VRML Audio Tutorial

This is a guide to learning how to implement sound in VRML 2.0 files. It's assumed you know a bit about VRML 2.0 and its basic features and functions. You will also need Cosmoplayer to view and hear the examples. For best results, use headphones or be centered between a pair of speakers that are facing out parallel to each other.

Thanks to Geoff Brown, Len Bullard, John D.DeCuir, Rich Gossweiler and Scott Morrison for their insights. The music used for the samples are from "The History of My Future" by 7 Year Bitch, "Dig It!" by Los Hornets, and "Notjustmoreidlechatter" by Paul Lansky.

Please contact us for any comments or questions you may have. Enjoy!

Table of Contents


The VRML 2.0 specification allows for the implementation of spatialized, 3D audio in a world. Spatial audio is sound that has been processed to give the listener a sense of the location of a virtual sound source in a virtual listening space. The process involves the use of Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) algorithms that mimic the way humans intercept and perceive sound, specifically the reflections off the pinnae (outer ear) and shoulder, as well as the shadowing effect of the head itself. This gives a heightened sense of immersion and realism in a virtual environment. The uses of spatial audio in a virtual world range from music and sound effects for entertainment to aural navigation for the visually impaired. As more uses for audio are implemented into virtual worlds, it will likely become as neccessary as graphics in order to create a quality experience.

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