By SavedByGrace


Welcome, to the neighborhood. You have now entered the district of Sound.

Sound is imperative to full immersion and an excellent way of conveying the mood in which you are attempting to surround the player with. It must be admitted that sound is a sense that we depend on to make decisions at times. The same can be applied to player behavior control throughout your mission. Of course, the drawback to adding sound is the amount of bulk it adds to your mission but I firmly believe that the results are more than worth the hefty file size. With sound, you can incite fear into the player by forcing him to be more cautious, provide hints to aid the player in completing the current objective, reinforce the structure of your story and/or impact the decisions the player makes by creating a living environment that reacts to his/her actions. The best thing to all this is that sounds do not disturb the mission flow or interrupt game play.

How difficult is it to incorporate sound into a mission?

  • The first step is acquiring the actual sounds that you need to accomplish what you want.
  • The other difficult aspect is preparing your mission to acknowledge them.

Acquiring Your Sounds

There are various sites throughout the internet that provide sound bites for download. OFPEC has a Sound Library you may want to check out!

The quality of these sound bites will differ greatly, depending on the site and the amount that you are willing to pay. The arduous part is locating these sites which can provide you with the greatest offering of data necessary to achieve your goal. There is however a light at the end of the tunnel, (so to speak). The long standing, community hub 'OFPEC The Editing Center' has now gone public with a library of community donated sounds from which to build your own archive of usable resources. So your search has just gotten easier and more convenient... after all, you'll more than likely stop by OFPEC once a day anyhow right?

Preparing your Mission

The next and lets face it, more daunting part of incorporating sound is preparing your mission to acknowledge its existence. There are a few requirements that Arma needs in order to accomplish this task and they are...

  1. You must have the sound files that you wish to use, already converted to the .ogg format that BIS games typically recognize.
  2. These sound files must be placed in a corresponding folder inside the missions folder created by the editor.
  3. The sounds must be declared within a Description.ext document that also must reside in the missions folder created by the editor

Wow, you say? Yes, I agree, the procedure can be overwhelming at first but once you have learned the process, the simplicity of it becomes crystal clear... .trust me.
Moving on...

The Recognized Format

If you already possess a conversion / edit program, you may skip to the next section, But the link below may also be helpful for knowledge expansion. There are numerous programs offered by the internet community by which to create, convert and/or modify audio files, some of which you must first sign the rights to your children over to receive and others are completely free.

» http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_audio_conversion_software «

The above link will guide you to a wikipedia page which not only offers a list of conversion tools but provides info on the various codecs and file formats in the audio realm today. If you are bold, there is a link to a list of FREE Audio software at the bottom of that page by which to record your love songs, death grunts or whatever and edit until your hearts content. I would also like to recommend Bloodmixers Sound Tutorial found at OFPEC for more info on sound specifics.

The Missions Folder

[If you are aware of the mission folders, directories and what goes where, you may skip to the next section]

  1. Fire up Arma, enter the editor (not the dragon... for you Bruce Lee fans).
  2. Place a unit and then save the mission as "Audiotest". Once you have saved, press Alt+Tab to transfer control back to the desktop.
  3. Click the Start button on your StartMenuBar »My Documents »Arma(Folder) »Missions(Folder).
  4. You will now see a folder here called "Audiotest", if you followed orders like a good soldier, the folder name will have a dot followed by the island extension that you saved in, such as Intro for Rahmadi, sara for Sahrani and so forth. Had you disobeyed orders and saved the mission inside the editor as googleyeyes, you would now have a folder named "googleyeyes". Anyway, whatever your fetish, this will be the location for all of your, created missions. The editor does not automatically create the folders we need so we will have to manually create them to declare our sounds.
  5. Double click the "Audiotest" folder (or googleyeyes for you noncompliant rogues), inside this folder we will create 3 more and name them sound, music and radio. I will state here that it is not necessary to have folders for which you do not need. So, if you are not attempting to add custom music to the mission, then the Music folder is not needed, same rule applies to all 3 folders.
  6. We now have the folders in which to place our converted (.ogg) files into.

The Description.ext

[If you know how to do this already, why are you wasting your time by reading my tutorial, you fool? Go make an awesome mission for us all!]

This is what gets most people, not because it's difficult, but because it involves code to make it work. Not only does it require it, but it has to be right and in the correct order to recognize the material. But fear not, we will provide a clear example.

See OPFEC's reference of description.ext

This link is a valuable resource to help you understand some of the basics of the Description.ext file. But we will only cover the topic at hand. In the Contents menu of that linked page, click the Sounds link at #5. Here is where you can copy the working code for your description file. Below is the proper code to be used in the sound section of the Description file. There are 2 sound files declared here; wolf1 and wolf2.
Sounds can be called in editor by using the commands playSound OR say.

class CfgSounds
sounds[] = {};
class wolf1
name = "";
sound[] = {"\sound\wolf1.ogg", 1, 1};
titles[] = {};

class wolf2
name = "";
sound[] = {"\sound\wolf2.ogg", 1, 1};
titles[] = {};


Below is the proper code to be used in the radio section of the Description file.
There are 2 radio files declared here. RadioMsg1 and RadioMsg2.
Radio sounds can be called in editor with the command line: unit sideradio RadioMsg1

class CfgRadio
sounds[] = {};
class RadioMsg1
name = "";
sound[] = {"\sound\filename1.ogg", db-100, 1.0};
title = "I think they're grasping the concept sergeant. We'll return to base asap, over";

class RadioMsg2
name = "";
sound[] = {"\sound\filename2.ogg", db-100, 1.0};
title = {$STR_RADIO_2};

Below is the proper code to be used in the music section of the Description file. There are 2 music files declared here. MyIntro and mysappylovesong.
Music can be called with the command: playmusic

class CfgMusic

class MyIntro
name = "";
sound[] = {"\music\MyIntro.ogg", db+0, 1.0};

class mysappylovesong
name = "";
sound[] = {"\music\ mysappylovesong.ogg", db+10, 1.0};

The 'name =' lines should be left empty between the quotes unless you would like to access the file through the environment tab of a trigger in the editor.

The 'sound [] =' lines declare the sounds file name and location and also assign its attributes such as volume output and speed (pitch).

The 'title =' lines can be used to call a string of text from a stringtable.csv file (also located in the missions folder), or you may add text directly between quotes so that it displays whenever the file plays.

I would like to take this time to recommend a favored utility among the community that can aid you in creating the Description.ext file for your mission as well as assist you in other creation areas.

Chris Hendersons' Utility Arma Edit can be found at this link:

» http://www.chenderman.com/armaedit.php «


What is Wav2Lip you say?

It is a valuable program created by Bohemia Interactive Studios to create lip movement for characters within the game that are synchronized with the same sound file that is used to create the lip file. It requires no install and does not have to be located on your root drive.

Simply download it and store it wherever you would like.

It is a drag and drop application which takes the complexity out of creating the lip file.

Here are the requirements for it to work:

  • The audio file must be in .wav format
  • It must be 44100khz
  • It must be mono (1 channel) NOT stereo (2 channel)
  • It must be 16 bit

How do I get my file to those exact requirements? I HIGHLY recommend the dbpoweramp converter tool along with the ogg codec.

The application found here:

» http://www.dbpoweramp.com/ «

Otherwise you will have to figure it out with an audio editor of your preference.

It is an easy process once your poweramp and codec are installed... ... ...
  1. Right click any audio file and a drop down menu will appear where you will see the dbpoweramp icon and next to it, "Convert to", just click that.
  2. If you have installed the ogg codec you will be presented with 4 format options... Wav(PCM), MP3(Blade), MP3(Lame) and OGG.Vorbis, select Wav...
  3. Another menu appears which displays the files attributes. Click the "Change Format" Button.
  4. PCM works fine. Click the attributes button and highlight the 44100khz 16bit mono option and click OK.
  5. Choose your folder destination, I only have preserve ID tags checked and then click convert.
  6. Grab the converted file and paste it into the same folder as the wav2lip folder and then drag and drop it onto the WaveToLip.exe file.
  7. You should now have a file with the same name as your audio file but with a lip extension in the same folder as the wav2lip converter.
  8. Use the poweramp to convert the wav file back to ogg (if you installed the ogg codec).
  9. Place the audio and the lip file in your missions »sound folder.
  10. Don't forget to add the code to the description which identifies the new sound file. (ArmaEdit helps create the code in just a few mouse clicks)

And there you have it. If you have problems figuring it out, please contact me at savedbygraceofp@hotmail.com Email AND/OR Instant Messenger.

I would like to Thank OFPEC for Hosting this tutorial, BIS for the obvious, and Planck for help in editing this tutorial.