So how do you improve on an award winning Carenado Cessna 337H? You replace the already excellent sound files with a full new and improved professional quality sound pack from Oovee. Who? Oovee Game Studios has decided to venture into the FSX sound improvement business.
“Oovee Game Studios is proud to present the Cessna 337 Skymaster Sound Pack for Flight Simulator X. Showcasing superior audio quality with original sounds recorded from the real-life prototype, this pack is guaranteed to thrill”
Well, I agree it is a thrill listening to the nice rumble and gurgling of the twin set of 210 horses competing with each other on the takeoff roll, but I’m not so sure about the real-life prototype. I don’t think there has been a Cessna 337 prototype around for about 50 years.
According to the small pdf manual that accompanies the slick installer, Oovee Games Studio has been in business since 2008, working mostly with the trains and railway gaming platforms, although Zane Saxton, Managing Director and Aircraft Sound Guru, has been doing his magic for 10 years or more. He states he is always exploring fresh and revolutionary ideas that deliver results directly to the bottom line. This is the first of hopefully many sound packs for FSX.
I authored the Avsim review about 3 months ago for the Carenado 337H and concluded it was delivered with enough features and fun stuff to be a recipient of the coveted Avsim Gold Star. One of the many things that I liked about the Carenado Skymaster was the sounds.
Here is a direct quote from that published review.
“High Quality digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft. The real aircraft has the reputation of having a lot of engine noise in the cabin and as you might expect so does the Carenado version. I personally like the cabin sounds. You can always turn the volume down for long flights or phone calls. I think our memory is amazing, when I added takeoff power in the simulation; I was instantly taken back to the real world takeoffs in Florida many years ago. I like those sounds.
I like the engine sounds so much that I load up the C337H in FSX, start the engine or engines, turn up the volume, minimize FSX, and then work on my writing or editing or forum surfing with these sweet sounds in the background. It reminds me of those old days sitting in the hot sun in Miami waiting for takeoff clearance surrounded by big iron. It drives my wife nuts.”
So wouldn’t you know it, Oovee chooses the Carenado 337 as their first FSX sound pack. Actually, I am glad they did, as they have somehow managed to produce a significant improvement in the already good sounds. Not just the engine sounds, but the door closing, flap motors, gear retraction/extension, wind noise, propellers biting the wind, runway rumble, etc.
I guess everyone knows the push-pull arrangement of the aircraft’s engines create a special sound, both inside and outside the aircraft. You could always tell if the twin flying low over your house was a standard twin engine aircraft with an engine on each wing or a 337 or military version, the O-2A. Something about how the front propeller messes up the air for the tractor or pusher in the back.
So how does one describe the sounds for an FSX add-on like the Skymaster? The short version is “Oh, wow, those are really great sounds” I have been starting, stopping, taxiing around then doing it all over again, just to listen to the sounds. I really never paid a lot of attention to the background sounds in FSX until I starting making notes for this review. I fly mostly in the FTX Orbx regions and all of them are full of nature sounds and other aircraft sounds, etc. I actually had to shut down FTX Central and go looking for an out of the way airport to enjoy the Oovee Sound Pack without interruptions or competition from other traffic. I also had to turn off my Ultimate Traffic 2 program.
If you are interested, I selected KTNT, a boondoggle of a large airport in the South Florida everglades. It has surprisingly low traffic and nice long taxiways. You can fly the standard traffic pattern and listen to all the neat sounds without some small Piper or other Cessna trainer piping in.
My home airport area is Harvey Field, S43, a marvelous Orbx add-on creation in Snohomish, Washington and I started my review in one of the standard tie down parking spots. Just as I started one of the engines I noticed the unmistakable sounds of a Piper. Thinking Oovee had really messed up; I looked up just in time to see a blue and white low winged job taxiing to runway 35. I waited and waited for this guy to takeoff and just as he started his run, a Cessna 152 followed by something else comes taxiing by. I knew right then I would have to go find a new airport to listen to the new Oovee Skymaster sound pack.
I have spent several very enjoyable hours in and around the Skymaster, now enhanced with the Oovee Sound Pack. I am absolutely convinced that a blind person would not know the difference between a good sound system running FSX with the two add-ons and a real Cessna 337 in your living room. I realize that directly off either wing tip while cruising is probably not a normal position to be listening to an airplane, but it sure works well for me in FSX. When I have finally convinced myself that the exterior sounds are actually better than the interior cabin sounds, I press F9 for the VC and wow, nope; the interior sounds are just perfect. That is until I start to listen from a different vantage point. I continue to find new sounds each and every time I fly.
It is not perfect, but it is most definitely a significant improvement over the Carenado installed sounds. This is interesting to me as I thought the Carenado sounds were very good. The Oovee Sound Pack has richer, deeper sounds for the engines and cleaner, crispier sounds for the clicks and clacks, hums and beeps and buzzes.
Fortunately, you do not have to take my word for any of this. You can listen to practically all the sounds yourself at their website. I recommend you start with your sound system volume turned down and slowly increase the volume until the wife and kids start yelling at you. This is a professional quality recording lasting about 6 minutes and is quite entertaining. Most of the sounds are available for your enjoyment.
If you want to compare apples to apples, crank up your FSX and load your Carenado 337 in the cold and dark state, then open your browser to the Oovee website and load the sound pack in your media player. You can get a real good comparison and it will be very evident, very quickly that you need to press the download button and install the new sounds.
I’m pretty sure all the Carenado sounds are replaced one for one with Oovee Sound Pack sounds. I captured this from the Oovee website.
This is a very reasonably priced addition that will provide some wonderfully rich sounds for your Skymaster. I highly recommend you give it a try.
I think Oovee is already considering their next selection so as soon as you find the time you might wish to place your candidate’s name in the box. Mine are the Carenado Cessna 185, the Aerosoft Twin Otter, the IRIS Texan II T-6A, and the new Aerosoft Bronco X Garrett turbines would be a good challenge, not necessarily in that order.
How is the Support? Evidently outstanding. One of our regulars at the unofficial Avsim Carenado Support site was questioning the lack of sound from a certain angle and I read where Oovee had sent him a test file in a matter of hours and now he is happy as a clam.
This is my newest ‘show and tell’ add-on. When someone asks for a demo, this is the easy choice. Typical comment is “it sounds so real”, Yes, I know. Thanks.
What I Like About The Oovee Sound Pack
What I Don't Like About The Oovee Sound Pack
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