A few questions.

I’ll preface by saying I’m not an audio person as far as education goes. I did two years of sound engineering at a university, and dropped the degree when the curriculum changed, turning to game dev and 3d art. So these questions might sound stupid to some, but that’s alright.

I’m making a stealth game, similar in mechanics with the old Thief games. As such, audio is going to be a very important thing in the game, listening for enemies, figuring out the general direction they come from and the type of surface they’re walking on and so on. Been looking at tutorials about attenuation, occlusion, soundscapes etc for a long time now, trying to figure out how to do a proper and realistic as possible sound system.

The UE4 audio engine is completely alien to me, I watched a three hour long video about the new features coming in 4.25 and…I’m lost :smiley:
Then I found out about Steam Audio and HRTF, which I just got installed into my project but haven’t tried anything with it yet.

My questions are as such.

  1. Does the system use some kind of real world values for it’s material occlusion part, so I can add extra materials into it without simply playing it by ear on how it would sound realistically?
  2. Probably the stupidest question but can I use Steam Audio with spawned sounds? Specifically with footsteps. Because all examples I saw so far were for sounds placed in the level already, and if so, is there a special way I’d go about it?
  3. For the occlusion, does it support material thickness? For example difference between a stone wall and a castle wall, or it applies the occlusion for the material only and then the attenuation falloff is applied, ignoring the actual volume of the wall? In that same, theme does it account for multiple obstacles, like 2 walls between the source and the player?
  4. Does it support directionality? Because all I saw so far, treats sound sources as a point in space, tracing in all directions equally.
  5. Do different materials affect reflections differently?
    and lastly
  6. Does it handle diffraction? I couldn’t find any information about it.

If not, is there another plugin I can use that would be of better use for my game’s needs? Or, can I mod Steam Audio (hopefuly with blueprints) it to fit those needs?

Hi @Aloyce - if you want to watch something on attenuation, occlusion, spatialisation (so you can detect where a sound is coming from), etc. I have a video covering all these things here: :wink: More videos on Sound design for UE4 there too.

If everything is completely new I would recommend sticking with UE4’s standard audio at first. That’ll give you a good understanding for using all the standard parts of occlusion, materials etc. as well as handling audio assets in Blueprints.

You can do some pretty powerful things in UE4 already. The features you mention - listening for enemies, figuring out the general direction they come from and the type of surface they’re walking on - are all doable in UE4 using the standard tools there.