Sounds for your railway

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
sandtrain
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:30 pm

Sounds for your railway

Postby sandtrain » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:11 pm

I've just bought a small portable sound model for my N gauge Railway

Its made by Modelsounds.co.uk and there are a variety of sounds available on Micro sd cards for the unit.

I think it May be worth a look for some of you ? Not the same as a dedicated sound chip, but the sounds on offer are of decent quality.

I'm in no way connected with the company, just letting people know about its availability.

User avatar
tornado64
Posts: 610
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:34 pm
Location: north west uk

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby tornado64 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:26 pm

it is hard to judge as now Hornby are offering sound in locos for 25 quid ontop of the locos price effectively quartering the cost of sound on locos !!

User avatar
tornado64
Posts: 610
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:34 pm
Location: north west uk

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby tornado64 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:27 pm

but still a decent idea especialy for n

User avatar
alex3410
Posts: 3439
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:39 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby alex3410 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:50 am

looks interesting thanks for sharing - its a nice way to do it as its a single cost and it provides sound for all of your locos from what i can tell!

they are at Cambridge Model Railway Exhibition at the end of next month so i might pop along to take a look :D

clivef5915
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:30 pm
Location: was Poole, now Corfe Mullen, Dorset

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby clivef5915 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:57 pm

Hi Alex,

Is this something that can be used similar to a Cd player? I run DC and would like to have the sounds that would emanate from an engine shed - ie, steam noise, clanking (if there is such a word) and general steam loco movement sounds. Ideally place below baseboard so you have a general noise level. Am I on the right track (pun intended) with the unit you're describing?
Regards
clive f
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=40184/Bath Queen Square - as never was !

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 11529
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:48 pm

The unit is a glorified MP3 player which takes files on a micro SD card and plays them continuously. If you've ripped the odd audio cassette to silicon or recorded sounds to include in a multimedia presentation it wouldn't be difficult to knock together a system offering more facilities from a retired PC with a decent pair of speakers. The site puts a fair bit of emphasis on the quality of their original recordings, which IMHO is wasted on what is effectively railway Musak. Background sound played just above the threshold of hearing so as not to be intrusive.
John W
aka Bufferstop
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
alex3410
Posts: 3439
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:39 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby alex3410 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:22 pm

is there a source of sounds that one could use for such a system? - had a bit of a brain wave after my last post - playing them from my iPhone, i just need to find the sound files

i had a quick look at the above systems sounds and was not overly impressed, also you need to purchase them all separately so could get expensive!

User avatar
Roger (RJ)
Posts: 1402
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 2:59 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK.

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby Roger (RJ) » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:48 pm

I think the player is the same as this on ebay.

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 11529
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:55 pm

BAsically yes. I think it has slightly different styling but my guess would be the same innards.
Alex - Check the Heritage line websites. Some of them have a sound recordings section. You probably should ask them if you can use their recordings, as long as you are using them at home I doubt many would object, they might say you have to ask the person who made the recording, but if they've donated it for use on-line they are hardly likely to object to you using it at home. I fancy having a go at creating background sound. As the volume is low for background and my layout is U shaped 4 speakers at each corner, and each end, connected up going clockwise L - R - L - R and deliberately wired out of phase should spread the sound around. If I can't find recordings to use I might just take the laptop and a mike and see what I can get. Gawd it's 40 years since I used a mixing desk, wonder if it's like riding a bike or will I have to start from scratch and learn it again.
John W
aka Bufferstop
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

sandtrain
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby sandtrain » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:39 pm

About the quality of the sounds. I have a modern digital Tascam recording machine and the quality of sound is streets ahead of anything done on cassette from years ago. Produces CD quality with no hiss or anything like that.....so I dont think its wasted on a railway setup at all.......The sample sounds on his site dont really do the sound quality justice ( probably because of the risk of pirating ).
I think he's done well with coming up with the idea and the time taken to record genuine sounds is probably built into the overall costs.
I was going to say in my initial post that i hoped that the "cognisenti" would not make disparaging remarks and proceed to tear the thing to pieces ....but I suppose this is asking too much on internet forums.

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 11529
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:03 pm

If you are going for background sound, the first thing you do is chop the frequency response top and bottom. Then you compress the dynamic range. Then if you have the gear to do it you muck about with the left/right phase at certain frequencies. If you don't have the gear you just reverse the wiring on one channel. If I'd gone out with some expensive equipment and made some high quality recordings, then the studio did that lot to it, to turn it into "background" sound, I'd think my efforts had been wasted! When I was in my twenties, working with a team trying to meet the demand for more and more "high quality" communication circuits, a friend from school days was a proffesional musician. One day he told me he was in a lift and recognised by the sequence of titles rather than the quality of the sound that it was a session he had worked on, his first reaction was that he wanted to cry, his second was that he wanted to give up.
John W
aka Bufferstop
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
TimberSurf
Posts: 2433
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:47 pm
Location: N.Wales
Contact:

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby TimberSurf » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:01 am

My penny's worth
Ebay do little stereo amplifiers that pump out 20w for £8, two decent car speakers are about £10 ea, amp takes SD card, stereo can be mixed as 2 totally different channels for different sounds in two places on the layout.
My preferred solution is a old PC (but could equally be an MPeg player or smart phone) plugged into a 2.1 or 5.1 powered speaker system, (readily available on Ebay second hand for £10 or £20+ new)
I will run 4 separate sounds from two concurrent running pieces of software each to two separate sound cards in the PC (you easily fit a second card for £5), run out to two 2.1 systems.
For some free sounds, see my websites TIPS page
At some point in the future, I will record my own sounds, and mix them with silence, to direct the ear to different parts of the layout, this means I can "space them" out to coincide with my day/night lights/sounds/actions compressed sequence (also driven from PC via USB output cards). So will be able to have station announcements (mixed in with passenger hubbub) that include names of stations on my layout! [Can't do it yet, as I don't have names for them! :roll:]
Image
Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 11529
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:43 am

Of course for around £30 and using some surplus PC speakers and other odd bits that a modeller might have knocking around you could put together a dedicated system based around a Raspberry Pi. "I can't program" I hear you cry, so lets look at the software side. You can download a specially tweaked version of Linux, which comes with tools for sort of idiot proof installation, and for those who haven't heard about it there's a programming tool called Scratch. It creates software by bolting together snippets of code which you select in a visual interface. "I've never written a program before" neither had my granddaughters who at the ages of 6 and 8 were given a Raspberry Pi each by their father who showed them how to create a little working program and then left them to their own devices. The only limit to their programming skills ATM appears to be their limited knowledge of the big bad world, something they are putting right at a frightening pace. When getting a computer to play a sound track can be reduced to PLAY <<file.name>> building a jukebox program literally is child's play. By the way that isn't the genuine Scratch command just an indicator of its simplicity.
John W
aka Bufferstop
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
TimberSurf
Posts: 2433
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:47 pm
Location: N.Wales
Contact:

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby TimberSurf » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:45 am

.....and heres a quick demo I rustled up!
TIPS
Image
Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 11529
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Sounds for your railway

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:08 pm

ruddy 'eck TS if that's background in your neck of the woods I'd move :D
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions


Return to “General Model Railway Discussion / News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], pete12345 and 6 guests