The Sound Editor

Sound Editor

The sound editor is where you can load sounds into a new audio resource as well as set its properties. To load a sound, press the Load Sound button to the right of the sound name. A file selector dialogue pops up in which you can select the sound file. This be either a WAV, an MP3 file or an OGG file. In general *.wav are used for the short sound effects as even though they are generally larger files they will play instantaneously due to the fact that they do not need any type of decoding for playing. *.mp3 or *.ogg format files should be used for background music or for sound effects that are longer or larger in size. These files are much smaller than a wave file would be but have a small CPU overhead as they have to be decoded before being played.

Once you have loaded your file you can preview the sound by using the play button which will loop it continuously. This is very handy as it means you can make changes to the volume using the slider at the bottom of the window and hear what the effect it will have on the sound. There is a stop button too, so you can stop the preview at any time.

The sound window also has other options which are explained below.

Here you can click the "open" button to open the file explorer and choose an audio file to load. You can also set the name of the new resource from the "Name" field on the left. Names can only be alpha-numeric and may only use the underbar "_" symbol, and they cannot start with a number.

This section is for setting the sound attributes. These are the attributes that will be set when you export your game and will affect how the sound id played back at run-time. For sound effects (WAV format) you will want them to be uncompressed so that they play quickly and don't require decoding, however for OGG and MP3 you'd cgenerally want one of the other three options available.

Compressed audio will force all your sound files (irrespective of whether they are *.wav or *.mp3 or *.ogg) to be compressed down to Ogg Vorbis *.ogg format files for all platforms. These sounds are smaller on disc, but will have a slight CPU overhead due to the need to be uncompressed and loaded into memory before being played, so you should keep that in mind if you wish to use compression in an already CPU intensive game.

You can mitigate this CPU overhead somewhat by choosing to uncompress on load, which will place all the sounds into the device memory for faster playback, at the expense of increased memory use.

If you have chosen compressed audio, you can then also choose to have your sound streamed from disk too. A streamed sound will be one that is uncompressed and played in real time, streamed from the disc rather than loaded into memory. Streaming is ideal for music as it reduces the one-off overhead of uncompressing the whole file, which may cause a pause in the game, but is not recommended for simple sound effects where the hit on the CPU is much less.

Here you can set the playback volume for the given sound. This is the absolute volume, where if the slider is in the middle - for example - then the maximum volume for that sound when the gain is 1, will be half the recorded volume for the sound. Beside the volume controls you also have the Playback controls where you can preview the sound, set it to loop or rewind. You can also click the Icon to open the sound in the Sound Mixer (see the section on Mixing Sounds for more information).

The Target Options panel is where you set the conversion rates for your game. These settings will affect how the sound is exported for the target platform, and GameMaker Studio 2 will automatically convert your sound files for you - you simply control the final quality of those sounds when converted. Generally the default settings of 16 bit, 44100kHz and 192kbps are perfectly adequate, but it may be that you wish sound effects (for example) to have a lower quality and music to have a higher quality, in which case these settings can be changed.

You can also choose whether the conversion should be mono, stereo or 3D. If you plan on using the audio emitter functions to create 3D sound effects, you should indicate this here, otherwise choose mono or stereo depending on the use that the sounds are going to be put to. If you choose to use the sound for 3D audio, it will be exported as a mono sound.

NOTE: The higher the quality, the larger the file, and this should be taken into account when deciding what bitrate to choose.

You can assign your audio file to a specific Audio group. These are created from the Audio Groups window and are used to group audio assets together for easier memory management and volume control. Once an audio file has been assigned to a group you can then use the specific audio group functions to change them and lo load/unload them from memory. See the reference section on Audio Functions for further information. Note that while the rest of the audio properties are configuration specific, the audio group setting is not and a sound will belong to the same group on all configurations that you use.

Note that apart from these options for individual sounds, you can also preview and mix sounds using the dedicated Sound Mixer