TUTORIAL - Custom engine sounds

  • Hi guys,


    Yes the current aircraft sounds might be limited to mono and 22500KHz, but the actual sound engine is surprisingly good. I was able to add much more realistic sounds to the jets, and it was a fairly quick process.


    I'm sure most of you have quite a few addons for P3D or FSX with pretty good sounds. Luckily those addons use WAV sound files - that's the raw format required by the AFS2 converter tool. So, here is a brief tutorial of how you can create your own sounds for any aircraft in AFS2:


    Obviously you'll need the SDK and the aircraft conversion tool installed to do this - please do that first if you haven't done so already.


    1) Identify the number of engine sounds for the specific aircraft you'd like to create sounds for. Let's have a look in your C172 folder (under /Aerolfy FS 2 Flight Simulator/Aircraft). We're looking for files with .tsb extension. With the Cessna you'll find quite a few .tsb files but their name is a perfect hint. For example ext1000rpm.tsb means the external sound file for 1000RPM. There is 6 internal and 6 external engine sounds for the cessna for 6 different RPM ranges. However, the cessna sounds are pretty spot on, so let's "update" another aircraft. We all love the A320, don't we? Unfortunately the sounds it comes with don't really do it justice. So, again, have a look in its folder and search for .tsb files. As before, based on the file names there are basically 2 X 3 files (3 for external and 3 for internal), with names like idle, half, and full. There is also a reverse thrust one, but let's focus on the internal ones for now, those three .wav files for idle power, half power and full power.


    2) Getting raw sound files is pretty simple: go to AVSIM, or Flightsim.com and download a freeware soundpack, or use any 3rd party soundsets you purchased before, then choose the appropriate .wav files from them that will represent those 3 power settings.


    3) Now we'll have to make sure those .wav files are prepared for conversion. First let's rename them as per the original files. For example the sound file you chose for the idle engine sound should be called "a320-idle-intern.wav". In other words, give them the same name as the tsb file only with wav extension.


    For the rest of the sound preparation tasks I'll use Audacity, but you're free to use your favorite sound editor. For each sound file do the following: "
    - Open the file in Audacity
    - Click on "Stereo Track to Mono" on the Tracks menu at the top of the window
    - Click on "Resample..." on the Tracks menu and choose 22500
    - Click "Export..." in the File menu, provide a file name, and choose "WAV (Microsoft) Signed 16bit PCM" as the format


    Once you completed these steps for all files, they will be ready to be converted


    4) We'll create a folder under the /aricraft_workshop directory of the SDK root folder. Make sure you only use lower case and numbers for the name of this folder. I'm going to use "sound001" for simplicity. Now, copy the prepared wav files into this folder, and also copy the following 3 files from the /dr400 folder (that's also in the aircraft_workshop folder): model.tmc, dr400.tgi, dr400.tmd. This is all you need for the sound conversion.


    5) Now, right-click the sound001 folder (with the raw files in it) and choose the "Aerofly FS 2 Aircraft Converter" from the pop-up menu. You can click on the green Convert button - however you won't need to wait till the whole conversion process finishes though. The converter will start with the WAV files luckily, so when you see it working on things like "geometry" that means the sound files are already converted, so you can click on EXIT.


    6) You'll find your converted files here: C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Aerofly FS 2\aircraft\sound001


    7) Create a backup of the sound files you're about to replace (under <AFS2 root>\aircraft\a320\). In this scenario we'll replace the 3 internal engine sound files: a320-idle-intern.tsb, a320-half-intern.tsb and a320-full-intern.tsb. BACK THEM UP! No really, back them up!


    8) Now you can copy and overwrite the original .tsb files with the ones created by the conversion tool (from C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Aerofly FS 2\aircraft\sound001 into <AFS2 root>\aircraft\a320\). I'd recommend that you delete the sound001 directory (the one under your Document folder) after you copied the files from it so there won't be any mix-ups with other sound files you might convert later - this way you always start the conversion with a "clean slate".


    9) Test your sounds. Load up the plane and try all power settings. I found that the AFS2 sound engine does a great job with aligning them and combing them together seamlessly.


    That's pretty much it. If you want to make some adjustment (volume, EQ) do that on your raw files and convert them again. Once you get used to the process it won't take more than 5-6 minutes including testing.


    You can customize all aircraft sounds using this process, not just the engine sounds. However, it's important that engine sounds have to be infinite loops, while others (like the autopilot disengage sound for instance) don't need to be looped.


    In case you have any questions or my explanation wasn't clear on a certain step, let me know.


    Dan


    PS: If you screwed up the back-up step, you can always use the Steam File Integrity check to restore the factory files.

  • Its great to see progress in this important area. I had hoped the mono limitation was just due to available source files though, rather than FS2 itself. I'd actually love more immersive audio for the C172.

  • Dan is the Man !


    great tut really.



    Since a handful of airplanes exist only, i assume you have tuned them pretty quickly yourself.


    May i suggest that you offer the finished results for download?


    an audio pre-sample in the download area would be great.


    thanks for picking this subject, sound was a big need to look at.


    anyone working on the F/A-18?

  • Yes the current aircraft sounds might be limited to mono and 22500KHz


    Jan - If you're about, which of the following is true please ...


    1) Mono/22.5khz is not going to change in FS2 for a good long while, or
    1) Limited by current tech & current WAV files, or
    2) Just due to current WAV files

  • Hi guys,


    thank you for writing that tutorial, even though it's just half the story. The other major setup of the sound takes place in the tmd of the aircraft. There you can also define which samples to the aircraft shall use (not just limited to the file names that already existed in the default aircraft), how they blend from one sample to the next, etc. You can also fine tune the pitch and volume...


    Jan - If you're about, which of the following is true please ...


    1) Mono/22.5khz is not going to change in FS2 for a good long while, or
    1) Limited by current tech & current WAV files, or
    2) Just due to current WAV files


    Due to current sound engine requirement. This might change


    Regards,
    Jan

  • I'm half surprised a sound designer/engineer hasn't volunteered to assist with or completely take over the design of the AF sound engine.


    From discussions I've seen over the years on various fora, many aircraft sound designers have been chomping at the bit forever for the opportunity to "correctly" design a sims sound engine.

    Devons rig

    Intel Core i7 8700K @ 5.0GHz / 32.0GB G.SKILL TridentZ Series Dual-Channel Ram / ZOTAC GAMING GeForce® RTX 2080 Ti Triple Fan / Sound Blaster Z / Oculus Rift VR Headset / Klipsch® Promedia 2.1 Computer Speakers / ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q ‑ 27" IPS LED Monitor ‑ QHD / 2x Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB / Windows 10 Pro 64-bit /Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 Motherboard

  • Thanks guys,


    Jan, yes, it's a quick and dirty way, kind of ignoring the .tdm files, but I haven't had a chance to work out how fine tuning works and what the numbers refer to. I'd be keen to get involved in sound development, I have the gear and the experience to create sound environments, but I guess there is not much point until the sound engine is finalized.


    Good point about trying stereo/44100KHZ - I'll see what happens.


    I'd be happy to share but I used a previously purchased 3rd party sound from TSS, so I can't share the files, but will update a video shortly.


    Dan

  • I'm half surprised a sound designer/engineer hasn't volunteered to assist with or completely take over the design of the AF sound engine.


    From discussions I've seen over the years on various fora, many aircraft sound designers have been chomping at the bit forever for the opportunity to "correctly" design a sims sound engine.


    Yes, editing static .wav-files and posting it as "sound pack" was nice and easy enough for some users.


    However, that may not be what i refer to as Sound Design really.
    Whoever chomped around editing .wav-files was limited to what the game engine would do with it.


    None of the legacy sim developers have actually modelled spheric sound to what i observed.
    The sound model was very simple and not considered worth developing further than attaching
    a small number of .wav files to an airplane-model. The most complex thing was turning up the throttle ;).
    Flanker 2.0 was the first to implement a flyby-sequence that came with a bang when breaking the sound barrier.


    As the architecture of how sound develops when space, object and listener start relating, becomes a bit complex,
    i understand why developers avoided working on it.
    They always chose the most simple way of adding sounds, and their worries on not being sued cause too loud was the priority.;)


    Looking into aerofly's tmd and tdc files makes me believe that the guys at ipacs potentially consider tackling the challenge
    for a next generation sound architecture.


    So, when we look into doing sounds, we need both proper recordings and most and for all a sound engine, a software-managed
    algorhythm that deals with these sounds the way we want it to be in the game.
    Every pilot reads sounds just like he would read instruments.


    Whether you startup a single engine prop on a grass runway or whether you whitness a hornet-flyby
    you can confirm the experience of the prickle. It goes right thru you. This is it! This is worth modelling!

  • We're already thinking about a new soundengine, with all the nice features that one would like. 3D sound origin per sound source, queing sounds for engine start (starter engage-starter hold-engine starting to ignite-engine loops-engine loosing fuel and dying, prop coming to a hold), etc. This will probably take a while to program from scratch though.


    Maybe add sonic boom and propper super sonic sound creation as well (formation flight above mach 1.0, you can't hear the other aircraft or your own engine's jet exhaust noise)


    I'd also love to see sound reflection off the ground and nearby mountains and sound shading (is that a word??) meaning vehicle blocking direct path of the sound source. And how about a 3D direction dependant sound profile at least for the engine sounds. Even with the aircraft stationary relative to the observer you still have more of a high pitch fan noise in front and a much deeper base sound behind the aircraft.


    Imagine a sound engine like that, together with a state of the art weather system, couple of raindrops on the windscreen,... :D

  • Yes, editing static .wav-files and posting it as "sound pack" was nice and easy enough for some users.


    However, that may not be what i refer to as Sound Design really.
    Whoever chomped around editing .wav-files was limited to what the game engine would do with it.


    The people i'm thinking of did far more than edit wave files, and I'm not sure where you got that impression! :D

    Devons rig

    Intel Core i7 8700K @ 5.0GHz / 32.0GB G.SKILL TridentZ Series Dual-Channel Ram / ZOTAC GAMING GeForce® RTX 2080 Ti Triple Fan / Sound Blaster Z / Oculus Rift VR Headset / Klipsch® Promedia 2.1 Computer Speakers / ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q ‑ 27" IPS LED Monitor ‑ QHD / 2x Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB / Windows 10 Pro 64-bit /Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 Motherboard

  • couple of raindrops on the windscreen,... :D


    You can never underestimate the impact of raindrops on a screen........ :cool:

    Devons rig

    Intel Core i7 8700K @ 5.0GHz / 32.0GB G.SKILL TridentZ Series Dual-Channel Ram / ZOTAC GAMING GeForce® RTX 2080 Ti Triple Fan / Sound Blaster Z / Oculus Rift VR Headset / Klipsch® Promedia 2.1 Computer Speakers / ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q ‑ 27" IPS LED Monitor ‑ QHD / 2x Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB / Windows 10 Pro 64-bit /Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 Motherboard