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Ued2 | Sound and Music

The contents of this tutorial were written by those at http://www.birrabrothers.com/drac/dmain.html


In this tutorial you will learn about sound effects and music.
First starting with sound effects and then music.

Sound:
Sound effects should be used to aid the current design and will enhance the playing experience.

It can be actiavted / played in many ways and how it should be played.

The sound effect actors can be located in the actor browser under “KeyPoint”.
“SpecialEvent” is however a trigger class actor and is located under “Triggers”.

Sound ActorSpecific
AmbientSoundPlay a sound effect, looping, constantly.
DynamicAmbientSoundRandomly play sound effects.
TriggeredAmbientSoundTrigger controlled ambient sound.
Special EventSpecial trigger actor to play sound effect, single or ambient.
PropertySpecific
+Sound 
AmbientSoundThe actual sound effect.
SoundPitchPitch (speed) of the sound effect.
SoundRadiusArea affected by the sound effect.
SoundVolumeBase volume of the sound effect.
TransientSoundRadiusNever gotten to work.
TransientSoundVolumeNever gotten to work.

Using sound effects:
There is many places you add sounds.
Especially movers, ambient sounds and triggered sounds.

If you use ambient sound, which loops, you will only hear the sound
as long as you are in the sound radius.
Infact, the sound will stop when you are outside this radius and restart when
you enter.

Sound is also affected by movement and reverb.
Movement is what is known as doppler shifting and is determined from the velocity of
the moving actor.
(Any actor that have the Sound option can work like an “Ambient Sound” actor).

Reverb is explained later.

The last thing that affects sound is hardware support.
If you have the ability to set surround and/or EAX (Enviromental Audio) it will make
the sound play in different “strengths” for different speakers depending on
location.

Sounds are ‘placed’ in 3D and ‘radiate’ sound just like a light actor.
The sound volume will fade evenly to the edge of the radius.

From the two last sound properties it seems that you should be able to affect
how fast the sound fades, but I never got it to work.

Ambient Sound:
With the Ambient Sound actor you play a sound effect constantly.
If the sound effect isn’t looping it will automaticly repeat it.

It should be used when you want a certain “background” sound placed
near things like machinery, fans, wind, water, water-falls and so on.

It will not “activate” or “deactivate” by a trigger and will play the sound
effect as soon as the map is loaded.

Dynamic Ambient Sound:
This is a more advanced version of the regular “Ambient sound” actor.
It is used to pool some sounds and randomly play sound effects.

Under “DynamicAmbientSound” in the properties window is what is interesting.
bDontRepeat - After it have played one sound effect, it will not play any more.
bInitallyOn - If you need to trigger it to get it work or not.
maxReCheckTime - Max delay before actor tries a random check again.
minReCheckTime - Minimum delay before actor tries a random check again.
playProbability - Random chance of actor playing a sound, between 0 and 1.
Sounds[] - The slots for sound effects, up 16.

The random is a value between 0 and 1, meaning that 0.5 equals 50%.

Can be used to create more realistic / random sounds like traffic, computers,
machinery and much more.

Triggered Ambient Sound:
It is supposed to play an sound effect (looping or not) when triggered.
The sound can be initialy on or off.
It can also have different controls of initial state, like trigger toggle and
when trigger is “active”.

For some reason it never worked for me.
If I figure it out I will of course update this asap.

Special Event:
The special event, a trigger class actor, can be made to play a sound effect when
triggered.
By setting the correct Inital State you can control how the sound should be
played.
Please read the detailed description of the “Special Event” in the trigger tutorial.

Special events should not be made to play an ambient sound as this is what
the “TriggeredAmbientSound” actor is for.

Reverb:
You can use the Reverd properties in a “ZoneInfo” actor to alter the effect of the sound.
To create such effects you need to set “bReverbZone” true.

By adding and adjusting the values under Delay[] and Gain[] you can make any sound
heard ‘different’ inside this zone.
More hollow, cramped, echo and so on.

My knowledge of sounds and how sounds work (in reality) is limited so I
really don’t know how to set the correct values to create certain effects.

If I find some info. of it I will add it here.

Speakers:
The amount of speakers and hardware(sound) present also affect how the experience
behind sound effects are for players.

This can be Stereo, Surround, EAX and much more.
UT support hardware sorruond sound and should be kept in mind when you place sound
effect actors.

Importing / Exporting sound effects:
You can import and export sound effects in the .Wav format.
(8 or 16 bits 4kHz - 44kHz wavs are supported).

When importing you will need to enter “Package”, “Group” and “Name”.
The “Package” is what *.uax (file extension for UT sound package) it will belong to.
By entering “MyLevel” it will be saved along with the map.
The “Group” is simply what group inside the package it should belong to.
(Default is (All)).
The final is “Name” and that is simply the name for the sample.

If you save a sound package it will have the extension *.uax and must be stored
under “…UnrealTournament/Sounds/” directory.

If you use custom sound effects in a level and do not import them to the “MyLevel”
package, the *.uax package must be included when you distribute the map.

Music:
Music in any level is what set the final touch.
It should consist with the current theme and set the mood for players.

Music in UT is of ‘tracker’ format which means that it is sample and pattern based.
(Old Amiga folks should know what I am talking about).

A pattern is devided into multiple channels and for each channel you can play a
number of samples.
All in all, a tracker (or Mod[ule]) is a series of patterns, playing samples
in different notes.

This is a very simple and easy to handle as you can create and use what samples
you want, in contradiction of MIDI or MP3.

To work and create tracker/mod music you need a tracker program, like
Fast Tracker, Impulse Tracker or Pro Tracker (Amiga?).
(Most of it available as shareware/freeware).

CD Music:
I must admit that I haven’t tested using CD music in a level, but it
should work the same way as regular music but using the CD selection options
instead.

Importing music:
Now that you know that UT use tracker format you probably wonder
what you need to import music.
The music format must be of Tracker type and that would be *.Mod, *.It, *.S3M and
alot more.
(Might even be able to import tracker music not listed in the file format).

Exporting music:
You can also export music by simply selecting the song and then
“Export…” from the file menu.
You are only able to export it to the *.S3M format.
(S3M is supported by WinAmp).

Music Events, In-game:
In any stage of the game, you can change the current state of the music.
The “MusicEvent”, part of the trigger class, can be used to change the song,
turn it off and more.
(See my trigger tutorial for details of the “MusicEvent”).

Considered that you can change the section of a song with a MusicEvent
some issues might be worth knowing.
As music is Pattern and Sample based the song might not sound good
if you jump to a section (pattern) and a specific sample hasen’t been
played yet, missing out on some sounds.

Page last modified on October 10, 2005, at 03:47 PM