Though it isn’t talked about nearly as much as the likes of visuals and input, audio is an essential part of the virtual reality (VR) experience. Creating realistic, convincing sound within virtual environments plays a key role in fully immersing users. Oculus VR understands this; earlier this year the company detailed the Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) technology that was to be included in the new Audio software development kit (SDK) for the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD). Now Oculus VR has released a new blog further detailing its work with VR sound.
The company’s Dave Driggers has this week released a blog titled ‘Digital Audio Workstations and VR Audio‘, which talks about the importance of audio in VR and some of the tools included in the new SDK. Namely, Driggers places a large emphasis on a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that works with the Oculus Spatializer Plugin (OPS) to help with sound design and authoring.
“The Oculus Spatializer Plugin for DAWs is a new addition to the Audio SDK that bridges this gap in sound design workflow,” Driggers notes. “It allows sound designers to preview 3D spatialized sounds during the design phase, before their content reaches the audio middleware or game engine level, thus tightening the iteration loop between design and production. This is analogous to a 3D game artist working in Maya using the same shaders that will be used in the final game.”
The blog then goes into great detail about using the OSP and even includes an example of its work with a project known as Ableton Live.
“OSP availability in the DAW workflow phase helps sound designers author content and make necessary adjustments for creating a great sounding mix in the final VR experience,” Driggers summarises. “For installation and usage instructions, to learn more about our other spatializer plugins, or to read about sound design for virtual reality in general, please see our Audio SDK Documentation.”
Anyone working in VR would certainly give the piece a read. VR fans, meanwhile, continue to wait for news on the consumer Oculus Rift, which will be launching in the first quarter of 2016. Oculus VR has scheduled a pre-E3 2015 conference on 11th June in which it will talk about the device in further detail.
VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus VR closely, reporting back with any further updates from the company.