Mark “Wolfric Tugmutton” Lampert, Bethesda sound guy extraordinaire, has put up a nice post on the Beth forums.
I’ve been doing a lot more field recording so far and will continue to
do a lot more for Fallout 3 compared to previous projects I’ve worked
on. I expect to do more recording of interior kind of stuff than
exterior, though — various everyday machines are very useful
(refrigerator, microwave, sources of 60Hz electrical hum like a
fluorescent light, etc.) can provide endless amounts of source material
for use in the more populated areas where there’s actual machinery and
electricity present. And those source recordings can be cut up and
manipulated to be just about anything. Good, mechanical sounds are
great like that because they can be used in so many contexts.
It’s sort of the polar opposite of the world in The Elder Scrolls. In
those games the outside world is what’s alive with the different
forests, foliage and general climate (Great Forest vs. marsh vs. Anvil
coastline in Oblivion, for example), whereas in the Fallout world all
that life is largely missing, aside from NPCs and creature encounters.
So I expect to focus more on giving a sense of life and activity to the
interiors such as your Vault or other pockets of humanity. I’m hoping
that the sound of electronics and general man-made activity will feel
sort of welcoming compared to the most empty and desolate world beyond
the blast doors.
As far as where I pull most of my source material from, it’s all over
the place. Sometimes it’s from libraries, sometimes a mix of libraries
and field recordings, sometimes purely field recordings, and sometimes
there’s a lot of synth material in there, too. It doesn’t matter to me
so long as it (in my own order of importance) 1) fits in the world, 2)
sounds good, and 3) is original. I’ve said this before, but in audio
the ends justify the means, so however I get to the ‘right sound’ is
the right way to do it.
Just get me ambient music like Mark Morgan's work. Read the thread here.