FMOD studio vs others

I’m brand new to FMOD and just starting to get into the interactive audio side of gaming, branching out from my composition background

What is the difference between FMOD studio and some of the others? Im having a hard time finding this out on my own since I’m not very familiar with FMOD period.

Hi, like the OP I’m coming from a compositional background and looking to get into professional sound design for games.

I’m just wondering which version of Fmod you would recommend for a novice? My only previous experience of somewhat related software is Ableton Live, and I have no idea what to look for here. Studio looks like an excellent tool, especially coming from a DAW background, but what is the difference between the API version and the normal version? I’ve looked at the link posted above and the PDF, but am still having trouble grasping what the differences are.

I’d also like to know if the included tutorials etc. include example games, or something where I might be able to get to grips with implementing the audio created into a practise project?


Just to be clear, I’m not a hit-and-run poster; I am checking this forum regularly and any time spent formulating a reply to my query will not be wasted, for I will be putting the information to good use. =]

The Programmer’s API, as you might expect, is very programmer-oriented. Technically, it allows access to all the same functionality that the tool does, but it’s not focused on content creation the same way the tool is. Instead, it’s built to make it easy to connect, manage and trigger the many events and resources that game audio needs.

By contrast, the FMOD Studio tool has a DAW-like interface designed to be easy for composers and sound designers to learn and use. This is because the tool is designed specifically for content creation; However, it does have limitations: Many game audio tasks outside of content creation would be more difficult, or wouldn’t make much sense, if handled in Studio rather than the API.

In short, we expect a team to use both FMOD Studio and the API, but for different purposes - and on teams where “audio programmer” and “sound designer” are different roles, they will be used by different people. Since you come from a compositional background, I suspect Studio might be a better fit for your interests.

I see; so just to sum up, Studio is primarily for the creation of content that will then be implemented into the game project utilising API? So API is the program that can actually open the game in its window, with those fantastic elements I’ve seen like showing the area affected by the ambient sound, or the player’s footsteps, for instance?

How much coding/programming knowledge does API require to get going comfortably? I imagine previous experience in C++ or some equivalent would be useful, but is such a language required to make use of API? Or does it contain its own programme-specific ‘language’ of sorts?


Hi BizMcQuiz,

That is correct.

It really depends on your project’s requirements, and your choice of engine. In many cases you can use FMOD in a game without writing any C++ code, as the hard work of integrating FMOD into the engine has already been done. There were FMOD Designer integrations available for the following engines:

[list]CryENGINE (FMOD is the default audio solution)
Unity (FMOD is the default audio solution)
Unreal Engine 3 (FMOD Designer 2010 features a deep integration)
BigWorld (FMOD is the default audio solution)
Vision Engine

There haven’t been and FMOD Studio integrations released yet, but we already in the process of developing a Unity integration which we will be showing at GDC.


I understand if it’s too early in the game to say, but do you have any idea about integration with CryEngine? Second, when you say ‘integration’, do you mean that in a future build Studio will integrate, or that at some point a separate program will be made for the respective engine?

One last question then I think I should be ready to get creating; do you have any idea how I might go about building a project into a GameCube ISO? I’m imagining that this is not possible as it would require Studio to have a built-in emulator such as Dolphin, or the ability to open Dolphin within itself; but is there a way to link Studio API to other such programs, perhaps?

Items like this may already be contained in the User Manual but I am only a third of the way through or so, and apologies if these questions really belong in a different place.

Not at this point, the FMOD Designer integration for CryEngine was done in house, so your best bet is to contact CryTek.

Unfortunately we discontinued GameCube support in 2009, so that wont be possible. To the best of my knowledge CryEngine do not support this platform either.

If you’re looking to getting into game development, Unity is quite easy to use so I would recommend going with that when we release our Unity integration.

Does this mean that on older versions I might be able to run the GameCube ISO?

I appreciate all your help!

Our game cube support was only ever for registered Nintendo developers, and we have discontinued support for that product. More information available here:

This page might be a good start, check the pdf, it is a user friendly introduction to the terms in the FMOD Studio product that stand out from others.
If you have questions we’ll be happy to answer them here.

I am interested in all things Unity/FMod as well. I saw a post regarding using C# to access FMod Designer but not sure about FMod Studio. Really, I have only used FMod to play back xm files in Unity and wouldn’t know the difference. Please advise when more information is available. Thanks.

Hi Mike, will do. I’ll add you to the list.

Hello! Please add me to the list as well :slight_smile:

Done! :slight_smile:

I would like to be added aswell :smiley:

Are there any news about this?

We are still developing our Unity integration, and will be showing it at Unite Korea and China. We aren’t ready to release it publicly at this point.

Any update on the Unity integration? I didn’t see any news from Unite Korea/China.

We are still actively developing the integration. I will add you to the list to be notified about release when it is publicly released.