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ARMA 3 sound is still extremely basic (no acoustic simulation) very important audio features from ARMA 2 are missing
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ARMA 3 looks incredible!!!
But the sound is still extremely basic...

I'm not sure how the new ARMA 3 sound engine works but to me it seems like every single sound emitting object needs parameters keying in individually.
I haven't heard any simulation of acoustics at all yet.
It seems to be just samples that simply get quieter with range, completely unaffected by terrain or any other form of structure.
Are there any plans to make it realistic?
Also all the sounds are inaudible over extremely short distances.

Whoever did the sound for 'ARMA 2' had a reasonable idea of how pressure waves of varying frequencies sound over different ranges.
I miss the deep rumble of distant explosions and the mid frequency POP of distant gunfire.

As a very simple rule:
High frequencies are less audible to the human ear over distance or through obstructions than low frequencies are.
So moving back and forth from sound source will give the effect of a 'wha wha' pedal on an electric guitar sweeping across the EQ spectrum :-)

I quickly created this video to show just how simple it is to simulate sound over distance just by cutting top end frequencies with more range.

Five things that will make ARMA 3 sound perfect...

  1. Cut (or fade) outside sound when entering buildings.
  1. Make sound act realistically over distance, easily achieved with a standard 31 band EQ >>> [^]
  1. SOUND OCCLUSION: Make different structures (buildings, hills, trees) block sound. ARMA 2 had this, why has it been removed?
  1. Make ALL ambient sounds (wind, trees, water etc...) POSITIONAL so that you can walk past them and hear them rotate around you instead of being locked inside the players head like the whole environment is following you.
  1. Increase the range of ALL sound just like this sound mod that I'm using now [^] you can hear gun shots from MILES away instead of METERS as it is now.

ARMA 2 had most of this and I have personally managed to achieve it all using triggers in the ARMA 3 editor...

I created this test to try and block out the environmental sounds and also prevent swarms of insects while inside buildings.
Although my method is very simple, it gives a much better sense of being indoors and away from the outdoor elements...

Check out this awesome sound mod... [^]

I wish for this with every update, but unfortunately it has hardly changed since the release of the ALPHA.
I've tried the DEV build and also seen videos of future versions and it's still the same samples with no acoustic physics at all.

Here's another good example...
Notice how as the camera gradually moves away, all the higher frequencies are progressively lost eventually leaving only the lowest frequencies {F21504} {F21505}


Legacy ID
Have Not Tried

Event Timeline

FeralCircus edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
FeralCircus set Category to Sound.
FeralCircus set Reproducibility to Have Not Tried.
FeralCircus set Severity to None.
FeralCircus set Resolution to Open.
FeralCircus set Legacy ID to 3961470175.May 7 2016, 4:08 PM
tyl3r99 added a subscriber: tyl3r99.May 7 2016, 4:08 PM

solution..... download JSRS....sorted

Sound has been this series Achilles heel, especially when you see the quality of some of the modders, who have expertise but little resource and they can still do better than the Studio which has both expertise and resource.

The worst is the terribly "Clunky" Fireteam communication.

I keep going on about it, but I feel like I'm taking Crazy Pills like Mugatu in Zoolander.

yeah i understand that vanilla should be good anyway but lets face it... its not.

just use JSRS orrrr BIS should really invest in LordJarheads help...
employ JSRS!!

Just checked out JSRS mod on YouTube.
Awesome samples but they don't seem to react with the environment (unless it's an early work in progress :-)
Every time the weapon is fired there seems to be a generic echo no matter where you are (inside or out)
Also the ambient sounds seem to be locked inside the players head so when you move or turn the entire world turns with you.

Maybe this is why ARMA 3 runs so fast and smooth? because there is absolutely no simulations of sound at all? Otherwise it would have all been there when the alpha was released.
You'd have thought it would be at least as good as ARMA 2 with landscape, buildings and even vegetation effecting the sound.

Just a thought
Please correct me if I'm wrong

Heruon added a subscriber: Heruon.May 7 2016, 4:08 PM

To me it sounds like they sound different depending on environment, just like they did in JSRS in arma 2.

I guess it's less resource intensive, but it seems to me that in a game of the size of arma, it would be easier to have just one sound for for each gun and then use the same filters for every sound but depending on circumstances such as environment and distance. Would imo create more consistency in the soundscape.

I'm just listening to some ARMA 2 JSRS !BLOODY INCREDIBLE!
I'm going to download the ARMA 3 version right now and give it a go. :-)

gutsnav added a subscriber: gutsnav.May 7 2016, 4:08 PM

DEVS- Take a look at the JSRS 2.0 mod for Arma 3. Makes every firefight sound like the shit hit the fan instead of cap guns!

I THINK THE CORRECT TERM FOR SOUND IS CHILDS PLAY. They should look AT BF3 for inspiration on all aspects including sound graphics and optimization

I haven't played Battlefield but I have watched a few videos and the audio is really good :-)
But I don't think simply listening to, and copying a game (basically guessing) is going to help them get it right.

They need to study the subject of sound and understand how high & low fluctuations in pressure act over varying distances and against different materials so that they can get it just perfect.

Battlefield 3's audio is fairly decent but could still use some work. The sounds are muddy and some samples' concepts could be improved (the snipers didn't seem as powerful as, say, JSRS 2.0). It's definitely not the pinnacle of sound reproduction but it is something to strive for for the time being.

Here's another fine example of realistic sound over different ranges...

I had a little experiment in the editor earlier...

I was using the JSRS 2.0 mod
Also in the editor I carefully placed some triggers inside and around structures to disable the ambient sounds (wind, insects, birds) as I went in and out of the buildings.
It was a simple and quick test but it made a MASSIVE difference! :-)
It really felt like I was inside something and away from the elements, instead of having gusts of wind and wildlife inside the buildings with me :-s

ceeeb added a comment.Aug 28 2013, 3:36 PM

The issue description is quite specific, but the title/summary is too vague. To avoid risk of being another duplicate of #3663, could you update the title to reflect the issues described?
Eg, "No simulation of sound occlusion and sound attenuation over distance is constant over all frequencies"


Related to #10831, #8806 and #3663

This issue is about the sound overall and how it is so basic and has hardly changed since release.
The first thing that I noticed within the first minute of playing ARMA 3 was the disappointing and complete absence of environmental acoustic effects.

I have made the title and description of this issue deliberately simple and concise without going into mathematics.
that's why my descriptions are very metaphoric, so people who don't fully understand acoustics can easily join in the conversation :-)
I also wrote it to cover terrain & structure as well as distance.
For example when inside buildings you can still clearly hear the wind, birds and insects as if you are still outside.

I am fully aware of all the other related issues (the 0008806 issue that you linked to is also mine :-) But nothing is being done to make the sound realistic.
Visuals are 50% of ARMA & sound is the other 50%
To me half of the sim has been missing since release.

I just hope in 12 days time we're all going to be suddenly shocked by the most amazing & realistic sound and then I promise I'll shut my mouth forever lol

Please implement JSRS in to Arma 3 officially. I can't play without it, but 80-90% of servers don't allow this mod.

@ Dave Zember

I think that JSRS our only hope my friend :-)
I updated to the full release today and tested to see if they had made any improvements with the sound but It's still exactly the same as it was before, on a par with Pacman :-s

I don't think that it's down to money or time any more. I just think that they simply lack the basic knowledge to make it sound correct otherwise it would.
My servers will definitely be allowing JSRS from now on :-)

See you on the battlefield.


Did you compile the versions by overwriting the old versions with the newer ones?

It's not up to par with JSRS 1.5 by any means, but it is still significantly better than the original.

@Dave Zember

I have no problems with JSRS 2.0 It's awesome :-)

I was talking about ARMA 3 stock sound after updating to full release.
No different, still awful :-(

JSRS 2.0 all the way :-)

Oh, I see. I completely agree.

Had a go at the campaign today (DEV build) and for a second I thought that they had sorted the distance sounds.
I heard realistic distant explosions and popping gunfire!

Then I realised that they've added (non positional) ambient samples of combat that isn't actually taking place on the map. It was very confusing at first as I turned my head to the direction of the explosion or gunfire and it all rotated with my head :-s

Disappointed :-(

Enrico added a subscriber: Enrico.May 7 2016, 4:08 PM

FeralCircus has exhibited a very good track issue!...So!what you do not understand?

Why do I must actived a third-party mod when the problem is in the game by default?

Perhaps this may be fine for those who are happy to play in SP, but in MP this "Trick" it's not possible because servers with mods activated,in this moment,there are very few!!

So this is a problem that should solve by BIS.

Here's my quick example of what can be achieved by cutting just frequencies alone to simulate distance.


That alone isn't quite enough, but it's a great start.

Did anyone try the new Opfor scout marksman rifle, the Rahim? The sound effect is MUCH better than the other stock sounds, so far it's my favorite.


Exactly :-)
All I've done is cut frequencies and volume with distance.
It's just the absolute basics without going into obstructions, reflections and other acoustical & environmental effects.

Stumbled across this awesome mod!!!...
It's early days but it already sounds amazing :-)
You can hear aircraft and explosions from miles away while playing (instead of meters) and the distance sounds are done correctly.

Download it and try because the video doesn't do it justice.

Five things that will make ARMA 3 sound perfect...

  1. Cut (or fade) outside sound when entering buildings.
  1. Make sound act realistically over distance, easily achieved with a standard 31 band EQ >>>
  1. Make different structures (buildings, hills, trees) block sound, (ARMA 2 did this)
  1. Make ALL ambient sounds (wind, trees, water etc...) POSITIONAL so that you can walk past them and hear them rotate around you instead of being locked inside the players head like the whole environment is following you.
  1. Increase the range of ALL sound just like this sound mod that I'm using now you can hear gun shots from MILES away instead of METERS as it is now.

ARMA 2 had most of this and I have personally managed to achieve it all using triggers in the ARMA 3 editor.

That's great. In the long term it would be nice to have different materials give a different sound (ie. while in a metal vs. concrete building). Also to add to point 1, a muffled sound would be nice to have while indoors (even Battlefield 3 has it).


Yes Indoor acoustics are essential and the resonance should reflect the material that the structure is made from, JSRS does this very well :-)
Also need outdoor environmental effects for different locations like Woodland, open fields, urban areas, etcetera...

At the moment there is only ONE gun sample!!!
And it sounds exactly the same whether you are in a field, woodland, against a wall, in a house, far away, behind the scope...
And the most irritating thing for me is the reverb which is built into the gun shot sample with the distinctive & repetitive 'POW-WOW' sound. I become very aware of it after a while and it drives me mad :-s

What's sad with this JSRS mod, is for the default rifle, the sound if perfect in the vanilla version. I went shooting on saturday, and I mean, it does exactly the same sound! I don't understand why the changed it for a worse sound... For everything other, I really really think the game need some change as you said. For all the distance sound, and stuff like that... I hope they'll do something!

papy, are you saying that JSRS changed the MX rifle's sound from the modified one to the default one in Arma 3? They didn't, but it may seem that way since you need to compile the versions (start with the oldest version and overwrite it in chronological order).

No, what i say is that they used a worse sound for the MX than the default sound. According to me..

I wouldn't say BF's optimization is top notch (for me, BF3 runs worse than Arma 3), but their audio is quality.

My main problem at the moment is that the small arms sound like they're going putt putt, not bang bang. The ACP 45 sounds like it has a hollywood silencer by default, when in reality it has much more of a bang, as shown in this video:

As said before: Devs, take a look at:..... JSRS!

I personally find 'Speed Of Sound' sound mod is the most realistic.
Check out this comparison between ARMA 3, JSRS 2.0 & Speed Of Sound.

Notice with 'Speed Of Sound mod' the distance of the aircraft and you can still clearly hear them like real life.

Surely if the rain knows to avoid structures and trees, they can do the same for the sound...
So when inside certain structures or any other thing that is in-between you and the sound source, a simple removal of the higher frequencies and lowering of volume (depending on distance and structure) to simulate sound being obstructed.
As I have said numerous times ARMA 2 terrain, structures & vegetation blocked sound so why is this absent from ARMA 3?

I created this test to try and block out the environmental sounds and also prevent swarms of insects while inside buildings.
Although my method is very simple, it gives a much better sense of being indoors and away from the outdoor elements :-)

Just updated to the latest build (excited :-)
Disabled my sound mod (Speed Of Sound) tested to see if the sound had been fixed but it's exactly the same as ALPHA :-(
Watched aircraft silently fly around for a few minutes, got annoyed by the repetitive gun samples again.

Put 'Speed Of Sound' mod back on & all of a sudden everything is miraculously VERY realistic again :-)

I totally give up on ARMA 3 sound, and I'm not even going to check in future because I know that it will never be right.

Long live Bigpickle!!!
I'll look forward to the future 'Speed Of Sound' mod updates :-)

ceeeb added a comment.Dec 6 2013, 11:50 AM

FeralCircus, could you please stop bumping this this report by modifying it? It's an important issue for sure, but it's not how the feedback tracker is meant to be used.

@ceeeb lol sorry boss :-)

I'm simply adding information to my issue...
This 'IS' how the feedback tracker is meant to be used because that's how it is set up to work. People add information and it goes to the top of the list, I have no control over that. I personally think that it should be based on the voting system but like I said I didn't set it all up.

Anyway this issue is about SOUND not the feedback tracker and the fact that important features like OCCLUSION OF SOUND was in ARMA 2 but not in ARMA 3 for some strange reason they have removed it :-z
Hopefully it is something that BIS have overlooked and will be added in the next update, just like the speed of sound issue that I raised when the game was released...

There are so many sound related issues being ignored.
It's also very worrying when they're closing issues and considering them resolved like this one...

The redesigned sound engine advertisement on made me laugh! Why the devs are so lazy?
It shouldn't be hard at all to cut frequencies when the distance from the player is known... 100% laziness from BI.

lol yeah I particularly like the picture where the visual waveform of the gun shot sample is the wrong way round :-s

The latest JSRS 2.2 mod has got the distance sounds off to a tee :-)

But there is still no occlusion from terrain and other structures :-(
It would be awesome if BIS brought back the occlusion effect from ARMA 2 using 'terrainIntersect' or 'lineIntersectsWith' or 'lineIntersectsObjs' to block the higher frequencies from gunfire and explosions.

The sound is still very 80's arcade quality and very unrealistic.
Gun shots from long range still sound like a very quiet & muffled 'FLUM FLUM FLUM' sound due to having no distance effect at all (only volume reduced)
They should lose high frequency over range developing into a mid frequency 'POP!' keeping the initial transient at the beginning of the sound sample.

Also listen with 'enableEnvironment false' at close range and notice the repetitive 'Pow-wow' sound of the MX 6.5 gun sample that also cuts off abruptly (with a slight click as the recording ends) at the end of the sample.
I would really love to play this game without using sound mods but in the its current state I find it impossible.

Here's my very basic representation of high frequency loss over range...

pops added a subscriber: pops.May 7 2016, 4:08 PM
pops added a comment.Feb 25 2015, 10:16 PM

I'm kind of happy with the latest announcement regarding SFX, with my limited knowledge of the technical aspect. I didn't read anything about sound occlusion though, one thing that Arma 2 delivered if not perfect but believable.

Starting to sound much more realistic in the latest 1.57 DEV build :-)

Too bad that there is still no working sound occlusion when standing behind a building or hill and firefight nearby can be heard muffled.

I remember it being added in beta, it was promising. Hope to see it being iterated upon.