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Review: Sprinter Sound Package
Reviewed By Matthew Peddlesden, Date: 14 April 2002

Another sound package from Railwaves arrived recently advertising that it would give you realistic sound effects for any Sprinter class of train (150, 153, 155 and 156).

Obtaining realistic sound effects for Train Sim has many perils and pitfalls which make it such that only a few people have ventured in to this area of Train Simulator.

The first obvious problem is getting the source sounds with which to work - in this instance RailWaves have gone on board a Class 150 Sprinter and taken recordings as needed with the specific purpose of creating this Train Sim sound set.

The second major problem to overcome is the 'SMS' Sound Management System, this is (as with much of Train Sim) a rather complex system that is rarely used to its full potential. In this instance RailWaves have used some fairly advanced scripting to try and recreate the Cummins engine used on the Sprinters.

In practice the sounds are good quality and clear both internally and externally. Besides the standard winding up and down of the engine and the basic engine sounds, there are other sounds that set this sound pack above even the sounds that come with Train Sim. You can clearly hear realistic sounds when the Sprinter is braking, and as you hit 40mph you can hear the transition between Hydraulic and Mechanical Transition - the sound of the engine winds right down from being its roaring self to something a bit more sedate.

Having gone to mechanical transition I gently applied the brakes and we slowed back down to 30mph, releasing the brakes I reapplied the throttle and up came the engine as it re-engaged the Hydraulic transmission, very good indeed.

There is an MP3 on the RailWaves web site which I would encourage you to have a listen to.

Installation of the sound set is very simple, however once it has been placed on to your system you then need to roll up your sleeves and make a couple of very simple changes to the ENG files of any locos that you want to have these sounds. The instructions included are detailed and all you need to do is a simple copy/paste to put the changes in that are described. The only thing I can see might be an improvement in future sound packs of this sort is if a simple utility could be provided that offered a list of installed loco's and just allowed you to select the one(s) you want to have the sound set... not everyone is in the slightest bit comfortable with the idea of opening up files that make Train Sim work - though as I say, the instructions are clear and if followed you won't have any difficulties.

At 5 UK Pounds this product is definitely worth having if you spend any time at all in a Sprinter class DMU.

Our Score

Scottish Central PLUS




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