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Sounds are inaudible over unrealistically short distances
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Distant sound sources are inaudible (over ambient noise) at unrealistically short distances.

30/40mm APC autocannon is just audible at 900m
Rifle fire is just audible at 750m
Helicopter at 700m
Truck engine at 100m
{F20553} {F20554}


Legacy ID
Steps To Reproduce
  1. In mission editor, load attached repro mission "Distant_Sounds_Inaudible.Stratis"
  2. Preview mission and listen. Note distance to different sound sources at mission start is provided by hint.
Additional Information

Event Timeline

ceeeb edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Jun 30 2013, 2:11 PM
ceeeb edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
ceeeb set Category to Sound.
ceeeb set Reproducibility to Always.
ceeeb set Severity to Tweak.
ceeeb set Resolution to Fixed.
ceeeb set Legacy ID to 3521402265.May 7 2016, 3:10 PM
Ezcoo added a subscriber: Ezcoo.May 7 2016, 3:10 PM
Ezcoo added a comment.Jun 30 2013, 2:58 PM

Agreed, this was my first impression when I went in editor to test the sound engine enhancements.

IRL even regular assault rifle shots can be heard miles away even in very dense environment like forest, where there are lots of obstacles between sound source and observer. At 750 m distance, especially when there aren't any obstacles between sound source and observer, the shots should be rather loud and quite crisp bangs than barely hearable. The distance effect can be achieved pretty well by adding longer and more intensive reverb to the shots fired in distance.

According to the calculators on this site, sound volume drops 6db every time the distance is doubled. Meaning the further you get away, the less sharp the drop gets.

I did a sample calculation using the thingy on their page, and got for a 120 db sound at 100 m distance a value of 80 db at 10.000 m distance (10 kilometers).

This does not include atmospheric changes and terrain, however, there are calculators for that too. The sound distances right now are -ridiculously- short.

distance calculator:

Air absorption calculator:

ceeeb added a comment.Jun 30 2013, 3:20 PM

I'm not really sure how helpful the links I provided are, as I get some implausible results when using the calculators with db data here:

Acoustics are quite complex, there's also factors like perceived loudness of different frequencies by the human ear:

Yeah, I think this ruins alot in ranged fire fights and also kills the immersion when you can't hear a distant fire fight. Isn't there a global variable to change, instead of going through all weapon configs, perhaps?.. Since this also applies to vehicle sounds.
Right now I can barely hear a 30mm from 500m distance, and that thing should be audible from several kms.
Please fix!

ceeeb added a comment.Jul 28 2013, 8:38 AM

For reference, I've done a quick comparison test Arma 2 OA:

30/40mm APC autocannon was just audible at 1400m (compared to 900m to A3)
Rifle fire was 950m (compared to 750m in A3)
Helicopter was 1300m (compared to 700m in A3)
Truck engine was 450m (compared to 100m in A3)

Don't forget that decibels are a logarithmic scale. I think an increase 6db is approximately doubling the perceived loudness.

Ezcoo added a comment.Aug 2 2013, 4:17 PM


The sensitivity of human senses tends to be logarithmic as well. So they kind of "neutralize" each other, resulting in linear line in linear scale if we meter the perceived relative loudness of sounds by human with dBs. For example, 80 dB sound source is perceived as twice as loud than 40 dB sound source by human.

One could think this would have been improved since Arma 2, where the distant sounds of weapons were already too low. Sadly it hasn't been. But I do think that the distant vehicle sounds in Arma 2 were more reasonable.

Right now the range of the sound is more fitting for BF3 size maps

Can be interesting to add some echos.

echo points on the map would be awsome.. but I'm guessing that's not gonna happen.
Would be nice with a word from a dev if this is even doable, or if there's some kind of limitation in the current engine. Considering the sounds reached further before, but then were abruptly cut out at a set distance of around 1000m.

KeyCat added a subscriber: KeyCat.May 7 2016, 3:10 PM

Added another simple repro mission ( Just engage the enemies on the other side of the valley and listen. All you can hear is the bullet cracks and some ricochets in the rocks/ground.

If this is getting fixed, please study real life ranges. Gunfire sounds travel faar. Several kms

pils85 added a subscriber: pils85.May 7 2016, 3:10 PM

Agreed! And the volume is fading much too soon!

Of course, it's not reasonable to set it to actual real life parameters. But the distance needs to be at least doubled in all cases and the fading needs a major reduction, too. Would give the game a better warfare-like atmosphere.
And more forceful ambient battle-sounds would be great.

Watch some real conflict videos somewhere on the internet and listen to the (scary) noise of real firefights. Arma needs to get closer to that.

But as said of course no real life parameters as real gunfire is audible over several kilometers. Same with range and lock-on-range of tanks/jets etc. as in real life tanks can engage targets that are 6 km away and jets targets that are 180 km away! ("AMRAAM 120D")

I'd say we need atleast 2.5km for rifles. Lynx and m320 can be zeroed up 2300m and should also be audible at that distance.

Zero distance and sound travelling distance are not related. You'd be dead before you hear the shot. At 2300m it would take about 7 seconds for the muzzle report to reach your ear :D

If there is sound travelling and sound shift, you won't be able to make out the source of the shot. This only works for shorter ranges or with modern sniper detection systems.

Ofcourse I know they're not related. Why would they be?
Right now, high powered sniper rifles are stealth weapons if fired at range.
Not if he misses, then you'll atleast have an approximate direction from where the shot came. Now there's nothing. And you'll also know the distance to the shooter. :)

ceeeb added a comment.Sep 15 2013, 1:49 AM

This issue is still apparent in release build 1.00.109911

ceeeb added a comment.May 10 2014, 2:39 AM

This issue is still apparent in Dev build 1.19.124229.

Vehicle mounted auto-cannons can now be heard from further away (about 1200m), but helicopters seem to have gotten slightly quieter.

danczer added a subscriber: danczer.May 7 2016, 3:10 PM

I think 700m for helicopters is enough.

When i filmed this i was wonder how fast does it fade out.

Closing this ticket down in favor of tickets like #23127 - it may or may not have been fixed in earlier build (according to the last few comments), but the engine changes in 1.42 are a whole new 'game'.