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Aural Clarity - not just Visual Clarity. Here are some ways to do it.

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  • replied
    Thanks a lot for taking the time to write all this. I just recently stumbled upon this awesome project and would love to contribute to the audio side of things. I've taken a lot of what you have wrote into consideration!

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  • replied
    Can we have EAX?

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  • replied
    Originally posted by en. View Post
    Covers my biggest gripes with the audio in game and goes much further. From a players perspective it is just too **** hard to tell whats going on most of the time. Sounds are difficult to isolate (or individually ignore) and many of the important ones are made even harder by being very low pitch to boot.. Never have I played a game where it's so common for other players to just walk up behind each other totally unnoticed--a problem made worse because even relatively distant weapon noise completely drowns out nearby footsteps.
    Yup, big issue right now, agree 100%. Unimportant sounds drown out the things you need to hear, and from what I can tell there is no subtlety to directional indication, its either coming from the left side of your crosshair, or the right side, with little to no in-between to identify front/back/up/down. Leads to serious trirox/flak abuse right up the wazoo.

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  • replied
    +1. Good stuff.

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  • replied
    Covers my biggest gripes with the audio in game and goes much further. From a players perspective it is just too **** hard to tell whats going on most of the time. Sounds are difficult to isolate (or individually ignore) and many of the important ones are made even harder by being very low pitch to boot.. Never have I played a game where it's so common for other players to just walk up behind each other totally unnoticed--a problem made worse because even relatively distant weapon noise completely drowns out nearby footsteps.

    And somebody fix the mouseover sound for menu buttons, can literally play dubstep with those things.

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  • replied
    ideally customers should tweak that individually for his needs on both global and per-gear/map/gamemodes/daytime with several different(pre-defined and user-created)profiles, eg tweakable 10-band parametric EQ, dynamic compression (kind/mode, release, rate, target, gain, etc), HRTF tweaks, hardware profiles, room profiles and etc.
    among that perhaps accurate enough Dynamic Range compression - would be most important one.
    i wouldn't expect it to had Foober2000 -alike DSP engine(plus community-madeplug-ins) or supplied within (now defunct/orphaned. except Tivo-ized in QuickSync and Creative SW versions)ffdshow audio engine(BASS from un4seen isn't bad either), but it may be very functional, extensible and helpful. i guess.

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  • replied
    An interesting analysis of sounds from the OP and rightly so. UT4 deserves this kind of analytical approach to the audio and providing the mixing and mastering engineers have systematic experience with games and not just sound tracks or music, it's something you'd actually expect from an A class game. It's certainly not a bad thing to remind the devs of it's importance.

    With regards to boosting sounds based on their importance for the player, this could also be achieved by compressing all other non important sounds on the master bus in favour of agreed important sounds. That way, you won't get an increase in db from -0 overall but selected sounds will still cut through at the moment they are triggered. This concept would have to be done rather subtly though but could work to good effect.

    As I've said in previous posts, I think a simple in game sound mixer including basic EQ would save the player from exiting the game to adjust the sounds based on their preferences if they even have the option from the desktop..

    Regards.

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  • replied
    Though not nearly 20 years, I have some experience in the field of sound design, arrangement and psycho-acoustics, and one trick the movie industry uses, specifically in horror films is the emphasis of certain subsonic frequencies. For example, our ears can't pick up 18Hz, but our eye retina can. This frequency applies pressure on retina, creating a slight feeling of uneasiness and suspense. This frequency is usually boosted using a parametric EQ in suspenseful string arrangements, and contributes to the feeling of "Something is about to happen!"

    I am currently experimenting with various psycho acoustic effects of sub and super sonic frequencies and will soon post a string arrangement as a sample. "tarnationsauce2" Thank you for the info, I am happy to see experienced professionals share their knowledge here.

    P.S. Do you suggest low dynamic range on the weapon sounds to keep the relative levels as close as possible?

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  • replied
    Originally posted by Pendrokar View Post
    By Audio Clarity, I don't know if you also mean manipulation of indirect sounds. That is sounds behind notable scale objects like walls, which would offer the player better clarity of where the sounds occur. Now I am not suggesting something complex like checking for sound reflections or what this GAMMA* University students seem to refer to as Diffracted Shadowing:
    https://youtu.be/MQt1jtDBNK4?t=89

    In their example the effect seems heavily exaggerated unless there simply isn't any sound propagation occurring within the objects or even air. Having that effect would help understand if sounds occurring behind the player are of any consequence while at the same time being busy dueling another player. An example of this would be playing the Spacer map against bots and standing in the Shock Rifle spawning position. You will hear a lot of conflict around you as though it is in direct line of sight, when it is not.

    I installed the Unreal Tournament Editor and it sounds like there is some code responsible for manipulating a sound in case the player is behind a wall. I check this by throwing grenades from the rocket launcher, while hiding behind a corner and can sense that it that sounds different, seemingly only with a slight lowering of the volume. I think it should also apply a low-pass filter.

    * - Geometric Algorithms for Modeling, Motion, and Animation (GAMMA) research group in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
    By "audio clarity" he means that the audio will be clear and not messy or noisy. That is all.

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  • replied
    I would personally love to have a working 5.1 channel support again, since the pre-xmas build the rear channels are way too quiet so it sounds very unnatural when sounds come from behind and is barely heard and you can't hear an incoming rocket shot from behind until it already has hit you making you not possible to rely on positional cues right now like I always have in the past UTs (and the older builds).

    PS, headphone user but 5.1 channel HRTF works better than stereo in ~95% of the games roughly but UT in the current build belongs to the exceptions where it's broken.
    Last edited by RPGWiZ4RD; 01-29-2016, 01:34 PM.

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  • replied
    By Audio Clarity, I don't know if you also mean manipulation of indirect sounds. That is sounds behind notable scale objects like walls, which would offer the player better clarity of where the sounds occur. Now I am not suggesting something complex like checking for sound reflections or what this GAMMA* University students seem to refer to as Diffracted Shadowing:
    https://youtu.be/MQt1jtDBNK4?t=89

    In their example the effect seems heavily exaggerated unless there simply isn't any sound propagation occurring within the objects or even air. Having that effect would help understand if sounds occurring behind the player are of any consequence while at the same time being busy dueling another player. An example of this would be playing the Spacer map against bots and standing in the Shock Rifle spawning position. You will hear a lot of conflict around you as though it is in direct line of sight, when it is not.

    I installed the Unreal Tournament Editor and it sounds like there is some code responsible for manipulating a sound in case the player is behind a wall. I check this by throwing grenades from the rocket launcher, while hiding behind a corner and can sense that it that sounds different, seemingly only with a slight lowering of the volume. I think it should also apply a low-pass filter.

    * - Geometric Algorithms for Modeling, Motion, and Animation (GAMMA) research group in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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  • replied
    I was already thinking about how someone central to Epic would need to process the sounds and maybe even mix and master music. At least a final master.

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  • replied
    Can we get rid of my loud feet and the huffing.

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  • replied
    Surprised me that you're professional audio engineer since you were famous to me for your visually outstanding and highly script-featured dynamic mapping in UT3. I just had to play a whole InstantAction match against 1 bot only in CrystalSkullRC2, just to focus on the audio. It was indeed as impressive as the visuals, I can say. With big Teufel 5.1 speakers and a 3rd party .dll (UT3's stock openAL doesn't work for me), I had the full surround immersion!

    I have too little idea of audio to judge most of your suggestions here, but I can say at least: I feel the same about too diffuse menu selection sounds.

    Maybe offtopic because it's more "music & immersion" rather than "aural clarity", but what I mainly wanted to post is, that I very much liked the sound stingers in the music tracks of UT3 maps and wish to return!
    The music adapted its feel/mood according to the events in the match, I wish every music composition for the new UT will also be designed in that way, to fit to every gameplay moment optimally.

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  • replied
    This is amazing! Thank you for taking the time to write all of this. It is always nice to have a refresher course. Also great to see that there are great audio people with decades of experience on this forum. Much to learn for sure! Thanks once again!

    Although I do agree that all weapons or perhaps even other sounds would ideally be mastered by a single engineer, but how practical or likely would that be given that this is a community driven project. I understand the concerns, but I am trying to think how we would be able to set a standards if everyone is creating sounds with their own unique setup?

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