SECAT - better sounds for locos!
A few months ago, I commented in this forum about the unrealistic default sounds provided within MSTS for electric locos, especially their low volume level compared with diesels. Since then, Joseph Realmuto has posted a replacement sound set for the Acela/HHP on Train-Sim.com which was a great improvement; and goes some way towards approximating the sound of a modern European AC loco.
More recently still, I came across this site:
which is dedicated to providing sound sets for SNCF (French Railways) traction. I have however found, after some experimentation, that many of the sounds can be used very successfully as 'general-purpose' sound sets for both electric and diesel locos.
The site, and documentation included with the downloads, is entirely in French; but this should not prove too difficult if you have an elementary knowledge of the language! The following tips may be helpful if you try to use the files:
1) the older sound sets are designed to be placed in the 'Sound' folder of the chosen loco, but can also be used in an aliased 'common.sound' folder if desired;
2) the later sounds should all be placed into a common folder called 'Son_SECAT', and are used in various combinations by the appropriate SMS files - this common folder should be created immediately under the 'Train Simulator' folder, and NOT placed in the 'Trainset' folder;
3) you must have the MSTS Sound Quality option set to maximum, otherwise you will not hear some or all of the sound streams;
4) with electric locos, you may need to lower and raise the pantograph to 'switch on' the ventilator fan sounds, or the result may be rather odd!
4) I have found that the 'ElecXL' set best represents a DC loco, while the loco SMS files in the 'ElecAsync' set are suitable for an AC one. The 'ElecAsync' SMS files intended for TGV/Eurostar are also good for any AC high-speed multiple unit. 'DieselLight' is good for shunting/trip diesels, and 'Dieselec2' for any high-revving diesel loco with a prominent turocharger whine. 'AutoRail2' would suit something like the 'Virgin Voyager' DMU in the UK.
There are some other interesting files on the site for track and coach interior sounds, as well.
Hope this is of interest - enjoy experimenting!