Creating an ATC Modification

This tutorial will give a quick introduction on using the advanced user interface of EditVoicepack XL to create your own callsigns. You should be able to complete it in 15 minutes. You will be guided through the creation of the fictional callsign “Bevelstone”. Text in italic contains additional information useful when you are creating your own modifications, but it is not needed to complete this tutorial.

1. Getting started

Getting started

  1. Expand the “My Modifications” node in the tree view to the left.
  2. Select the node “Telephony Designators”
    A telephony designator is the technical term for what most people refer to as a “callsign”
  3. Click the “New Modification” toolbar button.

To create airport names you would expand the “Airports” node and select the “ICAO” node instead. Only experienced users will need to use the “Agent name” node.

To create an aircraft manufacturer or model, expand the Aircrafts node and select the appropriate node. Please see the documentation for details on the Manufacturer and Model nodes in order to select the right node.

2. Entering basic information

Entering basic information

Fill in the basic information as shown on the screenshot, then ensure “Pilot 0 (male)” is selected in the Voices list:

  • Identifier: Used by Flight Simulator to identify the entry in the updated voicepack file.
    1. Telephony Designators: This must match the callsign specified for the aircraft.
    2. Airports
      1. ICAO: Must match the ICAO code of the airport.
      2. Agent Names: Must match the agent name specified in the scenery files for the airport. Notice an Agent entry is automatically created for each ICAO entry using the Phrase as the identifier. This means you typically do not have to create Agent Names unless you want to change existing entries in the default Flight Simulator voicepack.
    3. Phraseology: This must match the identifier of an existing phrase you want to replace.
  • Phrase: This is the text that will be displayed in the Flight Simulator ATC entry. Due to limitations in the flight simulator, only standard English characters and numbers should be used.
  • Description: While the modification will work no matter what is included in the description, it is recommended to use the same format as the corresponding entries in the “Community Modifications” branch of the tree.
  • Author: Your name or alias.
  • Comment: Any additional information you find relevant, for example noticing if the telephony designator is for a defunct airline.

Do not set Force Variation unless you want to replace an existing default entry in the flight simulator voicepack.

3. Selecting the first sound segment

Selecting the first sound segment

We will now start adding the actual sound. Write “beve” in the filter box, and wait until the list stops updating. Both entries left will display the phrase “Beverly”, so double click one of them (as they are identical it does not matter which) to add it to the currently selected voice. Your display should now look as the screenshot displayed here.

In reality, it will vary how well you can find a matching word. You must try different spellings with similar sounds and click though the displayed words to find one that contains the part you are looking for.

4. Adjusting the selection

Adjusting the selection

Move the mouse over the right edge of the displayed wave pattern in the Sound Segments section (the bottom wavefile displayed). You will see the curser change shape indicating that you can move the selection edges. When the cursor display arrows pointing left and right, click and hold the left mouse button. Drag the mouse to the left, until you have selected the area indicated on the screenshot (the selection is the blue area). You will notice the wave file displayed in the “Markers” section will change as you move the selection.

You can press the play button under the wave pattern (all the way to the left of the control) to hear that the voice now says “Bev”. As we have only added one voice segment, the play button in the wave control displayed above will give the same result.

5. Adding the remaining sound segments

Adding the remaining sound segments

You will now repeat the task of adding the rest of the word the same way. First type “vel” in the filter box and double click the entry with the phrase “Caravelle” (you can sort the entries by clicking on the column headers). Now type “stone” in the filter box and double click one of the entries with the phrase “Blackstone”. Finally adjust the selected areas as shown on this screenshot.

In case you add a sound you do not want to use anyway delete it by pressing the red cross displayed in the right side of the wave control. You can also swap the sounds by clicking one of the arrows on the right side of the wave controls.

6. Adjusting the sound

Adjusting the sound

If you click the big play button over the wave controls, you should now hear “Bevelstone”. However the flow of the word is probably not sounding right – it will sound like individual sound segments combined (not surprisingly, as that is indeed what it is). You should now fine adjust the selections, typically making the selections a bit more narrow to make the segments flow into each other (the more similar the selected words are, the easier). You can use the small zoom in and zoom out buttons to the right under the wave controls to zoom in, but this is hardly ever needed. After some adjustment, your wave controls should look something like this screen shot indicates (you should specifically notice how first selection is shorter, and the long “silence” at the end of the sound segment in the middle is no longer selected).

7. Setting the sound segments for all voices

Setting the sound segments for all voices

All the sound segments are added to the selected voice only. To add the similar sound segments to the other voices select them one by one in the “Voices” list and perform the following steps:

  1. Copy the segments from one of the other voices. The list will only include voices that have sound segments assigned, so initially only “Pilot 0 (male)” will be in the list.
  2. Repeat the previous step “Adjusting the sound”. This is needed as each voice has it’s own rhythm resulting in the copying segments typically not selecting the exact same part of the word as they did in the original voice.

8. Complete

You have now created a callsign. Save your work (CTRL-S) and update the voicepack (CTRL-U) to make it available in Flight Simulator. Alternatively use the menu or toolbar buttons instead of CTRL-S and CTRL-U.