Tuesday, 4 November 2008

SoundSeed - A New Hope

My blog this week is not quite a new innovative use of interactive audio, more a new innovative tool for interactive audio.

SoundSeed has very recently been announced by Audiokinetic and it certainly seems to be an innovative way get more varied sound from very little memory useage. Thus giving the ability to creatively push the limits of game audio.

SoundSeed is a family of sound generators, developed by Audiokinetic, that can generate unlimited variations of a single sample using DSP technology.
There will be different modules for SoundSeed based on different types of sounds, the first to be released is Impact. This module deals with impact sounds such as footsteps, sword clangs etc.
It works as a plug-in for Wwise although is actually split into two parts- a stand alone modeler and a plug-in.
This is because the workings of SoundSeed Impact is based around analyzing the sound file and splitting it into two parts- a residual sound and a parametric model.

The modeler analyzes the 'resonant modes' of the sound and extracts this data in order to output a parametric model that can recreate the original and also be modified to create variations of the original sound.
The modeler also outputs the residual sound which is the original sound but with all the resonant values removed.

The Wwise plug-in part of SoundSeed Impact uses the modified parametric model in conjunction with the residual sound to produce a completely different sound!

What's also exciting is that SoundSeed can control parameters of the sound based on game elements such as physics or artificial intelligence!!
It also has a function to control the quality of a sound meaning you can modify the runtime CPU usage based on the importance of a sound or the distance of the source from the listener.

Here is one of the only examples available from Audiokinetic of what SoundSeed Impact can do;

video

Not quite as impressive as one might of thought but I'm sure the actual implementation of it will produce some great results and game developers Realtime Worlds are using the system in their most recent game APB.
Realtime Worlds report that they are really happy with SoundSeed Impact so far and it is delivering on the promise of reducing the memory footprint.

Info from;
http://www.audiokinetic.com/
http://www.developmag.com/news/30708/Audiokinetic-unveils-SoundSeed

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