Elias stands for Elastic Lightweight Integrated Audio System.
Elias is different in many ways, the most important one being that it is solely a Music Engine with the main focus on adaptive music. It is a tool by composers for composers that is designed to make creating game music easier and more intuitive than working with other audio middleware that is designed mainly for SFX but also has certain music functions, such as FMOD, Wwise and Fabric. In other words, Elias is not a replacement for a sound engine, it’s a complement to it. For the composers we have developed a powerful authoring tool: Elias Studio, which helps the composer arrange the game music and also functions as a game simulator so that the composer has control over how the music will flow and function in the game.
Elias is a multi track music system that utilizes the principle of vertical layering, alongside with advanced linear transitions between completely different music. However, each individual stem (or track, if you will) in Elias can have its own settings, which sets it apart from other solutions. A percussion track is a lot different from a melodic track, like a string track for instance, and should be treated in a different way because of the musical properties. There is a difference between short and long sounds, and this means that a drum track would ideally be able to make a transition to the next level quicker than, let’s say, a slow and ambient choir track. Elias also lets you customize settings on specific beat points in the track, which makes it ideal for melodies etc. All settings are stored in “Transition Presets”, which can be called on the fly within the game.
No, far from it. While we’re on the subject of transitions, we have a feature called Stinger specific agility beat points. In essence, it means that you can have tonal stingers for the first time. And that means that you can have stingers that help in the transitions between trigger levels as well as motifs. It’s always been possible to throw in percussion stingers but now you can actually write melodic stingers and you as a composer can decide which one should play depending on what the underlying chord progression is.
Elias is the only (patent pending) adaptive game music engine on the market that uses musical transitions. We deal with beats & bars instead of sample points. It’s the only engine that can make musical transitions without relying on cross fades. The musical AI is constantly growing and new features are added all the time. In short, yes, this has not previously been done.
The “L” in Elias stands for “lightweight”, so the short answer is no, it won’t. Elias typically takes up 3 mb of RAM and the engine itself is less than 300 kb in size. The number of stems that are playing simultaneously will have an impact on processing, of course. A PS4 game could handle more stems at the same time without trouble than an iOS or Android game. The most recent version of Elias is focused on mobile platforms and has many new features like segmented audio, and more CPU friendly features are right around the corner.
Elias Engine supports Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, PS4 and Xbox One.
Elias Studio supports Windows and Mac.
As a composer you will be familiar with the GUI if you have used a DAW before. Elias adapts to you instead of the other way around. The main reason for Elias’ existence is to make a music engine easy to understand and use for composers. Technology can oftentimes be a hindrance to composers, our goal is to be helpful. In other words, you will be able to work in a familiar environment as opposed to working inside the game mechanics like you would with other sound engine software. This also means that as long as Elias is being used for the music, it doesn’t matter which sound engine is being used – you as a composer will never have to bother with other software.
As a programmer, everything you need to implement the engine can be found in the SDKs and plugins.
As a sound designer you will receive the music from the composer in form of a zip-file. Unzipped it will contain all the audio and a “mepro”-file. All you have to do is to import it to your project and start testing the game. All fades, triggers, action presets etc. are done already. It will actually save you as a sound designer huge amounts of time using Elias.
Elias automatically does all the loop handling for you, and you don’t have to know programming per se – however, you will have to know how to change settings in a way you would in a DAW, such as Cubase or Logic, which, we assume you already know how to do. You as a composer have, for the first time, complete control over your music and will be able to hear how the music functions within the game before actually playing it.
A Theme is the music in its final stage. A Theme consists of a number of audio sources and stems, rules for how the music, both the “loop tracks” as well as the “stingers”, shall react to triggers in the game. All music in Elias format is called a “Theme”.
Elias is not made to be a sound FX engine. Because of the AI, it will never be latency free. The small latency value is no problem for music but if you want it to trigger a gunshot for instance, it will be too slow. Elias is designed to work as a complement to sound engines such as FMOD, Wwise and Fabric. For sound effects that do not need low latency, such as soundscapes and ambience, Elias works really well.