View Full Version : Train sounds in general

November 1st, 2015, 04:51 PM
Sound has never been a particularly strong point of Trainz and TBH none of the sims does track sound particularly well. ...Does anyone know or have any idea why this is so? What is it about train sounds that makes it so difficult to reproduce in a a sim dedicated to trains? Aside from getting permission to record in the cab and around various parts of a train, is there more to it than just recording a sound file and making the necessary adjustments? I suppose that mixing the various sounds to get the right blend might be a bit of work, steel wheels on welded or joined rail, catenary sliding along the overhead wire, engine sounds, exhaust noise, etc., where each adds to the overall sound effect. Of course the varying distances from each sound source would have to be dynamically changed as well as enclosing materials that would attenuate the sounds.

November 1st, 2015, 04:58 PM
I have found several rail sound effects, and have incorporated the wav files right into the track file, and it sounds pretty much fantastically real. I have gotten rid of the built-in Trainz tracksounds. You can PM me for details, or contact me on Skype: UN cascaderailroad

November 1st, 2015, 05:50 PM

It's a lot of things. In part lots of the ambient sounds mixing in with all the harmonics created by the metal vibrating all over the place.

The problem is trains overall are quite loud and probably too loud for the recording equipment, which causes the audio to sound too saturated due to it then being clipped out at its highest and lower frequencies. Then if someone attempts to record at a much lower level, they miss the overall sound and definitely the harmonics and all the other mixing of the ambient sounds.

Add to this people using a cell phone or a small laptop-type microphone instead of high-end and expensive audio recording equipment, and we have what we have. These home devices have microphones with a very short dynamic range which then clip out the highs and lows and only make things even worse.

November 1st, 2015, 08:59 PM
Most railfans, and Trainzers, set up cameras and recording equipment 10 foot from the tracks, right at crossing gates, where the overly loud bells and blaring whistle over saturates, and distorts, the sound track ... when they should have set up a a hundred feet distant, and 500 foot down the track, away from the train, and use furry microphone covers to eliminate wind noise.

November 2nd, 2015, 04:28 AM
I'd agree that many of the sounds are not exceptional. Ambient noise is particularly obvious in it's absence. That said, I recorded a stationary GM loco going up and down the notches, and using its horn with just a mobile phone. Having access to the loco was helpful. The sounds were prepared by tmz06003 and the results were very good.

If you want to try it, the KUID is KUID2:283805:53141:1 (GM 8 567CR)

There are also 2 horn sounds, a long and short blast KUID:283505:54141

November 3rd, 2015, 03:43 PM
Hi everybody.
The sounds of a railway are without doubt one of the most diverse and complex problems to be resolved when creating a rail simulator. I have just travelled down from London Paddington (UK) to my local station in North Somerset in the last couple of hours. I had read this posting while waiting on Paddington station which made me start listening to the various sounds of the station and then sounds throughout my journey into the West of England.

Obviously there is a huge difference in listening to the sounds of the diesel power cars on the HST’s and individual engines on the DMU’s while standing on any one of the 18 platforms at Paddington. Much then changes when listening to the sound(s) of your train and others after you board and commence your journey. However, once travelling on the Mark four HST coaches the range of sounds that you hear are vast in indeed.

Once your journey begins, as always within the carriage there is the metallic sound of metal on metal generated by wheels running on the track. Obviously, the foregoing varies in pitch and volume depending on the speed of the train but it can also be affected by the environment the train is travelling through. On an embankment the sound is reduced, while in a cutting sound is very much enhanced, while in a tunnel it changes all together.

There is the effect that the sway of the train can have on the audio especially in tunnels were air turbulence can have an much larger effect on the amount sway at high speed. In this situation the volume is always higher as is the sway and therefore it creates a stereo effect being higher on one side of the carriage and then transferring that volume to the other making it constantly side to side in affect.

For countries with large passenger railways as here in the UK, there are also the on-board sounds outside of those made by the train. There is the constant audio updating of passenger information throughout any journey along with the never to stop passenger chatter and as always the ticket inspectors going backwards and forwards with their “tickets please, have your tickets ready for inspection”.

When your train stops at a station there is from within the carriage the muffled sound of all that is happening on the platforms. You can vaguely hear the station announcements and the voices of people leaving and boarding along with the shouts and whistles of the dispatching staff and anyone else close to your carriage.

All the above are the unique sounds of a real-life railway which I believe will for the foreseeable future be impossible to recreate in any train simulator. Therefore in the case of N3V and Trainz it would be undoubtedly best to concentrate on sorting out all the other problems in T:ane and perhaps return to the “railway sounds” when that very large operation is completed. However, even then it may not happen unless the Trainz iPad customers have purchased enough copies of that version so as revenue is available for such further development of T:ane (LOL).


November 3rd, 2015, 04:02 PM
That's a very good summary of the sound environment that should be recreated if ever a train sim wants to really claim realism as an attribute. While we wait for that wonderful day to arrive, would bare-bones engine sounds be enough to fill the void along with wheel sounds and some occasional trackside noise from crossing bells, car horns, etc.? I agree with Bill that first, all the performance issues must be resolved. Then return and improve the sound mix.