Hey birdjunk / everyone,
just thought I’d chime here 'cos I’ve been looking at the various options of Steam Audio vs native UE4 vs Google Resonance, vs Occulus in the context of developing for VR (windows only).
I’ve gotta say, I feel everyone’s pain at the moment regarding the a) choice of options, b) the fact that they are all fairly new and c) as yet not properly tested plug ins, and d) the fact that documentation / examples / tutorials are few and far between or in some cases, inaccurate.
Here is what I’ve found so far which I’m happy to share:
Steam Audio was my favourite. It seemed to sound better than the native UE4 after side by side testing. Better sense of direction overall which led to a more immersive experience. I haven’t looked at Google resonance yet, it’s next on my list. Occulus I can’t comment on too much other than the fact that I haven’t used it in a while. Last time I did it was from within FMOD Studio and the plug in made things sound weird and quite phase-y. It’s probably improved since then…?
Native UE4: Whilst I appreciate the built-in Occlusion in UE4 is efficient, it seems a bit too basic for my needs. I really want partial occlusion and transmission. I did use it in some levels though and it seemed to work OK for what it is. At least it is easy to use / set up. It would be cool if native UE4 supported geometry-specific audio occlusion characteristics out of the box, in the same way that Steam Audio has Phonon Geometry / Materials.
Steam Audio Occlusion: I really like how this sounds. I think that the material defaults they give you are a bit off but once you start tweaking those custom values (transmission frequencies etc) it sounds great. When used alongside the sound propagation / Reverb settings for indirect sound it could be a killer combination. My worry is that I have not yet been able to profile how expensive this is at run time, and in VR we are getting hammered from all sides in terms of performance.
Steam Audio Propagation / Reverb baking. Has anyone got this working properly yet? As Dan says in another thread, the bake times seem very long, but worse than that, I am getting inconsistent results after baking the data, e.g., sometimes the reverb goes crazy. I would hope that it would sound the same or very similar to the settings when they are ‘real time’ but this is not the case.
I’d be very interested to hear from anyone who is using Steam Audio for everything and having a smoothe, trouble-free time!
Native UE4: New reverb sounds great, but as far as I am aware, it is not dynamic and needs to be changed manually, according to the space. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
Steam Audio: Have talked about this a bit above. The reverb I have heard sounds OK but I have not had the chance to test out any longer reverbs. However, the effect of having the reverb change with geometry is pretty darn cool (e.g. firing a gun while up against the wall and getting a bottom end boost in the reverb). Shame you can only choose one reverb as part of the project settings! Steam audio seems more flexible for room response, UE4 seems better for traditional, more spacious reverbs.
BTW, I’m new here as I’ve recently made the switch to native UE4 audio. Before that I mainly worked in FMOD so… hi!
Unreal Engine Developer
- Join Date: Aug 2016
- Posts: 263
04-17-2018, 06:31 AM
Finally, not all plugins will return the audio back to Unreal, so in some cases, it will be difficult to mix and match certain features; in other cases, some features depend on other features to be activated down the signal stream; in yet other cases, mixing and matching totally is fine
[/LIST] Are there any more details of which plug ins do not return the audio to Unreal, and which ones do?