Beep To Boom

Book cover

Beep to Boom is an unique book which explains, in detail yet clearly from first principles, how interactive audio systems have developed from the first beeps of 1940s computers into modern systems capable of dynamically mixing and positioning hundreds of realistic sounds at a time, to create the complex 'soundfields' characteristic of modern games, training systems, installations, virtual and extended realities.

Beep to Boom fills the gap between existing books on sound design, psychoacoustic research and audio programming by showing just how ideas from those domains are applied in practical systems. It describes how those systems fit together to embed the will and capability of live mixing engineers into products which are tailored and configured around their millions of final users - so that 'players' can conduct the sound around them and use it to derive coherent and useful information as well as a sense of immersion. Follow the links at the foot of this page for information about the content of each of the 24 chapters, or this link to find out how to get your own copy.

Author Beep to Boom draws on decades of interactive audio design and development experience, deriving practical examples from multi-million selling global hits like Grand Theft Auto, RaceDriver Grid and Elite Dangerous VR. Working as both an Experienced Sound Designer and Principal Audio Programmer, the author Simon N Goodwin has developed tech for some the world's top audio and gaming companies, pioneered the use of higher-order Ambisonic technologies in modern games and XR titles, published hundreds of lucid technical articles for a wide audience, spoken at GDC, BBC and university research events, and helped to found the Audio Engineering Society's international Audio For Games conference series.

The following links reveal abstracts which summarise the purpose and concepts introduced in each of the 24 chapters in this comprehensive book.

Chapter 1 The Essence of Interactive Audio
Chapter 2 Early Digital Audio Hardware
Chapter 3 Sample Replay
Chapter 4 Interactive Audio Development Roles
Chapter 5 Audio Resource Management
Chapter 6 Loading and Streaming Concepts
Chapter 7 Streaming Case Studies
Chapter 8 The Architecture of Audio Runtimes
Chapter 9 Quick Curves: Transcendental Optimisations
Chapter 10 Objects, Voices, Sources and Handles
Chapter 11 Modelling Distance
Chapter 12 Implementing Voice Groups
Chapter 13 Implementing Listeners
Chapter 14 Split-Screen Multi-Player Audio
Chapter 15 Runtime System Physical Layers
Chapter 16 Mixing and Resampling Systems
Chapter 17 Interactive Audio Codecs
Chapter 18 Panning Sounds for Speakers and Headphones
Chapter 19 Ambisonic Surround-Sound Principles and Practice
Chapter 20 Design and Selection of Digital Filters
Chapter 21 Interactive Reverberation
Chapter 22 Geometrical Interactions, Occlusion and Reflections
Chapter 23 Audio Outputs and Endpoints
Chapter 24 Glossary and Resources

For when you or your team really need specifics, Beep to Boom explains and illustrates how advanced audio runtimes are actually implemented, using explanations, anecdotes, tables, graphs and concise structured examples, presented through carefully-documented human-friendly controls for industry-standard C++ source code and optimised vector intrinsics.

It includes concise kernels to implement volumetric 3D virtual voices, mixing, cross-fading, occlusion, reverberation, filters and other DSP effects, streaming multichannel audio from any device, split-screen speaker and headphone mixes, multiple directional listeners, Ambisonic panning and other advanced audio programming techniques.

It shows how these can be 'scaled' for all platforms from tiny phones to multi-speaker installations. If you are already using tools which offer some of these capabilities, it delves into the 'black boxes' to show what's going on inside and how to understand, improve or re-implement those to best meet the aesthetic and practical needs of your own projects.

The book also includes a comprehensive index.

All the art in the book has been redrawn from images supplied to a professional vector artist paid by the author. This online overview uses alternate images and rough bitmaps, often generated with short programs in Sinclair BASIC, which concisely and compatibly illustrate the concepts and how the book has drawn on 30 years of practical experience - but some are just for fun, and of course these are not indicative of the production quality of the book itself.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Name: Goodwin, Simon N., author.
Title: Beep to boom: the development of advanced runtime sound systems for games and extended reality/Simon N Goodwin.

Description: New York, NY : Routledge, 2019. | Series: Audio engineering society presents ... | Includes bibliographical references and index. | Identifiers: LCCN 2018044750 (print) | LCCN 2018046501 (ebook) | ISBN 9781351005531 (pdf) | ISBN 9781351005524 (epub) | ISBN 9781351005517 (mobi) | ISBN 9781138543911 (hbk : alk. paper) | ISBN 9781138543904 (pbk : alk. paper) | ISBN 9781351005548 (ebk)

Classification: LCC QA76.76.C672 (ebook) | LCC QA76.76.C672 G655 2019 (print) | DDC 794.8/1525--dc23 LC record available at
ISBN: 978-1-138-54391-1 (hardback)
ISBN: 978-1-138-54390-4 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-351-00554-8 (ebook)

Click here to find out how to get your own copy of Beep To Boom.