Miniblog #7: Wwise – Careful with that Occlusion

Occlusion (the simulation of an audio source’s path to the listener) is switched on by default in Wwise. Occlusion is super great, the results you can get from it are amazing and quite essential for maintaining realism and [that word of words] immersion. But it’s not simple. Lots of games get it wrong. This is not a post about how to implement occlusion into your game. Other people have done that and it’s too dense a topic for this miniblog format.

This is simply a reminder to remember that it’s there – and most likely having an effect on your sounds. For example, if you have an akambient component in UE4 that will be being occluded by the sound engine/game engine. This is fine, but the default scale is usually; not occluded=fully audible, occluded=inaudible, without a “grey-area” middleground (< this is the hard part). Perhaps this works for your game but perhaps it doesn’t. Try turning occlusion off in Wwise and see if you hear a difference. N.B. – it’s much easier to test occlusion (and many other things – ie. spatialisation) using looping sounds.

wwise-occlusion

Open Project Settings with Ctrl+K and switch to the occlusion tab.

green-arrow_smEither disable the checkbox or reduce the effect of the occlusion drastically. Don’t forget about Obstruction and either disabling/reducing the LPFs too.

Does your game sound any different. Was the mesh of that laser-powered-pot-plant occluding it’s audio source? Try to balance these attenuation curves. Sound ok? If not then maybe you need to have a talk with your dev about setting up a more robust occlusion system. In fact you’d better contact them right now!