Sound Regions: Controlling What The Player Hears

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A Soft Volume that is a Sound Region isn't used to "trigger" a sound like with other regions.

Instead we use a Soft Volume Sound Region to:

Change how loud or soft a sound is due to the player entering or leaving somewhere like a room or building.
Completely isolate where a sound can be heard.

While the Sound components that you give to your emitters do have some very fancy settings on them, you will not be able to control certain things. Take example the Wind or Rain sound:

A player links in to your Age outside. It's windy and rainy. The player sees a building and runs over to it. They open the door and step in to the building to get out of the wind and rain. When the player steps into that building, you do not want the sound of the wind or rain to be just as loud inside the building as it is outside the building.

The reverse is true too. Say that inside that building is some machinery, making all sorts of loud clanking sounds. When the player leaves that building (or room), those machine sounds need to suddenly go down, if not stop completely

You can do all this with a Soft Volume that we call a Sound Region.

Setting Up A Sound Region

I'm going to use Neolbah in this example.

In the Atrium area of Neolbah, when you get near the elevator door, you can hear the sounds of the imagers that are by it. Once you figure out how to get the door open and step in to that room, the imager sounds should be very muted.

Now, I have got the distance settings on the sound emitters, so that when you move away from the imager's the sound does go down. Get far enough away, and you won't hear them anymore.

BUT! Objects will NOT block your sounds!

The elevator room is still very close to the sound emitters for the imagers. In real life, if I were to walk into that room, the walls would block most of the sound.

Since objects can not block sounds, I will use a Soft Volume that is a Sound Region to help make the sound muted when I enter that room.

So first I need to set up a region around that room:


Next, I open up the Component Manager and click on New > Region > Soft Region and assign it to the region. Then I go to the Utils Tab and select that Soft Volume Component. I place a check mark where it says "Partial Power" and as you can see from the picture below, I set up the strength of that power. Inside the region, I only want the sound at about 30 percent. Outside the region I want it at 100 percent of course:


Next, I select the sound emitter and go to it's audio component. If you look in the roll out you'll see where you can select the Soft Region that will affect the sound emitter:


Do this to all the sound emitters you want affected by this Sound Region.

And that's it! Simple, wasn't it?

Check out the video below to hear how it works:

NO Soft Volume Sound Region

With a Soft Volume Sound Region

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Copyright (C) 2011 Andy Legate.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".