ambiera home ambiera home

irrKlang Tutorial: 3D Sound (C++)

This example will show how how to play sounds in 3D space using irrKlang. An mp3 file file be played in 3D space and moved around the user and a sound will be played at a random 3D position every time the user presses a key.

Let's start

For this example, we need some function to sleep for some seconds, so we include the platform specific sleep functions here. This is only need for demo purposes and has nothing to do with sound output.

#ifdef WIN32
#include <windows.h>
#include <conio.h>
inline void sleepSomeTime() { Sleep(100); }

Include the irrKlang headers and other input/output stuff needed to print and get user input from the console. And as exlained in the first tutorial, we use the namespace 'irrklang' and link to the irrKlang.dll file.

#include <iostream>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <irrKlang.h>

using namespace irrklang;

#pragma comment(lib, "irrKlang.lib") // link with irrKlang.dll

Now let's start with the irrKlang 3D sound engine example 02, demonstrating simple 3D sound. Simply startup the engine using using createIrrKlangDevice() with default options/parameters.

int main(int argc, const char** argv)
   // start the sound engine with default parameters
   ISoundEngine* engine = createIrrKlangDevice();

   if (!engine)
      return 0; // error starting up the engine

Now play some sound stream as music in 3d space, looped. We are setting the last parameter named 'track' to 'true' to make irrKlang return a pointer to the played sound. (This is also returned if the parameter 'startPaused' is set to true, by the way). Note that you MUST call ->drop to the returned pointer if you don't need it any longer and don't want to waste any memory. This is done in the end of the program.

   // play some sound stream, looped, in 3D space

   ISound* music = engine->play3D("../../media/ophelia.mp3",
                                  vec3df(0,0,0), true, false, true);

The following step isn't necessary, but to adjust the distance where the 3D sound can be heard, we set some nicer minimum distance (the default min distance is 1, for a small object). The minimum distance simply is the distance in which the sound gets played at maximum volume.

   if (music)

Print some help text and start the display loop:

    printf("\nPlaying streamed sound in 3D.");
    printf("\nPress ESCAPE to quit, any other key to play sound at random position.\n\n");

    printf("+ = Listener position\n");
    printf("o = Playing sound\n");

    float posOnCircle = 0;
    const float radius = 5;

    while(true) // endless loop until user exits

Each step we calculate the position of the 3D music. For this example, we let the music position rotate on a circle:

      posOnCircle += 0.04f;
      vec3df pos3d(radius * cosf(posOnCircle),
                   0, radius * sinf(posOnCircle * 0.5f));

After we know the positions, we need to irrKlang about the listener position (always position (0,0,0), facing forward in this example) and let irrKlang know about our calculated 3D music position

      if (music)

Now print the position of the sound in a nice way to the console and also print the play position.

   char stringForDisplay[] = "          +         ";
   int charpos = (int)((pos3d.X + radius) / radius * 10.0f);
   if (charpos >= 0 && charpos < 20)
      stringForDisplay[charpos] = 'o';
   int playPos = music ? music->getPlayPosition() : 0;

   printf("\rx:(%s)   3dpos: %.1f %.1f %.1f, playpos:%d:%.2d    ",
      stringForDisplay, pos3d.X, pos3d.Y, pos3d.Z,
      playPos/60000, (playPos%60000)/1000 );


Handle user input: Every time the user presses a key in the console, play a random sound or exit the application if he pressed ESCAPE.

   if (kbhit())
      int key = getch();

      if (key == 27)
         break; // user pressed ESCAPE key

Play random sound at some random position. Note that when calling play3D(), no pointer is returned because we didn't specify the sound to start paused or to track it (as we did above with the music), so we also don't need to call drop().

         vec3df pos(fmodf((float)rand(),radius*2)-radius, 0, 0);

         const char* filename;

         if (rand()%2)
            filename = "../../media/bell.wav";
            filename = "../../media/explosion.wav";

         engine->play3D(filename, pos);

         printf("\nplaying %s at %.1f %.1f %.1f\n", 
                 filename, pos.X, pos.Y, pos.Z);

That's nearly all. Now only clean up if everything is finished.


   // don't forget to release the resources as explained above.

   if (music)
      music->drop(); // release music stream.

   engine->drop(); // delete engine
   return 0;

That's it, have fun playing your own sounds in 3D now.
Download tutorial source and binary (included in the SDK)