Sound & Vibration Systems

I have decided to split the sound systems over two computers, one machine will play the cockpit warnings (through the loudspeaker panel) and then the main flight simulator machine controls the ambience (engines, gear, APU, spoilers etc. etc.) sounds.

The reason for needing to split the sound is that it is much more realistic but also the fact that I am using tactile transducers to generate vibration and rumble as the next best alternative to a full motion platform.

The problem when using cockpit sounds such as the GPWS warnings is that when running on the same machine as the flight simulator the cockpit sounds will also be picked up by the tactile transducers which will generate a burst of vibration in time with the warning buzzer thus ruining the ‘true’ experience.

Running the panel sounds on a remote computer

I run WideFS on a second computer which enables me to run my LED’s (OpenCockpits USBOutput cards) and also to run pmSounds, I managed to download the peice of freeware ages ago, its made by Project Magenta and used to be downloadable free of charge however it now costs about £70 to buy.

pmSounds basically runs on a remote PC (or the same PC as your flight sim if you want) it monitors FSUIPC and on certain events will play sound files such as when the aircraft is passing 500ft it’ll play the ‘500 feet’ audiable warnings.

It also has come cool ‘wiper’ sounds too of which I will be using shortly to emulator windscreen wipers 🙂

Removing the panel sounds from the Wilco Airbus

When I first ran pmSounds the Wilco Airbus was still playing its own built-in sound files for the panel therefore I had to find a way to disable them on the main flight simulator machine, the wilco airbus stores and uses its own custom sound files which can be found in the FeelThere\Sound folder under the MSFS folder.

In the Wilco ‘Configurator’ software you can set the ‘Panel Sounds’ slider down to zero and then the Wilco Airbus will stop playing the panel sounds however, the Landing gear, spoiler and flags drag and APU sound effects are then also lost and as these sounds are great ‘geneators’ of low bass (which drives the Bass Shakers/Tactile Transucers) I needed to find away to keep those sounds in but stop the GPWS, Master Caution etc. sounds.

So my first attempt I simply tried deleting the sound files (but first backing up those files obviously) however as soon as I opened up FSX and choose the Wilco Airbus FSX crashed out – So, guessing this is because the Wilco code was checking its sound files still existed I then decided to record a very short (couple of seconds long) silent .WAV file of which I would rename and overwrite the custom panel sounds in the FeelThere\Sounds folder by doing this the Wilco Airbus continues to function as expected and still plays the sound files but as I replaced them with short silent sound files when they are played the main flight simulator machine does not output any sound 🙂

So all panel sounds are played using pmSounds from a remote machine through panel mounted speaker which are independent from the main flight simulator sounds.

The sound & vibration system layout

{Will add full sound system map shortly!}