In order to create a truly immersive virtual reality (VR) experience, developers need to pay attention to the visuals, but also to the audio. Though frequently not given the recognition it deserves, sound and audio design can have a real impact on player perceptions. To make things easier for developers, HTC Vive are introducing the 3DSP audio SDK.
The HTC Vive 3DSP uses a range of cutting-edge features to deliver realistic and immersive audio to users by taking into account real-world factors such as distance, geometry and background noise.
The 3DSP Software development kit (SDK) offers developers the following key features:
- Higher Order Ambisonics (HOA) with very low computing power.
- Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) based on refined real-world modeling (horizontally and vertically) resulting in a better algorithm that is applied to all sound filters and effects.
- Room Audio simulates the reflection and reverberation of a real space.
- Hi-Res Audio Settings source files and playback.
- Distance Model based on real-world modelling.
- Geometric occlusion uses no Unity collider and the cover area is calculated by itself
A number of audio techniques are utilised in the HTC Vive 3DSP SDK to offer more immersive sound quality. Ambisonics is a technique which uses a full-sphere surround sound to simulate spatial sound, while a Distance Model simulates how sounds become quieter the further away you are. An Occlusion model is also in place to represent how sound changes when objects are in the way.
The HTC Vive 2DSP SDK supports room effect, room reverberation and reflection and acoustic occlusion to represent the different ways sound can react based on the geometry of a location, and all of this has been optimised for use with the HTC Vive Pro headphones, though other headphones are head-mounted displays are also supported.