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GOODBYE KEYBOARD !

Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain

Hi all,

Well I was lucky enough to scoot over to Copenhagen, Denmark for the weekend, and even took a train trip over the new Bridge (12km !) that joins Denmark with the city of Malmo, in Sweden. (2 countries in 2 days not bad !). EasyJet 737NG - 700 which was a great treat as I normally fly once a fortnight to London through work and it's always the same boring Classic 737-500.... (It's only boring cos it's the same plane every week!).

The 737NG (in real life) is quieter and smoother than the classics and can cruise higher (we cruised at 40,000 feet on the return flight from Copenhagen to Newcastle UK).

Anyhoo, on my return a little package was waiting for me from my friends at www.simw.com in Belgium.

It contained a pair of Headphones with attached Mic boom, and a CD-ROM called "Voice Buddy".

The Headphones were slim types that don't wrap around the ear - nothing too special just pretty much standard Multi-Media headphones, along with the attached Mic boom. There are 2 plugs at the end, one goes in the PC headphone socket, one goes in the Mic In socket - done!

So after plugging in, I installed the CD-ROM.... The software uses as it's core, the MS Voice Recognition software, but it is customised for gaming functions, and also this version is further customised for FS2004 use.

You begin by having to complete a session of "Voice Training" that helps the software 'learn' your voice (It can't be expected to handle accents like mine of Dave C's without some help!)....

After having to read parts of "Alice in Wonderland" to my PC (really!), we were done and I was assured that my PC would now understand me.

So I looked at the command menu - this version comes with 100s of commands that are set up for all basic FS2004 commands (everything that has a Key Command), but also, it has commands that JUST set off a computer voice command....

What I mean is that is you say "Landing Checklist", nothing happens within the Sim, but an electronic voice will call out all of the checklist.

Even the commands that do cause a FS action (such as "Gear Down") also result in the electronic voice verification "Gear is down".

SO WHAT'S IT LIKE IN USE :-

Let's get the negative out of the way first - the computer talking back to you in any way is silly - it uses Microsoft's Default Voice (Microsoft Mary) and it's like having a robot from Star Wars in the flight deck with you. You are able to DELETE all of the "Voice only" commands though, which frees up a lot of space.

You can also Edit any of the commands, so if you want to say "Gear up please" to activate the landing gear, you can change this. LUCKILY YOU CAN ALSO REMOVE THE VOICE VERIFICATION FOR EACH OF THESE FS COMMANDS ! So it will just complete the action, and won't use the robots voice to confirm what it's done.

You can also ADD you own commands, so you can add ANY phrases that you want to say, and enter the Key command that you want this to trigger. This is useful as you can assign many different phrases to the same Key command.... ie you could have :-

"Gear up"
"Gear up please"
"Can we have the Gear up please"

.... all triggering the 'G' key to operate the Gear.... This makes the experaiance really natural. I used this to set up 15 different Voice Commands to Disconnect the AutoPilot.... so I can say pretty much any varition from "Disengage AutoPilot", to "Manual Please" and it all has the same effect.

After 'cleaning things up' in this way, I have to say this is a fantastic piece of kit that really brings a new level to the Sim. I would say that the success rate for the Voice Recognition is over 95%, so you really are just barking commands to your sim, and it completes the action... It's excellent for things such as AutoPilot Engagement / Disengagement, Gear, Flaps, and ATC.

But more important than all that, is the fact that you look more like a real pilot with a Heaset Mic on ! 😂 Embarassed

The headset was £11 ($17) and the software around £30 ($47) so it isn;t as expensive as it potentially could be.

8/10

4 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Interesting reading, it sounds like a fantastic way to fly.
I have the feeling many here are going to look into it.
Have fun with it.

Radar

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

Umm... My wife says I talk to myself already Embarassed

Pro Member Chief Captain
Alex (Fire_Emblem_Master) Chief Captain

I HAVE to get that!!!! Can i get a URL from you for it??? 😎 😎

Pro Member Trainee
jimimac Trainee

can you tell me if voice buddy comes with pmdg 737ng checklists etc. i usually fly this plane and was wondering if its compatible with the 737ng before i go and purchase it, it looks as though it would be a great addon for msfs.

thanks jimimac

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