In the interest of transparency, we want to share high-level details of our roadmap, so that others can see our priorities and make plans based on the work we are doing towards creating the perfect soundscape designer application for storytellers and content creators, the Echotopia Soundscape Designer.
Please keep in mind that this roadmap is highly subjective and although most of the objectives presented here are already studied and designed, our customers’ needs, as well as the market’s evolution, might influence the future of Echotopia.
The list here shouldn’t be viewed as exhaustive or as a promise that we will complete all this work.
If you have feedback about what you think we should be working on, we encourage you to get in touch at our Forum.
Echotopia is an innovative audio application and we invite idea contributions both towards the themes presented below and in other areas.
The list is presented in an abstract timeline, with the features we are currently working on at the top and the things that we might consider working next towards the bottom.
You can also vote which features are most important to you and your work!
A must for content creators, filmmakers, game developers, and sound designers. A module that will allow the user to mark and export various locations from any project’s scene to files of selected formats. The rendering will be offline to save time. Further additions will be added to the module later to improve productivity for content creators of various sectors.
Add the ability to save locations from any scene in a project. Access the lists from an organized widget to transport the explorer to that location during live performance or use the pinned locations as bookmarks while you’re editing. Add the pinned locations to the audio exporter module to allow the user to render audio files of chosen pinned locations in a batch process. This module will also be available from the system tray to allow the user to transport the explorer without having the application’s main window open.
Create a connection between two pinned locations that automatically trigger a predetermined sound when the transition happens from the pinned locations list. Use this to create aural transitions between locations that will enhance your storytelling. Useful in live performances like board games and live radio dramas.
Add more sound libraries to the basic and premium editions. This update is focused on the genre of sci-fi plus the theme of superpowers.
Add more sound libraries to the basic and premium editions. This update is focused on the genres of horror and paranormal.
Add more sound libraries to the basic and premium editions. This update is focused on the themes of monsters and spells.
Add more sound libraries to the basic and premium editions. This update is focused on the themes of nature and weather.
A full-featured soundboard for use in live performances. The added value of using a soundboard from within Echotopia is that the sound will be processed through the physics engine and all acoustic simulations and will also integrate with the rest of the modules like the immersive upmixer already embedded in Echotopia and the visual augmentation currently under development.
Master controls to change the time density of all the trigger events of the scene, exposed on the inspector and the master mixer modules. This will allow the designer or the storyteller to change how often all randomized triggers play, making it easy to create busier settings or fine-tune your scenes from a high level.
Create natural behaviors by adding another layer of grouping the random sound triggers of the randomizer layer instrument. By activating the behavior of the cluster the random trigger will trigger a further randomizer that will produce sounds in clusters according to parameters provided by the user. Birds, humans, even machines tend to produce sounds in clusters and this will help the designers to produce much more natural soundscapes.
Create long-evolving textures of ambience by setting parameters to control the change of volume over time or fade-to-silence and fade-from-silence triggers. This is a natural behavior of long noise-like textures in soundscapes and provides an easy way to create variation using the same loops.
Create an advanced model to be used for the calculations of the sound distribution over distance. Air, water, wood, and other materials together with atmospheric parameters will make the sound design very easy. The sound designer will only have to input the information and move the explorer on the wanted point and the physics engine will create a fully realistic render in real-time.
An innovative way to introduce visual stimuli to your storytelling that will follow the soundscape and provide a second layer of immersion in your space.
Make Echotopia and all of its features available for the macOS operating system and devices.
A convenient module that holds all the high-level controls of the scene related to sound. Available in the scene editor and the live mode. This module will also be available from the system tray to allow the user to control a scene’s audio without having the application’s main window open.
Use a skeuomorphic style for any control related to audio to make it easier for the user to handle the application. This will create three types of controls, the main app controls, the data management controls, and the audio controls. The user will find a control faster due to visual differentiation (different styling).
Physically based rendering is a computer graphics approach that makes it easy for the designers to create realistic graphics and for the viewers to enjoy more immersive virtual environments. We are working on an innovative approach of PBR for audio. This will give to the designer the ability to create fully realistic virtual soundscapes using intuitive settings from real-world acoustics that make sense. This will make creating realistic soundscapes in the digital domain very easy and intuitive.
Integrate our True3D Audio™ production process techniques to Echotopia’s audio engine. This will allow the user to distribute sound around a sphere and position arbitrary virtual microphones to create custom channel output for advanced sound installations and exporter formats.
A specialized layer instrument to drive the low-frequency enhancement channel of multichannel formats coupled with bass-management features. This will allow content creators, game developers, and filmmakers to create multichannel soundscapes compatible with the industry standards for post-production regarding the LFE channel.
A specialized in-app tool to help check the sound of the user’s audio setup. Also useful when performing to other places and to help troubleshoot audio system setups.
The ability to smooth the looping of a sound file using crossfading between the end and the start of the same file to create seamless transitions. Very useful for recordings of ambience and to remove the need to edit your loops in another editor.
A specialized instrument that will generate noiseprints (aka roomtones). Used in combination with randomized can help create more clearly defined acoustic areas. For designers that have a lot of oneshot sounds used in randomizers, this makes it easier to glue them together by providing the base texture of an acoustic area.
Easily create non-repeating ambience with granular playback control. This instrument uses the known granular technique to playback random portions of a larger sound file crossfaded between them. Perfect to create natural ambiance from smaller recordings or to mangle the material to create spooky and otherworldly sound textures.
Save an area as a prefabricated object that can be cloned around the project. Changing one instance reflects the changes to all the other areas. Easily experiment with your area settings and edit huge projects with lots of scenes and areas fast.
Ability to connect and control various aspects of Echotopia, like the position of the explorer or the transitions to pinned locations using the MIDI and OSC protocols.
The ability to create project-based organized lists of music tracks to use as a non-diegetic instrument in your soundscapes. Also, added functionality will allow mixing the music easily with the rest of the content to have a clear result without the music masking the soundscape or vice versa.
Many Echotopia apps connected with one master Echotopia app can be controlled through the master app. The master app can see and move the explorers from all other connected apps. No service requirements as the data transmission between the peers are minimal, so use peer-to-peer networking. That way remote teams can enjoy Echotopia with full-fidelity multichannel audio without loading their internet connections. Escape rooms and arenas or installation artists can also control the experience remotely.
A palette of 3D motion paths that will move triggered sounds around the True3D Audio™ core. Sources will envelop the audience as designed in the True3D Audio Core Engine, but when the explorer is inside the main zone and a path is selected for an instrument it will follow that path.
Alternative or more advanced ways to define areas on the scene.
Visualize the audio on the scene areas on top of the map background. Providing feedback about the immersion of a specific location and making it easier to debug your scenes.
Provide the facilities to automatically display captions based on the placement of the explorer. Make the sound of your story accessible to people with hearing disabilities or just make it easier to experience in crowded noisy situations.
Load video or animated image files as scene map backgrounds for a more live view of the virtual world or to inspire your soundscape design.
Make Echotopia and all of its features available for selected Linux operating systems and devices.
A user-customizable player with basic branding abilities that can load and playback a project in live mode, featuring all the audience-facing modules like the master mixer and the soundboard. Maybe add the ability to pack projects in protected formats so the end-user cannot access the assets. Loading of specific projects might be locked to not allow the end-users to switch the project that each installation works with.