Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Figure 26-6 shows the resulting wave. Note that the individual waves are added alge‐
braically. At any given instant in time, some waves produce positive pressure changes,
while others produce negative pressure changes. This means that some waves add to‐
gether to make bigger pressure changes, but it also means that some can add together
to make smaller pressure changes. In other words, waves can be either constructive or
destructive. Some waves can cancel each other out completely, which is the basis for
noise cancellation technologies.
Figure 26-6. Resulting wave
Speed of Sound
Sound waves travel through a medium at some finite speed, which is a function of that
medium's elastic and inertial properties. In general, sound travels faster in stiffer, less
compressible mediums than it does in softer or more compressible mediums. For ex‐
ample, the speed of sound in air is about 340 m/s, depending on temperature, moisture
content, and other factors, but it's about 1500 m/s in seawater. Water is a lot less com‐
pressible than air. Taking this a step further, the speed of sound in a solid such as iron
is about 5,100 m/s.
You might say, “So what; why do I have to worry about the speed of sound in my game?”
Well, the speed at which sound waves travel tells us something about the sound source,
and you can leverage those cues in your game to enhance its immersive feel. Let's say
 
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