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Friday, October 10 9:00 am – 11:30 am
Session A Audio for Games (Invited Papers)

A-1 Interoperable Synthetic Audio Formats for Mobile Applications and GamesMatti Hämäläinen, Nokia Research Center, Tampere, Finland
This paper discusses interoperable synthetic audio applications and content formats for mobile devices. It is important for these devices that technologies are compact, efficient, and can be applied to many different types of applications. Some of these applications utilize network connectivity and have to be interoperable between different devices. These requirements introduce several technical challenges that are discussed in more detail, focusing on MIDI based technologies. A new interoperability solution is proposed for synthetic audio content for hybrid synthesizer architectures.

A-2 Preview: Interactive XMF—A Standardized Interchange File Format for Advanced Interactive Audio ContentChris Grigg, MIDI Manufacturers Association, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Beatnik Inc., San Mateo, CA, USA; Control-G, Oakland, CA, USA
A working group in the Interactive Audio SIG of the MIDI Manufacturers Association has produced a draft specification for a public standard file format supporting the interchange of advanced interactive audio soundtracks. It uses a cue-oriented model, is not tied to any particular authoring or playback platform, is programming language neutral, and can be used without license agreements or royalty payments. It is technically extensible in several dimensions. A model for the underlying soundtrack engine is articulated, as is a plan for an open-source software project to speed implementation on any given platform by leveraging its existing media playback APIs.

A-3 Computer Games and Multichannel Audio Quality, Part 2-Evaluation of Time-Variant
Audio Degradations Under Divided and Undivided Attention
-Rafael Kassier, Slawomir Zielinski, Francis Rumsey, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK
The effect of division of attention between the evaluation of multichannel audio quality degradations and involvement in a visual task (playing a computer game) was investigated. Time-variant impairments (drop-outs) were used to provide degradations in audio quality. It was observed that involvement in a visual task may significantly change the results obtained during the evaluation of audio impairments for some experimental conditions.

A-4 Towards Mix Level Standardization for GamesTom Hays, Treyarch Games
Many games continue to use highly compressed dynamic range despite technical advances that have made this unnecessary. This paper examines the history and the current state of dynamics practices in games. It looks at attempts to create mix level standards in other media. The paper describes a proposed mix level standard for games.

A-5 Interactive Mixing of Game AudioBrian Schmidt, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA, USA
As interactive audio soundtracks mature, they become more and more complex. It is not uncommon for games to support tens of thousands of lines of dialog, hundreds of music cues, dozens of ambiences, and thousands of individual sound effects. Unlike linear media, “mixing” of interactive audio happens as the game is being played, not ahead of time. Therefore, existing traditional postproduction techniques do not necessarily apply. This paper will discuss some of the unique challenges associated with mixing interactive audio content, including trying to determine what exactly is meant by “mixing” game audio in the first place.

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