So basically, I understand that sound markers can overlap, but it's best when they don't overlap too much. That means there's a minimum effective
range for each type of marker, and if they're too close, they interfere with each other.
So what I figured needed sussing out is how close is too close? Having way too much time on my hands (I don't drink, you see...), I set up a test
map, dropped some sound markers, and standing in the center, locked them to the grid at different sizes 'til I couldn't hear anything anymore, then
cranked it back once, and Bob's your uncle.
Sound markers generally come in sets of two or four. Some environment loops seem to be in sets of three, like the LPNV_JUNGLZ1A through C, but others
actually have a fourth with a radically different name, like "snd: Ocean lp1," which goes with "Sound: Ocean loop," "Sound: Ocean sound marker
1," and "Sound: Ocean sound marker 2." This is due to discrepancies in the MEDITEMS.bin for the consumer MED, and is not a problem in the unlocked
The idea behind different markers for the same sounds is that each marker is assigned the same sounds at different times and volumes. Otherwise, you
get weird, distractingly unnatural echo effects.
When you place them on the grid, insert the odd-numbered loops in diametrically opposed corners of a grid square. Even-numbered loops go in the other
corners. For instance, "snd: Ocean lp1" (aka "- snd: Ocean lp1") would go in the top left and bottom right corners, and "Sound: Ocean loop" (or
"- snd: Ocean lp2") would go in the top right and bottom left corners.
Once you have the first set inserted, you can copy and paste them to cover as much of the map as you deem necessary.
Ideally placing these markers means getting them close enough to close quiet spots, but far enough apart to maximize the area they can cover. I got
this so far:
LOOP TYPE GRID
AirBase Activ. 256m
City Wind 32m
City Night 128m
Deep Tunnel 32m
Desert Whistly 64m
Desert Wind 64m
Hangar Lg 16m
Hangar SM 16m
Hull Slaps 16m
Oil Rig 128m
TCity Night 128m
Desert Critters 64m
War Fog 256m
Keep in mind that the distance noted above is between each different loop marker in a set. That means the distance between identical markers is twice
I'm also fairly certain that most loops fill a spherical area, so that a whistly wind marker placed 100m in the air would be barely audible from the
ground directly beneath it.
Alternatively to decent sound marker work, you could faff about with music locations, but a good map with excellent musicworks is totally screwed
simply by playing with the music off, as I always do. And I think music-instead-of-sound is just a really lazy attitude.
It's not just the one time I made a map which was just a bunker on a beach and a hundred-some-odd sound markers, and despite the sparse decoration,
the map felt full. It's strangely dramatic how much difference decent sound can make.