America's Army: Proving Grounds

America's Army: Proving Grounds

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WWISE Soundpack Guide for User Made Maps V2
By DabOnTheTaters
Wwise Soundpack Guide For User Made Maps
With the implementation of Audiokinetic’s Wwise sound engine, we’ve created user friendly Wwise sound packs for those looking to add high quality ambient audio that adheres to AAPG standards to their maps.
Useful Definitions:
AK: The prefix “AK” stands for Audiokinetic, and is used for Wwise audio objects within the Unreal Editor.

AKBank: An AKBank, or Soundbank, is a content browser object which contains media files, and must be loaded in order for those files to be used.

AKEvent: An AKEvent is a content browser object used to start and stop sounds

AKAmbientSound: An AKAmbientSound is an object placed in a map, with an AKEvent associated with it. The sound from that event is attached in 3D space to that AKAmbientSound actor.

ReverbVolume: A volume placed within a map that defines an area type by setting three discrete parameters: AK Aux Bus-this is the convolution reverb preset that will be used within this volume, defining the space with the appropriate reverberant reflections; AK Area Type-when set to “outdoor”, this will trigger long tail sounds for guns, when set to “indoor” the tails will be short; AK Touch/Untouch Events-this will trigger a room tone or wind backdrop sound(referred to as a stereo ambient sound) that will play globally for the player inhabiting the volume
Finding your SoundPack and auditioning sounds:
Soundpacks for user made maps are found within the AK_Sounds/Soundpacks folder. Currently, all the content is in the UMM_GeneralAmbience package, with plans for adding more content in new packages. The content is broken up between stereo ambient sounds and general ambience that can be placed in 3D space. To audition AKEvents you must first make sure the media bank that they belong to is loaded. You can do that by finding the bank within the “generalAmbience” sub group(in this case the bank is called “SB_UMM_GeneralAmbience”), right clicking on it and choosing “load bank”. Auditioning an Event is as simple as right clicking and choosing “Play” and “Stop”.

Setting Up In Kismet:
In order for AK sounds and reverb to work, a bit of Kismet setup is necessary, either in the persistent level or the audio sub-level if there’s one in your map. First, you must load the necessary sound banks. The sound bank “SB_UMM_ReverbMedia” must be loaded if you’re planning on using AK reverb presets, and then the sound bank for each soundpack you plan on accessing(in this case it will be “SB_UMM_GeneralAmbience”). Keep in mind, an AKBank is loaded in memory, and while it’s probably fine to load more than one sound pack, only load a sound bank if you’re using AK events from that soundpack. Once the AKBanks are loaded, a Kismet action called “AKStartAmbientSound” must be called in order for the AKAmbientSounds to be heard. You can choose to start all ambient sounds(the most simple and common setup), or just start some of them by creating object variables of them. All of these actions can be most easily triggered right when the level is loaded(New Event-Level Loaded, check “client side only”). All of the AK actions can be found by right clicking-“new action”-“AKAudio”. Pictured below is a simple Kismet setup off level loaded that loads the reverb media bank and a soundpack bank, and starts all ambient sounds(notice how the banks load before the sounds start-this is necessary).

Adding an AKAmbientSound to a map:
Adding an AKAmbientSound to a map is relatively simple. Just choose the AKEvent in the Content Browser, and then right click where you’d like the sound to originate in the map. You should see “Add AKAmbientSound: [event name]” in the dropdown. The events included in the soundpacks are tailor made to have the proper attenuation and volume settings appropriate for the AAPG world. There are a few settings in the properties that are accessible(pictured below): the Play Event, “Stop When Owner Is Destroyed”, and “Enable Occlusion”. The play event can be changed by selecting an event in the Content Browser and clicking on the green arrow. “Stop When Owner Is Destroyed” should remain checked for all ambient sounds. Enable Occlusion would enable the sound to be muffled when the listener is on the other side of an occluding/obstructing mesh. This is rarely necessary for ambient sounds, though sometimes helpful if the sound is right next to a large wall or structure.

Adding And Setting Up Reverb Volumes:
Reverb volumes are a very helpful tool used to define how sounds should work within specific spaces. They are shaped and added like any other volume, ie. create a builder brush in the size and shape you want the volume, click on the “add volume” icon, choose “reverbVolume”. Once you’ve added the reverb volume, you can set all the relevant parameters in the properties. Keep in mind it is essential to build geometry in order for volumes to function. Note-only the settings enumerated below are relevant if you’re using AKAudio.

  • Priority-this must be set if you plan on having a volume within a volume. The inner volume must have a higher priority.
  • AK Aux Bus-this is the reverb preset that will be used on all objects within that volume.
  • AK Area Type-this will trigger a tail sound for guns, either “Indoor” or “Outdoor”.
  • AK Touch Event-this will trigger a stereo ambient sound, or room/wind tone, that will play in head for the player within the volume. All stereo ambient sounds have the prefix “STAmb”.
  • AK Un Touch Event-this will trigger the stop event for the stereo ambient sound that plays for this volume. It is absolutely necessary to use the stop event for the same sound to avoid doubling.

Names of aux busses(reverb presets) used for UMMs:
Best Practices:
Reverb volumes are not only a great way to add reverb effects, but also to assure there’s always a backdrop of “room tone”, or wind if you’re outside. It’s highly recommended that all accessible spaces have reverb volumes with both reverb presets and stereo ambient sounds enabled. A common practice is to surround and entire map with a large “outdoor” volume, and then add smaller volumes(don’t forget to prioritize these higher) for each indoor space.

Events are named in the most simple and descriptive way possible, and their attenuations(rolloff in space) are set to be natural sounding and sensible. Keep in mind that sounds that aren’t attached to actual props in the game(distant jet flybys, birds, battle sounds etc.) will have much longer attenuation settings, and therefore be heard over longer distances than sounds that can be attached to in-game props(Fans, cars idling etc.).