Recently I wrote about the idea of hiding an MP3 player within a building to supply a micro layout with sound. While technically this is a great solution it does raise one very obvious question. Where do I actually get the sound effects from? Fortunately I think there is quite an easy solution to this. While browsing the ontracks store I found a whole range of sound effect CDs. These seem to cover a whole range of sounds:

  • Mainline steam railway station
  • Mainline diesel railway station
  • Steam trains in the countryside
  • Dockside sounds
  • Corn mill
  • Victorian Street
  • World war 2 dogfight
  • Birdsong
  • Farm animals
  • Tractor Ploughing
  • Carpenters shop
  • Blacksmith’s shop
  • And quite a few other useful ones besides this but the list is already too long!

This is a comprehensive set of recordings and this is only a small selection. There are a good number of others, such as underwater sounds and a world war 1 trench, where I struggle to see the railway modelling use.

Follow this link to view OnTracks – Sound CDs

Quoting the On Tracks website:

Taliesin Studios Sound Effect CD’s will play on normal CD machines, PCs etc. You can also copy the material to a portable media device such as iPhone for personal use or non profit public use – such as Model Railway Club Layouts appearing at Exhibitions. Please contact us if you wish to use the material for all other public, professional or commercial use as a further licence may be required. Each disc typically contains a continuous file of approx. 60 minutes. Originally records by Michael Anthony, these records are once again available via OnTracks. If the sound effect you want is not listed please contact our office as we hold the entire library of 140 CD sound effects.

Using an audio editing app on a PC, such as audacity, it should be quite easy to capture and mix sounds from the CDs into MP3 files that suit the scene being modelled and these can then be copied to the microSD card in the MP3 player.

There’s plenty food for thought here and lots of scope to extend layout sound beyond a DCC chip in the locomotive.