Audio Resource - Room Tones

Room tones

Our team at Sansar Studios is delighted to empower your creativity with the following collection of "room tone" sounds on the Sansar Store.

These are very subtle, seamlessly looping ambiences for use in your Sansar scenes. In the physical world, even a "quiet" room you step into is full of subtle sounds. Air molecules bouncing around, electricity in the walls, and even your own body's circulation affects how a place sounds to you. Sometimes, this relative (but not actual) silence is called presence.

Room tones can also help voice chat feel more natural, since if there are no other sounds playing, the total silence when nobody is speaking (called dead air) can feel awkward. Room tones fill in the perception gaps and contribute to an emotional and worldbuilding believability of being in the same space.

Our room tones are categorized by "Indoor" and "Outdoor" types, and are descriptively named to give you an idea of the source material and how you could potentially could use them.

After you download a room tone to your inventory from the Store, you can drag it into a scene like any other audio emitter. Learn how in Uploading a sound.

We recommend you place a room tone within a scene as a sound shape (volumetric emitter) which fills an appropriate area, since the room tones are diegetic sounds meant to originate from within the Sansar virtual world. (As opposed to Tools > Scene Settings > Background Sound, which is intended for sounds that are playing "outside" of a scene at a constant volume.)

The room tones have been edited to a somewhat louder level than their source recordings, which makes it easier for you to hear them — and how each has a unique timbre or "tonal color" — without having to crank your volume all the way up.

Important: Be careful while you're testing and protect your hearing. If you make a room tone very quiet and turn up your computer's local volume to hear them, remember to turn the volume back down when you're done, so subsequent noises don't startle you and hurt your ears.

With Audio Preview on, you typically want to lower a room tone emitter's volume to your taste, to where it approaches the edge of your perceptible hearing. Since the intent of these room tones is more to be felt than heard, they can be used as foundational layers with more upfront sounds.

Keep in mind that enabling Compute Scene Reverb and using audio materials affects room tones, just like any other in-scene sound. This can result in richer soundscapes that are even more believable. While the effect will be more subtle given the quiet nature of the room tones, it's still present. Related, since most of the room tones have a noticeable degree of inherent natural reverberation, baking reverb on a scene will in effect stack reverbs. This can be a desirable effect, but too much reverb can sound muddy, particularly with stronger audio materials like "Ceramic" and "Glass".

These room tones were sourced from stereo .wav files. If you're wondering why they aren't ambisonic, it's because ambisonic content tends to be noticeable when there are sounds with a greater dynamic range and directional content, whereas room tones are quite constant. This is different than, say, a recording of a bustling crowd, with vehicle traffic that ebbs and flows around you. As a general guideline, ambisonics could provide benefits in specific situations tailor-made for your scene. Furthermore, if you use multiple room tones in a scene along with other sounds, the cumulative soundscape could end up having a similar surround sound effect, anyway, since placing an ambisonic sound is basically a convenient way of achieving surround sound with one emitter, rather than several. Should you feel inspired to create your own room tones, we encourage your sonic adventures.

Overall, feel free to let your creativity run wild, and if you find ways to use them we didn't think of, we'd love to know. Have fun with the room tones and show us what you've done with them!

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