5.1 !!!

escalonab 101 Feb 03, 2004 at 19:52


Does anybody know if there are any APIs out there (open source) that support 5.1 audio?

We have some wicked audio equipment here and its not being used to its full potential because all the VR presentations that we show here have no audio. The audio (which is usually just a narrator or the sound of the wind blowing) is played separately on a dvd player, which does use 5.1

The objective is to integrate audio with the applications so that its more interactive (context-sensitive narration, ambience, etc). From what i’ve read so far, seems like OpenAl only supports mono.

The presentations run on a Silicon and we use Performer, VrJuggler and VrNav.

Thank you for your info!

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TheCell 101 Feb 04, 2004 at 16:15

OpenAL does not only support mono sound. I know for sure that stereo sounds are played correctly, they just can’t be moved in 3d space, since they already have their own preset channels. I’ve never worked with a 5.1 sound system, but I suppose that if you take a mono sound, and make it move, it will be be rendered correctly by the 5.1 system. I also suppose that if you take a 5 channels sound file, it will also be rendered correctly, though you won’t be able to move the sound.


escalonab 101 Feb 04, 2004 at 20:02

Sorry, im really new to all of this.

So you are saying that i can create a source in openal, attach a buffer with a mono sound file to it, and that if i move the listener so that the source lies behind and to the right, then the audience will hear the sound coming out mostly from the rear right channel?

How does OpenAl know that the silicon has a 5.1 soundcard?

TheCell 101 Feb 04, 2004 at 20:15

I suppose you could do that, but as I said, I’ve never had access to a something better than a 2.1 sound system. What I said was speculation, but I think it OpenAL would work this way. I did not had time to do an extensive search, but Unreal Tournament 2003 uses OpenAL, and I think you can have a 5.1 sound system with that game. So I think it’s pretty safe to say that it supports 5.1 sound system. But as for the hardware part, that, I’m really clueless