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Using Ambisonics

Ambisonics is a surround sound technique covering the horizontal plane as well as regions above and below the listener. By way of its B-format sound field representation with spherical harmonics, it works independently of speaker setups. Notably, this makes it easy to rotate the sound with the listener. Anywhere a sound designer might need a more spherical sound representation, such as in providing ambient sounds or in developing VR, ambisonics is a viable option.

With Wwise you can do any of the following:

  • Import and play back B-format assets in FuMa format (up to 3rd order) or AmbiX format (up to 5th order).

  • Encode other bus configurations to the ambisonics format and decode ambisonics to other bus configurations.

  • Use Effect plug-ins to customize ambisonic decoding.

  • Use binauralizer Effect plug-ins, such as Auro Headphone and Resonance Audio, to convert ambisonics to stereo.

  • Use Effect plug-ins (except Wwise Stereo Delay and Wwise Matrix Reverb) to process ambisonics as they would process other formats.

  • Pass an ambisonic bed to ambisonic-capable audio devices. This output is playable on any of an increasing number of platforms that support ambisonics.

  • Record an ambisonic bus to disk and re-import it using the Wwise Recorder plug-in.

[Tip] Tip

The Wwise sample project provides a few examples of ambisonic use.

To use ambisonic files:

  1. Import ambisonic B-format recorded files, which can be saved either as WAVs or AMBs, as you would any other audio file. Refer to Importing Media Files for more information.

    [Note] Note

    To import ambisonic files (AMB, AmbiX, and WAV files) and validate that they have been properly interpreted as ambisonics by Wwise, open the Source Editor and view or edit the value of the Channel config override menu. To open the Source Editor, on the Contents Editor click the SFX, Music Track, or Voice icon. (Views menu > Contents Editor or Shift+O).

  2. Specify an appropriate Audio Bus to be the Output Bus, as you would for any other sound object. Refer to Specifying the Output Routing for Objects for more information.

  3. To create a spherical sound field, set the spread of the sound object to 100%. Refer to Defining the Attenuation curves for Various Object Properties for details.

    [Note] Note

    When used as a sound field with 3D Spatialization, ambisonics, like other multichannel files, will collapse into a mono point source if spread is left at 0%, which is the default.

Wwise will mix channels as needed. Refer to Submixing Ambisonics for more information.

To have an ambisonic output:

  1. Set an Audio Bus to have an ambisonics bus configuration of:

    • Ambisonics 1st Order (4 channels)

    • Ambisonics 2nd Order (9 channels)

    • Ambisonics 3rd Order (16 channels)

    • Ambisonics 4th Order (25 channels)

    • Ambisonics 5th Order (36 channels)

    Refer to the Available Ambisonics Bus Configurations table for more information on channel configurations.

    Wwise will mix your source files that are output through the Audio Bus defined above into an ambisonic output.

    [Note] Note

    If your Sound Engine Audio System specified in the Audio Preferences dialog is an Audio Device that supports ambisonics, then you can skip this initial step because the Master Audio Bus will already be set to ambisonics.

  2. Specify a final output device that supports ambisonic channel configurations, such as a 3D binaural system.

    If not an ambisonic-supported output, Wwise automatically decodes the corresponding channel output to the applicable standard output. Refer to Submixing Ambisonics for more information.