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Playing with sound, part 2


Dave John

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Well, there it is. I made up a circuit that plays one of nine tracks at random, with selectable intervals. Two sounds can be triggered by the IR detectors which will go out of sight beyond the end of the layout. A whistle as a train enters the station and a different one as a train approaches the traverser.

 

The whole lot is sat neatly in  an old pa amplifier case with its own mains power supplier. This seems to make it immune from transients on the railway itself triggering sounds. The speaker is an old  hi fi bookshelf type tucked away under the layout, gives a distant feel to the ambience.

A couple of pics. I could post circuit diagrams if anyone wants them, but as with the IR board you probably wouldn’t do it this way unless you happened to have the bits lying about. Sadly I am the sort of person that does. Mair chips than a chip shop.

 

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One sound every 3 minutes or so seems ok for a start. There are various sounds of railway activity, whistles, shunting, a genuine Caley westinghouse pump and some of a townscape, horses and carts clattering by, some church bells. They do sound as I would imagine them to across a distance. Sourcing the sounds and processing them was actually the most time consuming part of the whole project. If I come across a bit of sound I like I will borrow it, the good thing about the sound module is that the mp3s are on a micro sd so changing them is simple.

 

The big question is do I like it? The honest answer is that I haven’t made my mind up yet. Ask me this time next year how much of the time I have had it switched on while running trains. As I said in the last post this was something I wanted to try cheaply and the whole thing has only cost about a tenner so if I don’t like it its no big deal.

 

Photos of nice blue trains will resume now I have got that itch scratched........... 

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  • RMweb Gold

Sounds of the Edwardian era, an interesting concept. Apart from the horses, carts and churchbells I wonder what other sounds would have come from the Townscape. Perhaps a distant shout or two, including from someone trying to sell their goods - but maybe not so much else really?  If I think how a big city sounds nowadays, it's almost all transport sounds. If you took those away, things would be pretty quiet! So maybe you've captured most of it already.

 

Then there's the trains themselves of course...

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6 hours ago, Mikkel said:

If I think how a big city sounds nowadays, it's almost all transport sounds. If you took those away, things would be pretty quiet!

Alternatively, if you took those away, the other sounds wouldn't be so drowned out? ;)

 

There was a great deal more mechanical industry in towns and cities 110+ years ago. It was more labour intensive, factories were built in the middle of residential areas (or more accurately, factories were built and residential areas sprung up around them) and although there was more manual labour than nowadays, the mechanisation was a lot noisier.

 

Add to this the location of Kelvinbank, with shipyards nearby, and there would be some sounds carrying over. The question is, how much? How muffled?

 

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I'd agree, the nature of urban sound has changed, traffic particularly busses and lorries do seem to be the predominant sound these days. It is a valid point about manufacture, all the local factories have gone so that is no longer part of the soundscape. 

 

There was a foundry and a boiler works close to Partick Central, and two shipyards within half a mile. My guess would be that the sound that travelled furthest from them would have been hot rivetting. Add to that all the sounds from the Clyde itself, hundreds of ship movements daily. 

 

Further research needed I think, depends on what turns up in film archives. 

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2 hours ago, Dave John said:

Further research needed I think, depends on what turns up in film archives. 

They might be silent movies!

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Heh , well, the problem is that strictly speaking anything from the Edwardian era would be silent.  I suppose what might be about would be film about traditional manufacturing methods or transport which reflects the era. 

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