The Papa Engine is an incredibly sophisticated audio engine that is currently available for iOS. It allows you to integrate hi-fidelity 3D spatialised sound into your iOS project with ease.

Five reasons why the Papa Engine is awesome:

  • It’s the only true real-time binaural audio engine for iOS!
  • It is simple: a few libraries and a beautifully logical API
  • It’s easy: if you can develop for iOS you already know how to use it
  • It gets better all the time: we’re making games with it too and adding new features all the time
  • It’s supported: we’ll be there via email if you need assistance

Papa Engine’s capabilities and potential uses

The Papa Engine is a binaural audio engine built to run on iOS devices from iOS 5.0 upwards. It creates jaw-droppingly believable 3D sound on the fly from mono recordings — true audio virtual reality — which provides an unparalleled level of immersion to a game. It’s so good you can even create games or interfaces with no graphics at all.

The audio engine was originally developed for Papa Sangre and The Nightjar iOS apps, and has been enhanced and optimised for release as middleware for other iOS developers to use.

The engine uses complex head-related transfer function modelling (HRTF) to process and adjust the properties of a sound in real-time so it appears to be coming from a space around the listeners head. This directional effect encompasses all 360 degrees of rotation allowing sound to be positioned all around the listeners head, including behind.

As well as featuring dynamic 3D processing the engine can also play standard mono and stereo sounds from compressed audio files with real-time effects.

The system is in a continual state of development, with new features being planned and developed on a constant basis. We are using the engine internally for all of our upcoming audio games and these are more complex than anything we’ve done before. These new requirements are feeding directly into the engine that we are releasing to third-party developers.


Key Features


  • Create collections of sounds in a simple text editor.
  • Read these collections into your app and control the individual sounds.
  • Load and unload playlists as required through the lifetime of your app.


  • Store sounds as M4A files to reduce app distribution size while maintaining CD quality.
  • Start, Stop, Pause and Resume sounds as required.
  • Add environmental effects to individual sounds with controllable reverb mixing over distance.
  • Add call-back notifications on a sound to get the play position and status.
  • Play non-3D sounds in mono or stereo.


  • Set the position and direction of the listener.
  • Control the master reverb parameters.

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