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Mission Statement 

The purpose of FLAPS-2-APPROACH is two-fold:  To document the construction of a Boeing 737 flight simulator, and to act as a platform to share aviation-related articles pertaining to the Boeing 737; thereby, providing a source of inspiration and reference to like-minded individuals.

I am not a professional journalist.  Writing for a cross section of readers from differing cultures and languages with varying degrees of technical ability, can at times be challenging. I hope there are not too many spelling and grammatical mistakes.

 

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Journal Archive (Newest First)
« Aircraft Liveries & Textures - Adding a Livery Texture To Your B738 | Main | Separating Audio To Different Speakers - Sim Avionics & ProSim 737 »
Friday
Jun082012

Using PMDG 737-800 NGX Sound In The Default 737-800

I have received a few e-mails from individuals asking how to replace the default sound with the sound from the PMDG 737-800 NGX.  This is a relatively easy task and the improvement in audio quality and experience over the default B737 sound is second to none. 

Before continuing, I should state that PMDG have designed their NGX audio package to only be used with the PMDG flight model.  As such sounds that PMDG have mapped to specific actions within their flight model will not work outside the PMDG flight model.  I'm sure there is a way to strip the actual "specialist" sounds, but the time required outstrips the enjoyment.  This said, the basic engine sounds and environmental sounds are easily separated for use in other flight models, such as the default 737 and ProSim JetStream738 flight model.

In the examples below, my main FSX folder is located in a directory on C:/ drive and is named FS10.  You may have a different directory location and name for FSX.

Let's Begin....

When you install the PMDG 737NGX, the program copies audio to the following folders:

  1. FS10/simobjects/airplanes/PMDG 800 NGX/sound    (main engine sounds & some envirionmental sounds)
  2. FS10/sound/PMDG 737-800NGX/sound......   (specialist sounds such as gear lever movements, switches, call outs, etc)

The default B737-800 model’s audio is located in the default 737/800 folder (FS10/simobjects/aircraft/737-800/sound)

Make a copy of the sound folder and store to desktop in case of an issue.  Then, delete the sound files in the folder so you can start afresh

Two Methods - Back-up, Copy & Paste or Alias

There are two methods to access or link to the actual PMDG sound files.  You can either copy all the sounds (from the PMDG 737-800NGX/sound folder) and paste them into the default 737-800 sound folder – OR – alias the sounds.  

If you decide to alias the sound, you do NOT need to copy the files.

Either way you MUST have a sound.cfg file in your audio folder.  If you alias the sound.cfg, the content of the sound.cfg file located in the sound folder should look like this:

[fltsim]
Alias=PMDG737-800NGX/sound

If you have issues opening the sound.cfg file, use notepad as your editor.

If you decide to actually copy the files, then ensure the sound.cfg is also copied to your default sound folder.

Personally, I prefer the alias method......

The above process will allow you to play and hear the NGX engine package when flying the default B737 flight model (basic FSX B737-800).  You can also use the same methodology to replace the default sounds with the with the ProSim JetStream 738 fight model and with the FS9 version of the PMDG 737-800.

Following On - Replacing Audio

Following on the theme of the last two journal posts, you may wish to add additional sounds to the NGX audio package, for example, the TSS sounds Gear Up and Gear Down sounds.  This is easy to do.

Copy the TSS sound to the SAME folder as the PMDG sounds (if you did the alias method this will be the PMDG folder).  Now, open the sound.cfg file.  Search until you find the Gear Up and Gear Down entries.    Now, you have to modify the file name in the sound.cfg file so it matches the TSS.wav file you just copied into the audio folder.  In this example, the pertinent lines that need altering are in bold and include the actual name of the action (gear up) and the file name for the action that you wish the program to play (TSS gearup).  

[gear up]
Filename = TSS-gearup (or whatever the .wav file name is)

Make sure you do NOT have two files that do the same thing, such as gear up TSS and gear up PMDG – your computer will explode!!! (not really, but the sound will not be heard correctly).

Important Point To Know (Gauge Commands)

PMDG, i-Fly and several other sound designers configure their custom sounds to play only when specific actions or commands are triggered - these are called gauge commands.  A sound initiated by a gauge command only works when that gauge is moved by whatever action.  Often it's not possible to use these sounds without some major editing work to the sound.cfg file.  For example, I've been attempting to use the speedbrake sound in ProSim, but as yet have not been able to do so.  This is because the speedbrake is configured to a specific "in house" command or action - in this case the speedbrake. 

You cannot just grab any sound, copy it to the audio folder, and then expect it to play.  There has to be some logic to when the sound is played.  This can be most challenging and frustrating part of manipulating custom sounds.

I hope this journal post, as an addition to the last two sound related posts, helps more than confuses.  Sound can be a nightmare and can be challenging to explain in a short jouranl entry.  It is also very much a trail and error activity (the Americans say "suck and see") - Good Luck.

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