How do max instances work?


Let’s say I have a map loaded and there are 50 sources for rivers playing endless loops of river audio.

Now, I don’t want to overload things, so I set the max instances to 5. Does that mean only 5 of the sounds will play on load, while the other 45 do not play?

Or does that mean all 50 are ‘active’ and the 5 that play will be the ones nearest to me based on attenuation settings?

Thank you.


Hi Brent,

The max instances property sets a limit on how many instances of this event can play simultaneously.

If your game’s code attempts to play any instance of the event, and that event instance would exceed the number set in the event’s max instances property, FMOD Studio culls or virtualizes event instances according to the event’s stealing property.

  • Oldest: Stop the event instance that was created the longest time ago.
  • Quietest: Stop the event instance that is the least audible, taking distance attenuation into consideration.
  • Virtualize: New event instances will be virtualized, meaning they are created and played but produce no output until an existing event instance stops.
  • None: No stealing will occur, therefore no new event instances can be played until an existing even instance stops.



Thanks for the explanation Richard.

It seems to me that:

Oldest would be most useful if playing the newest event instances were the most important. Perhaps for heavy gunfire? Or any super multiple event occurrence where the oldest one doesn’t matter as much as the newest…

Quietest seems to be most useful for using with distance and attenuation. For example, walking in an area with a long river, you’d only want 5 river sounds playing at a time, not the 100 river sounds that are actually present on the map. This would seemingly smoothly stop the river sounds you wouldn’t want playing. This is the one that seems best for my use, and I’ve used it and it seems to work very well.

Virtualize seems useful, but not sure how yet. It seems that the new audio event would be doing everything except playing until an old one stops. Perhaps useful for a rotating torso changing direction on a robot?

None seems to be most useful for focusing on the stopping of an older event and starting of a new event in its place. The new event only produces sound if the old event stops. Not sure what that would be useful for. Perhaps background 3D positional music sources (like a jukebox in-game?)


There is also “Furthest” in the latest release (1.10.02) which will remove the event instance furthest away from the listener regardless of how loud it is.


Does this work with loops, as well? Doesn’t seem like it … :confused:


Hi Krederik,

It should work with any event, regardless of loops/transitions. Ensure that priority hasn’t been set to “Highest” otherwise the event will never be stolen.