I've always been more enthralled with the sound fx in the movies and the behind-the-scenes work of the music industry than I have been with the finished products. So for me, trying to come up with the various sounds that a locomotive makes is just as much fun - and just as much work - as the other aspects of putting a locomotive into a simulator or game. For the GP40, there are still enough of them and their six axle brothers around to be able to get most of the sounds we need. However, just like I found with the locomotive shape, there is no such thing as "generic" GP40 sound. A rebuilt CSX 645 prime mover doesn't sound the same as an NS 645. The NS unit actually idles lower and Notch 1 sounds like Idle on the CSX unit. Another thing that is quite noticeable is the difference in sound between coupling to a loaded car and coupling to an empty car.
So, after many hours of pointing an HD video camera at various GP and SD40-2's, and more hours spent behind a computer desk cutting, pasting, and mixing sounds, we've come up with a few that may be acceptable for our locomotive. Here is the first test after a recent complete sound file replacement.
Pretty neat, huh? In the next few weeks we will be adding other sounds such as bells, dynamic brakes, brake squeals, cab noise, and of course, the horn.
Check back with us here, and on our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/VirtualRailCreations) for more updates and we move the project into the final stages of the build, and then on to testing.