MSTS - Helpful Facts and Links - Part 27 (Vehicle SOUNDS in MSTS) by Ged (Slipperman12)

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MSTS - Helpful Facts and Links - Part 27 (Vehicle SOUNDS in MSTS) by Ged (Slipperman12)

Post  rufuskins on Fri 18 Oct 2013, 9:39 am

MSTS - Helpful Facts and Links - Part 27 (Vehicle SOUNDS in MSTS) by Ged (Slipperman12)

This is another part in the series of posts that are intended to give a simple history of MSTS, point people to the various links considered vital to maximising the performance, describe elements within the MSTS hierarchy as well as allowing an understanding of the various components that make up MSTS.

This part has been prepared by Ged (Slipperman12).

In Part20.2 of the HFL thread a reference was made to the Sound folder located within a typical Trainset folder.


In this part a look is taken in more detail at the sounds used in vehicles in MSTS, which can be found in any of three main locations; i.e.
1. Within the vehicle's own Trainset folder in a folder called SOUND.
2. Within a separate "common" sounds folder, often called COMMON.SOUND, but may have any unique name within the MSTS installation.
3. Within another vehicle's SOUND folder - this is called aliasing.  

Additionally, any of these folders may reference sound files in the "global" SOUND folder; i.e. the one in the MSTS root folder.

A sample MSTS folder tree is shown below:-

MSTS Root Folder

Wherever the sounds are located, they are controlled by a file with the extension SMS, which is referenced in the vehicle's eng or wag file.

Non-driveable (AI and DIT) locos will usually have one sound line that defines the sound heard.

Driveable locos (suitable for use as a Player) will typically have two sound lines that will define the sound heard.

Other rolling stock, such as carriages and wagons, may have one or more sound lines.

Each SMS file 'calls up' several WAV files, which supply the actual sounds.  For further details see SMS Files later in the document.

Below are examples of the various sound lines, based on the above folder tree.

1. Loco1:
            Sound ( "Loco1eng.sms" ) - if this loco doesn't have a SOUND folder, the file will be expected to be in the "global" SOUND folder.
2. Loco2:
            Sound ( "..//..//common.sound//LocoSounds//Loco-eng01.sms" ) - if this form of sound entry is used, the loco won't normally have its own SOUND folder - if it does, it won't be used.
3. An alternative for Loco1 might be:
            Sound ( "..//..//Loco2//Sound//Loco2eng.sms" ) - in this case, Loco1 is using the sounds included in the Loco2 SOUND folder. Again Loco1's own SOUND folder, if present, won't be used.
4. Wagon1 or Carriage1:
            Sound ( genpasswag.sms ) - this vehicle doesn't have its own SOUND folder, so the "global" SOUND folder will be searched for the specified SMS file.

Although most sound lines containing the SMS file names are enclosed in quotes, this is only really necessary if the name includes spaces.

Driveable locos will typically refer to two SMS files as noted above, one for use when the player is in the cab (View 1) and the other when any one of the external views (2, 3 or 4) is used.  The cab sounds usually have 'cab' somewhere in their filename whereas the external sounds have 'eng', but neither is mandatory, their actual function being determined by their location within the eng file.  The external sounds are usually just before the Lights section and the cab sounds towards the end of the file.  In some instances sounds are included within the Inside section of the eng or wag file, particularly for DMUs and Passenger Carriages.

SMS Files

There is an excellent SMS file tutorial on the Steam4Me site located here.

Although there's no point is repeating the contents of that tutorial here, some elements, essential to the understanding of them, are missing. Below are examples of how the WAV files are referenced:-

1.Initial_Trigger ( StartLoop ( 1 File ( "x_a380_power_cruise0.wav" -1 ) SelectionMethod ( Sequen..........

Here, no folder names are given in the WAV file address, which means that it is either in the same folder as the SMS file, or is in the "global" SOUND folder. It should be noted that if the file can't be found in the current folder, then MSTS defaults automatically to the "global" SOUND folder.

2. Initial_Trigger ( StartLoop ( 1 File ( "../../SCOTSMAN/Sound/x_fs_power_cruise0.wav" -1 ) SelectionMethod ( Sequen..........

In this example, a WAV file inside the SOUND folder of the SCOTSMAN loco is used. The SMS file containing this line is in a loco's SOUND folder, thus, the first ../ takes us up one level, ie to the current loco's main folder and the second ../ takes us up one more level, which is the TRAINSET folder, in which the SCOTSMAN folder is located.

3. Discrete_Trigger ( 8 StartLoopRelease ( 1 File ( "../J39_sound/MCLW_T3_Whistle.wav" -1  ) SelectionMethod.......

This SMS file is in the 2cyl_generic folder, so, one level up is that folder in which the J39_sound folder is located.

The use of ../  in SMS files to navigate up the heirarchy, has exactly the same function as ..// in eng files.  There are examples of eng files using ../ although the advantages/disadvantages of each are not clear.  The formats shown above have almost become the standard in MSTS.


The steam4me site has a description of this file located here.

Recently built rolling stock often uses more complex SMS files which means that use of the default soundcfg.dat file may result in all the allocated space (RAM) being used and messages like "Unable to load SMS file" being displayed.  It is recommended that the default file is replaced by the one supplied with MSTSBin, or the Carlo Santucci version available on the above link.  They are slightly different, but serve the same purpose.

When installing and/or amending all or any part of MSTS it is strongly recommended that you create a back-up copy, because even with the best will in the world mistakes can and will happen. There’s many a “simmer” who can testify to that.

ALEC - Supporter of MSTS and TSSH!


Posts : 3322
Join date : 2013-01-17
Age : 68
Location : Milnrow, Lancashire

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