The Audio Importer Returns!
Do you hear that? The glorious fanfare of specially-imported trumpets? Yes, that’s right - the audio importer is back, and better than ever!
Now, some of you may have questions. Questions such as, ‘Back?’, ‘What’s an audio importer?’, and ‘I wonder what I’m going to have for lunch today?’ Don’t worry, we’ll get around to all of them. (Well, except the lunch one - that’s on you.)
Some of you who’ve been playing Dreams since beta may remember being able to import original audio into the game from outside sources. We saw some brilliant stuff come out of it. But we also quickly realised that we hadn’t provided quite enough guidelines around what kinds of sounds and music would best fit with the spirit of Dreams.
It turns out that this is actually a really big job! So we retired the feature while we figured out how to build a better, more creator-friendly, and more Dreams-appropriate audio importer. It’s been a wild (and noisy) ride, but we’re excited to tell you that we’ve finally done it. The new audio importer is available right now for all dreamers who are level 30 and above!
What is an audio importer exactly? The audio importer is a web page for sending sounds to Dreams. You can use it to trim and fade sounds, assign notes to slices and generally prepare audio stuff for your Dreams creations. It makes adding audio to Dreams a lot easier, and it’s a huge improvement to the workflow for the audio enthusiasts among you!
HOWEVER, there’s some important information you need to know before you dive in:
The importer is only for adding original audio you have made entirely by yourself to Dreams. This means:
- Voice recordings you have made, your own original creations, not copied from any third-party source. You can’t sing and record someone else’s song, for example.
- Instruments you have played. Phrases or individual notes to make new instruments in Dreams. This means real-world items like drums or guitars, NOT software synths, content from sample libraries, or samples from old or new records etc. Software synths and sample libraries usually have clauses in their user license that prevent you from making new virtual instruments or redistributing individual sounds.
- Sound effects you have made. Can be made from banging or scraping things and so on. It does NOT mean importing from a sound effects library or recording things from films or TV or any distinctive sound effects/recordings. Again, those uses infringe copyright and can mean your content will be removed from Dreams.
The audio importer is NOT for:
- Importing whole tracks from outside Dreams. You can, if every bit of them is original and owned by you. However, it's not the intended use, not in the spirit of Dreams and not what we made it for - the engine doesn't do well with long files.
- Importing voices that have been recorded from other media.
- Importing instrument samples that come from software or sample libraries.
- Anything which refers to any third parties or brands in a derogatory way.
- Importing any audio which is not your original creation.
In short, anything you didn’t make and/or do not own yourself. As always, please use Dreams in line with our Software Usage Terms where this and your behaviour toward other users is concerned. If you breach those we are entitled to take certain actions against you (e.g. your content may be removed at our discretion, or we may remove your ability to use the Audio Importer tool).
- There are limits to how much audio you can import. For the initial launch, we’ve set these parameters to strike a balance between usability and Dreams software limitations:
- You can only import a certain amount of audio per day.
- Individual imports have a maximum size.
- You can only import a certain number of times per day.
- These amounts will get bigger the higher your Dreamer Level is - here’s a table showing how:
|Dreams Level||Max upload length in seconds||Number of uploads per day|
- The audio importer is unlocked at level 30 - users below level 30 can only use the Sound Recorder tool.
- If you import copyright infringing content, your content could be removed. Sorry - them’s the rules, and we’ve got to follow them, too.
- Dreams isn’t so great with long audio files. They fill up the thermo quickly, and lots of custom audio in a level will make it slower for other people to play and download.
- The audio importer limits, as well as all of the rules stated above, now also apply to recordings made in-game using the Sound Recorder. This means that you now need to be online in order to use it.
We know the in-game recorder is important to a great many dreamers. Unfortunately it's not currently possible to apply the limits when offline, so for now the service is online only. However, we are looking into how it can be adapted to work offline, although we can't make promises right now on when that may be. On the subject of the limits themselves...
- We’re actively looking at the data behind these limits to ensure they support creators in the various ways they use audio in Dreams. We want to ensure that it is usable and respects the limits of Dreams. This means we may adjust the Dreamer levels the tool is available to, tweak import limits or make other changes. As always, we welcome feedback - but appreciate the understanding that this feature is in active development, and has unique challenges as the only feature that allows importing content into Dreams.
Got all that? Okay, cool. Now for the fun bit!
If you’re ready to get started, then head over to the audio importer page. If you want to learn how to use the audio importer in a bit more detail, why not try our User Guide, or watch the series of Importer How-To videos?
We hope all you voice actors, musicians, sound effect creators and instrument makers enjoy the new and improved audio importer. We’re continuing to work hard to make creating in Dreams as intuitive - and fun! - as possible, so that you can continue to do awesome things. We’re pretty big fans, after all.
The Dreams User Guide is a work-in-progress. Keep an eye out for updates as we add more learning resources and articles over time.