Simulant has a full-featured audio system that makes it easy to load and play sound effects and streams.

Loading Sounds

Sounds are an Asset, like Textures or Materials, and so can be loaded using an asset manager, probably using new_sound_from_file(path);

Supported sound formats are .wav and .ogg.

Playing Sounds

Sounds are played through AudioSources. All StageNodes are anAudioSource. You can play a sound by using the play_sound(id, repeat, distance_model) method on the AudioSource.

Playing a sound from a StageNode will use positional audio to make it seem like the sound is coming from the location of the node. If you want the sound to sound like ambient audio (e.g. a soundtrack) use the DISTANCE_MODEL_AMBIENT distance model.

The repeat argument of play_sound can be one of the following:

Playing sound across Scenes

AudioSources are normally StageNodes, but StageNodes belong to a Stage, which in turn is owned by a Scene. A side-effect of this is that if you want to play a continuous sound while transitioning between Scenes you won't be able to; your AudioSource will be destroyed.

In these cases you can play audio through the SoundDriver directly:

auto playing_sound = application->sound_driver->play_sound(sound);

This sound will continue playing until you stop it, even while switching the active Scene.

Controlling the volume

The volume of a playing sound can be controlled on a per-Source basis using Source::set_gain(gain) where gain is clamped between 0 and 1. By default all sounds are played at maximum gain.

The Audio Listener

Simulant applications have a global audio listener which is stored on the Window. The audio listener represents the position and orientation of where sounds are heard.

By default, the audio listener is set to the Camera used in the first active pipeline in the compositor. If there are no active pipelines, there is no listener.

You will likely need to manually set the audio listener, particularly if you have more than one pipeline. You can do this with the Window::set_audio_listener(node) method. If the audio listener node is destroyed, then audio listener behaviour will revert back to default.

Playing sounds beyond the lifetime of a node

Sometimes you will have a situation where you need to play a sound from the position of a StageNode, but the node itself is due to be destroyed. For example, an explosion sound effect might outlive the ParticleSystem that represents the explosion - so how can you play the full sound?

There are a few options, here are a couple.

One option is to hide the node, but destroy it later:


Alternatively, you could specifically create a node to play the sound effect:

auto sound_node = node->stage->new_actor();