Ambience

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A dark cave. This is where one will most likely hear ambient sounds.

Ambience (cave sounds in console edition) is a set of sounds that occasionally play when the player is in close proximity to a dark space.

Behavior

Ambient sounds can be played in any dimension, including the Nether and the End, and can be heard in both singleplayer and multiplayer. Ambience can occur in a space of any size, but they seem much more likely to be heard in larger spaces that are completely filled with a light level lower than 8, without any lighting from the sky. Ambience is more likely to play from the direction of darker spaces. The space does not need to be sealed off or hidden - ambience can be heard from a space that the player can actually see - nor does the player need to be underground to hear ambient sounds.

List of ambient sounds

Ambient sounds are found in the assets\objects subdirectory in the .minecraft folder. See this tutorial for locating specific sound files. Ambient sounds play randomly in different pitches, as other sounds of Minecraft do. There are 16 sounds (Cave 1 - 16) in total:

History

Alpha
1.0.3 Added ambience. These sounds were made by C418, who also composed Minecraft's music.
Official release
1.2.1 12w07a The map format was updated to the Anvil format, which now allows ambience to be heard in multiplayer.
Ambience was known to play only in 3×3×3 spaces or larger, but they've been heard playing in spaces of smaller size.
1.8 Ambience no longer plays when entering the Nether or the End.
1.9 Added an ambient sound, increasing total from 13 to 14.
1.10 Added 2 new ambient sounds, now with a total of 16.

Issues

Issues relating to “Ambience” are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.

Trivia

  • On rare occasions ambient noises can be heard if the player is standing by an ocean or deep body of water, regardless of light level outside the water.
    • This is due to the fact that deep bodies of water have very low light levels towards the bottom.
  • On superflat worlds, even when the light level is 15, ambience can still be played.
  • When Ambient sound 14 is put into a spectogram, It appears to be a creeper face. I172^cimgpsh orig.png

See also