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Sound improvements.


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Thank You SR team for the hard work You have done. The sim gets better and better. I like those new signalboxes and we clearly see the progress. What I worry about is the sound system. Trains and locos in-cab sounds are mostly pretty good and I fully understand why developers concentrated more on inner sounds than anything else. Usually we are spending most of the time in cabins. But when playing as signalman You can notice how bad and unrealistic are outer train sounds. First and most important - distance fading as it is now doesn't work at all. Train is approaching and suddenly You start to hear it ... just maybe one hundred meters away. That's highly unrealistic and immersion killer. When Train Simulator (now called Classic) was released it had exactly the same problem. When UK based Armstrong Powerhouse started to sell their first PRO soundsets the entire principle of sound creation/editing was changed. Most important improvement was unlocking distance limits (originally set up tp 300 m.) and setting completely new main volume level (around 30% higher) to make room for louder sounds (like horns). For that reason dynamic range was widened siginificantly. Developers of the TSC failed because they didn't take into consideration entire dynamic range - the horn sound is always the loadest one and it dictates the peak point. This is where You set the full 100% volume level. All other sounds depend on that level. But they started from engine sounds and in the end of basic development circle found that ... horn can't be set loud enough because ... engine sound already dictated the max. level. In SimRail the volume peak level is pretty okay but realistic distance fading is missing. There are formulas how sound diffuses in reality. Yes I know in SR some important sounds are completely missing - like outer bogie rolling ones. Try to go out of the loco (EP07 for example) and start to walk away ... the sound fades unrealistically fast and loco sounds more like a toy not like a heavy machine should sound. The problem is that sound improvements to SR are coming very slowly, we haven't seen much yet. I hope Your sound guys are aware of problems. Another annoying issue is with rail joint sounds. They are extremely basic and don't take into count differences in speed. Sometimes the pitch is too high or too low and it doesn't vary when speed changes. In reality rail joints make different sounds on different speeds (can be set using pitch and volume modifier curve). I understand why bogie rolling sounds are missing - they are most hard to get recorded. Engines/motors/transformers and other engine sounds have to be eliminated when recording rolling locomotive or ... another way is to filter rolling sounds out. No one railway company allows You to switch off power systems on working loco (for security reasons) when running on top speed. Maybe only exception when running on special test tracks. So basically the only way is to keep sound recorder as close to the bogies as possible and filter rolling sounds out using sound editing software. Few more annoying sounds - rain in signalboxes. Very annoying, try to get better one and more suitable for inner environment. Walking sounds are weird too (when going walking out of signalbox), recommend to find more realistic ones. Overall I like SimRail very much, enjoy those new signalboxes, signalling and driving. This will be nr. 1 railway sim in the world soon.

Greetings from Estonia.

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