Valve Releases Steam Audio

edited in General

Just saw this, looks like it could be really awesome to use and it already has unity support

What does everyone think about this?

You Can Read More About It Here


  • This looks super cool, thanks for the share.
    Thanked by 1MoonPanda
  • edited
    I'm very enthusiastic about 3D audio in video games and so, to me, the announcement of Steam Audio was a very significant and welcome development. It's great to have a sophisticated 3D audio system that is both freely available and also backed by a well-financed and forward-thinking company like Valve.

    Steam Audio is basically a rebranded version of Impulsonic's "Phonon" product. Impulsonic were acquired by Valve recently and their team has moved to Valve HQ. Phonon is one of several 3D audio systems that I've been keeping an eye on over the last few years.

    This weekend, I tested out the Unity integration of Steam Audio and, overall, I'm very pleased with it. It provides great-sounding binaural sound via the use of HRTF. Furthermore, it has a sound propagation system that can produce reflections and reverbs of sound bouncing off any arbitrary geometry in the scene.

    One aspect of their sound propagation system that I found to be lacking during my testing was diffraction (ie: sound bending around corners). The result is that sounds are quite harshly attenuated when direct line-of-sight is occluded. I've complained about this on the official forum and I'm hoping that improvements will be forthcoming soon.

    Here's a video I made that demonstrates the issue with the lack of diffraction. (The video is fairly quiet so turn your volume up. The loudest part is 10 seconds in.)

    Note that the sound propagation system doesn't need to be activated. If you don't require a sound propagation simulation in your game, Steam Audio can also be used simply to provide binaural audio (HRTF). An example of Steam Audio being used in this way is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. If you go into that game's audio options menu and set the Audio Output Configuration to "Stereo Headphones (HRTF)", then you'll hear Steam Audio's HRTF in action without any reflections or reverb processing.
  • Nice find, I'll definitely go play a bit with it.
  • Holy shit!
    I've been using OpenAL in my engine forever and have always wanted something better. So is there a catch? Is it free? Do you have to use steam to use it? What if I one day wanted to release my game elsewhere and not on steam initially?
  • Oh nevermind, I missed the second link.
    This is amazing! I am so excited :D
  • Anyone have a chance to try implement this yet?
  • You might be able to tell I'm excited but I haven't had a chance. But I have a few other things I have to finish first :(
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