Difference between FMOD Object spatializer and FMOD Spatializer?


what is the difference between these two effects? I didnt find any info in the manual but for some reason 3D Object spatializer on events cancels the send to reverbs on buses. That doesnt happen with regular Spatializer.

Thank you

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There are a number of differences between the spatializer and object spatializer effects.

The spatializer effect is the default solution for spatializing audio, and suits the vast majority of events and games. It functions by panning and attenuating the signal output to each speaker channel at its position in the signal chain. It also automatically upmixes the signal to your platform’s surround speaker mode, so as to ensure consistent submixes throughout your project.

The object spatializer effect is specifically designed to work with platform-specific technologies such as Windows Sonic, PS VR, and Dolby Atmos, and functions by routing the signal and 3D positional information directly to an object mixer instead of through the normal routing path the event would otherwise follow; as a result, the signal does not encounter any effects “downstream” of the object spatializer. (This is why your sends aren’t working: They’re technically still functioning normally, but there is no audible signal at their positions in the signal chain.) The object spatializer also does not automatically upmix the signal to your project’s surround speaker mode.

Because it is designed to take full advantage of platform-specific technologies, the object spatializer can potentially spatialize audio more accurately than the spatializer effect. However, most platforms only support a limited number of object panners, so they are best used only for specific events that need highly accurate positioning for gameplay reasons.


Great thanks!

Great answer, super helpful - wish all my answers were this straightforward to find!

Will there be any soon/future update to this? Compared to the Oculus spatializer this is much more finicky to get to sound natural., and has far too many knobs to turn. It has taken me way longer to make a single sound feel right in VR. Turning ones head from side to side when facing a sound emitter sounds really weird. If you’re at 90 degrees to the source, the sound is basically gone in the non facing ear. Sounds really odd. It can be tweaked but it takes forever to get it right.

Also, routing the output of the object spatializer straight to the output and bypassing post spatial sends is problematic at times. Working in VR, there are some things I want the reverb send to be spatialized, so that I don’t hear much of it until I get close to the object. Otherwise I end up hearing a wash of reverb coming from an object too far away.

There’s also very little documentation or tutorials for this.

It’s a work flow issue. Any chance of getting something like the Oculus one that’s cross platform, easier to use, and will work on Sony VR?

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We don’t currently have anything scheduled the immediate future, but if you tell us about the specific features or improvements you’d like, I’ll add them to our feature/improvement tracker.

Could you describe in more detail the problems you had getting it to sound right? Do both spatializer effects suffer from the same problems, or is it only the object spatializer? Having more detail about the problem will help us understand how our spatializer effects should be improved.

It’s physically impossible for us to fix this. The object spatializer functions by using platform specific hardware, and that hardware mixes all its inputs together; we can’t route the spatialized signals through the post-spatializer sends and effects because the individual event instances’ signals no longer exist are separate signals once the hardware has spatialized them. There is no way to change this behavior without redesigning and replacing your target platforms’ hardware.

If you want to take advantage of post-spatializer effects and mixer routing, your only option is to use the spatializer effect, instead of the object spatializer effect.

The effect reference chapter of the FMOD Studio manual is still in the process of being written, but should supply most of the information you need. In the mean time, if you have any questions about FMOD Studio’s effects, please feel free to ask them here.

Thanks for your answers, Joseph. I’ll keep tweaking it.

I do have a request. There used to be the distance filter in FMOD. It would be awesome if the object spatializer had one built into it to roll of high frequencies at a distance.

Another question. All of my dialog is positional and I had it all routed to a dialog bus with sidechains to compress sfx, music, ambience. Now this doesn’t work. Am I missing something here?

We are not planning to add a built-in distance filter to the object spatializer, as it would make the effect more computationally heavy and would only be useful to a small number of games.

Is there some reason why you can’t use a pre-spatializer Multiband EQ effect, and automate its behavior on the distance built-in parameter, instead?

I can’t be sure without seeing your project, but I suspect you might be using using post-spatializer sends. As I mentioned above, the object spatializer bypasses the normal routing of your project, and so no send positioned downstream of an object spatializer will have a signal to send to the associated return.

If you are using post-spatializer sends, the solution is to move them to pre-spatializer positions. Of course, this will mean they’ll be sending unspatialized signals; if this is a problem, I recommend either using our spatializer effect in place of the object spatializer effect, or creating a return track with volume -oo dB but contains a pre-fader spatializer effect with the same attenuation settings as your object spatializer effect, and a pre-fader send that sends to your return bus, so that the sent signal is subject to the appropriate distance attenuation.