This tutorial will give you the tools to make an audio-only virtual experience.

This Tutorial will make use of the default movement commands in Unreal Engine which consists of WASD for movement, and the Mouse for looking.

START YOUR LEVEL: building a landscape

In a new project, right click in your Content Browser and add a new Level.

Name your level, then double-click it to open it up.

Your viewport should be completely dark like so. Note how there are zero items in your World Outlier. This means that the level is blank with nothing in it. 

To add a landscape, click inside your viewport and press “Shift + 2” to bring up the Landscape Mode

By default, we are usually in the Select Mode, which can be toggled with “Shift + 1”.

The Landscape Mode is made primarily for managing and altering your landscapes.

The Landscape window in the Left Panel is used to create a new landscape, and the green grid in our viewport is a preview of the landscape. 

Click “Fill World” for the maximum landscape size, then hit “Create”.

We aren’t doing anything else in this mode, so hit “Shift + 1” to go back to Select Mode

Since we aren’t going to be using any lights in this level, toggle “Alt + 3” to change your viewport to the Unlit Mode.

In your viewport, move around until your landscape is visible like so: 

Sourcing Your AUdio

Use the following places to source your audio. You can even use your own sounds/music too!

    BBC Sound Effects

Try grabbing a wide variety of different kinds of sounds. The more you grab, the easier it will be to make something!

When you’re ready to add your audio to Unreal, go into your file explorer and find where you saved the project.

Inside the “Content” folder, make a new folder called “Sounds”.

Drag and drop all of your audio into the “Sounds” folder. 

In your Content Browser, you should see that Unreal noticed the new Sounds folder. 

You should see this pop-up on the lower right corner of your screen. Hit import to bring your audio files into Unreal Engine. 

When you double click your “Sounds” folder, you should see your audio files like so. 

Audio basics

To use your audio, drag and drop it into your scene. You’ll see the soundfile get added to your World Outliner and the Details for the audio will open up as well. 

Use the highlighted controls in the “Sound” dropdown to change your audio’s volume and pitch

By default, your sound will play normally as if you had headphones on. 

If you want to make it sound like your sound is coming from a specific point in virtual space, check the “Override Attenuation” box. 

When you enable “Override Attenuation”, new controls will appear in you details panel. 

For now, we will only worry about the “Attenuation (Volume)” settings. 

Attenuation Function: Changes how the audio pans between the left and right channels as you move through space. 

Attenuation Shape: Changes the shape of the audio capsule.

Inner Radius: Volume will play at its max value within this radius.

Falloff Distance: The distance where the spatial audio effect can be heard. 

For more information, check Unreal Engine’s documentation

Inner Radius and Falloff Distance are visualized with orange lines in the viewport.

To easily change values, press and hold the left mouse button over the number you want to change, and drag left/right

Try adding a variety of sounds throughout your space. To hear what your space sounds like, press play, or use the shortcut “ALT + P”.

If we use a Player Start, we can designate a specific location to spawn at whenever we hit play. 

To use, simply drag and drop the Player Start from the left panel into your scene. 

  The blue arrow signifies where you will be looking upon hitting play. Use the Rotation Widget to orient the Player Start to your needs. 

If you need to loop your audio, double-click on your audio file in the Content Browser, and a new window will open. 

After toggling the Looping button, your audio will loop!

Sequencing audio

In the last tutorial, we used the sequener to make a short video. Here, we can use the sequencer to give us finer control over our audio. 

First, make a new sequencer and open it up. 

Next, we will follow the same setup steps as the previous tutorial. 

Change your “Show Time As” to Seconds, and move your in and out points to something that makes sense for your project. 

When you’re ready, drag and drop your audio from the World Outliner into your Sequencer. 

Your sequencer will look like this when you add your audio.
Use the “+” menu to add tracks to your sequencer.

The Transform track will let us keyframe the audio’s location. 

The “AudioComponent0” track will let us keyframe values from the details panel

Within the “AudioComponent0”, you can add keyframe tracks for controlling the pitch and volume of your sounds. 

When you’re done keyframing your audio, select your Sequencer to bring it up in the Details Panel. 

Toggle “Autoplay” for your Sequencer to activate when you hit Play. 

Turn on “Loop” in order to loop your sequencer upon reaching the end. 

Exporting your project

To export, go File > Build Configuration and change the option to “Shipping”.

Finally, go to File > Package Project and select the operating system you are currently using. 

From here, you will be prompted to choose the location where you want the project to be saved.

After Packaging, you should find a folder that looks like this. You can rename the folder to whatever you like. 

Find the Application File named after your project. Double-click the file to launch your project.

Sharing Tips:
    You can send projects under 2GB through Wetransfer.

    Larger projects can be shared via Google Drive.

    USB Thumb Drives are also a great option for sharing your virtual space.