Difference between revisions of "Ambient generic"

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(Another bug to the list)
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:{{bug|The ambient_generic will not update its position while the sound is playing if parented.}}
:{{bug|The ambient_generic will not update its position while the sound is playing if parented.}}
:{{bug|Too many ambient_generics playing at once will cause other ambient_generics to behave oddly or fail, regardless of their audible distance.}}
== Keyvalues ==
== Keyvalues ==
; Sound Name (message) <code><[[string]]></code>
; Sound Name (message) <code><[[string]]></code>

Revision as of 13:23, 25 June 2019

ambient_generic is a point entity available in all Source games.

Entity description

Ambient generic.png

It plays a sound, either once or on loop, and either from a location in the world or globally.

Use it to play and control a soundscript sound, a raw .wav sample or a scripted sentence. Unlike textures, and models, you must restart Hammer for the sound browser to be able to see the sound.

Tip:This entity can be parented if the "parentname" keyvalue or SetParent input is used, even though its not listed in the FGD.
Bug: ambient_generics used to play looping sounds in Counter-Strike Source must be activated with a logic_auto or they will stop playing once the first round starts.
Bug: Problems with sounds being unstoppable (detailed below) can be avoided by adding this C++ code to your mod.
Bug: Killing this entity while a looped sound is playing will make it play forever for the entire map duration.
Bug: The ambient_generic will not update its position while the sound is playing if parented.
Bug: Too many ambient_generics playing at once will cause other ambient_generics to behave oddly or fail, regardless of their audible distance.


Sound Name (message) <string>
The soundscript name of, or direct path to, the sound to play. For scripted sentences, type "!" followed by the sentence name. (Example: !COMBINE_THROW_GRENADE4)
Note:If you need the sound to be recognized as music so it gets affected by the sound options, precede the path with a "#". (Example: music/song01 becomes #music/song01)
Max Audible Distance <float>
Maximum distance in units at which the sound plays for a client.
Bug: The sound still actually plays outside the distance.
Bug: Sounds may still be audible far outside the distance due to DSP.
Note:Volume fades to nothing as the player approaches this distance, which can make it seem as if the sound stops playing too early.
SourceEntityName <targetname>
If specified, the sound will play from this entity instead of the ambient_generic. If the target is an NPC capable of lipsynching, and phoneme data is found within the sound, the target will lip-sync to it.
Bug: If the ambient_generic is killed, the sound will play at the origin of the map (at 0,0,0).
Bug: Multiple ambient_generics won't stack on the same entity.
Volume <int 0-10>
How loud to play the sound. 0 is silent and 10 is normal. Default is 10.
Tip:This keyvalue doesn't allow decimals, but the Volume input does.
Bug: The sound does not play at all if the volume is 0.
Start Volume <int 0-10>
Fade in time in seconds <int 0-100>
Fade out time in seconds <int 0-100>
How long to spend fading in and out, and what volume to start at. Default is no fading.
Pitch <int 1-255>
Pitch, where 1 is low, 100 is normal, and 255 is high.
Bug: Very high or very low values can cause other sounds to be distorted.
Start pitch <int 1-255>
Spin up time <int 0-100>
Spin down time <int 0-100>
How long to spend spinning pitch up/down at the start/end of playback, and what pitch to start at. Default is no spinning.
Dynamic Presets <choices>
Various DSP effects that can be applied.
LFO type <int>
Type of Low Frequency Oscillation to employ.
  • Off (default)
  • Square Wave (alternate between low and high)
  • Triangle Wave (crossfade between high and low)
  • Random
LFO rate <int 0-1000>
How frequently the LFO effect repeats itself.
LFO modulation - pitch <int 0-100>
Affects the sound pitch or vibrato. Higher numbers change the pitch more - warbling singers use little, police sirens use a lot.
LFO modulation - volume <int 0-100>
Affects the volume of the sound, causing it to "pulse." Similar to tremolo. At a really high rate, this can make the same effect as talking through fan blades.
Incremental Spinup Count <int>
Appears to be a intended to increase pitch in time with ToggleSound inputs, but:
Bug: Non-functional.


Classname (classname) <string>
The classname defines the type of entity. Classnames can be changed using AddOutput, which will influence how the engine deals with the entity in certain circumstances.
Name (targetname) <string>
The name that other entities refer to this entity by.
Global Entity Name (globalname) <string>
Name by which this entity is linked to another entity in a different map. When the player transitions to a new map, entities in the new map with globalnames matching entities in the previous map will have the previous map's state copied over their state.
Parent (parentname) <targetname>
Specifies a movement parent. An entity will maintain its initial offset from its parent. An attachment point can be added to the end of the name, separated by a comma. Every entity can be parented, even point entities. Entities which are parented will be forced to transition to the next map, such as from a trigger_transition. Some entities which aren't intended to be parented may not function correctly. phys_constraint can be used as a workaround to parenting.
Origin (X Y Z) (origin) <coordinates>
The position of this entity's center in the world. Rotating entities typically rotate around their origin.
Pitch Yaw Roll (X Y Z) (angles) <angle>
This entity's orientation in the world. Pitch is rotation around the Y axis, yaw is the rotation around the Z axis, roll is the rotation around the X axis.
Note:This works on brush entities, although Hammer doesn't show the new angles.
Flags (spawnflags) <integer>
Toggles features of an entity, its specific number is determined by the combination of flags added.
Response Contexts (ResponseContext) <string>
Pre-defined response system contexts for this entity. Format is key:value,key:value,.... Contexts may be filtered.
Effects (effects) <integer> !FGD
Combination of effect flags to use.
Local Time (ltime) <float> !FGD
The local time of the entity, independent of the global clock. Used mainly for physics calculations.
Next Think (nextthink) <float> !FGD
Amount of time before the entity thinks again.
Hammer ID (hammerid) <integer> !FGD
The entity's Hammer ID. Mainly used by plugins and debugging commands, such as ent_keyvalue. Can be manually assigned with the "hammerid" or "id" keyvalue. Entities spawned at run-time are not assigned any Hammer ID.
Disable for Xbox 360 (disableX360) <boolean> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>) !FGD
If Yes, disables this entity on the Xbox 360 version of Source.
Entity Scripts (vscripts) <scriptlist> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>)
Space delimited list of VScript files (without file extension) that are executed after all entities have spawned. The scripts are all executed in the same script scope, later ones overwriting any identical variables and functions.
Script think function (thinkfunction) <string> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>)
Name of a function in this entity's script which will be called automatically every 100 milliseconds (ten times a second) for the duration of the script. It can be used to create timers or to simulate autonomous behavior. The return value (if present) will set the time until the next call. Try to avoid expensive operations in this function, as it may cause performance problems.
Lag Compensation (LagCompensate) <boolean> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>) !FGD
Set to Yes to lag compensate this entity. Should be used very sparingly!
Is Automatic-Aim Target (is_autoaim_target) <boolean> (in all games since <Counter-Strike: Global Offensive>) !FGD
If set to 1, this entity will slow down aiming movement for consoles and joystick controllers when the entity is under the crosshairs.


  • 1: Play everywhere
    Sound plays at a constant volume, no matter how far away the listener is from the sound source. To do: How does this interact with env_microphone sound detection?
Bug: This flag is broken at engine level for Soundscripts. It will only work when a sound is played with its raw filename.
  • 16: Start Silent
The map will start without this sound playing. Enabled by default.
Bug: Looping sounds that do not start silent cannot be controlled!
  • 32: Is NOT Looped
Changes how the ambient_generic handles stopping and starting playback. It won't stop a sound that loops from looping, but it is still very important to set it to the right value. You might not be able to stop and/or start the sound if it isn't!
Bug: Having this option ticked while using a looped sound WILL prevent you from controlling it!


Pitch <int>
Sets the sound pitch, expressed as a range from 1 to 255, where 100 is the sound's original pitch.
Bug: Pitch will play the sound without informing the rest of the entity. This makes looping sounds unstoppable!.
Starts the sound.
Stops a looping sound. Does not stop a non-looping sound: this is intentional, and can be changed with C++. However, a non-looping sound can be stopped by using the Volume input with a value of 0.
Toggles a looping sound between playing and stopped. Behaves like PlaySound if the sound is unlooped.
Volume <float>
Plays the sound at a volume from 0 to 10, where 10 is the loudest.
Bug: Volume will play the sound without informing the rest of the entity. This makes looping sounds unstoppable! It is speculated that the input is supposed to change the volume at which the ambient_generic plays its sound when prompted by other inputs, not play it by itself.
Bug: Setting the volume to 0 will cause the sound to pause, rather than play silently.
FadeIn <int>
Fades the sound up to full volume over a specified number of seconds, with a range from 0 to 100 seconds.
Bug: Non-functional, except in Portal 2.
FadeOut <int>
Fades the sound to silence over a specified number of seconds, with a range from 0 to 100 seconds.
Bug: Will bring the sound up to full volume (i.e. 10) before beginning to fade it.


Removes this entity and any entities parented to it from the world.
Functions the same as Kill, although this entity and any entities parented to it are killed on the same frame, being marginally faster than Kill.
SetParent <string>
Move with this entity. See Entity Hierarchy (parenting).
SetParentAttachment <string>
Change this entity to attach to a specific attachment point on its parent. The entity will teleport so that the position of its root bone matches that of the attachment. Entities must be parented before being sent this input.
SetParentAttachmentMaintainOffset <string>
As above, but without teleporting. The entity retains its position relative to the attachment at the time of the input being received.
Removes this entity from the the movement hierarchy, leaving it free to move independently.
AddOutput <string>
Evaluates a keyvalue/output on this entity.
Format: <key> <value>
Format: <output name> <targetname>:<inputname>:<parameter>:<delay>:<max times to fire, -1 means infinite>
FireUser1 to FireUser4
Fire the OnUser outputs; see User Inputs and Outputs.
Use  !FGD
Same as a player invoking +use; may not do anything. Can also be invoked by creating an output that does not specify an input.
This input is not included in Valve's FGDs.
DispatchEffect <string> (removed in <Left 4 Dead>) !FGD
Dispatches a special effect from the entity's origin. Removed and replaced entirely by the particle system since <Left 4 Dead>.
DispatchResponse <string> !FGD
Dispatches a response to the entity. See Response and Concept.
AddContext <string>
Adds to the entity's list of response contexts. Format is <key>:<value>.
RemoveContext <string>
Remove a context from this entity's list. The name should match the key of an existing context.
ClearContext <string>
Removes all contexts from this entity's list.
RunScriptFile <script> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>)
Execute a VScript file from disk, without file extension. The script contents are merged with the script scope of the receiving entity.
RunScriptCode <string> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>)
Execute a string of VScript source code in the scope of the entity receiving the input. String quotation may be needed when fired via console.
Bug:  In <Left 4 Dead 2>, the code is executed in the script scope of the entity that fires the output, not the one receiving the input.
Warning: Never try to pass string parameters to a script function with this input. It will corrupt the VMF structure because of the nested quotation marks, which then must be removed manually with a text editor.
CallScriptFunction <string> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>) !FGD
Execute a VScript function in the scope of the receiving entity.
SetLocalOrigin <coordinates> (in all games since <Alien Swarm>) !FGD
Send this entity to a spot in the map. If the entity is parented to something, it will be offset from the parent by this amount.
SetLocalAngles <angles> (in all games since <Alien Swarm>) !FGD
Set this entity's angles.



OnUser1 to OnUser4
These outputs each fire in response to the firing of the like-numbered FireUser1 to FireUser4 Input; see User Inputs and Outputs.
OnKilled  (only in <Left 4 Dead><Left 4 Dead 2>)
This output fires when the entity is killed and removed from the game.

See also