Effect of Orientation

[Note] Note

For context, please reference the first example.

The effect of emitter orientation described below applies only when 3D Spatialization is set to Position + Orientation. A discussion follows, below, about the use of Position + Orientation versus Position 3D Spatializations.

The following example is similar to the previous one, but the listener faces east. This illustrates the behavior of two different orientations at once:

  • Relative emitter position: The emitter is located to the left of the listener, which means that the contraction due to Spread happens towards the left. This is most noticeable in the first image with Spread at 0.

  • Relative emitter orientation: The relative orientation of the emitter is shifted by 90 degrees counterclockwise relative to the listener, which means that the virtual sources are rotated accordingly. This is most noticeable in the fourth image with Spread at 100, where the colors representing the input channels have rotated. Of course, this would have no incidence if the source were mono.

The Effect of Relative Emitter Orientation with Various Spread Values


Relative emitter position and orientation

Placement of Virtual Sources
and Output Bus Channel Energy

0% Spread

30% Spread

70% Spread

100% Spread

Just to make sure you understand the difference between relative emitter position and relative emitter orientation, here is the result with a relative emitter position of 45 degrees, a relative emitter orientation of 90 degrees, and 70% Spread. This can be viewed as if the listener was penetrating the emitter's sound field from the southwest, facing east. The green and red emitter channels are somewhat placed at the front left and front right from the listener, and the blue channel is starting to envelop it.

Effective Panning of an Emitter Located 45 Degrees from the Listener's Azimuth,
with Relative Orientation of 90 degrees and a 70% Spread


Relative emitter position and orientation

Placement of Virtual Sources
and Output Bus Channel Energy

70% Spread

From the examples above it should be clear that emitter orientation only affects multichannel sources. Orientation-driven rotation works best when the multichannel source represents a "sound field", an "ambience" with its sonic constituents panned and rendered in the multichannel material. At run-time, Wwise rotates this material based on the listener and the emitter orientation, effectively tying the ambience to the 3D world geometry.

However, it sometimes happens that multichannel files are not necessarily representations of sound fields, but instead are simply sounds that were authored so that they given an impression of spatial extent. This is often the case with stereo sounds. In these cases, the spatial extent effect is optimal with the original channel separation, and any attempt to rotate them is undesirable. For this type of content, users can opt out of the emitter orientation with the 3D Spatialization Position.

Proceed to the next 3D positioning example: Focus.

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