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UE5: How to Add and Use Sound Wav and Sound Cues to Create Environment Sounds in Unreal Engine 5

Category: UE5
February 06, 2024

Once you have a Wav file imported into UE5, you need to create a Sound Cue from it to use it.

You can insert both into your level - Sound Wav and Sound Cue. But you will have more power with a Sound Cue.

  • Sound Wav is an imported sound file and very limited in what you can do with it.
  • Sound Cue is an actor created in UE5 that uses one or more imported Sound Wav file. With these you can control various effects to how these sounds wav files will play.

In this tutorial we'll cover how to use Wav files and create Sound Cues to use in your environments.

If you need to edit, export and import custom sounds from Audacity into UE5, see this previous tutorial.

Video Tutorial

How to Listen to Sounds in UE5

To hear the Sound inside your level, go to Settings and enable Volume:

You can also:

  • Spawn into your level to play test
  • Use Simulate (Alt + S)

Creating a Sound Cue

Right Click inside the Content Browser and go to Audio > Sound Cue:

Double Click on the Sound Cue to open its properties.

On the left side you can control Sound Cue Properties such as Volume, Pitch, Attenuation:

But you can also control many of these properties in the Details Panel of that Sound Cue once it's inserted into the level.

Sound Cue will be empty so you need to drag Sound Wav files into it. You can use one or more Wav files inside Sound Cue to mix together. We'll just use one Wav file.

Drag the Sound Wav file output and connect it to Sound Cue Output:

By selecting the Sound Wav file you'll have Looping setting to enable if needed:

If you select the Sound Output node, you'll get the Sound Cue properties back:

Once you connected the Sound Wav to Output, Save the Sound Cue.

Using the Sound Cue Inside Your Level

Left click and drag to insert the Sound Cue file into your level:

By default the Sound Cue will play everywhere.

Use the Details Panel to control various properties for where and how this Sound Cue will play:

Enable Override Attenuation so the Sound Cue will have an area of effect to play in:

Adjust the following:

  • Inner Radius: area of where the sound will play at 100% volume
  • Falloff Distance: area where the sound will begin to fade out until it becomes silent
  • Attenuation Shape: shape of the volume where the sound will play (Sphere, Cone, Box, Capsule)
  • If changing to Attenuation Shape: Box then adjust Extents properties for X, Y, Z (width, length, height)

By default, Sound Cue will have 3d effect generating from its source. It'll play from the Sound Cue and you'll hear it in your left year and in your right year depending which direction you are facing. For specific sounds that are coming from a source, this is what you want. This will allow the sound to play within the area you predefined in Attenuation, yet not have a specific source.

So for ambient background sounds, Disable Spatialization under Attentuation (Spatialization):

What are Meta Sounds

You can still use Sound Cues but they are now legacy audio objects. If you want to use new updated audio sound editor in UE5 then use Meta Sounds.

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