This release marks the last technical update before the public release, and we couldn’t be more excited.
We added Global Areas, a quick way to define the sound anywhere there is not an area, and some extra types to make it super-fast for you to populate a map with sound. Much of this is discussed in this forum thread.
We also opened the occlusion module so that the user can edit it just like the reverb component. This opens up the possibilities of creativity with the use of occlusion materials like underwater, behind the veil of magic, and more. We will supply most of them but you can always search and experiment with impulse response files you can find online for free or even create your own.
A lot of love also went to the pitch shifting algorithm we use, now it matches the behavior you regularly see in commercial game engines without hogging your CPU. We also expanded the pitch-shifting range and allowed for a more precise control using up to two decimal points.
Finally, a lot of improvements were done to the user interface and the flow of actions, plus some bugs were fixed.
Enjoy a better Echotopia, and design the soundscapes of your dreams!
- Scene Global Areas. New area types allow you to set acoustic environments with global behavior, minimizing the time to create a scene. Four new types of Global Areas are supported:
- Always: Special area that plays always, without having occlusion itself or passing through the occlusion of other areas.
- Always and Occluded: Special area that plays always, without having occlusion itself, but influenced by the occlusion settings of other areas.
- Outside All Areas: Special area that plays when the explorer is located outside of all areas.
- Inside All Areas: Special area that plays when the explorer is inside any area. It’s not affected by other areas’ occlusion settings, but it sets the occlusion if the other areas don’t have occlusion defined. (Note: Occlusion functionality is not yet implemented, it’s there to support future development, but the rest of the functionality of this global area is functional. We will add occlusion functionality in a later update).
- The occlusion area component is now open to the user. You can define your own occlusion materials using impulse response files just like with the reverb area component. We supply basic occlusion materials in our starter library and many more coming in the release of Echotopia on the versions that include our Ambience Kit and/or Designed IRs collections.
- A links section was added in settings, featuring some important links.
- New pitch-shifting algorithm. Better sound with a low CPU cost.
- Pitch-shifting range increased from 24 to 48 semitones (-24 to +24). Create monsters and special effects using common sounds.
- Pitch-shifting accuracy now can be set using 2 decimal points. Finer control of your pitch randomization.
- Pitch-shifting can now be edited during scene simulation. Makes it easier to tweak your sources’ pitch with the rest of the sources.
- Performance optimizations:
- During simulation on the library preset editor, save and export is disabled. Those were causing issues in performance and file writing, so we made it safer for the user.
- During simulation on the scene editor, save/save as scene, save area as library preset, and replace area content with library preset that can be done from the inspector kebab menu, are disabled. (Pending future updates to disable those on the map and scene right-click actions).
- Better panning algorithm for the randomizer layer instrument. Now the randomized effects will sound better anywhere your audience is standing.
- Multichannel source files handling in randomizer. Randomizer now folds down any channel format input to monophonic to create better immersion in the panning randomization around the audience. We suggest you use mono files in the randomizer (to save computer resources), but if you use anything else from stereo to 7.1, the randomizer can now handle them for you.
- Library taxonomy redesign, with final taxonomy organization derived from UX experiments, better coloring, and sorting logic.
- General UI improvements in various places for consistency and productivity.
- Fast disable/enable switching on scene editor map areas was causing erratic behavior in sound mixing, this is now fixed.
- When selecting another map area in the scene editor, the audio peak meters were showing wrong values, this is now fixed.
- In the library preset editor, in some rare cases, the simulation button could stay in stopping status forever, this is now fixed.
- In the library presets on empty folders the interface message was wrongly stating that there were no library locations available. This is fixed and it now shows that the folder is empty.
- Breaking changes:
- If you have set occlusion in the areas of your old projects, loading them using this version will lose the occlusion settings. You will have to get over your maps and set occlusion again.
- Imported presets from any older versions to the library will have the reverb settings missing. You will have to set them again.