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Thread: Some thoughts on sounds.

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitron View Post


    We have the capabilities of this here, but it needs to be implemented more fully. Having a library of excellent track is a great idea. With the library, content-creators could choose the sound appropriate to their asset.


    John, You've raised some good points about using sound for content creators.

    Following another aspect 'using sounds',...

    I used wav files for station platform announcements on a metropolitan route. These are activated as nominated trains cross a 'trigger' entering the station. Whilst they sound great when in control of that particular train, however, when you hop aboard another train at the extremity of the route, the 'sounds' from multiple stations can be heard quite loudly across the route.

    What are the best sound files to use for this purpose and how are the sounds localised around the relevant station and not across the route ?

    I'd appreciate any feedback, thanks.

    Cheers,
    Roy

  2. #32

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    If Trainz wants to take a major step forward and improve significantly, N3V must focus on improving the up-close detail of routes, as well as the sound. The current sound engine (if there even is one) is extremely basic and likely has not been touched in over a decade except for bug fixes.

    What I want is for Trainz to get the native ability to edit and apply effects to sounds. Things such as equalization or reverb/echo. IRL you cannot hear the high pitched whine of a diesel engine at full power from 3 or 4 miles away, but you can certainly sense at least a rumble in the ground, which can be done with equalization, cutting off the higher frequencies at higher distance so that only the bass frequencies are heard. And as that loco (or any sound source) gets closer to the player, the cutoff gets higher so that more and more higher frequencies are audible, the center of the locomotive being the point where the high frequencies are loudest.

    Things mentioned, like a sound library that has a selection of common sounds (huge selection of random environmental sounds, such as birds, water, different car/truck sounds, and platform passenger sounds that don't sound like zombies), that can be attached at points on many scenery assets, should be optimized so that they don't necessarily have a big overhead.

    Echo and reverb is critical, it gives the sense of space. Hearing my enginesounds without reverb or equalization makes me feel like I am trapped in a box with sound-insulated walls with the loco! And when inside the loco cab, almost always you can hear the lower frequencies of the engine and outer sound, but the higher frequencies are blocked out as these are more damaging to ears. I'm not sure exactly what plays a role in how much a sound echoes but I feel like the bounding box and PhysX or some thing like that could be used to make the (one-time) reverb calculations for a given scene when it is loaded. Although how we perceive reverb and echo could be dependent on how far we are from the sound source, so I don't know how that would work with the new cameras that you can fly all over the place with.

    Ability to add a high and a low tone horn. Maybe more so UK oriented but the regular hornsound can be modified so that it can support WAV files with loop points embedded into the file (like the "other" sim).

    Startup/shutdown ability, although this would mean some changes to how traincars and trains are handled by the game because of how a single train can only have one throttle setting. Maybe only make the multiple-compatible, connected locos able to be controlled by a single HUD control? Add another HUD control for locos of another multiple working type?

    A different falloff for sound as you get farther. Also calculated by how many objects/bounding box are inbetween the sound source and the player.

    Stereo sounds.

    Slight variations in the pitch/speed at which all sounds are played, unless otherwise noted (in config). A range of pitch bend/variation can also be specified in the config. Maybe half a semitone lower when two or more engines are being run together, this helps prevent the weird audio phase issues that makes the sound come out like a vacuum tunnel (caused by two audio files of the same pitch played simultaneously).

    More environmental sounds in general, such as the sounds of cars/trucks/buses added for each individual vehicle, all combining to give off the sound of a motorway, and the sounds of miscellaneous birds and things of the sort.

    Different applications/effects on sound under bridges, tunnels, etc. through the use of equalization and reverb and such.

    New tracksounds and junction sounds. Better sounds for flange squeal on tight curves, and a different sound for wheelslip (or no sound at all depending on many factors).
    Regards Ron

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy3b3 View Post
    John, You've raised some good points about using sound for content creators.

    Following another aspect 'using sounds',...

    I used wav files for station platform announcements on a metropolitan route. These are activated as nominated trains cross a 'trigger' entering the station. Whilst they sound great when in control of that particular train, however, when you hop aboard another train at the extremity of the route, the 'sounds' from multiple stations can be heard quite loudly across the route.

    What are the best sound files to use for this purpose and how are the sounds localised around the relevant station and not across the route ?

    I'd appreciate any feedback, thanks.

    Cheers,
    Roy
    Roy,

    I actually forgot about my initial post from a year ago, almost exactly a year ago to be exact.

    Here's the Wiki article on the sound-script container.

    http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/i...t%22_container

    There's a default fall-off and radius for the sound of 50, 150. If I recall, these are in meters and percent. (I just read this and forgot what it said after I got interrupted!)

    This will cut back the distance from the source down to a more localized sound, which is what you want. There is also an ambient sound-setting, but this is like ambient light and an overall effect with no source. You can probably use something like this for the overall station-sound and then adjust the volume. That, by the way, is set to 100% by default or 1 as the value. Anything less than that, I assume is done in decimal values for percentages of the 100%.

    Like anything involving sounds, you'll probably have to fiddle around until you get the right settings. Hope this helps.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
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  4. #34
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    As pointed out in previous posts in this thread, while the software side of sounds is handled by the N3V coders, the real "guts" of the sound issue comes down to the source recordings made by the creators of the locomotives. If a creator, for example, did not record a "Chug Progression" for a particular loco then how can one be played? If the audio software AI (and there is another "can of worms") decides that a Chug Progression is needed in a set situation and none is available should it select a default sound? Then sit back and wait for the protests over its selection of a non-authentic "chug".
    TRS19 Platinum 105100 - TRS19 SP1 (standard) 105096 - TANE SP4 105766

  5. #35
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    I’ve always thought Trainz needs the ability to adjust sounds for distance. Not just volume. As sound gets farther away the high end disappears. Only the lower end travels distances. This is what gives distant horns and whistles their unique sound. There’s also more of an echo to a distant sound because it’s bouncing off objects on its way to the listener.

    This could either be done automatically by having the program just ramp down the higher frequencies along with the volume as the sound becomes more distant. Or it could be done like LODs, and have different sound files for different distances.

  6. #36
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    Thanks John for the Wiki link. I'll do some experimenting and see where it takes me.

    Cheers mate,
    Roy

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by gd5150 View Post
    I’ve always thought Trainz needs the ability to adjust sounds for distance. Not just volume. As sound gets farther away the high end disappears. Only the lower end travels distances. This is what gives distant horns and whistles their unique sound. There’s also more of an echo to a distant sound because it’s bouncing off objects on its way to the listener.

    This could either be done automatically by having the program just ramp down the higher frequencies along with the volume as the sound becomes more distant. Or it could be done like LODs, and have different sound files for different distances.
    That's one of the best ideas I've heard yet for improving the sounds in Trainz. Many of the locomotive horns, in particular, have a thin tinny sound heard from a distance although they're fine up close. Why? Because as sound level drops the ear becomes proportionally less sensitive to lower frequencies (this was the rationale for the "Loudness" control that used to be an option in many audio pre-amps).

    Two others:

    --An option for prioritizing sounds if the Trainz sound engine is faced with more sources than it can handle (a cause of the sound dropouts, IMHO). If more sounds are received for processing than the engine can handle they could be "triaged" on a priority scale, something like this:
    Priority 1: enginesounds
    Priority 2: bogey sounds
    Priority 3: grade crossing sounds (not sure how this could be implemented; possibly using mocrossing as a criteria?)
    Priority 4: all other sounds, such as industries, bird and other sound files, etc.

    I would think this could be done in the Trainz software itself without altering any of the existing assets and might contribute considerably to a more enjoyable experience (I'd much prefer a factory rumble to disappear than have the engine and bogey sounds continually dropping out).

    --An overhaul of the Doppler effect. At present every little fluctuation in engine speed causes a severe "wobble," which in real life would not occur (something as heavy as a locomotive is not going to waver significantly in speed unless it hits something ^__^ ). Perhaps the Doppler engine could average out engine speed over a fixed time period, say every half-second or so (or better still, a user-adjustable value), smoothing out the "wobbles."

    --Lamont

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