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3D Audio Bed Mixer

(See the 3D Audio Bed Mixer properties below.)

The 3D Audio Bed Mixer is a plug-in that can reduce the number of Audio Objects passing through a bus by mixing some of them. This, in turn, reduces the amount of CPU resources consumed by Audio Object processing. The plug-in is typically inserted on an Audio Objects bus and generates three possible outputs: a Main Mix, a Passthrough Mix, and a collection of unmixed Audio Objects that are eligible for promotion to System Audio Objects at the end of the pipeline.

The plug-in works by replicating the behavior of the System Audio Device's Audio Object routing mechanism. You can learn more about this mechanism in The role of the System Audio Device.

The 3D Audio Bed Mixer plug-in can only be inserted on a bus; it cannot be inserted on objects in the Actor-Mixer or Interactive Music hierarchies.

The Main Mix

The Main Mix represents a spatialized bed, which would traditionally use a surround or ambisonics channel configuration to build a soundscape of diegetic sounds around the listener. This is a mix suitable for binauralization at the endpoint.

The 3D Audio Bed Mixer always generates a single Audio Object for the Main Mix. By default, the plug-in consults the Audio Device at the end of the pipeline to determine the Main Mix channel configuration. Alternatively, the channel configuration of the Main Mix can be set in the plug-in properties.

If the Audio Object representing the Main Mix reaches the Audio Device, it is guaranteed to be mixed into that Audio Device's own Main Mix.

The Passthrough Mix

The Passthrough Mix is a flat stereo bed intended to be panned directly to a user's headphones. The Passthrough Mix is specifically intended to bypass any binauralization.

The 3D Audio Bed Mixer does not always generate an Audio Object for the Passthrough Mix. This depends on the Passthrough Mix property and the 3D Audio capabilities of the Audio Device at the end of the pipeline. By default, a Passthrough Mix is only generated if the Audio Device supports the Passthrough Mix.

If an Audio Object is produced for the Passthrough Mix, and it reaches the Audio Device, it is guaranteed to be mixed into that Audio Device's own Passthrough Mix (if available).

The System-Eligible Audio Objects

System-Eligible Audio Objects are Audio Objects that meet all requirements to be promoted to System Audio Objects by the Audio Device.

The 3D Audio Bed Mixer might decide to let such System-Eligible Audio Objects through without mixing them into one of the above mixes. This depends on the properties and the 3D Audio capabilities of the Audio Device at the end of the pipeline. By default, the plug-in only outputs System-Eligible Audio Objects if the Audio Device supports them.

The maximum number of System-Eligible Audio Objects is controlled via the plug-in's System-Eligible Audio Object Limit property. Any eligible System Audio Objects beyond this limit are mixed.

[Note]Note

The plug-in does not consider the System Audio Object limit of the Audio Device because it cannot guarantee that other System-Eligible Audio Objects will not reach the Audio Device.

The following diagram provides a high level overview of the plug-in's behavior.

Voices are routed to a bus.

A channel-based format comes from a previous mixing bus.

A stream of Audio Objects comes from a previous bus Processing Audio Objects.

Inputs to the bus are provided to the plug-in as follows:

  • If the bus is Mixing, all inputs, including voices, channel-based input, and Audio Objects are mixed together and provided to the plug-in as a single Audio Object.

  • If the bus is Processing Audio Objects, any input that is not already an Audio Object, such as voices, and channel-based input, are transformed into individual Audio Objects. These are then passed on to the plug-in along with any other Audio Objects received by the bus.

The plug-in consults the System Audio Device settings. These settings affect the plug-in’s behavior as described in the following table.

Audio Objects received by the bus are checked for System Audio Object eligibility. Audio Objects that do not meet the requirements are redirected to the Main Mix.

The System-Eligible Audio Object Limit is applied. Audio Objects beyond the limit are redirected to the Main Mix.

Mono and stereo Audio Objects without 3D spatialization are redirected to the Passthrough Mix.

3D Audio Bed Mixer properties

Interface Element

Description

Name

The name of the Effect instance.

Effect instances are a group of effect property settings. They can be one of two types: custom instances or ShareSets. Custom instances can be used by only one object, whereas ShareSets can be shared across several objects.

Displays the object's color. Clicking the icon opens the color selector.

Select a color to apply it to the object. When you choose a color for an object, a palette icon appears on the selected square, as well as a yellow triangle in the lower-right corner, as shown.

To inherit the parent object's color, select the square at the far left of the color selector.

Inclusion

Determines whether the element is included in the SoundBanks when they are generated. When selected, the element is included. When unselected, the element is not included.

To optimize your sound design for each platform, you might want to exclude certain elements on certain platforms. By default, this check box applies across all platforms. Use the Link indicator to the left of the check box to unlink the element. Then you can customize the state of the check box per platform.

When this option is unselected, the property and behavior options in the editor become unavailable.

Default value: true

Indicates the number of elements in your project that contain direct references to the object. The icon is displayed in orange when references to the object exist, and in gray when no references exist.

Selecting the button opens the Reference View with the object's name in the References to: field.

Notes

Additional information about the Effect.

Metering

Indicates the name of the object currently being metered.

Allows you to browse for other objects to meter.

[Note]Note

The metering interface elements only appear in the Effect Editor for Effects that include VU meters.

Sets the display of the Effect Editor's selected tabs. By default, there is one panel displaying only one selected tab. You can, however, click a splitter button to split the panel into two, either side by side or one on top of the other, for two different tabs. The currently selected option is highlighted with a background color.

[Note]Note

You cannot display the same tab in both panels. If you select the tab that is currently displayed in the other panel, then the other panel will automatically display another tab.

Main Mix Configuration

Channel configuration of the Main Mix produced by the plug-in. When selecting Same as Audio Device, the configuration is chosen based on the capabilities of the Audio Device at the end of the bus pipeline. This is the same behavior as if Same as Main Mix was chosen as the Bus Configuration for the bus itself.

Default value: Same as Audio Device

Passthrough Mix

Dictates whether the plug-in should generate an additional Audio Object representing a passthrough (non-spatialized) mix.

  • When Audio Device supports it: The plug-in consults the Audio Device at the end of the bus pipeline to determine whether to produce a passthrough mix or not. A passthrough mix will only be produced if the Audio Device supports it.

  • Always: A passthrough mix will be produced, regardless of Audio Device capabilities.

  • Never: A passthrough mix will not be produced, regardless of Audio Device capabilities.

[Note]Note

If a passthrough mix is not produced, Audio Objects that would be mixed into the passthrough mix will be mixed to the Main Mix instead.

Default value: When Audio Device supports it

Preserve System-Eligible Audio Objects

Dictates whether the plug-in should let Audio Objects with 3D spatialization through without mixing them into the Main Mix.

  • When Audio Device supports it: The plug-in consults the Audio Device at the end of the bus pipeline to determine whether to mix System-Eligible Audio Objects or let them through. If the Audio Device supports System Audio Objects, they will be preserved, otherwise they will be mixed.

  • Always: System-Eligible Audio Objects are preserved until the System-Eligible Audio Object Limit is reached, regardless of Audio Device capabilities.

  • Never: System-Eligible Audio Objects are always mixed into the Main Mix, regardless of Audio Device capabilities.

Default value: When Audio Device supports it

System-Eligible Audio Object Limit

Maximum number of eligible System Audio Objects that can be output by the plug-in. Any eligible System Audio Object beyond this limit will be mixed.

[Note]Note

This limit is only applicable when System Audio Objects are preserved, as dictated by the Preserve System-Eligible Audio Objects property.

Default value: 64

Range: 0 to 512


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