VR is fundamentally about presence. The uncanny feeling that you are fundamentally in another space despite your brain telling you that you aren’t. VR Developers strive to maintain presence, to keep that intangible sense of “being there”. Much has been written about selling presence through fidelity in graphics and physics but still audio seems to be a secondary consideration.
I had this idea to see what it would do for my feeling of presence to create a VR experience where if I talked or shouted I could hear the echo of my own voice. So that’s just what I made.
The effect is achieved using a combination of an audio listener hooked to to an audio source for output which is attached to an instance of Steam Audio set to only play the wet-mix (reverb)
The only trouble with this approach is the latency involved in processing the audio isn’t suitable for simulating voice reverb from nearby objects. It feels like you are talking over yourself like with those stupid speech jammer apps.
Real-time audio unfortunately eats up a bunch of CPU and relies on microphones with a high send-rate so it’s not especially suitable for current HMDs with their basic microphones. Hopefully we can get hardware solutions to this because it really is weirdly immersive when you hear your own voice reflected in the VR environment.