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FastnBulbous

Which to learn first: Wwise or FMOD?

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So I'm thinking it would be a good idea to learn about the middleware that seems to be a big thing these days.  If would make sense though to focus on just one, at least for now.  What do people think should be the priority middleware for an aspiring game audio person?

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Both. Just about everything you're going to work on is going to use Wwise or FMOD so it's essential to learn both. If I had to pick 1, I'd probably learn Wwise first, but in the end you're going to need to know both anyway.

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Slight disagreement with CCH...

 

A lot of games don't use any middleware, so it's important to learn the concepts behind what the tools have to offer as much (or moreso) than the tools themselves.

 

That said, since your question was "Which to learn first" (and not just "Which to learn"), I'm going to say FMOD.. Get familiar with it, and then move on to Wwise.

 

The reason is that FMOD's somewhat more popular for smaller or indie games than Wwise (according to the GameSoundCon Audio Industry Survey).  Their pricing is a bit more indie friendly than WWise's, which may be why it's used a bit more.

 

But definitely learn both-- The thing with games is that it's not up to the sound designer/composer what middleware will be used; it's up to the game developer.

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Agreed with Brian.

 

It's the concepts you want to understand. The middleware provides the way to implement those concepts.

 

It's like saying - should I learn ProTools or Nuendo first?

 

Learn signal flow, basic concepts of what a DAW does, understand audio theory and mixing concepts.. then apply those to the tools.

 

I'm going to be difficult, and say - learn both at the same time!

 

If you can, try to do tutorials in implementation for the same material in both tool sets so you can get a good understanding of the differences.

Edited by GroovyOne

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There's very little to "learn" with FMOD. You create a "system" object which can load sounds (either all-at-once or streamed), or play them (once or looped) which returns a channel object. Then you can change properties of the channel they're assigned to such as volume or pitch. There, now you know FMOD.

Edited by Promit

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Yes Brian is right not all games use middleware, so to clarify my statement: 'Just about everything you work on, that uses audio middleware, is going to use Wwise or Fmod'. Promit is also correct, FMOD is going to take no time to learn if you're coming off a DAW. It basically operates in the same way, probably won't take you more than a few days to learn. Wwise is a lot more complex and it feels more like programming than FMOD. If you get a project that uses FMOD today, you'll be fine. If you get a project that uses Wwise you'll have to turn it down. So learn Wwise first and when you're comfortable with it, switch over to FMOD and it'll be a breeze.

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I would add, if you want to make yourself more valuable don't learn the tools only but also the coding that goes with the audio integration.

 

Got my first job mostly because I know how to code pretty well for a junior sound designer.

Edited by Valoon

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Thanks again for the very detailed advice.  The key issues seem to be the steeper learning curve of Wwise and the preference of indie/smaller developers towards Fmod.  I've decided to start with Fmod mainly for the latter reason.  The concepts shouldn't be a problem as I've been through the uni education thing in music tech.

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Got my first job mostly because I know how to code pretty well for a junior sound designer.

 

 

Hi Valoon-- can you ping me offline (brian at gamesoundcon dot com)?  I'd love to get more of that story.  It's something I've seen in the industry, have explained to people, but another  specific example is always good!

 

Cheers

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