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 Audio mixer group volume should have a relative function

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Fat_Bard

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Heyo Fat Bard here, the folks that made the music and sound design for Crashlands. We've been enjoying the Game Maker 2 beta, but have found one thing in relation to audio that would help TREMENDOUSLY.

Currently when you adjust the volume of an audio mixer group (volume slider at the top of the column), its makes every sound underneath it snap to that exact volume. That is handy, but rarely the reason that someone would be using group volumes. Think of these group volumes as VCAs on actual mixing boards used in recording studios, which in the audio world relatively adjust the volume of each sound.

For example, if we had sfx_sound_1 at 100 volume and sfx_sound_2 at 50 volume, adjusting the group volume of them from 100 to 90 (a diff of -10) would result in sfx_sound_1 going to 90 volume and sfx_sound_2 going to 40 volume. Maybe a check box that lets you choose whether you want the sound mixer group volume slider to be absolute (what it currently functions as) or relative (what I'm suggesting). If we've already got a good volume balance between sounds but, for example, want to turn down all of the weapon sounds by a certain amount then relatively changing all their volumes is what would be required.

I've already sent in a request for this, but YoYo would like to see if others would be interested in such a thing. If you think this is a good idea PLEASE comment! I think I speak for all game audio professionals when I say this is basically a must have, since every major game engine already has this function.

PS I know you can alter the volume of a group of sounds relatively already via scripting but this would allow you to do so AND listen to the results on the fly within the audio mixer, instead of trying a value, playing a build, trying another value, playing a build, etc.
 
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FrostyCat

Member
I think this is a good idea as well, but the number of moving parts it touches might make it difficult to implement in the short term.
  • There are now multiple UI sources that can edit a sound's property. YoYo needs to handle synchronization and conflict-proofing between them.
  • Changing one slider on the audio groups now has an effect on a potentially large number of subsidiary files. Disk cycles, caching and file conflicts may become an issue.
  • There are already ways to handle this with GML, for example a script setting the volume according to some specified type before playing it. This isn't a technical problem, but having alternatives means they might not be as motivated to make it happen.
 

Jobo

Member
GMC Elder
The audio mixer will definitely* see improvement over time**, and feedback from audio professionals is vital to drive these improvements. Personally I see great potential in the mixer, but patience is a virtue...

* Not definitely. Maybe. I want it to.
** "Over time" does not imply any particular date, time, decade, century, or millennia in the past, present, and certainly not the future. "Over time" will be some day, I do not guarantee that "over time" will be before the end of time. Maybe. Do not make plans based on "over time" as I will not be liable for any misuse, use, or even casual glancing at "over time." (link)
 

Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
Theres a lot of things I want to add to the audio mixer... but it will take time.
 
The audio mixer will definitely* see improvement over time**, and feedback from audio professionals is vital to drive these improvements. Personally I see great potential in the mixer, but patience is a virtue...

* Not definitely. Maybe. I want it to.
** "Over time" does not imply any particular date, time, decade, century, or millennia in the past, present, and certainly not the future. "Over time" will be some day, I do not guarantee that "over time" will be before the end of time. Maybe. Do not make plans based on "over time" as I will not be liable for any misuse, use, or even casual glancing at "over time." (link)
Out of curiosity, how long of a job do you think adding another slider that behaves the way Bard suggests it should would take? Not trying to be rude, but this feels like something that should take half an hour of work? This really seems like it would be a low work:high value job to me. Hopefully you guys can work it into the schedule. Would be great to have! :)
 
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And 100 other people think something else would be "low work, high value" and suddenly you have a hundred man hours on your hands.
Sure. But this is really low work, pretty high value, right? The guy from Crashlands is asking for a half-hour fix that would get the program acting the way it should be to begin with. This isn't some random scrub asking for a "create MMO" button. :p
Also, you guys are getting a few suggestions a day, here. Not hundreds. Maybe you could assign one person specifically to do all these half-hour fixes that always get pushed to the back-burner for two years? You'd gain a lot of good will, that way, hahah! ;D
 
Tell you what.... go add up ALL the suggestions, and see how many people we need to assign one to each? :)
Give us a public roadmap detailing what features you're adding with a general timeframe attached to them so that I know which suggestions you're already working on, and start tagging suggestions here as "denied" and "accepted" like you used to, and I'll happily oblige. I'll even assign tasks to specific YoYo members if you want me too, hahah! :)

Jokes aside, your answer comes off as a little disingenuous to me. We both know that not all suggestions are created equal. Half of them would take a hundred times longer than this one for less payoff. Another large chunk are suggestions that just don't work for the vision you guys have for GM. My point in this thread is not that you guys should jump to fill every suggestion people give you within a day. My point is that this suggestion is a good one that would be easier than most to implement. So when I see Jobo say "well, I'd like to see the sound mixer fixed, but maybe it never will be, " when this is a very easy fix and other engines already have this down, I have to shake my head a little, yes. +1 for your smartass answer, anyway. I laughed, even though I don't agree with it. :p

To be clear, I know you guys do implement a lot of suggestions. I see you personally saying "yeah, I'd like to see that too, we'll get on that," often enough, @Mike.
 
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Jobo

Member
GMC Elder
Quoted from another topic:
@Jobo just agreed with Crashlands' sound designer that the audio mixer needs work, and said that he'd love to see it fixed. He then qualified that statement with "but it might never get fixed."

You can see why such wishy-washy statements would curb our enthusiasm when you vaguely tell us that "amazing features" are in the works, right?
The audio mixer is not "broken" - it just needs improvement. I can't give you official statements, all I can do is tell you whether I agree or disagree - if I don't know any public set-in-stone specifics. Look, it's all about priority. Do you want us to charge on with amazing features and leave bugs roaming free in existing ones, or do you want us to fix bugs in existing ones and then give you these sparkling amazing features? Everything you're using in GMS2 is an amazing feature to some extent - even the audio mixer... in GMS1 there's not even an audio mixer to complain about!

Don't forget we all want the same thing: a GameMaker Studio 2 that trumps every other 2D game engine. It's not "us versus you", we're all collaborating to make this happen. The individual user tends to look at their own scope ("I need this") and prioritize it accordingly while we have to take a much larger scope into consideration (and prioritize it accordingly) - and when there's a disagreement you'll just have to trust YoYo's judgment.
 
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Fat_Bard

Guest
Phew this got out of hand quickly lol. I totally understand this is not a high priority thing, and that there are other methods of adjusting this (though the other methods don't give you direct feedback by being able to fire off the sounds within the game engine itself and compare them easily). Audio folks are not the end user for game engines, we're just hired on and whatever engine the dev is using is what we work with. Compared to other game engines GM has a "use-able" audio engine that works for basic things, but there's a few features that it sorely needs (mixer/reverb/recallable mixer snapshots/volume monitoring) and I'm glad that YoYo is at least putting a little effort into the audio for GM2.
 

Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
Okay... I'm gonna close this because it's spiralling out of all control here...

It's not broken, it's exactly how "I" wanted it. However.... relative volumes "almost" go into the first release, but we never quite got the time to add it. The guy doing it is also a musician and noticed this pretty quickly. I wanted what we have now, to allow simple mass volume setting - as requested by MANY users we'd talked to previously, so we were going to add a mode to allow you to switch to a relative mode, but just never quite managed to make it in the timescale.

After that....we had so much other stuff to do, it was forgotten about. While we do still have lots of ideas not just for the mixer, but for audio in general, these things will take time. ALL UI work takes significant time and effort, and we've many other things to do right now.

If someone wants to file this so we don't forget again, feel free.
 
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