Hi Che,

I use Xact with Entombed. It's a very clunky interface and I think difficult
to make accessible. Most .NET developers prefer other sound solutions that
are less confusing, but I like it a lot. It was created to allow sound
designers create and test their sounds without needing a programmer's input.
So it's basically a sound designer's tool. I like it because it allows me to
easily mix sounds and has a few excellent features but also some crippling
drawbacks.

The good:

- It has automatic provisions to allow you to randomize sounds. You can
randomize pitch, location, volume, and more. I can't stress how awesome this
is. For example, from one footstep sound, you can get an infinite variety of
plays that don't sound exactly the same. I use this all the time with
Entombed.

- It allows to easily mix sounds. Each sound by default is set at negative
12 decibles which allows you enormous freedom in mixing them together.

- You can dynamically change sounds in code. I use this in Entombed to alter
the sounds of monsters who have been shrunk. It makes their voices higher
pitched.

- You can dynamically position 3D audio.

- You can set up sound play lists to be random, or follow a set order,
without having to program anything in code.

The bad:

- It doesn't support .mp3s. WAV files only. Wav files are okay for sound
effects because Xact compresses them. But for music, Xact is absolutely not
what you want. Use the built-in media API that comes with XNA 3.0 for music.
Ironically, the built-in sound effect class is pretty barebones which is why
I use Xact. It's fine to get simple sounds working in your game, but it
would be hell to work with on a large project.

- Its minorly unstable. I've had it crash numerous times.

- Its clunky and the interface is difficult to navigate.

- It's complicated to get your head around initially.

If the tool was designed better it would be fantastic. It's not that Xact
isn't powerful, it's whoever designed the interface wasn't quite as skilled
as those who wrote the engine.

Jason
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