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9.24.2010

i cain't hear it

I'm working on our sound system at the moment. We've decided to write a wrapper for OpenAL, as it appears to be the only cross-platform sound library with a focus on games that isn't terribly expensive. I've made a list of what I looked at:

  • fmod ($6000) : Good library but very expensive. Worth trying the free version, but $6000 for an indie license for 3 platforms? No thanks.
  • irrKlang ($400) : Easy to use and the price is right, but only supports effects on Windows (such as reverb, distortion, etc.) This is a killer for us since it would be silly to have sweet audio effects on Windows only.
  • OpenAL (free, LGPL) : Game-centric library with a questionable API, but seems to works well and is used in many shipped titles. Has EFX extensions for sound effects, but I haven't delved into these yet.
  • PortAudio (free, MIT) : Seems like a solid library but geared more for audio applications than games. Very low level, meaning you'd have to create your own wrapper for things like positional audio.
  • libao (free, GPL) : Like PortAudio, this is a very spartan library with no positioning or effects. GPL, so no good for a commercial game. We may experiment with this in the future for a software synth.

If we've missed something or you have something to add, feel free to give us a shout!

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