Looping a Sound

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A looped sound will repeat endlessly without any gap between its end and start. It is up to the sound artist to ensure that the end and start of the file match up however, or there will be a "pop" as the waveform jumps from one shape to another.

Source detects looped sounds ONLY through cue points embedded in the file. This is a WAV-only feature, so MP3s cannot be looped. MS-ADPCM compressed WAVs can be looped, but due to the compression there will be a pop when the sound restarts. (But that can theoretically be avoided for any compressed format, including MP3.)

Note:There is no need to mark a sound as looping when playing it, but if using ambient_generic you will find that the "Is NOT Looped" flag must be set correctly if you want to stop the sound after it starts!

Warning: <Left 4 Dead 2> During development: editing the contents of an existing sound file stored in your campaign's sound.cache will not show any change until the sound cache is rebuilt! See Creating a sound.cache file or L4D2 Custom Sound and Music Tutorial for further instructions.

Programs

These free programs can add cue points to a WAV:

GoldWave

Open Goldwave and open the sound you want to loop. Click the cues icon. (Cues button.jpg) Then in the new window click on the New button and add a cue point At Start. Then click New for another cue point and add a point At End. So it looks similar to this:

Cue dialog.jpg

Cue location

Your cues do not have to be at the start and end of the file. If you place them in the middle Source will start playing the sound normally, then when it reaches the end cue will loop back to the start cue. From then on only what's between the cues will play.

Warning: It seems that the end cue maybe doesn't have any effect at all. See the Discussion page for more details.

This can be used to give a sound a "winding up" effect that only plays once (e.g. a motor starting).

Looping an MP3

The name of the ambient_generic is "MP3".

MP3 files can't be looped with start/end queues like a WAV. A logic_timer can be a good workaround; have it start playing the sound again after it has fully played (or has played to the point desired).

This could also be done using User I/O from the ambient_generic to itself, and an input delay.

See Also

External Links