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Audio is critical for creating a persuasive VR experience and can contribute strongly to the user’s sense of immersion. You can use the Oculus audio spatialization tools in Unreal to create the best audio experiences for your VR apps.
The Oculus Audio SDK includes spatialization plugins (OSPs) that provide Head-related Transfer Function (HRTF) spatialization, reverb modeling, and audio propagation for UE4 and audio editing tools commonly used with Unreal, including Audiokinetic Wwise and FMOD Studio.
The audio propagation feature of the spatializer provides real-time reverb and occlusion simulation based on game geometry. Its goal is to provide accurate audio propagation through a scene with minimal set up.
You can also use FMOD or Wwise directly with the their Oculus audio plugins, which provides access to Oculus spatialization features (but not propagation) as well as the functionality of the audio tools themselves.
UE4 also offers built-in HRTF-spatialization only spatialization for Rift with and limited support for Oculus Go and Gear VR. For an example implementation, see AmbientSound Spatialize in the Unreal Audio Content Example.
When Unreal PC (Rift) applications are launched, if the OculusVR plugin is enabled and the Oculus VR Runtime Service is installed, then the application will automatically override the default Windows graphics and audio devices and target the Rift. The Oculus VR Runtime Service is installed with the Oculus app.
You can use the Oculus audio plugin in Unreal Engine by following the steps in the next few sections.
Before you enable the Oculus audio plugin, make sure you have explicitly enabled the Audio Mixer for Unreal. For more information, see the Unreal Engine quickstart guide.
First enable the Oculus plugin for your project:
Select the plugin: Go to project settings and choose Edit > Project Settings, under Platforms > Windows, scroll to the Audio section at the bottom of the page. Then select Oculus Audio for both the Spatialization Plugin and Reverb Plugin. You can leave the other settings as-is.
The following image shows an example.
The project is now configured to use the Oculus Spatializer.
Select the scene you want to modify and:
The following image shows an example:
The audio propagation feature provides real-time reverb and occlusion simulation based on game geometry, and consists of two new components:
To use the feature, you simply tag the scene meshes that you want included in the simulation and select the acoustic material for each mesh.
Before you use the audio propagation feature, make sure you have the latest version of Unreal Engine that includes the latest Oculus Audio Spatialization plugin (v1.34 or later).
Note: If you want all attached child actors to also be included in the simulation then check the “include children”.
You customize the acoustic properties of the children by adding an Oculus Audio Material to a child, and the material will propagate to any children of that child as well. Note that children which are included cannot be moved/rotated/scaled separately to the parent, if it needs to be independent then attach a Oculus Audio Geometry Component to the child.
You can also use OculusAudioLandscape and OculusAudioBSP components, which include the landscape and/or BSP in the acoustic simulation. You cannot attach components to Landscapes or BSP objects, instead attach these to any actor in the scene.
Note: The virtual room width/height/depth and reflection coefficients are not used when propagation or dynamic room modeling is enabled.
You can use the Oculus Audio spatializer including audio propagation when you develop for Oculus Rift with Wwise and UE4.
Download the Oculus Spatializer for Wwise
Install the plugin for Wwise by copying the
OculusSpatializerWwise.xml files under your Wwise installation directory. See Installing the Wwise Authoring Tool for more information.
Make sure you have the Wwise Launcher installed. Then, integrate Wwise in the Wwise Launcher by clicking the Unreal tab and then selecting Integrate Wwise into Project. For more information, see the Audio Kinetic website.
OculusSpatializerWwise.dll under the project directory Binaries folder:
Follow the instructions in How to Use Oculus Spatializier in Wwise.
Note: the Room Dimensions and Wall Reflection Coefficients are not used when propagation or dynamic room modeling is enabled.
The following image shows an example.
You must copy the the Oculus Spatializer DLL to the packaged build. Copy the Oculus Spatializer DLL (
[Packaged Build Directory]/[Project Name]/Binaries/Win64/WindowsNoEditor/[Project Name]/Binaries/Win64
You can use Oculus audio propagation when you develop for Oculus Rift with FMOD and UE4.
Follow the instructions on the FMOD website for setting up the FMOD UE4 integration.
Next, once you have the FMOD UE4 plugin installed and enabled you need to add the Oculus Spatializer to the FMOD Studio project.
OculusSpatializerFMOD.dll) to the project directory:
You must copy the Oculus Spatializer DLL to the packaged build. Copy
Oculus SpatializerFMOD.dll to:
[Packaged Build Directory]/[Project Name]/Plugins/FMODStudio/Binaries/Win64
Audio propagation generates reverb from game geometry, so to make adjustments, you need to adjust the geometry or materials. The propagation system doesn’t expose parameters like decay time, or low frequency roll-off.
In addition, the audio propagation system models occlusion with a simple line-of-sight calculation, and does not model diffraction. That means that the transition from audible to obstructed can be abrupt and may require some adjustments. Use the following guidelines to adjust the results:
For more information on our plugins, and for general information about audio design for VR, please see our Audio SDK Developer Guide.