Implementing a forest environment in UE4

Hi guys,

I’ve been working with FMOD for some time doing some dynamic music and some sound implementation for smaller games but now i’m on a bigger 3D project in Unreal engine.
I already did (for studying) some environment sound implementation in the Unreal First Person Shooter demo and it worked will in FMOD.

My question is: What’s the best approach to creating a believable 3D forest environment ? The best way it’s to just create 3D sounds in FMOD and drop them in the scene ? (That’s what I did in my tests)
I’m creating various elements of the forest as separated events (water falls, crickets, winds, birds, leaves …) and adding them to the scene, but I’m thinking that I need one big sound that will be the “base” sound of the forest and those others will just pop when neccessary to enhance the scene. Does that make sense ?
On other question: What’s the best way to implement a river sound ? Let’s say I have a river that crosses my entire map, If I drop just one event at some place in the river, if the listener is far away from this source they will not hear the river sound even if they are near the river object (obvious). I was thinking that I need to drop tons of the same object with a small attenuation area along the river path, does it make sense ?

Is there any tutorial available on this subject ?? Every thing that I see on youtube is too basic. And mostly not from the sound designer perspective.

Thanks a lot!

Hi Paulo,

There is no “best” approach to creating ambience like this. It all comes down to personal taste, the style of the game you’re making (super realistic, cartoon-y, etc.), and any limitations you’re working with.

It would be good to break each element of the forest down and work on them individually. Waterfalls can make use of the direction and distance built in parameters, applying lowpass filters when not looking at them or when far away. Crickets and birds can use scatterer instruments to give a sense of them being all around you (provided you cannot actually see these creatures).

Take a listen to the ambience in games like Just Cause 3 for inspiration on forest style ambience.

In regards to river sounds, this would require coding in the game. You will need the event instance to remain within the river’s path but try to stay as close to the listener as possible. This way you will only require one event instance instead of multiple ones placed along the river which can cause phase issues.


Hi Richard, thanks for the complete answer! It was very clear.
Regarding the river sound, It’s a nice solution. I tried multiple instances of the same event but it indeed had some phasing issues!
Thanks for the help!