< back to blog Object-based 3D audio mix - from the DAW to the interactive world

Object-based 3D audio mix - from the DAW to the interactive world


Binaural 3D audio with a fixed listening position is already blowing people’s minds. Now imagine you could actually move through your mix from one source to the next in an interactive Unity environment. You could walk around the singer or check out a funky bass solo simply by getting closer to the player. Or simply move towards the group you want to listen to in a crowded audio scene.

In this article, we want to show you how you can take advantage of the latest achievements in audio technology as well as provide information on how to transfer your object-based 3D audio mix from your DAW into the virtual environment by using the latest updates of dearVR SPATIAL CONNECT and dearVR UNITY together with dearVR PRO.

Use-Cases

There are various use-cases which benefit from the transfer of a 3D audio mix into the Unity game engine:

  • Augmented audio mixes for AR experiences
  • Linear audio objects for a desktop or VR game (atmos, off-SFX, music)
  • Audio objects for Videogrammetry scene to walk through
  • Immersive 6DOF music experiences

6DOF

The concept of having an interactive audio scene in which you can wander around is called 6DOF. This abbreviation stands for “six degrees of freedom”. A 3D audio mix in your DAW with the 3D audio spatializer plugins dearVR PRO or dearVR MUSIC already has three degrees of freedom. These words reference the three types of rotations of your head. However, you cannot wander around within your mix in this scenario.

By bringing the audio mix into the interactive world using the latest updates of dearVR SPATIAL CONNECT and dearVR UNITY this movement can finally be achieved. Being able to move around sound sources is though already common in today’s games. By transferring the audio mix into the game engine Unity we are now able to move the listener’s position in all three dimensions. This results in a completely new object-based 3D audio experience for our DAW mix with six degrees of freedom.

How to transfer a 3D audio mix into the interactive environment

The latest dearVR SPATIAL CONNECT and dearVR UNITY updates enable you to export the spatialization automations with just a few clicks into the game engine Unity.The following workflow describes the process of preparing your 3D audio mix in your DAW using dearVR PRO and dearVR SPATIAL CONNECT.

1. Export audio and automations from your DAW

First, start by creating your linear 3D audio mix in your DAW using dearVR PRO and dearVR SPATIAL CONNECT. When you are happy with the results of your linear 3DOF binaural mix you can export the dearVR PRO object position automations by pressing “record” in dearVR SPATIAL CONNECT and starting the DAW session. dearVR SPATIAL CONNECT will then record all object position automations in real-time until you stop the recording process. Next, you need to execute a multitrack-bounce while having bypassed every dearVR PRO instance. To have the automation curves synced with your audio, all bounced tracks need to start at the same time as our automation record does!

dearVR PRO multi-channel processing2. Import your audio and the automation data in Unity

The interactive environment exists within the game engine Unity. Unity, is a full-fledged game engine, which is used for many games and VR/AR experiences. When using the dearVR UNITY plugin in the game engine you can access the same high-precision localization as that from the dearVR PRO and dearVR MUSIC plugins.dearVR UNITY game audio engineStart by creating a Unity project and import the dearVR UNITY asset to be able to spatialize all sound sources using the dearVR audio engine. Next, we import all audio tracks and their automation files. We suggest you start with the audio files as both audio clips and automations will automatically be linked in the created Unity prefabs. We recommend you use the dearVR reverb component in Unity and select the correct room preset. Now, drag the Unity prefab of each audio object into your scene and you’re ready to go.

If you want more information about setting up a Unity scene with dearVR UNITY or working with the Unity reverb plugin, please take a look at our dearVR UNITY manual.

Furthermore, if you’re working with audio middlewares like Wwise or FMOD you are able to attach the created track automation clips to the connected Unity game objects and could even make use of FMODs Reaper integration and Wwises Nuendo integration.

Of course, there are many use-cases that benefit from having the ability to move the audio sources in a virtual three-dimensional space with a high-precision localization. In this article, we showed you how you can transfer your object-based 3D mix from your DAW into the virtual environment using dearVR SPATIAL CONNECT with dearVR PRO and dearVR UNITY.dearVR_INTERACTIVE_BUNDLE