To make Virtual Tours more immersive, you can add different types of audio. It can be a music loop, an ambient sound or a voice over. Kuula editor offers 3 ways to add audio clips to your tours depending on your needs.
Option 1: Background loop
A background loop is a track that will play on repeat while the user is viewing the virtual tour. It works great to create an ambience, either with music or some sort of environmental sound.
To add an audio loop as background, choose the Create Tour function from the menu or open an existing tour from your profile.
Next, click on the Edit Tour button located above the thumbnail bar. In the tour editor, you can add the audio background by clicking on the Add audio link.
Clicking on Add audio will bring up the media library. In there, you can select the audio clip from a list of uploaded files or upload a new one. To upload a new file, select the + Add new tab on the top of the popup and select a file from your drive.
Once you select the audio clip you want to use, the popup will close. Back in the tour editor, click SAVE to save your changes. After you go back to the tour, the music will start playing automatically.
You will also notice a speaker icon appear in the top right of the screen (or on the bottom, if you are on mobile). This button can be used by your visitors to mute the sound.
Note when sharing a direct link to the tour: on most modern browsers, the sound will start only after first interaction with the tour (for example, moving the panorama around). That is because most browsers require user interaction before they allow media playback.
Option 2: Audio attached to a post
Another way to add audio to your tours is to add a clip that will play after the visitor gets to a specific post. This is a great place for a sound specifically tied to that post, like a voiceover explaining what's in the photo or an ambient sound related to the content of the photo.
It can be used together with the background audio. If the tour has a background loop and one of the posts has an audio clip attached, the volume of the background will be reduced while the audio from the post is played.
To add an audio clip to a post, go to the post page and click on the edit icon (pen) located in the top/right. Once in the editor, find the Audio section in the panel on the right. It is located below the filters as on the screenshot below.
Before you add any audio, there will only be an Add audio link visible in this section. After you add an audio track, a couple of options will show up.
The first checkbox allows you to decide whether the sound will loop or if it will play only one time. Looping is great for music or ambient sounds, but if this is a voice over, you may prefer only to play it only one time.
The next option allows you to specify a time, in seconds, before the loop starts playing. The delay is counted from the moment the panorama is loaded and displayed.
Option 3: Audio attached to a hotspot
Finally, you can attach an audio track to a hotspot. This can be useful if you need to add an audio clip related to a feature visible in the photo.
After adding a hotspot (1), select the Play sound option from the action dropdown (2). A simple interface will appear giving you the possibility to open the media library and select a track.
Sounds playing from hotspot have top priority. This means that the volume of tour background audio or any audio attached to a post will be lowered while the sound from the hotspot is playing.
Specs and tips
For all types of sounds mentioned above, the only supported format is mp3. The maximum file size is 5 Megabytes (5MB). If your file is too large, you can trim it in an audio editor, such as Audacity (free) or Adobe Audition (paid).
Kuula does not perform any audio compression. It is recommended that you compress the files before uploading, since compression can make the file many times smaller without quality loss and this will positively impact load times. You can use Audacity for that or one of the online compressing services such as MP3 Smaller. The recommended compression quality is between 80 and 96kbps.
Generating voice overs
If you want to quickly create a voice over, but you're on a budget, you can use one of the text-to-speech generators available on line. These days there is a lot of very interesting AI-backed apps that you can look at. We also recommend Amazon Polly. Polly has a simple interface, offers relatively good quality voices in several languages and it is easy to download the generated mp3 files.