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Revision as of 14:20, 18 April 2015 by JorisCeoen (talk | contribs) (Added extra information regarding sounds as music.)
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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.

Bug.png 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.png Bug: Problems with sounds being unstoppable (detailed below) can be avoided by adding this C++ code to your mod.


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.png 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.
Note.png 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 lipsynch to it.
Bug.png Bug: Upon Entity destruction, sound will play at origin (0,0,0 of map).
Volume <int 0-10>
How loud to play the sound. 0 is silent and 10 is normal. Default is 10.
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.
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 (sharper transitions)
  • 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.
Incremental Spinup Count <int>
Appears to be a intended to increase pitch in time with ToggleSound inputs, but:
Bug.png Bug: Non-functional.


Name (targetname) <string>
The targetname that other entities refer to this entity by.
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.
Note.png Note: Try to avoid expensive operations in this function, as it may cause performance problems.


  • 1 : Play everywhere
    Sound always plays from all speakers at its configured volume. It doesn't bypass DSP effects, however.
    Bug.png 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.png 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.png 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.png Bug: Pitch 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 pitch at which the ambient_generic plays its sound when prompted by other inputs, not play it by itself.
Starts the sound.
Stops a looping sound. Does not stop a non-looping sound: this is intentional, and can be changed with C++.
Toggles a looping sound between playing and stopped. Behaves like PlaySound if the sound is unlooped.
Volume <int>
Plays the sound at a volume from 0 to 10, where 10 is the loudest.
Bug.png 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.png 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.png Bug: Non-functional. (Seems to work in Portal 2. Verify?)
FadeOut <int>
Fades the sound to silence over a specified number of seconds, with a range from 0 to 100 seconds.
Bug.png Bug: Will bring the sound up to full volume (i.e. 10) before beginning to fade it.


Removes this entity from the world.
Removes this entity and its children from the world.
Note.png Note: Entities already remove orphaned children upon being removed, but this input removes all children on the same frame, being marginally faster than Kill.
AddOutput <string>
Adds a keyvalue/output to this entity. It can be potentially very dangerous, use with care.
KV Format: <key> <value>
I/O 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 depending on the entity. Can also be invoked by firing an output that does not specify an input.
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.png 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.png 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