Arma 3: Sound

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The first ever BIKI-Site dedicated to Audio in Arma

This site is WIP and will deliver more detailed information and examples as the time passes. For now we will focuss on basic understanding of SoundShader, SoundSet, cfgGlobals, cfgSoundCurves and cfgSound3dProcessors.


The SoundShader within the class cfgSoundShaders is the most basic sound entity in the ArmA 3 sound engine. Let's look at an example and the parameters. class cfgSoundShaders { class MX_Closure_SoundShader { samples[] = { {"pathToYourSound1",1}, {"pathToYourSound2",1}, {"pathToYourSound3",1} }; volume = 0.5; frequency = 1; range = 10; rangeCurve[] = { {0,1}, {5,0.7}, {10,0} }; limitation = 0; }; };


parameter unit/values default descriptions
samples {["path/sound",p], ...} none array containing sound file name with paths and probability values (p)

Here you define the path to your sound. The number after the path is used in the random sample selection. When a SoundShader with multiple sounds is called one sound is chosen randomly. The bigger the number behind the sound, the higher the chance of the sound being picked. So {"pathToYourSound1",10} is a lot more likely to be picked than {"pathToYourSound2",1}.

Also noteworthy here is that in previous ArmA sound configuration we had to make sure that all the probability numbers add up to 1. So if we had two sounds their probabilities had to be 0.5. With the new configuration this is no longer needed. {"pathToYourSound1",10} {"pathToYourSound2",10} is the same as {"pathToYourSound1",1} {"pathToYourSound1",1} Both sounds have the same chance of being picked.


parameter unit/values default descriptions
volume float 1 basic volume value

Volume defines how loud the sample is played in relation to 0dBFS - the highest volume value in the digital world. A value of 1 means 100% means 0dbFS. A value of 0.5 means 50% means -6dBFS. If you want to calculate what values to enter here depending on dB, you can use this calculator (I suggest you download the site to your computer to make sure you can work offline). Any other percentage to dB calculator will work. Careful though, as you can see on this site signal dB is not equal power dB! Always be sure to calculate with the right dB! To ensure you work with the right dB test this: -6dB = 50%, always.


parameter unit/values default descriptions
frequency float 1 basic pitch value, 1 = no change = normal pitch. Parameter ignored if more than 1 SoundShaders in SoundSet

Playback speed/pitch of the sound. Low number = low pitch, high number = high pitch. This parameter is ignored when the SoundShader is used together with other SoundShaders in a SoundSet (which can consist of multiple SoundShaders, more on that later).


parameter unit/values default descriptions
range distance in meters 0 radius of circle around sound source where the sound will be played

The sound will be played in this radius around the sound source. There is no volume falloff configured yet so without any additional configuration the sound would start playing at full volume as soon as you are within this radius.


parameter unit/values default descriptions
rangeCurve {d0,v0}, {d1,v1} none array of points or class name defined in CfgSoundCurves

Here you can define the volume falloff depending on distance. The values are given in X,Y pairs. X being the distance, Y being the volume value. In the example the sound will be played at full volume at 0m distance. At 5m distance the volume will be 0.7 (70%, -3dB) and at 10m the sound will be silent. You can use hundreds of points to make really smooth curves. You can either use distance values within the range (in the example from 0m to 10m) OR use relative range values, 1 being maximum range. So the above example would also work with: rangeCurve[] = { {0,1}, {0.5,0.7}, {1,0} }; Attention! In this case {0.5,0.7}, means "at half range volume will be 0.7" and {1,0} means "at maximum range volume will be 0".


CfgSoundCurves is it's own class in the audio configuration and is defined outside CfgSoundShaders but I will bring it up here anyway because it fits. Instead of having to define many points every time in every SoundShader you can use the class cfgSoundCurves to define specific sound curves and then just use the names of these soundCurves in your other sound configurations. Let's look at an example cfgSoundCurve entry: class CfgSoundCurves { class closureVolumeCurve { points[] = { {0.0,1.0}, {0.5,0.7}, {1.0,0.0} }; }; }; This entry uses relative distance values (0=0m, 1=maximum range) and is called "closureVolumeCurve". So in our example SoundShader above we could have used: rangeCurve[] = closureVolumeCurve and the result would be the same. Make sure the rangeCurve is defined in cfgSoundCurves class before using it in audio configuration!


parameter unit/values default descriptions
limitation bool false if positive -> adds SoundShader to group of SoundShaders which will be limited within the SoundSet

If enabled this adds the SoundShader to a group of SoundShaders which will be limited within the SoundSet, explanation of that will be found when we go over SoundSets.


WIP More coming soon.