]

The signal here is represented as column 1=fl, 2=fr, 3=c, 4=lfe, 5=rl, 6=rr, you can see the first 4 signals are absolutely dead. The only way you’re getting bleed is due to your sound card setup.

You can test your output in designer using wav writing output, see this in the preferences, without sound cards being involved.

[img:2hi79i9u]http://i.imgur.com/Ohg143V.png[/img:2hi79i9u]

regarding your comment about "Either this, or at least include the "side channels" in the Speaker Level effect when it gets instantiated", i already said this was going to happen in the post you replied to, it is in fact already present in the 4.44.27 release on the download page.

regards,
Brett

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I’ve implemented the following change and reverted the previous change (where sides are added to the speaker level effect by default).

If a speaker level effect doesn’t have sides visible in designer, previously they were ‘secretly’ there as sides=1.0 volume (0db) and this was obviously unwanted.

I’ve simply changed the behaviour as – if speakerlevels weren’t visible, then it now treats that as sides = 0.0 volume (-inf db).

Adding sides to be visible by default when you add the effect was in a recent build, but would just mean more work for you to drag the level down to 0.0 volume (-inf db) each time, so I thought it was probably best if this was left the way it used to be, and fix it using the following logic instead.

Theoretically I could change the speaker level effect to also mute invisible speakers that arent sides (say if rears or fronts were invisible) but I think for backwards compatibility sake, i’ll just treat sides only as the special case for now.

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Great! Thanks, Brett. That sounds like it should work well for our existing and future projects.

I would imagine that if we did end up supporting 7.1 on a future project that I would be explicitly adding the side speakers (to SpeakerLevel), so that I could set them at about the same level as I set the rears. I would probably only ever want them at full volume for 3D sounds, which I believe is already the default behaviour (unless I ask the programmer to disable or turn down the sides at the API level). Hopefully this is the case for other studios developing 7.1.

Thanks again,
Sean

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Thanks, Brett.

Regarding rcarle’s request to have the side speakers default to 0.0, going this route and/or maybe providing a toggle for this in the preferences would be a big help for projects that already contain a lot of ‘Speaker Level’ effects. Otherwise, I’m going to have to go back through a couple projects to add the ‘side’ property to each 2D event, so that I can zero it out. I was hoping to avoid this by having our audio programmer disable the side speakers in the API, but that will only make things sound correct in-game (and not in Designer). Afaik you can’t disable the sides in Designer without using something like Speaker Level. If adding a Preferences toggle is feasible, maybe something along the lines of "Side speaker default value if not explicitly defined in the Speaker Level effect".

I should mention that you may end up getting a bunch of emails saying that their 5.1 mixes are screwed up. Before I knew about this side speaker change, I had been trying to figure out why our audio was suddenly broken/out of balance. I’m now pretty sure that it’s all side speaker related (e.g. probably all our 2D sounds are too loud now), but it took me a while to reach this conclusion. It felt almost like the front and rear speakers had been swapped, so it was pretty confusing to debug (especially without the help of the live connect feature).

Thanks again,
Sean

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Hi Capy,
Good spot on the side contributing to right only in stereo speaker mode, i’ve noticed that the current panner is contributing the back twice instead of back and side, i’ve changed that for the upcoming release.

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Thanks, Brett.

I ran the same test on a 7.1 to 5.1 mix/fold-down and observed the following:

4.44.15
With "Side Right,Side Left" set to 1.0 (and everything else set to 0.0), I hear nothing in the fronts or ‘rears’. This is consistent with the stereo fold-down and with what Brett said.

4.44.20
With "Side Right,Side Left" set to 1.0, the fronts and ‘rears’ are 5 dB louder (i.e. the sides get mixed into the fronts and ‘rears’).

So no new findings.

One thing that I wanted to flag was the issue with the stereo fold-down with version 4.44.20 and up (where the ‘sides’ are only folded into the front right speaker). Is anyone else seeing this?

Thanks,
Sean

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