Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
arktic

Music Formats (Most common, most useful)

This topic is 668 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone. I'm sure someone has asked this question before but I have not found it anywhere yet.

It's very simple and probably dumb: What is the most heavily used audio format for games as of today?

What about the most useful audio format for any game (regardless of platform, API, library etc)?

The second probably has a lot of answers but hopefully someone has as general an answer as possible.

I want to get a feel for what the majority of developers desire to use for music and SFX. It might be helpful.

Edited by arktic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

There's no silver bullet. Exact formats will be choosen depending on actual requirements.

You can safely assume that WAV for short uncompressed sounds and Ogg (with Vorbis or Opus codec) or mp3 for streaming music will be either directly used by the engine, or easily imported into actual engine-specific format.

Other options would be to use modules (.mod, .xm, .it), or some kind of midi with soundbanks included.

But again, that's decided after you know your requirements. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say wav and ogg. Wav is simple but big sized. It's seamless to read so no gaps between different music parts. Even though ogg-files don't have metadata in them as opposed to mp3-files they can still create some gaps when read (or converted) by the game engine. Mp3-files have metadata so there's always some empty in them.

 

Most likely the wav-files are still converted/compressed in the audio middleware depending on the platform.

 

If you're asking about what format you should deliver your files in it depends on the game developers and what they're using and what are the space limitations for the audio. But I'd say 24bit 48kHz Wav-file is the best format to start and convert from there if needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Most engines use a variety of standard interchange formats within the dev environment, which are automatically converted to platform specific formats by the engine's toolchain.
e.g. if the engine uses FMOD, you might author wav files, which it compresses for you with something like OGG and packed in their own custom file format.

I imagine on the authoring side, you'd want to use something lossless like WAV, but compressed so you don't waste all your HDD space, so perhaps FLAC, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though ogg-files don't have metadata in them as opposed to mp3-files they can still create some gaps when read (or converted) by the game engine
 

Ogg has metadata (stream comments, etc),  but it also has enough info to make loops seamless.

One shouldn't ignore codec's settings. Opus codec declares preskip samples in header, and the last ogg page has granulepos field set to mark exact last sample in stream. Take all that into account, and loops will be perfect, unless file was saved by faulty sw, or if you're using engine/libs that ignore important piece of info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's really platform dependent. 

 

As Hodgman said if you're working with a third party audio engine like FMOD or Wwise then most of the authoring is done using .wav files, and these are typically compressed on a per-platform basis when exported.

 

Vorbis is a really common codec for Windows machines, but has horrible performance on both Xbox One & PS4. The consoles have dedicated hardware for decompressing audio so on Xbox you want XMA, PS4 ATRAC9. Unfortunately I don't think either XMA or ATRAC9 support seek operations, so they're not ideal for music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends greatly on the audio engine used. The three main middleware solutions out there for devs are: 

 

Unity

Wwise

Fmod

 

There are lots of smaller players as well including MasterAudio, which works within Unity, Xact and Miles. Do some research on what file format(s) work best and you'll be about 85% there. 

Edited by nsmadsen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Serious thanks for the responses so far guys. I got a more solid answer than it may look like and this has presented a lot of things I can do research on.

Edited by arktic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!