NextGen Audio: Tempest Engine, Project Acoustics, Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos, DTS X

MistaPi

Regular
While Mark Cerny claims Atmos is capped to 32 objects Dolby say the technology can support hundreds of simultaneous objects.
But Dolby also say "That being said, we fall back on sage advice from developers of some of the first Atmos games: Objects are a fantastic tool, but restraint should be shown with respect to the number of objects active at any time. Too many objects in motion can create a confusing soundscape."
Does that mean Dolby have had a objects cap in games or that developers has limited the number of objects in their games?

https://developer.dolby.com/blog/spatial-audio-and-the-ps5/
 

iroboto

Daft Funk
Legend
Subscriber
I believe they set a developer limit to 32. But the codec can handle significantly more. It just didn’t sound good to have that many sounds happening at once
 

iroboto

Daft Funk
Legend
Subscriber
yea, that an noise isn't really like that in real life either. At night time you can hear everything, but during the day with so many noises happening at once there is an audible noise and it just drowns out most sounds. If everything sounded like night time (you can hear everything) but had a ton of different noises going on, that would be nuts I feel like.
 
Dolby atmos mastering suite v3.0.2, page 21:

b)Supports sending up to 32 channels of audio (beds and objects) from Pro Tools to the Renderer

Avid Pro Audio Community

“I am also finding out that I can probably use 32 objects at most”

AVS Foruns

Video games use a Dolby MAT (Metadata-enhanced Audio Transport) container which allows for real-time Atmos encoding (up to 32 objects or channels) in PCM with low latency. Dolby supplies the tools, but game designers decide how many (and which) sounds get encoded as objects and which get mixed into channels. Atmos rendering is still done during playback, based on the number and locations of your speakers.

Microsoft - Spatial sound on windows and Xbox

On Windows and Xbox, the number of available voices varies based on the format in use. Dolby Atmos formats support 32 total active objects (so if a 7.1.4 channel bed is in use, 20 additional dynamic sound objects can be active).

So yes! As a tecnology Atmos can use more than 32 objects. But it is not using them.
 

Scott_Arm

Legend
Why should real, lifelike sounds be confusing?

Just repeating what was stated in the Dolby Atmos Q&A that was linked.

Q- Is it true Dolby Atmos is capped at 32 objects?

No, that is incorrect. As a technology, Dolby Atmos can support hundreds of simultaneous objects.

That being said, we fall back on sage advice from developers of some of the first Atmos games: Objects are a fantastic tool, but restraint should be shown with respect to the number of objects active at any time. Too many objects in motion can create a confusing soundscape.

Developers have also told us that avoiding the horizontal "bed" for an all-object mix is an unnecessarily time-consuming and labor-intensive effort. So far, developers are creating next-generation mixes by blending bed audio and object audio. More is good, but more may not necessarily be "better."
 

iroboto

Daft Funk
Legend
Subscriber
It’s not because your brain will simply ignore the less relevant noise. Your brain is not trying to spatially locate hundreds of objects in space.
agreed, sound in a game isn't like how it is in the movies; where they are mixing the volumes such that what they want heard is heard and what is background they can reduce further.

Unless you're also going to do this in a game, on top of calculating hundreds of on going sound, with reflections, etc, and making all those audio sounds, and the corresponding animations for them even if they are off-screen (think W3 city and a blacksmith hammering away at a sword off screen). It's just a lot of work. I'd prefer developers nail 3D sound first before they start expanding the sound scape
 

Scott_Arm

Legend
I think having a lot of sound sources could be very beneficial for ambient sounds that don't overpower the rest of the sound. Like you might be able to have outdoor areas where there are multiple sound sources per tree, so if there's wind you can play a sound every time branches brush up against each other. Or in a city setting, there's just an enormous amount of small sounds that you wouldn't necessarily notice unless you sat and paid attention to them, but will just provide a lot of atmosphere. Many games use audio cues for important player feedback, and you really want those things to stand out within the general audio.
 

iroboto

Daft Funk
Legend
Subscriber
Yea; there’s nothing wrong with having the option. If someone wanted to make a cutscene with hundreds of leaves rustling in the wind; yea that’s a pretty sounding thing.
 

DSoup

Series Soup
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I believe they set a developer limit to 32. But the codec can handle significantly more. It just didn’t sound good to have that many sounds happening at once

It's worth bearing in mind context, this talk was aimed to devs who care about what their tools can do, not what the underlying technology is capable of doing. Dolby has a limit of 32 objects and Tempest does not.

Audio is not my jam but I appreciate good sound work in games. 32 ojects does not sound like a lot of objects. That said, some games do wonders with their sound with presumably less than even 32 objects. For example, put on a set of headphones and just walk around Los Santas in GTA V and sound-wise there is a lot going on. You can hear people walking, people having conversations with other peds or on their phones, traffic, from cars in traffic, distance crashes, sirens etc. I'm sure RDR2 is even better but there are less distinctive sources of sound to pick out in the background cacophony.
 

Jay

Veteran
I'm assuming the 32 is for object spacial sound.
Other sound will just be normal channel output eg stereo, 5.1 mixing, so would still have ton load of distinct audio.
 

chris1515

Legend
This is not only Tempest Engine, Steam Audio has more object too.

It is probably linked to the fact the PS and Steam ecosystem are linked to VR.
 
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Shifty Geezer

uber-Troll!
Moderator
Legend
Yup imagine trying to get a fix on where an opponent is coming from but you have 300 other noises go on at once.
I imagine it's simply about ability to represent a realistic environment. Imagine trying to get a fix on where an opponent is but you have 300 other bushes and fences and buildings around you. There's nothing about "300 sounds" that denotes volume. Outside, you could have a stream, some crickets, some birds, as well as people moving, gunfire, etc. Sat here now, I doubt I could list 30 concurrent sounds I can hear. But take it into the city, something like Watch Dogs, and you'll have potentially hundreds of individual sounds making up the ambient soundscape. Instead of a 'background sample' playing that doesn't have 3D audio positioning, you can have the sound of a street vendor frying, some people talking, cars in the distance, planes overhead, layered and layered. It wouldn't be confusing any more than real life is. However, the production cost of creating that soundscape will be huge! So much audio data needed. Although very repetitious, so easily covered by libraries for anything real-world related.
 
It’s not because your brain will simply ignore the less relevant noise. Your brain is not trying to spatially locate hundreds of objects in space.

So... it will ignore the less relevant noise. But at least noise will be realistic... I can hear rain, I can hear birds, gunshots, thunder, people talking, other noises, all located in space... and that can easily go over 32 sound sources.

You cannot really see native 4K pixels over CB 4K and people make a fuss over it!
 

Xbat

Veteran
Cerney did mention being able to hear lots of rain drops and things like that.
I'm guessing that's the theme and the reason the named it Tempest.
 
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