EditVoicepack User's Guide

Version 3.1 - Released 2004-10-17
For Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight

Please read the online version of this document to ensure you have the latest version.

What is EditVoicepack

EditVoicepack offers a simple interface to edit the file containing the ATC communication used in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight. It is possible to change the phraseology as well as add airline callsigns, airports, and aircraft types. EditVoicepack already contains thousands of ready made entries; and is able to download new entries from a central server. It also allows you to accelerate the existing voices for a more realistic experience and better handling of traffic dense environments.

Installing EditVoicepack

System Requirements

EditVoicepack can be installed on any system supporting the .NET Framework version 1.1 and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight. This includes Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, and 2003.

First time users

To install EditVoicepack run Setup.exe. If you do not have the .NET Framework version 1.1 installed you will be directed to a download page at Microsoft. The recommended .NET Framework package for EditVoicepack is .NET Framework Version 1.1 Redistributable. After installing the .NET Framework it is recommended to perform a Windows Update to ensure you have the latest security patches for the framework installed.

Please notice that newer versions of the .NET Framework might not be able to run EditVoicepack (it will then allow you to install both version 1.1 and the newer version).

Upgrading from version 3.0

  1. If you have made or imported any custom modifications it is recommended you make a backup from version 3.0 before installing version 3.1.
    This backup will normally not be needed unless a problem occurs doing installation.
  2. Run Setup.EXE and let it uninstall the existing version.
  3. When you start EditVoicepack 3.1 the first time, select “Yes” to preserve the custom modifications and settings you had in version 3.0. If you select “No” EditVoicepack 3.1 will use the default settings.

Please notice that not all custom modifications for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 are compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight and you might have to delete some of them. You will be notified of any problems when you run Update Voicepack.

Upgrading from version 2.x

  1. Install EditVoicepack to a new directory as outlined under “First time users”.
  2. Create a backup from version 2.x
  3. Restore the backup into version 3.1
  4. You can now delete version 2.x, unless you want to use it for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002.

Upgrading from version 1.x

  1. Export your custom modifications from EditVoicepack 1.x
  2. Install EditVoicepack to a new directory as outlined under “First time users”.
  3. Import the custom modifications into EditVoicepack 3.1

Uninstalling EditVoicepack

If you want to uninstall EditVoicepack simply use the Add or Remove Programs feature of the Control Panel (see Windows help for details).

Running EditVoicepack the first time

After installation the following steps must be performed to apply the voicepack modifications to the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight data files:

  1. Close Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight if you have it running.
  2. Run EditVoicepack (the installer placed an icon in your start menu).
  3. If a dialog opens informing you of new updates, you can install them at this time (EditVoicepack will attempt to connect to a server at this stage to determine if any updates are available, so personal firewalls or dial-up dialogs might appear at this stage).
  4. Select "Update Voicepack" from the "File" menu. You can change the settings in the dialog or simply go with the default.
  5. You are done - close EditVoicepack by selecting "Exit" from the "File" menu.
    If you installed any updates at step 3 or changed the settings under step 4, you should save when prompted.

You might want to read the sections “Making callsigns selectable in Flight Simulator” and “Locate aircraft configuration errors” to take full advantage of EditVoicepack.

Keeping EditVoicepack updated

EditVoicepack can automatically download modifications from a central server. This means that you will not have to search various Flight Simulator download sites for additional modifications – they are all delivered directly to your computer. EditVoicepack will automatically attempt to download updates from the server each time you start it. If an update is available a dialog will open allowing you to install the update. You will also be notified of new program versions this way. You can manually check for updates using the functions available in the about box. In the about box you can also disable the automatic check at startup if you prefer to have full control over when the updates are downloaded.

If your Flight Simulator system is not connected to the Internet you can visit the EditVoicepack homepage to download an offline update package.

You must run Update Voicepack before the updates are available in Flight Simulator. Saving is not enough as it only saves the data file EditVoicepack stores the modifications in. Update Voicepack is the only function that applies the modifications to Flight Simulator.

If you look at the tree to the left you will find all the modifications controlled though the EditVoicepack server under the “Standard Modifications” branch. You can not delete or change these modifications, but you can exclude them so they will not be written to Flight Simulator (see Determining which modifications to include).

Determining which modifications to include

When you run Update Voicepack you can select which regions you want to include modifications for. This should be sufficient for most users, but in some situations it can be desirable to control inclusion or exclusion of groups of modifications, or even a single modification. This is done by selecting the checkboxes in the tree view to the left. Most checkboxes have three states: Explicit Included (white with a green checkmark), Explicit Excluded (white without any checkmark), or Default (gray with or without a green checkmark).

Notice a single modification can be inserted several places in the tree.

If a checkbox is set to Default, it will be included if any of its direct parent nodes in the tree are included (either because it is explicit included or if it is included by default as well).

The presence of a green checkmark always indicates the node is included while the lack off a green checkbox will indicate the node is excluded.

Creating modifications

Creating your own modifications is fairly simple task once you get used to it. Please complete the tutorial outlining the process with screenshots before

Creating a new callsign

This is covered by the tutorial.

Creating a new airport

There are two different types of modifications for airports: ICAO and Agent. The ICAO modification is used when ATC refers to the airport itself – for example as destination in an IFR clearance or when it is used to determine the position of the aircraft. The Agent code is used when communicating with a specific radio service (clearance, tower, ground, approach, or departure). While ICAO modifications can simply be added and will work right away Agent modifications require a matching agent in the Airport Facilities Data (typically created with AFCAD).

In most cases it is enough to create an ICAO modification as EditVoicepack automatically will write an agent modification. The agent will use the phrase as identifier, meaning the Com Frequency Name in AFCAD must match the phrase in EditVoicepack to work. Agent modifications are typically only created if you wish to change an existing entry in the default Microsoft voicepack.

Creating a new aircraft

In Flight Simulator aircrafts are typically identified as a combination of a manufacturer (for example Airbus) and a model (for example 340). Please see “Locate aircraft configuration errors” for details on how the aircraft type and model are specified in the aircrafts configuration files.

Creating new Phraseology

The phraseology modifications allow you to change the sentences spoken by ATC and pilots. Notice that you can only change existing phrases – you can not insert new procedures in the ATC procedures. It is for example not possible to insert a phrase for requesting pushback – as there is no pushback sentence to replace. It is not possible to change the numbers spoken by ATC either, and hence it is not possible to change altimeter pressure to be given in millibar.

Initially phrases are created as all other modifications, except you can insert markers where other sound bits will be inserted when ATC places the modification. You insert the positions in the phrase by enclosing a keyword in <> brackets. Try typing “<” (without the double quotes) in the filter to see samples of this in the default Flight Simulator voicepack. This will also give you an idea which identifiers you can override as well as which keywords you can use in the markers. The Voicepack SDK from Microsoft can provide further details on possible identifiers and keywords.

Each marker in the phrase must be matched by a marker with the same name in the wave file. Right click the wave file display in the Markers section (above the sound segments) to insert a marker in the wave file. Select the marker by clicking it to assign the name to it. Notice that markers are copied with the sound segments, so it can be an advantage to add the markers to the first voice before copying the segments.

Correcting a default Flight Simulator entry

You must be able to create modifications before proceeding with this section.

Flight Simulator allows up to 16 variations of each entry in the voicepacks (so 16 identical identifiers). Each variation will be assigned a unique number. This is used to make ATC less monotone. For example when flight Cimber 123 is handed off to the tower on frequency 121.0 the pilot can respond “Going to 121.0, Cimber 123”, “121.0 for Cimber 123”, or simply “121.0, Cimber 123”. When looking at existing entries in the default Flight Simulator voicepack using the filter display of EditVoicepack you will notice that some of the identifiers are followed by a number in brackets. This is the identifier. If no number is present only one variation exist for the specific identifier.

The default behavior of EditVoicepack is to add the modifications as additional variations in case the identifier is already present in the default Flight Simulator voicepack. This means pilots and ATC will randomly choose between the default entry in Flight Simulator and your modification. To make sure your modification replaces the default Flight Simulator entry select “Force Variation” and indicate the variation to replace.

Uploading to the server

One of the strong points of EditVoicepack is that you do not have to create all the modifications you would like to the voicepack, neither do you have to search various sites to find them. EditVoicepack lets the users upload their modifications to the server, where they will be automatically distributed to all other users of EditVoicepack.

Please notice that there are very strict requirements to the format used in the modification as well as doing the upload. Please check the upload tutorial for details before attempting to upload a modification.

To upload your modification, right click it and select “Send to server..." or “Update Server..." (only one will be present, depending on which node you right clicked). A wizard will now open and guide you though the process. After you have uploaded the update, you can visit http://www.editvoicepack.com to track the review process of the modification.

Besides your own modifications, you can also upload requests to have the standard modifications changed (as before, right click and select “Send to server...”. It is however only possible to request that the modification is deleted or to change the groups the modification is assigned to. If you would like to make further changes (for example improving the sounds), please copy the modification first (right click it and select “Copy”). You can now make your changes in the new modification and upload it to the server.

If you upload a new callsign it will automatically be moved from the custom section of EditVoicepack to the standard section. Any changes you have done after the modification was uploaded will be lost. In case the modification was changed by the reviewer, you will loose your original data as well. If you want to preserve your data, please export the modification after uploading it to the server. If you are changing an existing modification, only the copy in your standard section will be updated, the copy in the custom section will remain unmodified, and you should delete it as soon as your modification has been accepted

The server tracking the uploaded modifications uses the Identifier to check if you are updating an existing modification. If the identifier needs to be changed, the server can not match the uploaded modification with the existing modification. Please use the comments field to specify the original Identifier that should be deleted. If the reviewer still fails to delete the wrong identifier, you can upload a request to have it deleted after your new identifier has been accepted.

Making callsigns selectable in Flight Simulator

When selecting an aircraft in Flight Simulator you can also change the callsign though a dropdown list. The entries available in the list are found in a file named “airlines.cfg” in the “aircraft” folder of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight. Notice that a callsign do not need to be in this file for ATC to pronounce it (ATC will work fine if the file is completely missing) neither will ATC necessarily be able to pronounce a callsign simply because it is listed “airlines.cfg”.

If you want to be able to be able to select all available callsigns run “Update airlines.cfg” from the “Tools” menu each time you run “Update Voicepack”.

Locate aircraft configuration errors

ATC use settings in the aircraft.cfg files found in the folder of each aircraft to determine the manufacturer and type of the aircraft, as well as the callsign to use. Please consult the Microsoft SDK’s for details on the general format of the aircraft.cfg file (information can probably also be found on various Flight Simulator web sites).

Each line listed below must be set to match an existing identifier of the specified type (callsign, aircraft manufacturer, or aircraft type) – either from the default voicepack or a modification added by EditVoicepack.

You can use the function “View Missing…” from the “Tools” menu to locate aircraft.cfg files referring to non-existing identifiers. Please remember that a missing entry do not necessarily mean you should immediately download or create a modification – it could as well indicate the aircraft.cfg file is wrong and can simply be changed.

Under the [General] section of the aircraft.cfg file you should find two lines related to ATC:

For each livery (or model) entry you will find four lines related to ATC:

Importing and exporting modifications

While the automatic update will be sufficient for most users some will have the need to share specific callsigns not accepted on the official server (for example unofficial callsigns used in real life but not recognized by ICAO). You can export a modification to a file by right clicking the modification in the tree to the left and the selecting “Export”.

To import a modification select “Import” from the “File” menu. Please read the warning dialog displayed the first time you select import. Please be very careful what you import. A bad modification can render EditVoicepack unstable and force you to restore a backup of the data file loosing any changes you made after the backup.

Creating and restoring a backup

You can use the backup functionality to ensure you do not loose any custom modifications or inclusion settings. Select “Create Backup” from the “File” menu to create a backup. Select “Restore Backup” to restore the backup into EditVoicepack. Notice that restoring the backup will also affect the modifications controlled by the EditVoicepack server, and a new update from the EditVoicepack server is most likely needed to bring them up to date.

Troubleshooting

Which files does EditVoicepack modify?

EditVoicepack only modifies two files in the Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight directory. One is airlines.cfg (see “Making callsigns selectable in Flight Simulator” for details).

The other (and more important) file modified is named usenglishbig.gvp and contains all spoken language used by the ATC, as well as the text displayed in the ATC window. This file can be found in the Sound directory of Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight In case you selected the compact installation of Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight, the file might be called usenglishsmall.gvp. Localized (translated) versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight will have different file names. EditVoicepack is designed to recognize the files in any language; however it has mainly been tested on the English version.

If you do not use the accelerated voicepack usenglishsmall.gvp will be modified directly. If you use the accelerated voicepack the file will be renamed to USEnglishBig.gvp.evpOrg and a new file named Evp_Accelerated.gvp will be created.

In case you experience any problems with the ATC sound in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight please try to restore the original voicepack file from your Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight CD number 2. The file is inside the file "MSGame5.cab" for the 10 voice (full) setup, and inside the "MSGame4.cab" file for the three voice (compact) setup. Copy one of these files (do not copy both) to the Sound directory under the Flight Simulator directory. In case the Sound directory contains files named *.evpOrg or Evp_Accelerated.gvp they should be deleted.

Will EditVoicepack work with additional or changed voicepacks?

No, EditVoicepack will only work with the unmodified default voicepacks supplied with Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight. If you have manually changed the voicepack using the Microsoft SDK (or any other mean than EditVoicepack) can give one of the following problems:

If this happens, please follow the instructions in the section “EditVoicepack won’t start (Microsoft Voicepack damaged)”.

I can no longer select a reply to ATC instructions

This problem will typically occur if you have applied or removed voicepak acceleration. Please chose Settings/ATC in Flight Simulator and ensure you have a pilot voice assigned.

Some of the nodes in the tree on the left are colored red

This indicates a problem with one or more modifications. Drill down the tree until you locate the problematic modification (following the red nodes in the tree). When you select it, it will display a red text below the Author field where you can see what the problem. If more than one error exists the text will change every few seconds. Correct the error and the color will change back to black. In a few cases where you do not want to make any changes you can ignore the error (press the Ignore Errors button and set a checkmark for the errors you would like to ignore).

I can’t select the new callsigns in Flight Simulator?

Most likely you did not update airlines.cfg. Please see “Making callsigns selectable in Flight Simulator”.

I can’t hear the new modifications I added

First of all ensure you did run Update Voicepack whenever you change anything in EditVoicepack. If you do not run Update Voicepack the Flight Simulator file containing the wave files used by ATC will not be changed. Secondly please ensure all voices have a sound segment defined. Finally check that you do not have a copy of the gvp file located in the Sound directory (some people do this to make a backup of the original file not realizing that Flight Simulator will still load it even though the name is changed).

My plane is referred to by registration number instead of callsign.

Please ensure you have a flight number assigned.

AI traffic is referred to by registration number instead of callsign.

This is due to a setting in the flight plan used by the AI plane. Please refer to the documentation of the utility you use to create or install the flight plans.

ATC says “Fokker Fokker Jet” or similar duplicates.

For unknown reasons Microsoft included the manufacturer in the wave file for some of the aircraft model entries. Please see “Locate aircraft configuration errors” for a solution to this problem.

ATC calls my Airbus 319 an A320, my Beech 1900D a Beech 1900, etc

Basically it does this because nobody cares about the exact model of your plane (nope, the serial number and your shoe size should not be included when you contact ATC either). The type used must give some ideas of the capabilities of the plane as well as visual appearance. Are these two largely identical it is not really relevant which specific aircraft model it is.

The changes I make in aircraft.cfg are ignored

Changes you make in the user interface of flight simulator (typically changing callsign) are not written to the aircraft.cfg file, but to a user specific file in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\FS9\AIRCRAFT (this is the location on Windows XP and it will most likely be different on Windows 98/ME - in this case you can either search for the files, or upgrade to XP - needles to say I recommend upgrading to XP).

This is done as a modern computer is a multi-user system, and several people must be able to run the same application using different settings.

EditVoicepack won’t start (Microsoft Voicepack damaged)

Typically this happens when the voicepack files of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight has been changed by another program than EditVoicepack (like MyTraffic) but it can also happen in a few other situations.

Restore the original voicepack file as specified in the section “Which files does EditVoicepack modify?” above.

EditVoicepack won’t start (Missing registry key)

When you install Flight Simulator a registry key is created pointing to the location Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight is installed. If you move Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight to another directory you should update the registry key to reflect the new location. If you are not comfortable editing the registry you should follow the following procedure:

  1. Rename the directory you installed Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight in (the name does not matter)
  2. Install Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight in the intended location
  3. Delete the directory of the newly installed Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight
  4. Rename the directory from step 1 back to the intended name

EditVoicepack won't start (Unhandled Exception)

This can be a serious problem and I can't provide a bullet proof solution. I recommend following the following procedure:

  1. Uninstall EditVoicepack
  2. Uninstall the .NET Framework version 1.1
  3. Reboot
  4. Install the .NET Framework version 1.1
  5. Run Windows Update - reboot if required
  6. Install EditVoicepack

If you haven't done so already, installing the latest service pack for Windows might also solve the problem.

ATC no longer work as expected when running Flight Simulator

First try to restore the original voicepack file by selecting "Restore Original Voicepack" from the File menu in EditVoicepack, followed by "Update Voicepack...".

If the problem is not solved restore the original voicepack file as specified in the section “Which files does EditVoicepack modify?” above. Run Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight (do not run "Update Voicepack...") to verify if the problem remains. If your problem has not been fixed it is very unlikely EditVoicepack is the cause of the problems. If the problem has been fixed run "Update Voicepack..." from Edit Voicepack again. If this reintroduce the problem please visit www.editvoicepack.com for support information.

I get the error "Cannot create a file when that file already exists."

Restore the original voicepack file as specified in the section “Which files does EditVoicepack modify?” above.

I uninstalled EditVoicepack, but ATC has not been restored

Please restore the original voicepack file as specified in the section “Which files does EditVoicepack modify?” above. Hopefully I will find the time to automate this process when uninstalling EditVoicepack, but it does not have high priority.

Distribution

Beta versions of EditVoicepack can not be distributed to any site without permission (please see feedback section for contact information). A beta version will have the word Beta after the version number at the top of this file - the word Beta will not be present in the software itself - it is only this readme file that can be used to determine if a package is a beta version.

Release versions can be freely distributed on any media (online or CD etc) as long as the package is not modified in any way, and no payment is directly required for the file. A reasonable indirect payment (for example a fee for fast access to a file library, or payment for a magazine containing the program on a cover CD) is acceptable. If you have any questions, please contact me on lars@editvoicepack.com. If you intent to distribute EditVoicepack on a CD please contact me - I might be able to supply an installable version containing the latest updates as well as the .NET Framework.

EditVoicepack can be bundled with commercial products, as long as I receive a copy of the finished product - please contact me for details. Commercial addon authors that recommends users to use EditVoicepack with their products but do not include EditVoicepack directly with their product (download or other form) are requested - but not required - to provide me with a free version as well.

Conditions of Use

This software is provided "as is", and usage of it is the responsibility of the user - I accept no responsibility for any damage this program might course.

Feedback

If you have constructive criticism or any other form of feedback, please send me an email on lars@editvoicepack.com. Please notice any email mentioning missing or low quality callsigns, will be ignored - most of the callsigns shipped with this package can easily be improved - it just takes more time than the author had available. Use the build in functionality to send an improved or additional callsign instead.

Copyright © 2002-2004 Lars Møllebjerg, All rights reserved.