1.3) Importing Sounds
It is now time to import the first sound file into Wwise and start with the Sound Design for the Platformer Game. As you may have noticed earlier, there is a Game Call of the type Event named playFootsteps. You will learn about Events and Actions in the next chapter. What you need to do right now is to import a footstep sound for your Player Character and connect it to the Event that is being called by the game.
Select the Designer Layout. In the Project Explorer View, select the Audio Tab.
The Audio Tab of the Designer Layout is where you will be spending most of your time when designing your game’s soundscape. The Audio Tab has three different Hierarchies that each provide unique Objects to accomplish various tasks related to triggering or manipulating how audio works in Wwise. With the exception of music, you keep your sounds within a Work Unit within the Actor-Mixer Hierarchy. (Pic01 Actor-Mixer Hierarchy)
There are many different Objects that can be created within the Actor-Mixer Hierarchy. However, simply playing a sound file is accomplished via the Sound SFX Object.
It is also possible to play sounds through Sound Voice Objects; however, they are generally used for spoken dialogue as they have specific Localization features used when releasing a game in multiple languages.
In the Object Row, click the icon for the Sound SFX Object and name it platformer_foley_footstepGeneric_M01. (Pic02 Create a new Sound SFX Object)
The Object name appears in red. The red lettering represents that there isn’t a sound file associated with this Sound SFX Object. You will have to add the sound file in just a moment, but before you go any further it’s important to understand that a Sound SFX Object does not directly represent a sound file. It instead represents the channel that the sound file will play through. You can compare it to the idea of an Audio Track in a Digital Audio Workstation. The Audio Track has various controls that manipulate the actual sound files that are stored on the Audio Track. Once you understand this, you’re ready to add the sound file to the Sound SFX Object.
Right-click the Object and choose Import Audio Files, then click Add Files (Pic03 Add Files).
A dialog box opens prompting you to select the file you want to import. The file you’re going to import is a WAV file. Wave files are relatively large and you may well think that you’d first want to convert the file to something like an MP3 file or even reduce its sample rate or bit depth to reduce the amount of information you are bringing in. This is not the case. Actually, you want to import your best quality original into Wwise as a WAV file and don’t worry about the size at this time. The beauty of Wwise is that you can later decide how you want to optimize the file’s size before integrating it into the game. In fact, Wwise has extensive features related to this. Think of it like a photographer wanting to always keep his 25 megapixel original and only worry about how to crop or compress the image based upon the need at the time he needs to send someone the image.
Navigate to the location of the sound files folder for this course, go to Platformer_Soundfiles > Robot > Foley, choose platformer_foley_footstepGeneric_M01.wav and click Open.
You will see 6 different files for generic foosteps as delivered by the Sound Designer. At this point you only use one of these files. It is labeled “M01”, which means it is the first variation of a mono file with only one Audio Channel.
The Audio File Importer opens, confirming which sound file you want to import to the Sound SFX Object.
Click Import. (Pic04 Import)
The Audio File Importer window closes and you can now see that the Sound SFX Object has turned blue. The blue color indicates that an Audio Source, in this case a WAV file, is properly associated with the Object and that the sound file is currently being referenced in its original imported format.
As you work, you may notice that some Sound SFX Objects’ names are blue while others’ are white. The color communicates if the associated file has been optimized through a conversion process, which usually happens when you generate a so called SoundBank. White Object names indicate that the conversion has already taken place, where blue Objects have yet to be converted. At this point, don’t worry if you see the color change from blue to white. You will learn about optimization and conversion settings later on.
Now it’s time to test your sound and make sure it’s playing through your system.
Click the Sound SFX Object to make sure it’s selected.
Notice that the Property Editor View displays audio controls for the footstep sound such as a Volume Fader. Also, take a look in the Transport Control View and you can see its name. This indicates that when you press the play button, you’ll hear the sound as if played in the game. To make it more convenient, the spacebar is the keyboard shortcut for the play button. (Pic05 Volume + Transport)
In the Transport Control View, click the play icon or press the spacebar.
You should now hear the footstep sound. You may also notice that there’s an Audio Meter in the toolbar as well as a Meter View on the right side of the Layout, showing you the level of playback in what’s called dBFS. (Pic06 Meter)
Save your project.
Saving your work is crucial! In some rare cases it can happen that Wwise crashes and it would be a shame if you lose some progress. Another reason for saving regularly is that if you change something in the Wwise project, say adding a new Event and you quickly want to implement it in your game, your Wwise projects needs to be saved in order to get the newly added Event displayed in the game engine. If your project needs saving, a little Asterisk symbol is displayed next to your project’s title and next to all Work Units where change occurs. (Pic07 Save your Project)