Breaking the boundaries of surround sound
PROXIMITY is an audio technology standard that raises the gaming experience to the next level of realism. Sounds have never been closer than with PROXIMITY. This new technology expands the gaming experience past the boundaries of conventional stereo and surround sound. With individual game sounds and effects arising right next to your ears, PROXIMITY ensures an authentic gaming experience and a highly accurate localization of sounds. A first implementation of PROXIMITY was realized with “Crysis 3”, more titles, including Crytek's “Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age”, will follow in 2015.
Seamless workflow integration
For sound designers, PROXIMITY will be a powerful new tool in their content creation toolbox, realizing great effect with little extra effort. Through integration into middlewares and digital audio workstations, PROXIMITY technology slips into existing workflows for (game) sound design. Using the familiar environment of their favorite sound design software, sound engineers can easily assign PROXIMITY effects and control parameters like the PROXIMITY FX Level and distance based attenuation.
A PROXIMITY plug-in is already available for Audiokinetic’s game audio middleware Wwise 2014.1 middleware. In addition, the surround mixing plug-in Anymix supports PROXIMITY mixes in its newest update for Steinberg’s Nuendo 6.5 digital audio workstation. More content creation tools supporting PROXIMITY will be available soon, including Crytek's CryEngine and Firelight’s game audio middleware Fmod.
PROXIMITY Key benefits:
Breaking the boundaries of stereo and surround sound
- Bring sound effects into the inner circle of the surround field
- Allows for highly accurate sound localization
Seamless workflow integration
- Playback with PROXIMITY headphones or speakers
- Integration into the existing content creation tools
Best uses of PROXIMITY
- Single shots and explosions
- Character voices
- Weather sounds
PROXIMITY Development Kit
- Enables you to produce and playback PROXIMITY based content
- Connects to PC or console via standard HDMI
- Available from 8 December 2014
How to listen to PROXIMITY
PROXIMITY content can only be listened to using a reproduction system that is capable of decoding the PROXIMITY format. This can be a pair of headphones supporting PROXIMITY or two PROXIMITY speakers added to the left and right side of the listener in a standard stereo or surround system. Currently, PROXIMITY reproduction systems are still in a prototype phase. Until the official launch of PROXIMITY headphone and speaker products, the PROXIMITY Development Kit can be ordered to listen to and to create PROXIMITY sound content. The Development Kit is available here.
The gamer in the center of the action - the idea behind PROXIMITY
Despite constant improvements in gaming visuals, there has been a lack of innovation in game audio for years. Nevertheless, the expectations for AAA titles are growing. The reproduction of reality means more than conventional surround systems can deliver. Virtually 3-dimensional sound should be the equivalent of what people perceive when watching 3D pictures - sounds that come closer with depth, extending into the room from the speakers all the way to the listener's position. Thus, especially in a game context, common 5.1 surround systems lack the most crucial part of creating a realistic gaming environment - proximity effects.
Barco Audio Technologies has a long history in providing leading 3D sound technology to growing cinema and live event markets worldwide. Many use the term “3D audio” to describe systems that have merely added additional speakers at the top, side or rear of the listening area. True 3D sound should be the equivalent of what people perceive when watching 3D pictures - sounds that come closer with depth that extends into the room from the speakers all the way to the listener's ear.
At Barco Audio Technologies, we feel that we can add to the growth of the gaming market, by adapting our technology in a way to bring true 3D audio to the listener so that games are far more realistic, interactive and with the player right in the center of the action. The PROXIMITY system extends conventional surround setups. With sound events “forming” next to the player’s head, the whole game scene is taken to a new level of realism, no matter if talking about first person shooters, racing, sports or adventure.