Introduction to Virtual Reality Audio
Welcome to audio development for virtual reality!
This document introduces fundamental concepts in audio development for virtual reality (VR) with an emphasis on key factors that deserve development attention.
Audio is crucial for creating a persuasive VR experience. Because of the key role that audio cues play in our sense of being present in an actual, physical space, any effort that development teams devote to getting it right will pay off in spades, as it will contribute powerfully to the user's sense of immersion. This is as true for small- or mid-sized teams as it is for design houses — perhaps even more so.
Oculus is committed to providing audio tools and technology to developers who want to create the most compelling experiences possible. Learn about, build, and share your VR audio experiences today!
Sound design and mixing is an art form, and VR is a new medium in which it is expressed. Whether you're an aspiring sound designer or a veteran, VR provides many new challenges and inverts some of the common beliefs we've come to rely upon when creating music and sound cues for games and traditional media.
Watch Brian Hook's Introduction to VR Audio from Oculus Connect 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBBuuvEP5Z4
Watch Tom Smurdon and Brian Hook's talk at GDC 2015 about VR Audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RDV6D7jDVs
Finally, our Introduction to VR Audio white paper looks at key ideas and how to address them in VR.
Once you've learned about the underpinnings of VR audio, the next step is to download the Oculus Audio SDK from our Downloads Page and start creating.
How you proceed depends on your engine and audio middleware of choice. If you're currently developing with FMOD or AudioKinetic Wwise, you've already finished a good chunk of the work! Our Audio SDK has plugins for FMOD and Wwise so you can get up and running right away.
If you're developing for Unity, then things are just as easy. Audio integrations for Unity 4 and Unity 5 are part of the Oculus Audio SDK. Add our spatialization component to Unity's native audio object objects and hear them in space all around you!
Finally, audio designers can preview their sounds in most popular digital audio workstations (DAWs) using either our VST plugin or our Avid Pro Tools AAX plugin (available for Mac OS X and Windows).
If you're interested in learning more about Oculus VR audio or just want to chat with other audio-minded developers, drop by our Audio Developer Forums.