Automatic Audio in Frostbite

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Walkthrough of the key Audio Technologies used in Frostbite; HDR Audio, Master Unit and the modular design. An in-depth sound design discussion for Battlefield: Bad Company covering both the sandboxed multiplayer and the story driven single-player

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  • I have a question about the automatic mixing. Is their audio filtering or equalizing done by the HDR system as well as dynamic adjustments? It seems to me that my ears are so less fatigued over play time of BC2 compared to say Modern Warfare 2. I get the sense that the less important sounds are not only dropped in terms of gain, but also in its frequency content. If not, then it is a very welcome side effect to my ears.

    I would love to hear greater details about what the HDR audio system is really doing, but I understand only so much will be discussed publicly. Keep up the great audio work, its nothing short of impressive.
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Automatic Audio in Frostbite

  1. 2. Automatic Audio in Frostbite <ul><li>David Möllerstedt, Head of Audio </li></ul><ul><li>Stefan Strandberg, Audio director Battlefield: Bad Company™ </li></ul><ul><li>EA – DICE </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  2. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Frostbite vision </li></ul><ul><li>Automation in Battlefield: Bad Company </li></ul><ul><li>HDR audio principle </li></ul><ul><li>Battlefield: Bad Company Runtime Demo </li></ul>
  3. 4. Me?
  4. 5. Vision <ul><li>How long is you r game? </li></ul>
  5. 6. Average logged playtime Accumulated play time across all players Vision 61 hours 45 hours 9500 years 33200 years
  6. 7. Vision <ul><li>To make it ever more challenging </li></ul><ul><li>S andbox experience </li></ul><ul><li>Open e nded gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>Tactical d estruction </li></ul>
  7. 8. Vision <ul><li>Games are fundamentally different </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic Models are needed </li></ul>
  8. 9. Complexity Manual result Automatic result Manual effort Automatic effort Time Complexity Effort Result
  9. 10. Complexity Manual Automatic Lagom Time Complexity Result
  10. 11. Vision <ul><li>Automate to adapt to increased complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on what is important </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on what is fun </li></ul>
  11. 12. Frostbite
  12. 13. Frostbite
  13. 14. Frostbite
  14. 15. Complexity Lagom Time Mixing Variation Result
  15. 16. Battlefield: Bad Company <ul><li>Perceived loudness (HDR) </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction Points (Weapons,Vehicles) </li></ul><ul><li>Counteract repetition </li></ul><ul><li>These were our 3 primary focus areas </li></ul>
  16. 17. Bad Company Weapons, Vehicles + cause & effect = destruction, explosions, bullet impacts, etc. VO Music Ambient The complete experience
  17. 18. Process Execution Choice of Technology Execution Analysis Choice of Style
  18. 19. Primary interaction <ul><li>How many times does a player fire in a 10 hour shooter? </li></ul>
  19. 20. Weapon Design
  20. 21. Weapon Design
  21. 22. Weapon Design Whooah ! What ?
  22. 23. Weapon Design Shot Shot Shot Shot Shot Shot Shot Shot_far Reflection Reflection Reflection Reflection Reflection Reflection Reflection Reflection_far Shot_far Shot_far Shot_far Shot_far Shot_far Shot_far Reflection_far Reflection_far Reflection_far Reflection_far Reflection_far Reflection_far World Variation, Urban, Openfield, Indoor, Run Time IR reverb Discrete LFE Content Identity World
  23. 25. Weapon Design
  24. 26. Sound Design <ul><li>Result = </li></ul><ul><li>Firing is created by automation </li></ul>
  25. 27. Sound Design <ul><li>Play wav </li></ul>
  26. 28. Sound Design <ul><li>STYLE OF SOUND </li></ul><ul><li>-what color is your game? </li></ul>
  27. 29. Sound Design Star Wars 2001 Hollywood Realism Diverse Homogenous
  28. 30. Sound Design Hollywood Realism Diverse Homogenous
  29. 31. Sound Design Not Intrusive Intrusive Diverse Homogenous Hollywood Realism
  30. 32. Comparison Examples
  31. 34. Sound Design Medal of Honor: Airborne Battlefield: Bad Company
  32. 35. Sound Design <ul><li>The audio for Bad Company was designed with one image in mind. </li></ul><ul><li>– not its individual components </li></ul>
  33. 36. Sound Design
  34. 37. Sound Design
  35. 38. Sound Design
  36. 39. HDR Audio <ul><li>Automatic adaptive mixing </li></ul>
  37. 40. HDR Audio Sandbox
  38. 41. HDR Audio Big Sandbox
  39. 42. HDR Audio Big Sandbox + Anything can happen at any time +
  40. 43. HDR Audio Big Sandbox + Anything can happen at any time Destruction +
  41. 44. HDR Audio <ul><li>Automatic Mixing </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritizing sound sources </li></ul>
  42. 45. 0 d b 140 db 12db 30db 55db 120db 35 db Time HDR off example
  43. 46. 0 d b 140 db 12db 30db 55db 120db 35 db Time Masked HDR on example
  44. 48. HDR Audio - Theory <ul><li>Measure loudness at Listener position – scale all sound sources accordingly </li></ul>135db 95db
  45. 49. HDR Audio - Theory <ul><li>Handle the dynamic range from the quietest sound noticeable to the pain threshold </li></ul>
  46. 50. HDR Audio - Theory <ul><li>Functions similar to HDR lighting </li></ul>
  47. 51. HDR Audio - Reality <ul><li>HDR Audio functions as a culling algorithm </li></ul><ul><li>Loudness is a good approximation for ‘importance’ especially in FPS game </li></ul>X X X X
  48. 52. HDR Audio FAQ <ul><li>HDR Audio is not compression, all sounds are played uncompressed </li></ul><ul><li>The effect is sometimes similar to compression </li></ul>NOT
  49. 53. HDR Audio FAQ <ul><li>HDR Audio works on logical loudness values and does not touch the actual audio waveform </li></ul>
  50. 54. Bad Company <ul><li>Battlefield: Bad Company™ </li></ul><ul><li>Run Time Demo </li></ul>
  51. 55. Summary <ul><li>Automatic Systems will make the game sound better </li></ul><ul><li>and the work more fun </li></ul><ul><li>We have done a few </li></ul><ul><li>Hope you got inspired! </li></ul>
  52. 56. Sounds Interesting? <ul><li>We are always looking for talented and devoted persons to join our audio teams </li></ul><ul><li>jobs.ea.com </li></ul>
  53. 57. <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul>The End
  54. 58. Questions <ul><li>Who has the first question? </li></ul>
  55. 59. Thank You <ul><li>Please, fill out the questionnaire </li></ul>

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