Maestro! A Symphony of Mobile Audio Tools
Audio for mobile presents some pretty fearsome challenges. Today’s software offers almost limitless audio features and options, but once your application goes to mobile it’s a whole different ballgame.
Audio for mobile presents some pretty fearsome challenges. Today’s software offers almost limitless audio features and options, but once your application goes to mobile it’s a whole different ballgame. The audio developer is in a constant struggle for CPU, RAM, and the small amount of volume produced by that tiny little speaker.
Robust, interactive features like those found in today’s audio middleware seem completely out of reach for the mobile developer. This middleware, like WWISE or FMOD, can handle complex playlists of music, and can change the music interactively based on the user’s actions. It knows the natural pulse of the song it is playing, and can be used to synchronize other game events. It can automatically change volume levels to make sure every sound is heard clearly. All of these would be great features to have on a mobile platform, but would require far too much CPU time to be practical.
But at Bully! we don’t believe in sacrificing quality in our mobile apps. In fact, we aim to improve it! Harnessing the immense power of Unity’s scripting engine, Bully! is working on a solution called Maestro! It’s a mobile-optimized plugin that offers a complete suite of audio features that is being battle tested in a couple recent and upcoming releases.
Maestro!’s goal is to make it easier for developers to drop the music in and have greater control over the sound with features including:
- Interactive scoring: The software can change the audio it only where it musically makes sense, so it feels locked to the action like a movie soundtrack.
- A robust event system: Developers can synchronize game features with background music, lock animations to a beat, or to create rhythm-based gameplay.
- Familiar audio middleware functionality: Maestro! can easily “duck” the background music in a variety of ways, elegantly softening the score to allow sound effects to shine through.
- Smart looping: Audio designers can also specify a “tail” segment of their sound files, allowing an audio clip to loop in the middle while still playing the natural echoes after the loop point.
Keep an eye out for updates on Maestro! in the coming months. And if you’re not a mobile developer, don’t fret, it will work on desktops too!