Importing a Sound as an Object

Now Spatial Studio is running properly and you understand the basic layout, you're ready to introduce the sound of a bird as the first Object in the aviary Scene you’ll be building over the next two lessons.

Importing a Sound

There are various ways to bring a new sound into a Scene. To begin, you’ll use a slightly more time consuming method, but it will help to better understand some concepts within Spatial Studio.

  1. Click the [+] symbol at the top of the Object list.


    A new Object called “Object” appears in the Object List. This Object is also represented as an octahedron shaped symbol in the Canvas view. Because the Object is selected, you’ll also see the top of the Inspector column display the Object name.


    Because you intend to import the sound of a bird, you should rename it accordingly.

  2. Rename the Object Bird and press return.


    You can think of the Object that you just created much like a channel in a conventional DAW. Channels can control a sound’s various properties like volume and panning, but a channel isn’t the sound itself. Instead it’s something that the sound passes through. Objects in Spatial work the same way. While you’ve created an Object in the Scene, this Object needs a sound to pass through it. In a DAW, sounds that flow through channels come from recorded tracks and a single track can reference multiple audio files that have been added and edited into regions or clips that play at different times. While Spatial doesn’t have the direct equivalent of audio tracks, it does have a similar hierarchical component called a Soundset. Soundset’s reference audio files and manages when they are played through an Object. You’ll learn more about the extended features of Soundset’s in a later lesson, but for now you’ll need at least one Soundset to house the chirping bird audio file that you’ll introduce later in this exercise.

  3. In the Object List, Right-click the Bird Object and choose New > Soundset

    A new Soundset is created, but it only displays 0 for the Soundset name with a <> displayed in the inspector. This is because by default, Soundsets take on the name of whatever audio files they contain, and currently this soundset doesn’t have an associated audio file.


    Notice that the Inspector is now focused on the newly created Soundset and in the area that says Sounds, you see a File area with a prompt to Drop Audio here. This is where you can add the sound of a chirping bird. Most any conventional audio file can be imported into Spatial regardless of its file type or sample rate, however the audio file you import should be mono. Soundsets can be renamed independently of any contained audio files.

    TIP: If you wish to import stereo source material, a best practice is to divide it into two mono files and import the left and right channels as separate audio Objects.

  4. In the Finder, navigate to the Spatial tutorial files for Lesson 2 and drag the Bird Sound.wav audio file to the designated Drop Audio here spot in the Inspector.


    You can see that the extension to the Bird file has changed to .opus. All imported audio is converted to Opus files. Opus is a data compressed file type that is much more efficient than traditional formats when distributing Scenes to remote deployments.

    NOTE: If you have not downloaded the associated audio files, please visit the Resources page in Lesson 1.

    To test the sound, you can play the Scene by using the transport located just above the Canvas, or you can use the spacebar key command.

  5. Click the triangular Play icon located above the Canvas or press the spacebar.


    You hear the bird sound play as you see the cursor move across the timeline.

    Now you understand the structure required to play an audio element within a Scene. To recap, an audio file must be contained within a Soundset, which in turn must be housed within an Object that resides underneath the Scene Root.

    In the previous steps you created the Object and Soundset for the audio file you wanted to bring into the Scene. Now that you understand the hierarchy, you’ll do that again, but using a faster technique.

  6. Right-click the Bird Object and choose Delete.


    Tip: use the Delete Immediately command to avoid the warning dialogue.

    Now you’re back to where you started. Importing sounds as soundsets within Objects is a very common practice that can be done within a single step.

  7. Right-click the Scene Root Object and choose Add Audio > As Objects.

  8. Choose the Bird Sound.opus audio file.


    An Object’s name will automatically match that of the file, unless it is manually changed. The necessary Soundset is contained within, you just need to expand the Bird Object to see it.

  9. Click the disclosure triangle to expand the Bird Object.


    You can see that a Soundset of the same name was also created automatically.

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