4.3) Insert Effects
Now that you’re aware of the Audio Signal flow structure within Wwise, you can start to look at ways you can modify an Audio Signal at various points in the Signal Flow. You’ve seen how Pitch and Filters Properties can be used to change the way a sound is heard, but there are many more ways you can modify a sound using Effects Plug-ins. Effects Plug-ins provide numerous sound tools such as Reverbs, Dynamics Processors, Equalization, Delays, and more. First, take a look at how a plug-in can be used to quickly modify a sound more to your liking after it’s been imported into Wwise. You’ll start by using so called Insert Effects.
In the Project Explorer, open the collectables Actor-Mixer, and then choose and play the Pickup Time Object.
The Pickup Time sound is played when the player collects the time bonus, which instantly takes one second of the timer. The original sound is quite nice, but you could spice it up with inserting a Delay Effect for the Object.
In the Sound Property Editor of the Sound SFX Object, click the Effects Tab.
In the Effects area there are four rows, each of which holds any of the available Effects Plug-ins. They’re not available because the Object resides within the collectables Actor-Mixer, so by default the sound inherits the effects configuration from the collectables Actor-Mixer. To uniquely configure effects for this Object, you’ll need to indicate that you want to ignore the parent Object’s configuration. (Pic01 Create an Insert Effect)
Select the Override parent check box.
Click the selector button for Effect ID 0.
The menu displays an extensive list of Effect Plug-ins to choose from. While you can choose anything from the list, the Wwise Convolution Reverb or any of those that do not begin with Wwise, are third party Plug-ins that involve additional licensing fees when the game is released.
Choose Wwise Delay > Delay > Echoes_Linear.
The Wwise Delay Plug-in with the Echoes_Linear preset is inserted directly onto the Pickup Time Object. The Previous and Next arrows let you quickly cycle through the available Effect Presets. (Pic02 Delay Effect)
Play the Pickup Time Object and listen to the Delay.
Click Edit to open the Effect Editor for this particular effect.
The Wwise Delay Properties are displayed. The available Properties can vary dramatically depending on the complexity of the Effect Plug-in. One parameter that most effects have is a Wet/Dry Mix. Setting this value to 0% means that no effect is heard and only the original dry signal is heard. 100% means that only the effect is heard.
Adjust the Wet/Dry ratio to find the right blend for what you’re trying to achieve. You can of course also change Delay Time and Feedback to your liking. (Pic03 Effect Editor)
This effect is generated in real-time when the game is played. Applying effects in real-time uses up the game system's CPU power when there are many different Objects running various real-time effects. To eliminate most of the CPU load, you can choose to render the effect as a new Audio file when you re-generate your SoundBank. (Pic04 Render Effect)
There are tons of effects to choose from, which can be a lot of fun. But an excessive use of Insert Effects that are not rendered can impact the game system’s CPU power quite extensively, so keep that in mind and monitor the CPU Performance in the Profiler. (Pic05 Profiler CPU Performance)