Immersive Audio has done it again. They have taken an incredible aircraft with already accurate sounds and brought them to the next level of realism. This time it’s been done with the Dash8 Q400. With the new sounds Immersive Audio has received some extensive feedback from real pilots of the Q400 to ensure the best experience in the cockpit of this great aircraft.
The new sounds include:
- Authentic engine sounds
- New N1 (turbine) sound with correct pitch
- New switches
- Authentic levers
- High quality GPWS callouts
- New TCAS
- Authentic warning sounds
- New ground roll noise with authentic controls rattle
- New authentic cockpit/nose gear wind noise
- Authentic avionics, packs, external APU, Chime, GPU unit, wipers, stick shaker
The initial setup is very easy. Make sure you backup the original sounds and then paste the new ones into the root folder. While this is easy to do, it would be nice if the setup application could do it for you allowing an option to revert back to the original sounds if needed. After you have completed that you are ready to fly!
In preparing for this review I listened to a few startup videos of the original sounds as well as some videos of the real aircraft starting up. Once I was comfortable with my research I headed over to the Island of Samos where I would conducted my first test of the sound pack. I started with a cold configuration and ran through the normal start up flows.
During the power up flow I was impressed with what I was hearing. When flicking the switches on and off you will notice a richer click sound. The original switches had more of a dull sound when toggling. To me this is already a fantastic improvement because it’s a sound that you hear over and over again when starting this plane so you want it to sound good. When engaging the fire warning tests the warning sound is a lot higher in pitch which I like better over the way it was originally. Before it reminded me something you would hear on an 8 bit video game. Now this chime sounds exactly the way it does in the real aircraft.
As a run through more of the warnings I noticed that some of the chime sounds are pretty close to the original. However the stick shaker is much louder and clearer which is an improvement over the previous sounds. When turning the packs on and off there is also a noticeable difference. In loudness they’re about the same but the pitch sounds nicer in the cockpit. The condition levers are also louder and bolder making them sound a lot more like the real levers. I also tested the wipers and they might be some of the best sounding wipers I’ve heard on a simulation aircraft.
Once you are ready to start the engines you will notice a very significant difference in the way the engine sounds. Again it’s louder and more clear in both the inside and outside. Once you advance the condition levers you will really be blown away by how good they sound. By now you’re probably taxiing to the runway. You will notice excellent rattles and shake sounds as you taxi around. These sounds are spot on with what I heard when watching the real aircraft taxi and fly.
The rollout out of the engines, rattling of the controls and airframe will push you back into your seat with how loud and nice they sound. With a name like Immersive Audio these sounds remind you why they call themselves that. After rotating the next sound you will hear is the landing gear lever. This lever along with the flaps lever has a similar sound as the condition levers. Now let’s talk about the approach and landing call outs. Much like the review of the PMDG 737-800 sound pack I too prefer the callout sounds in the original better. While the Immersive Audio callouts sound clearer and of higher quality, I think they sound too good. I like the grungy sound of the originals. To me it has the proper echo that would rain out in the cockpit.
When you touch down you will once again notice the awesome powerful sounding engines and rattles along with the reversers after you deploy them. Landing this plane sounds so good now that it made me want to take off once more so I can hear them all over again.
I highly recommend you watch my video look at this to truly understand this product.