Which sounds for a 1-cylinder diesel loco?

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HansvdL
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Which sounds for a 1-cylinder diesel loco?

Postby HansvdL » Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:01 pm

I know there have been several discussions on this forum about using sound on layouts (e.g. threads like these: this one or this one), and using sound on layouts is not always appreciated by all, especially if it's (too) loud when used on exhibitions.
Despite that, I'd like to add (diesel engine) sound to some of my layouts (both Gn15 and O9), because I think it will make those little locos appear more authentic.

My question to you is: which sounds (both engine sound and additional sounds like brakes, horns, etc.) do you think would be necessary to make a minimum gauge (diesel/petrol) loco sound convincing?
If you could choose only 3 additional sounds beside the engine sound, which ones would you pick?

Some thoughts about the hardware:
There are many on-board DCC driven sound decoders on the market, but very few have sounds that would suit the tiny locos for minimum gauge, and such locos generally haven't got enough room to fit a generous sized loudspeaker, which is what you need for decent (low frequency) sound reproduction. What I need, therefore, is a sound decoder suitable for fixed installation at the layout, that can be controlled by the analog track voltage. Furthermore, its sound should match the type of engine found in small narrow gauge locos. I'm certainly not an engine expert, but I think that a single cylinder diesel engine sound could be appropriate.

I've found and contacted a German company called LE-Elektronik that manufactures sound modules for model railway use, and it turns out that they have some 1-cylinder engine sounds that they could program into one of their sound modules. However, I need to choose some additional sounds that can be triggered manually, such as brake sounds, coupler sounds, bells, whistles, horns, etc.

Because I have a feeling that the resulting custom sound decoder module from LE-Elektronik might be useful not just for me, but also for other members of this forum, I thought I'd post the above question, so I can make some prudent choices.

Please share your ideas and experience on this topic.

Hans

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Sounds

Postby Catweasel » Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:27 pm

You might like to have a listen to this site. If you use a programme like Audacity you can make your own effects
http://www.oldengineshed.com/diesel.html
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Postby scott b » Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:31 am

If I was trying to make a cartoon engine sound I think the Lister single would be the basis, it sounds like every engine in all the cartoons I watched as a child.
put put put put put PUT PUTPUTPUTPUTPUTPUT, music 8)

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Postby rue_d_etropal » Sat Jan 05, 2008 6:44 pm

I am also looking for sound chips/sounds for minimum gauge and something such as an Simplex for farm tractor would be ideal. I have an MTK 2 stroke diesel sound decoder which I want to design a minimum gauge loco around(only then I wil want sound for other locos :roll: ), so ideally for another layout with only one loco.
Space is a problem, not only for speaker, but decoder is size of one of small minimum gauge locos.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
http://www.rue-d-etropal.com

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Postby HansvdL » Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:17 pm

Simon,

Where can I find details about that MTK sound decoder? I don't think I've ever heard of it.

This German company LE-Elektronik that I mentioned also have sounds for road vehicles, and you can find a sound sample of a Lanz Bulldog tractor on
this page (the "Sound Beispiel MP3" link). Is that the sort of sound you're after?

Looks like you intend to put both decoder and loudspeaker inside the loco (if they fit). I've decided not to do that, mostly because of the poor sound quality that I think would result. Have you tried your sound decoder with a small speaker that would fit inside a minimum gauge loco, and if so, what does it sound like?

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Postby rue_d_etropal » Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:51 pm

sound decoder came from USA. found it on eBay.
I like that tractor sound, really need to talk to local DCC group who are experienced in setting up sounds etc.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
http://www.rue-d-etropal.com

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Postby Dave Westall » Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:10 pm

The best sound system I have heard for a NG railway has to be Otto Schouwstra's.

A large bank balance is a pre-requisite if you wish to purchase a ready built one :( but the first few issues of NG&IR had component lists and circuit diagrams to build your own.

How much Otto has improved on the NG&IR version I don't know.


Dave
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Postby HansvdL » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:59 am

Thanks for the tip Dave.

I've just had a look at the Narrow Gauge & Industrial magazine index (it's on the NG&I website), to find out which magazine issues to look for. Otto Schouwstra's articles are in issues 8 - 12. Only issue 8 is still available from the publisher (according to the website).
Any suggestions where I (or others) can find these articles?

Some remarks about Otto Schouwstra's sound system:
About a year or so ago, I've had Otto Schouwstra explain the principles behind his sound system to me, including the new system for Terra Cotta (his newest layout, in H0f scale) that he was building.
From what I understand, it works like this:
For large scales, where a loudspeaker can be fitted inside the loco, Otto uses both a loudspeaker in the loco (for the mid & high frequencies) and loudspeakers under the layout (for low frequencies). The track carries DC (for the motor) + superimposed audio (for the loudspeaker) to the loco.
For small scales (like in Terra Cotta), it's impractical to fit a loudspeaker into the loco, so in order to get directional sound from the moving loco, loudspeakers are fitted at various places in the layout, and some clever circuitry controls the volume of each loudspeaker in response to the loco being detected on the section of track associated with that loudspeaker. In that way, the sound also travels with the loco. The low frequency sound is handled by a large fixed loudspeaker under the layout, as before.

I think Otto told me that the diesel sounds that he uses are synthesized, not digital samples, because he can make them behave more realistically this way in response to throttle changes (speed up/slow down).

It's a very clever and effective system, but for some people (including me) I see some drawbacks:
    Speed control using PWM (pulse width modulation) or feedback is out of the question, because it interferes with the audio signals. That means that your locos should be able to run well on pure DC.
    A lot of electronics is needed, especially with loudspeakers fitted inside the layout for directional sound. For O9 locos, this may be the only option. All that circuitry has to be bought or built.
    Otto has put a lot of effort into designing his diesel sound. Can his design be duplicated?


Until now, this last issue meant that Otto's design was not a viable option for me, but learning that Otto has published his design, the system may be worth looking at in more detail.

Hans

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Postby Dave Westall » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Hi Hans,

I have the relevant issues of NG&I. I haven't looked at them for a while but I'll look for them when I look for the Watercress loco plans for Henry (Catweasel).

I'll see how many pages would need to be scanned and get back to you. As I said before though I don't know how much redesign of the circuitry has been done since the articles were published.


Dave
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Postby Will Vale » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:22 am

I think Otto told me that the diesel sounds that he uses are synthesized, not digital samples, because he can make them behave more realistically this way in response to throttle changes (speed up/slow down).


There can be quite a lot of overlap between prerecorded sound and synth sound in the digital audio world - do you know if the Ossynth diesel sounds are pure analogue synthesis?

On the digital side, I've used mixes of on-the-fly controlled (generally just pitch + volume, sometimes filters) sampled sounds to produce (flying car :oops: ) engine audio for games in the past, although that was on an Xbox which has relatively sophisticated hardware mixing. Simple pitch and volume get you a long way though, especially if you're combining different layers of recorded sound (e.g. unloaded engine, hard working engine, etc.)

For example, the Soundtraxx Tsunami decoder in the Bachmann Forney does some simple manipulation of the basic chuff sound in response to load - they seem to duck the volume and possibly do some other filtering to cut low frequencies from the chuff when the engine isn't working hard. It's hard to be totally sure though since there isn't much LF response in the first place...

Still, it does mean there are routes to using real-world samples in a dynamic mix. Sorry for the rambling digression...

Cheers,

Will

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Postby Gavin Sowry » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:04 am

:lol: The vintage machinery guys were running some single cylinder stuff at the tram museum the other day...
Putt..tick..tick..tick..Putt..tick..tick..tick..Putt.. :?
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Postby AndyA » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:12 am

Putt..tick..tick..tick..Putt..tick..tick..tick..Putt..


Ahhh! Crossley :nostalgic:

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Postby HansvdL » Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:13 am

I have just contacted Otto Schouwstra via e-mail to ask about his sound systems and articles. In his reply he says that his old articles in the NG&IMR are very much out of date, because his current systems are so much better than the ones back then.

He also points out that his new website www.ossynths.nl contains a description of his sound systems. Worth a visit for those interested in his systems, I would say.
Otto writes that he uses both synthesized and sampled sounds (both short ones and hour-long background sounds that are used when necessary).

Hans

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Sounds

Postby Catweasel » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:26 pm

If any one is interested,I can send them a 1hr mp3 recording of a Lister or Ruston idling. Just e-mail me and I'll send via Dropsend..
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