In this workshop results from the ongoing project “VR Based Tools for Designing Good Sound Environments” will be presented and discussed. The project is a collaboration between Luleå University of Technology and the Swedish civil engineering consultancy agency Tyréns, and concerns development of sound models for a VR tool called TyrEngine. TyrEngine is a platform developed by Tyréns, based on Unreal Engine. It is used for demonstration of future civil engineering projects. In the project sound models have been implemented using audio middleware for computer games. As a tool for decision support, it is of utmost importance that the experience of sounds corresponds well with reality. Therefore, different audio middleware have been evaluated and new modelling solutions have been developed. Even though gaming computers have become powerful, real time modelling still requires considerable simplification and lots of compromises. Different providers of game audio middleware have chosen different solutions with different advantages and disadvantages. A common problem for sound designers is that the audio middleware often is a black box with limited documentation on how the sound is modelled. Therefore, much effort was put on measuring and documenting the acoustic properties of the modelled materials and spaces for different audio middleware and modelling solutions. In addition, acoustic models of building elements have been integrated with the game engine and game audio middleware.
Results from the project will be reported and tips and tricks that have been used to make the VR sounds in TyrEngine sound real will be shared and discussed. The content should be useful not only for acousticians using VR in building acoustics applications, but also for game sound designers aiming for realistic modelling of room and building acoustics.