Step 4. Create the Engine Sounds
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Our new C182 Sound Configuration has a WIND_SOUND entry, and the default FS2002 sounds. In this step, we'll add the sounds necessary to hear the engine in the cockpit, complete with Startup and Shutdown sounds.

Step 4.1 Setup the Shutdown Sound - Open the Engine Sounds Editor

The Shutdown sound is fairly straightforward, one wave file which represents the sound of the engine during shutdown. For a single engine aircraft, the sound is ENG1_SHUTDOWN. In the case of the C182, this will be played by FS2002 when the magnetos are switched to off or the Mixture is set to Idle-Cutoff and the RPM drops to about 200.

Click on the Engine Sounds
tab in the Editor. In the Sound Type listbox, click on the ENG1_SHUTDOWN sound.


As shown above, there should be no entries in the Sound List
listbox. We'll now add a Sound List entry. Note that the Audible in Cockpit checkbox is set, which indicates we're adding an Internal (audible in Cockpit) entry. Click on the Add button.


Unlike the simpler sounds where we just specified a filename, the Engine sounds use Sound Lists, which are one or more sound files mixed together to generate the final sound. Each sound list entry has a wave file plus associated Parameters. See the Background section for more details on how a sound.cfg file works. For the ENG1_SHUTDOWN sound, we'd probably have 2 Sound List entries, an internal (in the cockpit) and an external sound. In our example, we're only creating internal sounds.

Type in a new name for the Sound. We'll use Shutdown in our example.

We'll now select a wave file to use. Click on the Browse
button, and navigate to the folder containing the files downloaded in Step1. Click on Open in the File Explorer to select the file, then OK in the dialog which ask if we want to copy the file to the correct folder. You should now see the following. Note the shutdown in the Sound File box.


We now have a Sound List entry for ENG1_SHUTDOWN named Shutdown, and we've associated the file shutdown.wav with it. The Filter
shows that this is an internal sound (audible in the cockpit). Because this is a simple sound, we don't need to set any Parameters in the Properties dialog (accessed with the More.. button). The FS2002 documentation appears to state that all Engine Sounds have associated Rate and Volume envelopes, but in practice it appears FS2002 will play this sound unmodified.

We can, however, Preview this sound to hear how it will sound in FS2002. Click on the Preview Sound


The Volume
envelope is shown, however you can ignore it. Also, moving the RPM slider won't make any difference, since this sound is not affected by the RPM (remember, this is an example of a simple sound!) Click on the Play button, and you'll hear the Shutdown sound in an endless loop. Note: This is the same sound you'd hear in the Properties dialog, if you played the Raw File, since there are no Parameters modifying it.

Step 4.2 Setup the Startup Sounds

The startup sounds in FS2002 for a piston engined aircraft has two parts -- a starter sound, ENG1_STARTER, and a combustion start sound ENG1_COMBUSTION_START.

The ENG1_STARTER sound represents the "cranking" sound of the engine, as well as the sounds of the magneto switch being turned in the cockpit (if this is an internal sound, after all). Although undocumented, it appears that this sound is only played for a second or two, and then the ENG1_COMBUSTION_START sound is played. You may need to experiment with the sound file length to account for this and get the two to merge properly.

ENG1_COMBUSTION_START is the sound of the engine coming to life before it settles down to its idle RPM. It's played after FS2002 plays the ENG1_STARTER sound.

In the demo files you downloaded in Step 1, the file keystart.wav will be used for the ENG1_STARTER. Use startup.wav for the ENG1_COMBUSTION sound. Follow the procedure in Step 4.1 to associate these files to the respective Sound Types
. You can use any name (but try to pick something informative) for the Sound List entries -- in this example we've used Keystart for the ENG1_STARTER Sound List entry, and Cranking for the ENG1_COMBUSTION_START Sound List entry.

Note that when you add the ENG1_COMBUSTION_START entry, you're presented with a couple of extra entries in the Filter
for this sound.


Flags have different functions when associated with different sounds. These additional flags allow you to fine tune when the sounds are heard in the simulator. For example, you can have multiple ENG1_COMBUSTION_START sounds, one for a "normal" Audible in cockpit
start, one when the engine is Damaged, etc. Some of the flags don't appear to make sense in all cases, for example, the Jet Engine Rumble flag for a Piston engine! FS2002 probably just ignores it in this case.

As in the ENG1_SHUTDOWN sound, you don't need to set any further parameters for these sounds. Previewing them is equivalent to playing the raw audio file. You can also click on the Preview Sound
button to hear them at this time.

Step 4.2 Setup the ENG1_COMBUSTION Sounds

Setting up the actual combustion sounds of an engine is the most complex part of programming a new Sound Configuration. The simplest solution to this is to create a single Sound List entry, using a single wave file, with Volume and Rate envelopes that increate with RPM. However, this would not create a very convincing sound.

The normal practice is to divide the RPM range into subsections, with a Sound List entry for each. Most Microsoft supplied aircraft divide the RPM range into 4 sections. The Volume envelope is then used to ensure the sound is only audible over a section of the RPM range. The Rate envelope is used to increase the apparent pitch of the sound as the RPM increases. The number of sounds playable at once may be limited on your system by the type of sound card you have, it would be impractical, for example, to use 50 wav files to represent the Engine sounds. Microsoft does not document how many can be used a one time.

Without FS Sound Studio, you would be forced to use a text editor to enter all of these values into the sound.cfg file. Checking the result would require you to start FS2002, load the aircraft, and fly it. Making changes require re-editing, re-loading the Aircraft, and re-flying. While you're trying to fine tune the sound, you're also hearing all the other sounds, such as wind noise. FS Sound Studio allows you to hear your edits in real time -- as you tug on a Volume or Rate envelope, you instantly hear the change.

For this example, we'll use 5 of the files downloaded in Step 1 to represent the range of 0 RPM to the maximum RPM. We'll divide them as follows:

idle.wav       0 - 1000 RPM  
35.wav      1000 - 1700 RPM  
50.wav      1700 - 2000 RPM  
60.wav      2000 - 2300 RPM  
max.wav      2300 - 2400 RPM  

These ranges are a bit arbitrary, and we'll fine tune this in the Envelope Editor.

By now you should be familiar with creating Sound List Entries. Navigate to the Engine Sounds
page in the Editor, and select the ENG1_COMBUSTION Sound Type.
Ensure the Filter is set to only Audible in Cockpit
. Continue by adding 5 new Sound List entries using the following wave files:

Combustion_Idle - idle.wav  
Combustion_Low - 35.wav  
Combustion_Med - 50.wav  
Combustion_High - 60.wav  
Combustion_Max - max.wav  

Your Engine Sounds
page should now look something like this:


If you try to Preview the ENG1_COMBUSTION sound now, you'll hear all of the wave files played at once. They would not vary in Volume or Pitch as you changed the simulated RPM. The reason for this is that as the new Sound List
entries were added, they were given the same default Volume and Rate envelope. We'll fix that next.

We have two options at this point. We can select each of the entries in the Sound List in Turn, and click on the More...
button. This will bring up the Properties page.


Here we can see the default Volume and Pitch Envelopes. Also note that Panning is set such that this sound emanates from both sides of the stereo sound field equally. To modify the Envelopes, you could click on the Edit Env
elope button.

In our example, there are 5 sets of envelopes to edit, so a faster way to do this is to click on the Preview
button in the Engine Sounds editor page.


We can see our 5 sounds, with their default Volume envelopes. Lets start with the Combustion_Idle sound. Select it with the mouse and click on Edit.. (or double click on it) and this will start the Envelope Editor.


Note that both the Envelope Editor and the Preview dialog are now both active -- as you make changes in the Envelope, they will be immediately reflected in the Preview dialog's Volume Envelopes
graph. More important, your changes will instantly be reflected in the preview sound you're hearing.

Remember that we wanted to limit the contribution of the idle.wav file to the range of 0 to 1000 RPM. We can do this by modifying the Volume envelope. The RPM values are shown as a percentage of maximum, 1.0 being max RPM. In the case of the C182, as we see from the Preview dialog, this is 2400 RPM. The Volume values range from 0 to 100, 0 being silence (100 dB attenuation) and 100 being full volume (0 dB attenuation).

You can modify the envelope by typing your new values into the RPM and Volume tables. A faster way is to use your mouse to drag the envelope points to your desired position. Begin by noting that 1000 RPM represents 1000/2400 or about 0.42 of Max RPM. Thus on our graph we would want to have little output (or a small Volume value) above this RPM. It's harder to describe than to accomplish. Grab your mouse and have a go. You should end up with something like this.


Note the change in the Volume Envelope shown in the Sound Preview dialog. Let's now listen to the Combustion_Idle entry by itself. Each entry in the list has an associated checkbox to its left. This checkbox determines whether this entry will contribute to the final preview sound (no effect on the final FS2002 sound!). We can selectively turn entries on and off to easily determine their individual impacts to the final mix.

Un-check each of the entries except the first, Combustion_Idle. Now click on the VCR style Play
button. Experiment with the RPM slider position. You should hear the sound at normal volume until the RPM reaches about 1000 RPM, where is should decrease.

We would also expect the pitch of the sound to increase as the RPM increases. We can accomplish this by modifying the Rate envelope. Again, we can either use the mouse of enter values directly into the table. For our example, which previewing the sound, tug on the ends of the Rate envelope with your mouse, then preview to hear the results.


It's usually best not to have too much rate change, if you do, the sound starts to become unnatural.

It's up to you to now repeat this process with the remaining 4 sounds. When finished, your Sound Preview dialog should look something like this:


These values resulted from a few minutes of experimentation. There's no "right" solution, it's whatever sounds best to you. Note that the Rate envelopes are not shown, although they have all been modified such that the pitch of the sounds increase slightly with RPM. That's the power of FS Sound Studio -- it allows you to easily manipulate your sound file parameters to create the sounds you desire.

Just for reference, here's how the sound.cfg file produced by FS Sound Studio now looks -- imagine typing in all these values by hand (and getting them all right)!

// This Sound.cfg file created by FS Sound Studio -


// Engine Sounds ________________________________________________________________










// Wind Sounds ________________________________________________________________


// Ground Sounds ________________________________________________________________

// Other Sounds ________________________________________________________________