After quite a long silence, I think it's finally time to post the update what is happening behind the curtains.
Honestly, not much, especially development wise.
But let me start from the beginning, I will try to keep this post as short as possible.
At 28th of April I had a PRK laser eye surgery (full dioptre removal). The method is knows for a longer 3 month recovery period, especially in my case, I had -10.25 and -8.5 dioptre. Two months passed, and my vision is still not 100% sharp, but I'm almost there, it varies on a daily basis. That means I can now comfortably work in front of a monitor for a longer periods of time without any eye strain.
Now, if you ask me, there was one bigger problem. If you exclude announced small updates for the Maddog X and 737NG CFM soundpacks (still in a work pipeline), I was literally stuck without any material for any SERIOUS future projects. Many of you know that if I don't have a proper audio recordings for a project, I will not even start it, not even think about it. I was never a fan of "fake it until you make it" politics. I'm doing it right, or not doing it at all. Why I emphasized SERIOUS? Any project that requires a full dedication for a few months, like for PMDG NGX/NGXu/747/777 etc, is a pretty serious project. Making a library of 200 to 300 audio files, working on them, process them to sound as clear as possible in the sim when covered with avionics, packs, engines, wind... is a monumental task. Sometimes I spend 6 hours during night listening sounds of switches IN A ENDLESS LOOP, tweaking them, and that really can be extremely mentally exhausting. Many times I went to sleep with sounds of switches ringing in my head. I'm dead serious.
Also, how can we avoid mentioning COVID19? In the last 12 months, due to the current situation I had to miss two recording sessions, one in France for a client, and other in Italy for one of my project. So yeah, planning projects is a task of its own lately.
If you succeed reading until this line, I appreciate it, really. This post isn't a complaint by any means, just a hopefully a short insight how demanding audio design is.
And yes, finally, let's talk about what you are mostly interested. I have couple of backup projects that I want to work on literally to keep Immersive Audio alive and kicking. To be honest, both are more or less for a niche part of flight sim community, and both are connected to a beloved MD80. First is "JTD8D Immersion Soundpack HD", a very demanding project of engine sounds for MD8x family. Why demanding? Simply because the engine sounds are practically inaudible on the real flight deck. So, I've decided to include two versions of sounds in the soundpack - Passenger cabin and Cockpit version. As you guessed, the passenger cabin version is much more immersive version, like you're sitting next to the engines. Be prepared for some serious engine buzz roar. Cockpit version will be a tricky one to do due to above mentioned reason, but it will be processed carefully to mimic the sound of engines behind the closed cockpit doors. The rest is up to you, play with the engine volume slider in the sim as much as you like.
Second project is also connected to a MD80, but for another platform - X-Plane 11. I decided to try adapting great recordings that I have for the MD80, and use them also for the Rotate MD-80 Pro. It's not an easy task, there are a lot of sounds to adapt, process, and test. Also, take this announcement with a grain of salt, since I'm still not 100% sure about the project, how it will advance, etc. But I have all the sounds needed, and that's a start.
That's it. I know I'm not really good at keeping the posts short, but there is (always) a reason behind that.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask below. I will try to answer all with a proper explanation.
Happy flights Captains!
Predrag Drobac (Main dev/PR/support)
Thanks to Leonardo Software House and their exceptional rendition of the aircraft, we were able to develop a soundpack that will let you enjoy the Maddog X to the fullest.
The plan from the start was to provide the unparalleled sound quality. Beside the authenticity of cockpit ambiance, we were really focused on acoustics and sound layering.
During the development we used special audio mixing techniques, so we can be sure that most of the sounds will be clear in all phases of flight.
I can't believe that more than 3 months has passed after our last status update. There are few reasons behind that, but to be honest, it was a very tough period for me, and sadly it directly impacted the development. Severe depression, a close family death case, my health status and a serious sleep disorder, are very serious stuff to cope with.
But, I don't wanna "choke" you with too much information about what's going on behind the curtain, so let's talk about the stuff you are really interested.
In short, I feel better in the last 2 weeks, and the development picked up the pace. In translation, it means that 𝗠𝗮𝗱𝗱𝗼𝘅 𝗫 𝗖𝗼𝗰𝗸𝗽𝗶𝘁 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗜𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝘀 𝟵𝟱% 𝗱𝗼𝗻𝗲, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝗮 𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗵𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗱𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗸𝗲𝗻𝗱. Finally!
The release is planned for mid-February, but generally it will depend mostly on the feedback from beta testers.
I think you will be quite pleased with the sounds in this one, I'm eager to show them in the upcoming promo video.
Also, as you noticed, the update for 737NG CFM Immersion Soundpack V2 is postponed, as Maddog soundpack is our highest priority at the moment.
Stay tuned for more information, and follow our page for release announcements.
Thank you for all the private messages and continuous support in the past 3 months!
Stay safe captains!
Predrag Drobac (CEO/development/support)
If you are NGX Cockpit Sound Immersion customer, login to your Simmarket account, and upgrade for discounted price!
737Xu Cockpit Sound Immersion Lite is developed in a unique way to mimic the authentic 737NG cockpit ambiance in various flight phases.
All sounds are recorded in the real 737NG cockpit, carefully processed and extensively tested to provide the highest possible sound quality, realism, authenticity and immersion.
Visit the official product page for a more detailed info.
We owe you a proper audio preview of an upcoming 737Xu Cockpit Sound Immersion Lite for the PMDG 737NGXu. In this three and a half minute long preview, you can hear new avionics and packs, but most certainly new nose wheel bump noise, takeoff and landing ground rolls, nose gear airflow (not so loud in the preview at 160kts and below), GPWS callouts, touchdown thump and rattle, etc.
The rest of the sounds will be covered in the upcoming promo video, that will be available with the release of the soundpack next week.
Once again, we cooperated with the 737NG pilots and partners that are riding on a jump seat on a regular basis, and we truly believe we achieved a really realistic and immersive audio experience for the beloved and best 737NG simulation currently for Prepar3D - PMDG 737NGXu.
Huge update, October will be a busy month for sure.
First and foremost, we decided to release lite version of Cockpit Sound Immersion soundpack for the PMDG 737NGXu. The name of the product is 737Xu Cockpit Sound Immersion Lite, and the price will be around 9 euros. All current NGX Cockpit Sound Immersion customers can upgrade to 737Xu Cockpit Sound Immersion Lite at 50% of the price - for around 4.5 euros.
The product will cover all sounds except switches, levers and buttons. We added new sounds such as power relay, completely reworked nose gear ground roll, bumps, avionics, nose gear air flow, etc.
We plan to release it in the next few days, hopefully until the end of this week.
Also, a small update for 737NG CFM Immersion Soundpack V2 will be released next, we worked on improving idle thrust sounds, and tweaked the sound transition volumes.
Of course, early access version of Maddog X Cockpit Sound Immersion is still due for an October release. We are very close to finish it, but as we are still not satisfied with some sounds, we will take couple of more weeks to tweak them.
Safe flights Captains!
First of all, we apologise for a pretty long silence and the lack of updates regarding upcoming and current projects.
Private life obligations, lack of energy and even Corona virus hit our main dev, so the last three months were harsh and pretty frustrating. Yes, he's healthy now for three weeks, but the virus left him with 30% of energy. One of known after effects of this virus.
So we'll start with the primary updates:
𝟭. 𝗠𝗮𝗱𝗱𝗼𝗴 𝗫 𝗖𝗼𝗰𝗸𝗽𝗶𝘁 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗜𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻:
The development continued after the illness, and it is advancing very slowly, at 30% rate, because of above mentioned reasons. In addition, we had a pretty hard time getting recordings of the sounds we are missing simply because COVID19 stalled the airline traffic almost completely. You know the rest of the story.
Now, we plan to release it as EARLY ACCESS, at 20% off price. You will end every NORMAL flight hearing ONLY OUR sounds, that's the plan. That means we will cover in EA release: complete cockpit ambience - battery, rack fans, packs, gyro, wind, hydraulics, apu, switches, levers, GPWS and TCAS. Other sounds such as majority of warnings aka Bitchin' Betty, and the rest of sounds that are not heard often will be added in the following weeks.
Why we decided to release it as Early Access? Simply because we are receiving private messages on a daily basis about the release date, simmers waited long enough.
Of course, full release version will be free for EA customers!
And yes, we are pretty aware that release is delayed by few months. Simmers will probably tell "nothing new in the sim dev world" and we agree though. It is what it is, private life love to mess things up. :/
If we are being optimistic, let's hope for the major soundpack update news in the next couple of weeks.
2. 𝗡𝗚𝗫 𝗖𝗼𝗰𝗸𝗽𝗶𝘁 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗜𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝗣𝟱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝗽𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗡𝗚𝗫𝘂 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗸:
These two are on standby, again because of COVID19. We still can't get an access to 737NG to do recording sessions, and we really don't have a clue when the situation will normalise. We are still determining if future SP5 has enough sounds worthy for being updated. SP5 should also come with partial NGXu compatibility as we wrote few months ago, and by itself it's not a small work. Our focus now is on Maddog X, and the smaller updates we planned to release this year.
3. 𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝘀𝘂𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁 - 𝗠𝗦𝗙𝗦:
To cut the story short, yes, we are seriously planning to start developing sound packages for this platform. We are still in the process of examining SDK and audio engine. The project pipeline will depend on addon releases, as well on other factors.
Seriously, thank you for being patient!
Firstly, for reading this lengthy post, and secondly for waiting Maddog X Cockpit Sound Immersion for so long.
Safe flights Captains!
It will be installed into "MJC8 Q400 Cockpit Sound Immersion v1.2" folder by default, so it is not mandatory to remove previous version.
Feel free to write a feedback about new prop sounds, etc...
We have received a feedback from two beta testers so far regarding 737NG CFM Immersion Soundpack V2 with PMDG NGXu in Prepar3D V5, and it's FULLY COMPATIBLE, no issues noticed.
We are waiting for MJC8 Q400 Cockpit Sound Immersion compatibility reports in Prepar3D V5, but as the changes aren't connected to addon's sound engine, we believe it is also fully compatible.
Feel free to report if you find any issues!
A quick audio preview of a Maddog X Cockpit Sound Immersion sound files test mixdown in audio editor.
You can hear complete cockpit ambience with some switches, full GPWS test included.
It will sound exactly the same in the simulator, the mixdown has been set up that way.
Release date? No release date at the moment, we are still searching for alternative ways to get the proper recordings of some crucial sounds we are missing to finish the soundpack. Considering the current situation, we can't tell when we will get new recordings, or at all since MD80 is an endangered species now.
More info hopefully soon, fingers crossed!
It will be installed into "737NG CFM Immersion Soundpack V2 (v2.1)" folder by default, so it is not mandatory to remove previous version.
- added support for PMDG NGXu sound engine:
(engine whine volume depends on altitude)
(engine buzz sound and volume depends on altitude)
- adjusted volume of APU, fuel and hydraulic pump sounds
- tweaked some values in sound.cfg
- improved and updated Quick User Guide
You will find the link to download this update in your Simmarket User Account -> Your Downloads.
We are preparing a very important update for CFM V2 soundpack, and it will be interesting only for NGXu users. Now the engine sounds will properly use built in sound engine in the NGXu.
That simply means - engine sounds will sound different on takeoff and for example on FL150, especially engine buzz. On FL350 you will not hear the engine whine/buzz at all, but you can still somewhat hear low frequencies (bass). Sounds really nice and much more realistic.
We completely overlooked this feature before the initial release, our apologies.
At the moment we have some problems building the installer, and as soon we find the proper solution, the update will be live and it will be followed by a demonstration video.
Please make sure you are logged in to grab it for free if you are already a 737NG CFM Immersion Soundpack HD customer!
Also, please note that 737NG CFM Immersion Soundpack HD is no longer available for purchase.
It's not supported anymore, and its best to avoid any confusion regarding both products.
While we are finalising the preparations for a release, sit back, play the preview and enjoy the purest sounds and frequencies of CFM56 engine whine.
We strongly believe this is the most authentic CFM56 soundpack to date, and a true successor to the first version.
Release is expected in the next 72hrs, fingers crossed!
NOTE: the volume of the engine sounds is deliberately raised a bit for demonstration purposes!
We decided to release new CFM soundpack update as a completely new and separate soundpack - 𝟳𝟯𝟳𝗡𝗚 𝗖𝗙𝗠 𝗜𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗩𝟮. All internal engine sounds are completely redone and enhanced, 𝗡𝗚𝗫𝘂 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗱𝗱𝗲𝗱.
We believe releasing the update as a new product is a good idea, simpler for customers to separate - V1 (old one) is compatible with NGX only, V2 with NGXu and NGX.
Most important thing - for current 737NG CFM Immersion Soundpack HD customers, 737NG CFM Immersion Soundpack V2 will be 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘.
The release is expected during next week.
We are finishing the tests of 𝟳𝟯𝟳𝗡𝗚 𝗖𝗙𝗠 𝗜𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗛𝗗 𝘃𝟭.𝟯 that will provide a FULL compatibility with the PMDG NGXu, with other sound enhancements in general.
In the meantime, we decided to make NGX Cockpit Sound Immersion partially compatible with new PMDG addon, while you wait for dedicated soundpack for it. Update will change NGXu sounds of - avionics, packs, trim wheel, shakes, rattles and other ambient noises, as well as warnings/GPWS. Switches, levers and other "clicky" stuff will remain untouched for a simple reason - it demands a lot of work. As you probably know, we will record completely new set of sounds for the NGXu and release it as a dedicated Cockpit Sound Immersion in 2020.
As we promised on our Facebook page, here is the "short" preview teaser of the Maddog X Cockpit Sound Immersion, just to show you the quality and authenticity we are aiming for.
𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗜𝗻 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 (𝗪𝗜𝗣), 𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗰𝗵𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘃𝗼𝗹𝘂𝗺𝗲 𝗯𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀, 𝗮𝘀 𝘄𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗴𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗗𝟴𝟬 𝗽𝗶𝗹𝗼𝘁𝘀.
ETA? We are still planning to release it until the end of this month (or year if you prefer), but no promises. Our main focus is quality/authenticity, and we will delay it to January if needed/or until the pilots show us a green light.