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Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

Last post 6/2/2009 5:26 AM by simonjohnroberts. 29 replies.
  • 4/26/2007 5:33 PM

    Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    The native XACT APIs have added the support for programmatic wave playback. I.e. at runtime, you can load *.wav files into a Wavebank and play them from there, without needing to create a project and compile the binaries.  This is something we're looking at supporting in our next release, but I want to gauge how much interest there is in this feature?  Keep in mind that implementing this feature may very well mean we can't do some other feature.

    So how important is this to you? Is using the XACT editor and precompiling your audio a big issue? Is it just a learning curve for the editor, and then you move on?

    How important is playing loose wav files?

    • Very (56.2%)
    • Somewhat (16.4%)
    • Not very (19.2%)
    • Who cares? (8.2%)
    • Total Votes: 73

    Let us know!

  • 4/26/2007 5:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    This is important to me only because I'm creating a game that allows users to load modded content on the fly. Loading wavs is intuitive for the user.
  • 4/26/2007 7:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    For my guitar synthesizer project I had wanted the user to be able to play background music of their choosing and this on-the-fly loading would be necessary to do so.
  • 4/26/2007 7:41 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    Let's not stop at just adding support for .wav files at runtime. It would be very nice to have the ability to stream in audio from code as well.
  • 4/26/2007 8:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    Precompiling audio isn't so bad, but a means to capture audio and analyze the pcm samples would be nice.
  • 4/26/2007 9:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    Fiend of Void:
    Let's not stop at just adding support for .wav files at runtime. It would be very nice to have the ability to stream in audio from code as well.

    Agreed. Procedurally created sounds are another thing I'm greatly interested in not just for my guitar synthesizer, but for games in general.
  • 4/26/2007 9:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    Playing loose WAV files - not very.

    Playing streaming audio - great to have!

  • 4/27/2007 12:05 AM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    This would be a huge timesaver and really open up audio for the third party tools.
  • 4/27/2007 12:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    I would much rather see some wizards added to the XACT tool.

    Make that a LOT of wizards.

  • 4/27/2007 1:23 AM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    This would be a good feature.  Along with that I recommend maybe puting out an XAct update soon that supports running the audition server on windows XP x64. I have posted on connect twice, and the post seemed to get dropped strangely.


  • 4/27/2007 2:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    I'd really like to manipulate audio recording from a headset mike and play back.  I'd probably need something like DirectAudio/DirectSound or whatever it's called nowadays, but if this gets me closer to being able to do that with XNA, I'm all for it.

     

  • 4/27/2007 11:08 AM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    hmm, perhaps the poll should be rewritten as:

    Should we work on:
    -Dynamically generating sounds directly into the sound buffers
    -Exposing the sound buffers (readonly) for analysis
    -Loading .wavs on the fly instead of precompiling them with XACT
    -Something else!

    :-D
  • 4/27/2007 12:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    YumYumMoose:

    Playing loose WAV files - not very.

    Playing streaming audio - great to have!



    This is a very important distinction. Playing loose wav files (which would probably still need to be built in some way, and then loaded from disk in their entirety, just bypassing the XACT tool) is one new feature. Playing dynamic streaming audio is another. We could implement either one of these without the other, so it is important to be clear about which of the two scenarios you are most interested in.
  • 4/27/2007 12:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    CodeCube:
    hmm, perhaps the poll should be rewritten as:

    Should we work on:
    -Dynamically generating sounds directly into the sound buffers
    -Exposing the sound buffers (readonly) for analysis
    -Loading .wavs on the fly instead of precompiling them with XACT
    -Something else!

    :-D

    Those are 3 different features.  The one I am specifically asking about is the 3rd feature you list.

  • 4/27/2007 12:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    The access to dynamically build and play a stream would probably be more useful than to be able to load in audio bypassing the XACT tool. 

    Someone *could* conceivably even write their own loader if such an interface would be provided.

    I'd also like to see the ability to capture a stream of some sort from the headset, right now we seem limited to input from the controller on the Xbox and this limits the breadth of ideas that can be executed.

  • 4/27/2007 1:08 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    Not:
    Those are 3 different features.  The one I am specifically asking about is the 3rd feature you list.

    That was my point ... I think the feedback so far has been that some of the other features that you weren't asking about are more important.

    Edit: and for what it's worth, I love XACT :-D  I wouldn't bother bypassing it to load wavs dynamically ... though reading from the sound buffers might be interesting some day to do some visualizations or other features.  I know I've got a few gameplay ideas around that.
  • 4/27/2007 2:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    For those that want to provide the data to the audio buffers, what level of depth are you looking for?  Getting the audio data from some source other than a file (programmatic, a large archive, etc) or are you wanting to do your own mixing, etc.?
  • 5/8/2007 5:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    Hi
    I would really like the "Dynamically generating sounds directly into the sound buffers"  feature.

    /Jimmy

  • 5/31/2007 6:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    There are times when our clients just want to play a sound ("ding.wav") in monotone.  The current workflow for playing a sound is to start XACT, load a wave file, generate a suitable XML document, and then load the document at runtime.  At the end of the day many of our users just want do this:

    SoundBank sound = new SoundBank("wave.ding");
    sound.Play();

    I think its great that it supports 5.1 channel sound, listeners and emitters, but sometimes less is more.

    Shaun
    Suva Interactive (www.suva3d.com)


  • 7/18/2007 9:58 AM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    Shawn Hargreaves:
    YumYumMoose:

    Playing loose WAV files - not very.
    Playing streaming audio - great to have!



    This is a very important distinction. Playing loose wav files (which would probably still need to be built in some way, and then loaded from disk in their entirety, just bypassing the XACT tool) is one new feature. Playing dynamic streaming audio is another. We could implement either one of these without the other, so it is important to be clear about which of the two scenarios you are most interested in.


    But if the audio API allowed custom code generated audio streams (or even sounds, if not pure streaming), then you could easily load the wav files from the disk and stream them in. So all in all, custom streams is the "core" feature I'd like to see added. On top of that, users themselves can build wav/mp3/generated/whatever support, based on need. So a way to bypass the XACT tool and stream raw data in would be ideal. I'm not sure how far this direction the xbox 360 itself goes, though.

  • 7/19/2007 2:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    I cannot forsee ever needing that in the near future.  I do like the idea of programmatically streaming audio however, so if you use the time that would have been spent adding the Loose Audio feature for implementing Programmatic Streaming, that would be a good use of time IMO.
  • 7/19/2007 5:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    As not always the same person writes the code and the audio, it may be helpful to separate the code (music engine) from the audio files, so say the musician, can play around with different loops without having to recompile or install the whole environment just running the program and selecting the waves to play...

    My 2 cents.

    David.
  • 7/22/2007 3:57 AM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

     

    I think it's WAY more important to make it possible to play sounds by index as with the native XACT, thereby making it unnecessary for us to keep a bunch of strings in memory.

    I currently have a large string table because of this that I would like to eliminate.

    There are even more missing features that the native XACT has that should be implemented like notifications which are quite handy when preparing streaming wavebanks. Why not utilize .Net events for this? Seems like a good candidate. As it sits, we have no choice but to implement a thread or series of non-blocking calls ourselves to constantly check the IsPrepared flag.  In addition, I noticed there's no functionality for preparing the soundbank for zero-latency streaming...

    Also, marker support as in the native libraries is needed. I really hope that these features are not overlooked because the ones being talked about above are going to be used in a very small minority of cases and these features I have mentioned are already supported and just need to be exposed.

    I noticed the newer updates to XACT also have support for 3d panning and a better interface. It sure would be nice if the XNA GSE version wasn't so time lagged that we have to be stuck with an old version.

  • 7/23/2007 6:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    For me Loose Audio Files would be a nicety (I'm sure I could use them somewhere) but not pressing. My 0.02
  • 8/3/2007 11:44 AM In reply to

    Re: Loose Audio Files vs XACT Editor

    I think we should have the control over sound/wave bank, at least adding wave manually or custum streaming for example
    i am using XNA not for a game but for editor, lets say I made a tools for our game to setup a sound script and test it with XNA in the editor, right now I cannot use XNA for sound because I have no way to play an OGG file using streaming.

    I don't want waste my time to convert stuffs in wavebank because the sound are loaded on the fly and the XNA format is useless for us since the game are not made in XNA btw. I just use XNA because they are no longuer support for DirectX in C#.

    I prefer DirectSound but they generate exception on debug (C#) so I would prefer to use XNA but I cannot right now.

    Please add more support for coder, XNA are not just for noob!


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