Impulsonic Has Announced Steam Audio for VR Experiences in Unity and Unreal Engine

cageymaru

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Valve owned Impulsonic has announced that it is ready to release Steam Audio for VR and all games. Steam Audio is the next generation of Phonon spatial audio tools. "Steam Audio delivers a full-featured audio solution that integrates environment and listener simulation. HRTF significantly improves immersion in VR; physics-based sound propagation completes aural immersion by consistently recreating how sound interacts with the virtual environment."

What this means to VR gamers is that sound can mapped to the environment much more naturally. You can hear much more realistic sound turning a corner to come down a hallway; more natural sounds when an object bounces off another object, etc. Sound is just as important as visuals in making VR worlds more immersive. The SDK is free and plugins for Unity are ready to go. Unreal Engine plugins will be demoed at GDC. Steam Audio supports Windows, Linux, Max, and Android without restrictions on platform. It will even be available for other VR platforms such as Oculus Rift.

Epic Games will be demoing Steam Audio at GDC next week, showing off its application in Unreal-built games.

"As a new plugin for the new Unreal Audio Engine, Steam Audio fundamentally extends its capabilities and provides a multi-platform solution to game audio developers who want to create realistic and high-quality sound propagation, reverberation modelling, and binaural spatialisation for their games," said Aaron McLeran, audio programmer at Epic Games.
 

alamox

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what sounds waves doesn't bounce off walls ?
feels like they just reduce volume, and muted the left speaker on occlusion, or maybe just my headset that sux ?
 

jfreund

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Seems like Valve and Epic are in some kind of new strategic partnership, given all the Unity mentions in Valve press statements lately, and even Gaben's recent AMA. Example, Gaben mentioning that Valve was creating "three new VR games" - all of them purportedly in Unity.

Combined with the announcement today that Valve is launching SteamVR for Linux, it's starting to seem like Epic has joined Valve in sparking a larger push toward multi-platform and Vulkan, to "try to limit platform gatekeepers" according to one Valve programmer.

Epic's engine is Unreal. Unity is a separate engine.


Does this mean we can have audio like we did around 2000 with Aureal?
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Soo will there be sound card hardware acceleration?
Epic's engine is Unreal. Unity is a separate engine.


Does this mean we can have audio like we did around 2000 with Aureal?
what sounds waves doesn't bounce off walls ?
feels like they just reduce volume, and muted the left speaker on occlusion, or maybe just my headset that sux ?

I'd imagine it is all in software, no soundcard DSP chip, which I'd imagine means it will be less capable than Aureal/Eax/Alchemy/OpenAL.

This is probably why it is not computing wall reflection effects.
 

jfreund

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I'd imagine it is all in software, no soundcard DSP chip, which I'd imagine means it will be less capable than Aureal/Eax/Alchemy/OpenAL.

This is probably why it is not computing wall reflection effects.

It would be nice of them to assign it to a processor core, since most of them are unused in games anyway.
 

Nenu

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Soo will there be sound card hardware acceleration?
If there was a need, but CPUs are plenty fast now and techniques have improved.

http://www.guru3d.com/news_story/valve_introduces_steam_audio.html
Steam Audio's implementation of HRTF-based binaural rendering has a very low CPU overhead; you can handle hundreds, even thousands of sources using a single CPU core. It also minimizes the frequency coloration of audio clips, while maintaining good localization.
 
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I remember the last time the alpha sound card company killed off positional audio, I half expect the lawyers to be loosed any moment.
 

sir-gold

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I'd imagine it is all in software, no soundcard DSP chip, which I'd imagine means it will be less capable than Aureal/Eax/Alchemy/OpenAL.

This is probably why it is not computing wall reflection effects.

There is another Impusonic demo showing refection and diffraction of sound

 

sir-gold

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I remember the last time the alpha sound card company killed off positional audio, I half expect the lawyers to be loosed any moment.

It was Microsoft that killed positional audio, as part of the great cross-platform dumbing-down that happened in Vista, with the removal of DirectSound.

MS took away any method of direct access to the sound card hardware, breaking all the positional audio systems on the market at the time.

http://www.hardocp.com/news/2017/02/10/who_killed_pc_audio_will_soundcards_ever_be_thing_again63/
 
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