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Make distance attenuation (on sound) correct based on the 'Inverse Square Law'
Acknowledged, WishlistPublic


Checking out the DEV build and it's nice to hear the sound is getting some attention, or should I say 'attenuation' (-: bad joke :-)

But the sounds levels are still not calculated properly and many are too quiet over range (especially gunfire)
I am struggling to hear rifle shots over about 1800m and that's using enableEnvironment false to eliminate background noise.
With the environment sounds enabled the audible distance is significantly shorter, sometimes less that 1000m

Please use the 'Inverse Square Law' on all sound sources so that they are the correct volume for the distance from the player.
This can be achieved by decreasing the volume of the sound source by 6dB each time the distance is doubled from the listener.
Here's a simple example based on a rifle shot...
Distance in feet:
1.25 - 134 dB
2.5 - 128 dB
5 - 122 dB
10 - 116 dB
20 - 110 dB
40 - 104 dB
80 - 98 dB
160 - 92 dB
320 - 86 dB
640 - 78 dB
1280 - 74 dB
2560 - 68 dB
5120 - 62 dB
10240 - 56 dB

So as you can see the sound pressure level (SPL) will decrease by 6 dB every time the distance between the source and the listener is doubled.
The exact same method should be used to calculate any other sound source in game weather it be a persons voice or a vehicle engine etc..

Example based on standard speaking voice...
Distance in feet:
3 - 60 dB
6 - 54 dB
12 - 48 dB
24 - 42 dB

This will make all sounds audible at longer and more realistic distances.
A bit like this...
And this...


Legacy ID
Have Not Tried

Event Timeline

FeralCircus set Category to Sound.Mar 13 2015, 1:50 PM
FeralCircus set Reproducibility to Have Not Tried.
FeralCircus set Severity to None.
FeralCircus set Resolution to Open.
FeralCircus set Legacy ID to 2069376860.May 8 2016, 11:40 AM
Koala added a subscriber: Koala.May 8 2016, 11:40 AM
Koala added a comment.Mar 22 2015, 6:51 PM

I really hope, the developers will pay attention.

At the moment, the sound attenuation seems to be incorrect.

You can clearly hear the gun shots and engine sounds are fading (muffling) with literally every step you gain more distance to its origin.

Both 'attenuation' & 'occlusion' need to be based on real world calculations of pressure waves through air over distance.

No more guessing, simply follow the rules and it will sound perfect :-)

Awesome ticket, thanks! I was thinking myself, that the sound was unrealistically silent at close distances - or that everyone was using suppressors.

thanks for the ticket ... discussing

enex added a subscriber: enex.May 8 2016, 11:40 AM
enex added a comment.Apr 1 2015, 5:58 PM

Inverse square law for audio fall off doesn't work in games because dynamic
range is not big enough.

@enex that's where the low pass filter comes in to simulate occlusion because lowering the volume of a sound source doesn't give the same effect as moving away from it due to varying frequencies having different wavelengths :-)

It would work if we split the effect into separate EQ bands simulating occlusion as we hear it naturally.
So instead of simply lowering the volume of the entire sample with range (like turning your stereo down) we would be reducing the high frequencies simulating how our ears perceive certain pitches at different ranges, due to high frequencies being occluded by the atmosphere and other obstructions.
So as the distance between the rifle and the listener increases, more high frequencies are reduced leaving the mid (500-1000Hz) resulting in the nice clear transient (POP) of distant gunfire.
And the deep rumble of distant large explosions, or aircraft engines etc...

three separate audio signals all at the same volume, same distance, just different frequencies.
Sound pressure level 100 dB
Distance 1000m

30 Hz would probably be inaudible to our ears (but we may feel it in certain pats of our body)
1000 Hz would be clearly audible over 1000m due to it being in the centre of our audible spectrum.
10,000 Hz would probably be totally inaudible to us (-: but painful to mice :-)

Any pressure waves (vibrations) lower than 20 Hz or higher than 20,000 Hz are not classed as sound to humans simply because our ear drums cannot detect these resonant frequencies.
And the closer you get to the middle of that range the clearer our ears can detect.

Sound advice :-)

ceeeb added a comment.Apr 1 2015, 11:53 PM

Related to #10831

Koala added a comment.Apr 5 2015, 9:04 PM

Related to #0023492

Here's a visual example that I made a while back on this subject...

How is it now? According to #23492, we should have improvement.

You're on the right track with this, Loving the indoor effects by the way :-)
The audible distance of the sounds (gun shots & explosions) are still a bit short.

The problem you have at the moment with gunfire is that you're hearing the mechanics of the weapon over the explosion of the shot at too longer range making it sound weak and flimsy and lacking PUNCH.
You should only hear the explosion of the cartridge detonating at long range (no mechanics sound) resulting in the distinct and clear sound of distant gunfire.

To fix this we could make the mechanics of the gun, and the explosion of the round two separate audio samples emitted simultaneously.
Then the mechanics sample would be set at a lower SPL making them fade out much earlier leaving just the shot sample at long range.

Adam added a comment.Oct 6 2015, 1:20 PM

Hey, thank you for your feedback!

There will be a major overhaul to sounds coming soon™.

No problem happy to help :-)
That's great news, any idea how soon?

Adam added a comment.Oct 7 2015, 1:01 PM

Really soon™ ;)

Given that you can't have a 134 dB sound in games for obvious reasons, I wonder if there are methods of simulating the inverse square falloff without needing to have realistic dB levels on loud sounds.

So for instance, let's say you have a 40 dB sound, but you want it to behave like a 130dB sound would in real life in terms of falloff, instead of a 40 dB one.

Maybe many games do this already, but I don't really know.


Yes it is surprisingly simple with some very basic EQ techniques :-)
Remember we're simulating 'distance' from the sound source not the 'volume' of it.

There is a concise explanation about 10 comments up from this one.

Koala added a comment.Oct 7 2015, 5:29 PM


Really soon™?

I am pretty curious :)

Adam added a comment.Oct 8 2015, 9:37 AM

Like really really soon™

Are you able to give any info on the techniques being used?

For example: As well as the atmosphere, will the landscape and other obstacles (like buildings) occlude sound frequencies like in ARMA 2 using 'lineIntersectsWith'?

Also does the new sound overhaul include a realistic radio effect (high & low pass filter leaving harsh mid frequencies) so that our voices will cut through the sound of vehicle engines nice and clearly?

Sorry for the questions but sound is very important to me, more so than visuals :-)

Adam added a comment.Oct 9 2015, 12:01 PM

Are you able to give any info on the techniques being used?

Nope :(

OK cheers Adam...
I shall eagerly await the new sound overhaul :-)

Take a look at the game called 'Squad'
The sound in Squad is incredibly clear and punchy and the distant battles sound very realistic.

Take a look at Survarium, it's free on Steam. Even better.

Never I would have thought a F2P could be on the same level as Battlefield.

I was testing LAxemann's 'DynaSound' mod earlier today with my patio doors wide open.
And in the distance I could hear real gun shots as I live in a rural part of the UK
They both sounded the same :-)

Looks like I'm back to using mods until BIS can achieve this.

Just when I was losing hope...
Tested the DEV build today and noticed a MASSIVE improvement to the distance sounds on weapons.
Here's an example...

How long until the next update so we can have this in the stable build?