Locomotives with sound

Discussion in 'Product Review Forum' started by kutler, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. kutler

    kutler Member

    I've heard lots of hype recently about how realistic new locomotive sounds are. Some manufaturers are even bold enough to put examples on the net so we don't have to shell out just to find out if it's true.

    I had a chance to listen to the sounds on the BLI website a few times, but still keep coming up with major problems comparing model engine sounds to real ones.

    To qualify my perspective, I work in a RR tower and have locomotives pass by almost continuously. I can't comment on sounds such as bells and whistles as they might be realistic for a certain road, although not mine.

    The RSD-15 doesn't sound too bad starting up. The RPM seems to be almost reasonable, but as soon as it revs up it's not sounding like an alco at all. Not that I have too many alcos going by, but I did manage to get some ls&I video in the 80s and they sounded very much like our home grown 251s , throaty exhaust, low idle seemingly to sputter and die about every 10 seconds. This model is way off in that dept.

    The FA and PA model suffers the same ailment.

    F7 doesn't sound as good starting up, but gets right into the same problem as high RPMs make it sound like something sci-fi. I had a real GP outside today in run 8 going 4mph, I forgot what that sounded like. As a kid 4 Geeps used to power a run through freight in the middle of the night in my neighbourhood. What a sound, like rolling thunder! It's too bad nobody has replicated it yet.The shut down sequence almost has me fooled. It's pretty good. Maybe modellers can manipulate the sound to make it sound more realistic throughout all ranges?

    SD40-2. Sorry there is nothing on this sequence that reminds me of a SD-40-2, or a GP 30, or 35 or anything turbocharged as the sound of the turbo is predominant in the prototype.

    GE AC6000, once again strength is in the start up and shut down sequence, but RPMs seem to be closer to dremel tool's 36000 rpm than diesel's 1050 rpms.

    C30-7 I don't get to hear many of them so I can't comment, but...?

    F-3 by far the best sound, but still light years away from where I'd put out a century note extra for it. The alarm bell sound is right on!

    I truly hope that the snippits on this manufacturers website are not the best these models have to offer. It reminds me of an analog system developed in the 80's called soundtronics. Never heard of it, strange?

    I thought the Geep sound on Auren's Trainz program was pretty good, it's too bad manufacturers seem to be heading in a different direction.
  2. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I was always extremely skeptical until I picked up a PCM galloping goose. Wow!

    Having grown up around and received several cab rides...I too am suspect of how good the sound is for steam locomotives. Do the N&W locomotives have the hooter whistles? Is there a sound file for a Pennsy Banshee whistle? Do the NKP S-2's have steel bells (like the real ones) rather than pretty brass bells like the 765 has now? (throughout the '80s...the 765 used a GG-1 bell)

    I'm planning on trying steam sounds...and I'm far more optimistic after getting my Goose...but I too wonder. Further, there are very few restored locomotives...if any...that operate at 300psi...and since it is impossible to get a whistle from a 300psi engine to sound right at anything less...I doubt that many popular engines such as NYC 4-6-4s could have accurate whistle sounds.

    But...I want to try it...because maybe the sounds in person are far better than the recorded sounds I've heard over the internet.
  3. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    In the world of diesels, I can't comment on sound. Sorry, my interest is in steam, so ":mrgreen: All diesels sound alike :mrgreen:".
    In the world of steam, I have yet to hear any system that sounds as good as Soundtraxx, especially the Tsunami systems. These have tons of CVs that let the user set the levels, tone, pitch, etc., to make the sound match the prototype. For a freelancer, the sounds can be made distinctive for each loco size, and/or type.
  4. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

    I just went to the BLI website and listened to all of the sounds and I am satisfied. The C30-7 sounded way off but I thought the C60AC was good, as well as the RSD15 and the F units. The SD40-2 needs more turbo whine. Still, I thought they sounded pretty good. I don't use sound so I wouldn't drop another C-note on one just for the sound though.

  5. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    Where do you work. My dad works as a tower operator as well.
  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Yeah, I prefer sound to no sound. Unfortuneately, i also buy into that "all diesels sound alike" mentality. some have a different rumble, but as long as the rumble is consistent (as in, my U-boats don't sound like my SDs) i'm satisfied. For me, the horn is the important piece of sound. I absolutely love the horn on the atlas gold series C40-8W. The horn on my loksound decoder (programmed for a U34CH) not so much.
  7. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I am no expert on what a certain loco should sound like but I have 4 Proto gp7&9s with Soundtraxx decoders and I am amazed with the sound and the responce times. it will creep along for a short distance idling before revving up and when stopped takes a moment for the rpms to idle down. the sound seems to be different when under load. Also the volume is good, you can hear it but it is not so loud it is distracting.
  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I have opened a thread in General Talk...
    which may prove to be a better, more often visited, place to discuss this topic.

    Posts which were not specifically related to a product, have been moved to
    the above listed thread.
    I am trying to keep this forum specific to review of product, so those interested in product performance can more easily find that information.
    your moderator
  9. diburning

    diburning Member

    I've noticed that some of the train horns sound nothing like the real ones.

    I think that the reason behind it all is that the sounds will get louder in real life, but in a DCC sound system, they have to modify the tone instead of increasing the pitch because it will get static-y or it will vibrate the plastic and it won't sound good anymore. (like a cell phone on speaker)

Share This Page