Loudness

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[[Category: Sound]]
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Author: ''Jessy''
  
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==Description==
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Unity's [http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/ScriptReference/AudioSource-volume.html AudioSource.volume] and [http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/ScriptReference/AudioListener-volume.html AudioListener.volume] use what is known as a [http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/funwithtubes/Amp-Volume.html linear taper].  Although that is ideal for performance, it means that the 0-1 values that those properties utilize do not match up well with human perception, with loud values taking up a disproportionate amount of the range.  This script is designed to make working with loudness more intuitive.
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Loudness is a complex phenomenon, and this simple script does not, for instance, take [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contours equal-loudness contours] into account, but it should yield better results than a linear taper in every real-world case.  I've found the result described [http://www.animations.physics.unsw.edu.au/jw/dB.htm here, that "a 10 dB increase in sound level corresponds approximately to a perceived doubling of loudness"], leads the way to a highly usable loudness control.
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==Instructions (C# only*)==
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Add this script to your project, wherever you like.  It's a static class, so you neither need nor have the ability to attach it to a Game Object.
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Loudness.OfListener (which alters AudioListener.volume) is a [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/x9fsa0sw.aspx property], so you can assign a 0-1 value to it, or get one back, using the equals sign.
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<syntaxhighlight lang="csharp">Loudness.OfListener = .5F;  // Half as loud as it can get</syntaxhighlight>
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Extension properties do not exist in C# yet, so for instances of Audio Sources, you have to use separate get and set methods.
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<syntaxhighlight lang="csharp">audio.SetLoudness(.5F);  // Affects the AudioSource attached to this Game Object
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someAudioSource.GetLoudness(); // gives you a better idea of the portion of maximum loudness than someAudioSource.volume</syntaxhighlight>
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*A UnityScript alternative would have to be more verbose, due to lack of properties and extension methods in that language (at present), but feel free to add a JS solution to this page.  ;-)
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==Loudness.cs==
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<syntaxhighlight lang="csharp">using UnityEngine;
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public static class Loudness
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{
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// A 20 dB increase sounds about 4x louder.
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// A signal needs an amplitude that is 10^(dB/20) greater,
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// to be increased by 'dB' decibels.
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class Exponents
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{
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public static readonly float Set = Mathf.Log(10, 4);
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public static readonly float Get = 1 / Set;
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}
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public static float GetLoudness(this AudioSource audioSource)
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{
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return Mathf.Pow(audioSource.volume, Exponents.Get);
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}
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public static float SetLoudness(this AudioSource audioSource, float value)
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{
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return audioSource.volume = Mathf.Pow(Mathf.Clamp01(value), Exponents.Set);
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}
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public static float OfListener
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{
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get
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{
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return Mathf.Pow(AudioListener.volume, Exponents.Get);
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}
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set
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{
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AudioListener.volume = Mathf.Pow(Mathf.Clamp01(value), Exponents.Set);
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}
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}
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}</syntaxhighlight>

Latest revision as of 01:23, 29 October 2013

Author: Jessy

[edit] Description

Unity's AudioSource.volume and AudioListener.volume use what is known as a linear taper. Although that is ideal for performance, it means that the 0-1 values that those properties utilize do not match up well with human perception, with loud values taking up a disproportionate amount of the range. This script is designed to make working with loudness more intuitive.

Loudness is a complex phenomenon, and this simple script does not, for instance, take equal-loudness contours into account, but it should yield better results than a linear taper in every real-world case. I've found the result described here, that "a 10 dB increase in sound level corresponds approximately to a perceived doubling of loudness", leads the way to a highly usable loudness control.

[edit] Instructions (C# only*)

Add this script to your project, wherever you like. It's a static class, so you neither need nor have the ability to attach it to a Game Object.


Loudness.OfListener (which alters AudioListener.volume) is a property, so you can assign a 0-1 value to it, or get one back, using the equals sign.

Loudness.OfListener = .5F;  // Half as loud as it can get


Extension properties do not exist in C# yet, so for instances of Audio Sources, you have to use separate get and set methods.

audio.SetLoudness(.5F);  // Affects the AudioSource attached to this Game Object
someAudioSource.GetLoudness(); // gives you a better idea of the portion of maximum loudness than someAudioSource.volume


  • A UnityScript alternative would have to be more verbose, due to lack of properties and extension methods in that language (at present), but feel free to add a JS solution to this page.  ;-)

[edit] Loudness.cs

using UnityEngine;
 
public static class Loudness 
{
	// A 20 dB increase sounds about 4x louder.
	// A signal needs an amplitude that is 10^(dB/20) greater, 
	// to be increased by 'dB' decibels.
	class Exponents 
	{
		public static readonly float Set = Mathf.Log(10, 4);
		public static readonly float Get = 1 / Set;
	}
 
	public static float GetLoudness(this AudioSource audioSource) 
	{
		return Mathf.Pow(audioSource.volume, Exponents.Get);
	}
 
	public static float SetLoudness(this AudioSource audioSource, float value) 
	{
		return audioSource.volume = Mathf.Pow(Mathf.Clamp01(value), Exponents.Set);
	}
 
	public static float OfListener 
	{
		get 
		{
			return Mathf.Pow(AudioListener.volume, Exponents.Get);
		}
		set 
		{
			AudioListener.volume = Mathf.Pow(Mathf.Clamp01(value), Exponents.Set);
		}
	}
}
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