Creating Quad Ambiences

Hey there,
I’m trying to create 4-way quad ambiences with 4 channel files mapped [L, R, Lb, Rb] -> [NE, NW, SE, SW] with Stereo output.

Is the only way to do this is having 4 mono [for each direction] (or 2 stereo [FR/BK]) files laid over “Event Orientation” parameter (which doesn’t wrap instruments between -180 > 180), or is there another way to do it with 4 channel files?

Edit: I think this horrible gif could explain it better:

Using a direction parameter or event orientation parameter could allow you to create an ambiance in the way you describe.

However, the method you describe is an unusual way to create 3D ambiances in FMOD Studio, as it has a number of disadvantages compared to more common methods - most notably, it doesn’t allow the listener to move in any way other than rotating, making it less useful for any game where the player or camera can move in 3D space. Is there any reason you’re using this method instead of just creating four event instances at different points in your game world, and using one of FMOD Studio’s built-in spatializing effects to pan and attenuate those event instances?

A “directional room tone” can be useful and it gives a nice sense of space even if it doesn’t move (a bit like a skybox background in games). It can work for ambiences like “there is a storm in the north”.

Two stereo files can be used, and the “L/R Surround” panner on the output with its Direction automated automated to achieve this.

Making the rotation envelopes to Event Orientation parameter is a bit tricky. One envelope can go from -180 to 180 in a linear fashion, but the others need to be cut and ‘sawtoothed’ to ramp wrap around in the right direction. Discontinuities are inevitable.

Being able to rotate a 4, 5.1, 7.1 surround panner with a single parameter could be a cool feature. Or a “pan rotator” plug-in.

If you use a Scatterer in an event that is locked to listener position, but its orientation is locked to the world, it can generate a room tone with rotating spatiality. The scatterer can be set up to play back randomized cuts of a loop that fade in and out. You can do this by inserting an Event Sound into the Scatterer playlist, and placing a loop with a fade in, fade out and Seek Offset randomization (and also pitch randomization, why not) to generate a surround soundscape that rotates as you look around.

Well, as you know most of the time we use stereo “ambient beds” that turns with the listener, so let’s say when a bird chirps in the left channel, it always stays in left channel regardless of which way you look.

I’m experimenting with a more… “ambisonics” way used in VR, so the ambience bed stays boud to game world when you look around. I found out that “Quad Ambience” directional information is a good thing to toy with. It feels more “spacious” and increases the feeling of directionality all around.

For manageability, I thought it’s better for me to solve it all inside FMOD. The alternative is having 4 mono files distributed in a square within game world with no volume attenuation but with 3d positioning.

By the way, Panner + Event Or. seems to do what I want by pushing “Surround Extent” a little forward and then rotating “Surround Direction”, but that’s also pushing the channel balance to forward. It works well with Stereo out (as only 2 front channels are important) but not so with Surround out.

Only if there is a way to do it without changing Surround Extent… :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, FMOD Studio does not currently support adjusting the surround extent of a signal without also affecting the signal’s panning.