Wwise first launched in 2006, and has steadily evolved in the years that have followed. Last month, creator Audiokinetic released the newest iteration, Wwise 2014.1, confidently claiming that it is the largest update to the tool yet.
The latest version adds a plethora of new features, including MIDI support, built-in game parameters and interpolation, LFO and Envelope modulators, High Pass Filter and support for surface controllers. It also allows users to control up to 255 different outputs.
But it’s not all about the new bells and whistles; Audiokinetic says this update is designed to make Wwise the most comprehensive sound engine available to developers across the globe.
“Audio teams will find a lot of creative control and flexibility,” VP of products Simon Ashby tells Develop. “With those new features at hand – on top of all previous Wwise features – we’re now at a place where we could soon hear new genres of soundscapes and untapped artistic directions.
“Most of the new features are direct requests from our users. We collect all the feedback we can and prioritise new features that way. For 3D audio features like the Mixer plug-in framework, the request came from some of our partners and from observing the trend with regards to all the different flavours of 3D audio out there.”
The upgrade is free for established users, but there’s more to 2014.1’s appeal than the lack of a price tag and a slew of new functions.
Ashby says: “There are so many great features, and many of them are removing dependencies with game code and programming which consequently reduces the production costs and enhance the game experience.
It’s a win-win situation like this that makes it easy to justify the upgrade.
“Experienced users will love Wwise 2014.1. Actually, we already received lots of positive feedback from them while they were trying the Beta versions we’ve made publically available. When they discover they can hook up their MIDI or Mackie controllers to Wwise and assign any properties and shortcuts to their controller’s buttons, knobs and faders, they’ll discover a new workflow with Wwise that will enhance their productivity and creativity.”
Audiokinetic is keen to get more people using its software than ever before, recently launching the Wwise online certification course, which teaches developers how to use the sound engine.
The firm has updated Cube, the Wwise Sample Project and the Wwise Project Adventure Handbook – educational material designed to get new users up to speed with the software. There are also plans to revise the official tutorial videos, particularly those that focus on the first hours of using Wwise.
Interestingly, the newest release of the sound engine has already been attracting more than just games developers, with companies involved in museum installations, special events, experimental development and more all checking the software out for themselves.
This is because Wwise 2014.1 is built around “workflow and creativity”, according to Ashby.
“Designers will spend more time crafting innovative sound design concepts connected to the game and less time spent in their DAW fixing static sounds,” he says.
“It’s easier than ever to go from ‘I’ve got this idea’ to trying it out a few minutes later without any programming dependencies or complicated pipeline modifications. That’s the great win with this new version of Wwise.”