Wednesday, December 2, 2009

SoundBytes XIV

We hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving this year. George stayed here in Durango, while Jarrette went to Denver to be with his wife’s family. We were out of the office for a few days and now we are ready to get back to work.
In this edition of SoundBytes, we look forward to OKC. We will also learn how to get accurate sound for those E-units.
On the Road Again!
Next up is Oklahoma City Train show slated for December 5th and 6th. Jarrette and George will be driving to set up for this one. We always look forward to meeting with the modelers. If you are in the area and able to attend, be sure to come by and say Hi!

Blackstone Models:
We have been getting many great comments on our D&RGW Long Caboose that has been shipping to the hobby shops. In case you missed it, we also lettered a caboose for the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This caboose is currently only available through the D&S gift shop. For more information or to order, contact the D&S at 970.385.8873 or go to their website, http://www.durangotrain.com/. Next up for Blackstone is the economy-door boxcar. Production should start soon, so be sure you have these on order. We will be doing another Grande Gold boxcar and Supply car in this run with the appropriate car numbers on them. These sold out quickly when we did these paint schemes before. We are hoping to see these cars in February.

Tech Tip:
What do EMD E-units, Alco's DL series, and EMD's DDA40X all have in common? These locos were equipped with 2 prime movers. The purpose behind this was to get more horsepower out of one locomotive. What happens though is that the normal sound decoder is not able the replicate this well. Tsunami is no ordinary sound decoder. Built-in to every Tsunami is the ability to add reverb to the sound. Using this tool, we can simulate 2 prime movers without needing 2 decoders.
First, we need to look at the CVs associated with reverb to understand how these work. Many of these are explained in the user’s guide available free from our website. CV 161 is the control. This will allow some pre-selects to be used, but these don’t faithfully replicate 2 prime movers. Since none of these are set for 2 prime movers, set this to 7, for user adjustable. CV 162 is the output level, or how much of the original sound is ‘reflected’. In this case we want 100%, or a value of 255 for a full replication of the prime mover sound. Next CV 163 is the delay time in milliseconds. To get a good delay and distinction between our prime movers, put the maximum value of 255 in for 64 milliseconds, but this value is not critical. CV164 controls the feedback mix. This is the percentage of the original sound that is mixed in to the reverb, creating multiple sound reflections. Since we are trying to recreate one sound, set this to 0 for no additional feedback. Last is the reverb mixer. CVs 169 through 172 will add the reverb at different levels for different sound effects. Since we are working on the prime mover only at this time, set CV 171 to 255, or full mix. Now the locomotive is sounding as though there are 2 prime movers in the model. If you wanted to play with it a bit, set the output level to a different value (220) to get a more distinct sound for the 2nd prime mover.