Last week Google launched 3D object library Poly to help provide a one-stop-shop for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) developers looking for items and scenes to put in their projects. In a continued effort to make immersive content creation easier Google has announced a new spatial audio software development kit (SDK) so that developers can add high-quality immersive sound to their experiences.
Called Resonance Audio, it’s based on technology from Google’s VR Audio SDK, designed to work across mobile and desktop platforms.
3D audio is an important part of any VR experience, aiding immersion with sounds that not only come from a particular point – such as any enemy attacking from behind – but also change depending on location and movement. But this can be CPU intensive which can be especially difficult for mobile devices, so the SDK uses highly optimized digital signal processing algorithms based on higher order Ambisonics to spatialize hundreds of simultaneous 3D sound sources, without compromising audio quality.
Google has also worked with Unity to introduce a new feature for precomputing highly realistic reverb effects that accurately match the acoustic properties of the environment, reducing CPU usage significantly during playback.
“We know how important it is that audio solutions integrate seamlessly with your preferred audio middleware and sound design tools. With Resonance Audio, we’ve released cross-platform SDKs for the most popular game engines, audio engines, and digital audio workstations (DAW) to streamline workflows, so you can focus on creating more immersive audio,” states Google’s press release. “The SDKs run on Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS and Linux platforms and provide integrations for Unity, Unreal Engine, FMOD, Wwise and DAWs. We also provide native APIs for C/C++, Java, Objective-C and the web.”
Several of Resonance Audio’s features include tools for accurately modelling complex sound environments, enabling developers to control the direction acoustic waves propagate from sound sources or automatically rendering near-field effects when sound sources get close to a listener’s head.
If you want an idea of what this all means Google has just ported Audio Factory from Daydream to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on Steam. Thus allowing you to hear the spatial audio capabilities of the Resonance Audio SDK.