Sound on the Altamont and Blue Ridge Railway

To add realistic and spatially located sound effects to the operation of the A&BR, I have installed 6 small desktop computer speakers around the perimeter of the layout beneath the bench-work. The sound of trains travelling along the track is generated using sound files that I created. These files are played back by
Freiwald Software's 4DSound program driving a 7.1 surround sound box attached to my computer. Using this system, stationary or moving train sound effects are played at the appropriate locations in the three dimensional space of the train room. The program utilizes the train tracking features of Freiwald’s  software to determine the location of each train, then it adjusts the sound for timing, train speed, attenuation, and other factors, and finally it blends the train sounds among the appropriate stationary speakers, thus allowing the sound to follow the train's movement. Each train has its own characteristic engine and rail clatter sounds. Additionally, whistles, air brakes and other sounds specific to each train are triggered at specified points along each individual route. Finally, stationary sounds such as station announcements and crossing bells are programmed into the software. These are played in their designated locations at specified times or keyed to train events on the layout.

Click Here to Hear a Steam Whistle from the A&BR Learn More Click Here to Hear and Train Loop Element form the A&BR