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October 20, 2014 / Randy Coppinger

Game Audio Middleware

My notes from Game Audio 5 Audio Middleware for the Next Generation at 137th AES Convention 2014, Los Angeles
Presented Oct 10 by Steve Horowitz and Scott Looney

The key thing that separates linear media production from interactive is: indeterminacy. Middleware helps us manage this difference.

Justification of middleware:
(1) Puts more audio control in the hands of audio people, and
(2) Simplifies work for coders.

Steve Horowitz of Game Audio Institute presents at AES 2014 Los Angeles

Middleware for multiple development platforms: FMOD, Wwise
Unity specific middleware: Fabric, Master Audio

FMOD Studio is now sample based, not frame based.

It was suggested during this discussion that Master Audio seems ideally suited for 2D and casual games. It supports all systems to which Unity can publish, including web. It has better documentation than Fabric.
UPDATE Jan 5, 2015:
I originally reported Master Audio as Open Source, but it is not. When you buy, you get access to all of the source code — true. But game makers do not submit new code to Dark Tonic to update the product, rather Dark Tonic takes responsibility to write and publish Master Audio and allow game makers access in case they want to add code for their game. Brian Hunsaker of Dark Tonic clarified that Master Audio is used by AAA game studios, not merely 2D or indie developers. It is intended for any Unity based product that does not require realtime audio parameter changes.

Middleware Resources: Game Audio Institute,, IGDA, Game Sound Con

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