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Audio API Developers Guide

This topic provides developers with information about the audio buffer format used by the XNA Game Studio Audio API.

Audio Buffer Format

The byte[] buffer format used as a parameter for the SoundEffect constructor, Microphone.GetData method, and DynamicSoundEffectInstance.SubmitBuffer method is PCM wave data. Additionally, the PCM format is interleaved and in little-endian.

The audio format has the following constraints:

  • The audio channels can be mono (1) or stereo (2).
  • The PCM wave file must have 16-bits per sample.
  • The sample rate must be between 8,000 Hz and 48,000 Hz.
  • The interleaving for stereo data is left channel to right channel.


Sounds Overview
Provides a high-level overview about the capabilities of the Audio API in XNA Game Studio in addition to general audio terminology.
Playing a Sound
Demonstrates how to play a simple sound by using SoundEffect.
Streaming Data from a WAV File
Demonstrates how to stream audio from a wave (.wav) file.


SoundEffect Class
Provides a loaded sound resource.
SoundEffectInstance Class
Provides a single playing, paused, or stopped instance of a SoundEffect sound.
DynamicSoundEffectInstance Class
Provides properties, methods, and events for play back of the audio buffer.

Online Resources

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