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Physical sounds


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What are Physical Sounds?

UDK uses Physical sounds with landscape and meshes when a player makes contact or collides with it. This sound can be from a splash of water to the footsteps on a tin or metal roof. You can override a physical sound even if it is already attached to an object.

This is a tutorial on how to add sound to your Terrain and Meshes.


Start the UDK editor. Now first we will have to locate, then create the sound. Open the content browser if not already open. (It's the black button between the binoculars and the green letter K with a "U" in it if your not sure.)

(1) Click All Assets.

(2) Type "default" in the search bar.

(3) Select the tab "All types" below" Object type." and tick "Physical Materials" options box.

(4) Locate and double click PM_Default to open the file or right click it and select "properties".

Now close or minimise the content browser screen.


 Move the Defaultphysicalmaterials properties window out of your way for now or even close it and refer back to it later. The most important part of this tutorial is to understand where sounds are assigned to and how to assign them.

From here we need to maximise or open up the content browser again.

(1) Click, all Assets.

(2) Type "default" in the search bar.

(3) Select the tab "Favorites" and tick "Sound Cues."

(4) Locate and select the sound cue: "A_Character_Footstep_DefaultCue"


Minimise the content browser but don't close it. Still making sure the file; "A_Character_Footstep_DefaultCue" is still selected.

Reopen the Defaultphysicalmaterials properties window you put aside earlier or refer to step one if you can't remember how to.

Part of the way down the properties list is the option, "Impact sound." This is where we will add the sound cue.

(If you don't have any Terrain Meshes click HERE to download one quickly. Need to install it now? Click HERE for help.)


To add the sound cue we need to click the small green arrow that is within the "Impact Sound" options box area.

This will add a description of the sound cue selected and remove the word "none."

Now close the content browser and the properties window we are finished with these for now.

Load the terrain you wish to add a sound to.

(If you don't have any resources yet you can quickly grab some from the link provided below the image left.)





Right click the terrain in the UDK editor you loaded then select, "Terrain Properties."

Click on the small white arrow with the heading "Physics." if you cannot see the options.

This is where we are going to assign a "Physical Material", to the terrain.

Reopen or maximise the content browser and locate the Physical Material  file, "PM_Default." Click on it and highlight it but not open it.

While the file is still selected, maximise or reopen the "Terrain Properties" window.

In the option box, "Terrain Phys Material Override", press the green arrow to add the Physical Material.

This will add a description of the Physical Material selected and remove the word "none."

Close the "Terrain Properties" window and the content browser.

Click file and then "Save All."

Load map and test sound by going for a walk. If there are no sounds start from the beginning. When clicking on the green arrow to add sound cues or physical materials and nothing happens then the file you are adding is incorrect or is not selected properly.


Don't forget you can test sound cues by double clicking them in the content browser. It is wise to listen to sound cues before using or adding them in case they are blank and play no sound or have been modified in some way.

Normally if untouched, the Sound Cue "A_Character_Footstep_DefaultCue" works perfectly so don't panic!

Don't forget this method of adding sounds can be used on Static Meshes too! Just locate the Physics tab under the properties of the mesh and add the Physical Material.



  All software packages created was used by the power of the Unreal Development Kit.

  In game loading screens created by using BINK VIDEO.


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Date Modified: 04/01/2016

World of DASM, and the DASM series, created by Shane Hillier


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