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audio implementation

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This is an audio question, but I decided to post this in the beginner section and not the music and sound effects section because I am a beginner. I have been making the audio content for games and I really need to get more into the implementation of these sounds. I would like to be able to relieve the programmer from having to spend too much time putting the sounds in the game like they should be. I do not know what this is like for a developer or programmer. What kinds of issues they come across or what they look for in a sound designer. Basically, if a developer wanted me to put the audio into the game, how could I do that without knowing C++ or programming in general? Do I need to know how to script an event in C++ or C# if I want to put in the sound of a door opening or gun being shot? Can high-level audio APIs like FMOD or Wwise be incorporated into the game at all points in the production line (even late in the development)? Would a developer even want to incorporate those into his/her game? How can I implement the audio content without requiring a programmer to hold my hand? To be able to start early and to make a game sound fantastic without needing to take too much time away from the programmers? Any advice that anyone can give is welcome, as I am brand new to the world of implementation and need guidance. -SDG101

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What you want my friend is XACT. The Direct X Audio Creation Tool. It works with DirectX,MDX or XNA and is basically an artist tool for publishing and describing audio score sheets. Then you export your project and your programmer can work with it easiler. Chapter 4 of my book covers it vaguely, you can check it out here (http://www.learnxna.com. Its chapter 4 you want, oh and FYI I have nothing to do with learnxna.com). The XACT tool itself is part of the Direct X SDK.

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hello Serapth
Thank you for such a quick response. I have heard of Xact before, but I was under the impression that XACT was only for PC and Xbox/360 games. Can you export these to other platforms as well? Is Xact the best tool for Windows-based programs? Are there games that don't have direct x? if there are, would they be able to use the same "instructions" that Xact would generate?

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Quote:
Original post by SDG101
hello Serapth
Thank you for such a quick response. I have heard of Xact before, but I was under the impression that XACT was only for PC and Xbox/360 games. Can you export these to other platforms as well? Is Xact the best tool for Windows-based programs? Are there games that don't have direct x? if there are, would they be able to use the same "instructions" that Xact would generate?




What you heard is true. XACT is Windows/Xbox only.

As to being the best tool... well, frankly its the only tool at least the only free one. Some middleware applications have this functionality ( I know the NOLF engine did, its the only one ive been exposed to ), but these are all 100K + systems. CuBase may support this aswell, but it isnt free.

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For the benifit of the OP can XACT still be used with other windows programs such as OpenGL, for instance DirectSound only runs on windows, but that doesn't mean you can't have OpenGL for your rendering? Other than that, yeah I think XACT is pretty good I'm also hoping to start using it as well.

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I think that you need to get some information from a programmer that is familiar with the engine's sound system. There aren't going to be too many limitations, but there are a few that depend on how advanced the sound engine is. For starters, figure out what sound formats are supported and find some tools that can encode those specific formats.

For example, using ogg vorbis for music, grouping sound effects into one .wav file, putting each sound effect in a seperate file, using GSM to store voice data, etc...

If your engine supports some advanced effects (sound occlusion, reverb, phase shifting, etc...) you'll want to leave all the effects dry. If the engine doesn't apply any effects you might want to apply them yourself.

I know that the Game Gems series has some good articles on sound engine design that would be helpful to learn the questions that you need to ask. Look up some programmer articles on sound engine design and focus on some of the level stuff to get a better idea of what you'll need to do to produce each sound.

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