5

It has been suggested that Sound Design is a limiting name that doesn't really express what the site is about fully. As such, I am asking for what ideas people have for better names. Please answer with your suggestion for a name and why you feel it would be a good fit. Making a case for keeping the existing name is also a viable option.

If a clear consensus emerges, we will see if we can get SE to implement a name change for us, though we need to make sure we have strong consensus before we do as they normally only allow one name change per site.

  • For the records, WordPress Answers became WordPress Development and this was the final chapter of the agreement between community and SE team. – brasofilo Oct 19 '15 at 1:11
  • So, where is this going? The change to something broader is most welcome and would reflect the way the SE has been used for a long time.. – Michael Hansen Buur Jan 26 '16 at 14:41
6

Sound Production

It covers a wide range of sound related disciplines and supports the professional angle, i.e. this is not about reproduction, hi-fi and end-consumer related topics.

Wikipedia supports the fact that Sound Production is the major category of Sound Designers, Music Production and Sound production technology (which in turn holds Audio Engineering, Audio Mixing and many others)

Numerous educations worldwide use the term to describe education in sound related disciplines that share the scope of this SE:

Whether your dream is to record, create, produce, edit, mix or master, this course will give you an in-depth understanding of the operational, technical and theoretical aspects of the audio industry, with a focus on studio recording and production, live sound production and sound design.

(Source: Audio Engineering & Sound Production - JMC Academy)

another one..

The course is designed to provide you with the essential skills and knowledge in studio production including:

Analogue and digital console theory and practice, Multi-track recording, Recording acoustic sources, Microphone theory and techniques, Signal processing and effects, Mixing techniques, Signal flow, Electronic music production, Sequencing, sampling and basic synthesis (...)

(Source: Diploma of Sound Production - SAE Institute Australia)

and a final one.

You will learn the theory and practice of studio recording, live sound production and sound reinforcement. Subjects provide a wide range of knowledge and skills applicable to a range of careers in sound production within the specialised recording, live entertainment, games, sound design, television and film industries.

(Source: Certificate IV in Sound Production - RMIT University)

And there are many others.

Moreover I believe it qualifies as a generic descriptive name, like wanted by the SE admins.

Finally by using the word "Sound" (as opposed to "Audio") we keep a relation to the sub domain name "sound" in "sound.stackexchange.com".

  • This is a professional site, and I believe the name should reflect that fact, while informing on the topic range. I think this answer is on the money. – Marc W Sep 29 '15 at 0:33
  • I like this answer but does it hit the spot as to the types of person we want to attract and does it deter the types of person we don't want to attract? I can't answer this because my usage of this site is limited to what I do (being music production and electronic engineering both of which have a decent overlap). So who do we want to attract and will a more complex name be better at dragging em in screaming and kicking LOL? – Andy aka Oct 18 '15 at 15:54
  • @Andyaka: I added a link below the question about WordPress.se site name change, the main thing is: no name will ever convey the entire "on-topicness" of a site. But, yes, our intention over there was to tilt the kind of public we wanted to attract, not a generic "WP Answers" but focus on "WP Development". – brasofilo Oct 19 '15 at 1:26
  • @Andyaka - I believe the change would actually help to scare off all those "I'm designing my hifi..therefore it must be sound design"-ish questions since the 'production' term is likely to generally better signify the professional angle compared to 'design'. Btw why do you think it is more complex? – Michael Hansen Buur Oct 19 '15 at 13:10
  • I mentioned "complex" in that a more complex name might be more exclusive. – Andy aka Oct 19 '15 at 13:20
  • I don't think this is optimal, as explained in detail in my answer "sound" is too broad", which also plagues "sound production" into having the sample problem. When you fart you produce sound... – dtech May 16 '16 at 9:45
4

Let's start off with what the name shouldn't be and why:

  • Sound design - too narrow, to someone like me with over a dedicate in experience with audio engineering and production, that "sound design" applies to only synthesized sound.

  • Sound production - too broad, that would include a lot of stuff, including but not limited to burping and farting. To produce sound to begin with is the physical act of exerting force against a medium that would transfer that sound as a traveling wave. A sound may have a frequency of 40 kHz, it is still sound objectively, but it is not really a sound relative to us, as it is outside of our audible range.

To be honest, "sound" on its own is too broad, a more apt term would be "audio", "design" suffers from the opposite problem - it is too narrow - it implies you shape it from the ground up, while in reality a huge portion of audio production is using recorded analog audio sources - voice, analog instruments as well as digital instruments driving analog audio samples.

Obviously, the scope is not "music", there is already a SX site about music, even if a sizable part of the questions here are directly related to music production.

This brings me to the inescapable conclusion that the most descriptive name, considering the scope of questions here so far, would be Audio Production & Engineering

As of why production precedes engineering - even though the usual case is engineer -> produce (not limited to music), the engineering is a subset of the goal, which is production - actually making something. And it does sound a lot better than "audio engineering and production".

Pros

  • Audio narrows things down to a more adequate subset, it is not just a "sound" which could be anything, including sound outside of the hearing spectrum. "Audio" implies an "electronic apparatus" involved in the production, manipulation or reproduction of audi(o)/(able) frequencies. While to "produce sound" goes out to imply something as random as making (any) sound, to "produce audio" is far more specific. Audio includes but is not limited to music, it can be any sound in the audible range, it can also be speech (advertising or narrating), it can be random noise of any spectra (percussive, harmonic or arbitrary sound effects).
  • Engineering is wide without going out of scope, it encompasses a lot of the questions here so far, including the associated software, hardware as well as the techniques of using those to capture, design, modify, mix and reproduce sound.
  • Production brings it all together, fusing the audio and the engineering into an actual product, and covers the rest of the questions which are not covered by audio engineering.

Cons

  • I can't think of any, feel free to point some out.
  • It is worth pointing out that "Production" has more than one meaning. In the context of "Sound Production" or "Audio Production", it is more or less implied that it is not talking about making sounds, but rather producing audio in a professional sense. That said, it could still be potentially confusing for a non-native speaker, although Video Production does not seem to have had an issue with misunderstandings on this. I do like Audio Production better than Sound Production though. – AJ Henderson May 16 '16 at 17:25
  • @AJHenderson - yeah, there are plenty of "producers" who don't really do much aside from ripping off creatives. I really see them more of "investors", they put money into something hoping it has enough potential to allow them to extract from its makers more than they put in. It is worth noting thou that this kind of "production" falls in the "business" category and is completely outside of the scope here. – dtech May 16 '16 at 18:38
  • I could live with this (or Audio Production or Sound Production.. hell even "Sound" would do it for me as long as we get away form that "Design" scope). It is somewhat long though, and with "Sound Production" I tried to come up with something related to the sub domain "sound" in "sound.stackexchange.com". – Michael Hansen Buur Jun 15 '16 at 13:16
0

Sound Design & Engineering

(or Sound Engineering & Design)

It's what we have, plus the engineering part. It conserves some vagueness in the sound design part, but helps narrowing and clearing the scope with the engineering part.

Pros

"Engineering" covers stuff like DAWs, measurement, recording, microphone (theory, techniques, types, placement), mixing (live and studio), mastering, and related hardware and software.

"Design" includes things like synthesis (synthesizers, samplers, effects, synthesis environments), foley artists, other non-synthesis-related sound dynamics design (sound synthesis normally refers to synthesizers and samplers), and related hardware and software.

Cons

"Sound Design" can be either too board or too narrow, depending on interpretation. "Engineering" helps to make the point clearer, but "Sound Design" still includes stuff that might not be on topic here.

Precedents

SE admins want to implement more descriptive names and move away from things like "Stack Overflow" and "Server Fault". I think a more descriptive name can help this site grow through a more explicit scope. Examples of other SE sites' names include "Music: Practice & Theory", "Geographic Information Systems", and "Personal Finance & Money".

Feel free to add more cons, pros, and anything you think I'm missing in this post.

  • I don't think "Engineering" covers DAWs. Most people, especially amateurs, with DAW questions would likely consider themselves as "producers" I would think. – Hari Karam Singh Aug 23 '15 at 13:40
  • @HariKaramSingh It depends on the context. – Jamm Aug 23 '15 at 20:51
  • 1
    @HariKaramSingh DAWs are very robust and complex tools that are used by many different disciplines. They are a fundamental tool for both music producers and sound engineers, but used differently, with a different skill set. In that sense, "engineering" not only covers DAWs, but it also sets a scope which is shared with this site and makes the separation from music production implicitly. Music production related questions are a perfect fit for Music SE, and engineering questions are better suited here. – Jamm Aug 24 '15 at 0:12
  • @HariKaramSingh In other words, "engineering" not only definitely covers DAWs, but it also points towards the area that we want to focus on this site, given that DAWs have many uses. – Jamm Aug 24 '15 at 21:54
  • I wouldn't agree with that. Just search for something like: duckduckgo.com/?q=music+producer+tips But that'll be it from me. You clearly have your own ideas. Good luck! – Hari Karam Singh Aug 26 '15 at 10:54
0

Social Sound Design!!

It is the original name of this forum before it was absorbed into the Stack Exchange we know today. One of the aspects that made the original SSD so great and productive was that it encouraged exploration and collaboration…it was built on the foundation that every contributor was there to learn rather than to have questions answered definitively. Some of the things people ask about honestly have no answers, they are only topics to discuss.

  • 1
    The main problem with this is that it doesn't indicate to people that the scope of the site goes beyond just sound design concerns and also includes engineering, recording and live sound topics which were a major part of the audio side of Audio/Video Production which was the other original site in the merger. – AJ Henderson Aug 21 '15 at 14:08
  • A thousand times, yes!! The main problem with what you point out AJ is that it was perfectly defined and functioning beautifully prior to the merger. – Steve Urban Sep 8 '15 at 7:41
  • To me, the problem with the original name [not the original scope & how it worked as a 'forum'] is it doesn't tell me a darn thing! It sounds more like an informal meeting in a coffee-shop or online chat-room than the high-end audio production reference it actually was. – Tetsujin Aug 21 '16 at 9:08
-3

Sound Synthesis & Engineering

(or Sound Engineering and Synthesis)

Pros

"Engineering" covers stuff like DAWs, measurement, recording, microphone (theory, techniques, types, placement), mixing (live and studio), mastering, and related hardware and software.

"Synthesis" covers things like synthesizers, samplers, effects, synthesis environments (Pure Data, Reaktor, etc), and related hardware and software.

Cons

I don't think it covers foley artists explicitly (I might be wrong) and other non-synthesis-based dynamics (sound synthesis normally refers to the use of synthesizers and samplers).

Precedents

SE admins want to implement more descriptive names and move away from things like "Stack Overflow" and "Server Fault". I think a more descriptive name can help this site grow through a more explicit scope. Examples of other SE sites' names include "Music: Practice & Theory", "Geographic Information Systems", and "Personal Finance & Money".

Feel free to add more cons, pros, and anything you think I'm missing in this post.

  • 2
    The last thing we need is more "How can I make this synth sound?" style questions. – Mark Durham Aug 26 '15 at 13:09
-3

I've got another angle to avoid the difficulties in including all the various roles (mix engineers, producers, sound artists etc) discuss in my other answer.

Keeping with the more allegorical nature of "Stack Overflow" here are a few...

0dBFS

StereoBus

Audio Mixdown

MasterBus

Compressor

MixDesk

Anyone else who knows the jargon better than I?

-3

My first thought, even coming first to this site was why the 'design' part? what's wrong with just

Sound

or better yet, imho -

Audio

getting clever smart id go for

Audible Hz

personally i like

Front Of House

but probably it would miss anyone who isnt into live sound..

so i think maybe the best option [keeping with clever-ish name convention on SE] would be:

Sweetspot

give or take a space or an E

Sweeet Spot

Will the name be chosen by the community?

If no name is agreed - i would highly suggest dropping the design from the name and keeping with the true and most vast definition of what this site is for - SOUND. [although naming it sweetspot would be pretty darn sweet]

EDIT+ MORE NAMES:

Wavetables

  • The problem with "sound" is that it will attract even more audiophile and home theater questions than we already get, which is a lot. I really, really do wish it were that simple though. :( – AJ Henderson Aug 28 '15 at 13:08
  • 1
    well.... maybe those questions should be welcomed in such a forum?.... =\ – a deer Aug 29 '15 at 7:30
  • 1
    Possibly, but such a shift would mark a major departure from the community's current direction. It also has a lot of significant issues which have previously been discussed on meta (primarily different skillets and a high degree of unsupported subjectivity in the fields of audiophile and home theater sound. The vast majority of questions we've seen posted haven't been answerable within typical se norms anyway.) Doesn't necessarily mean it isn't possible to address, but it would require a much more extensive discussion than even the name change. – AJ Henderson Aug 29 '15 at 14:54
-4

There is a desperate need IMO for a StackExchange site to be the definitive go-to for DAW questions (amongst other things of course). The existing help forums are dreadful - full of moaning, power trips, off-topics segues, and short on actual answers. The very reason why Joel Spolsky created StackOverflow for coders.

The problem with this current name is that I've just spent the last 10 minutes trying to decide which site, this one or "Music Theory and Practice" to post my Logic question in. In the end I did it both (!) and I know that's not what SE wants...

I think this site would miss out by using the words "Design" and "Engineering" in the title - too specific and technical. I would think "Production" would be a good word to include. I realise that in industry "producers" "mix Engineers" etc are different roles but in the broad wilderness of the Internets, "Music Production" covers a lot of popular ground. It also would include all the kit and techniques discussed above, from recording, to sound design, DAWs, synthesisers, modular environments etc.

So I propose

Music and Audio Production

...or...

Music Producers

or

Modern Music Makers

...again forgetting the technicality that not all "sound" artists are "music" artists, for the sake of catching the most fish.

  • 2
    Music makers would completely abandon sound design or any non music production. This is not a music only qa. I don't think music in the title makes sense given the scope of the site. – AJ Henderson Aug 23 '15 at 13:58
  • I understand but music producers wouldn't go to "Sound Design" to ask a question about a DAW. Is the intention of the forum to include QA about DAW particulars or is it more a theory-type site? – Hari Karam Singh Aug 23 '15 at 14:01
  • Also what percentage of users do you think are "sound artists" who wouldn't relate to "music"? I would suggest that it might be quite small and that those people would be used to looking through online "music" forums for answers. – Hari Karam Singh Aug 23 '15 at 14:05
  • 2
    Half of the community is sound designers and probably another quarter is video sound. If anything, music is more of a minority of the top members anyway. – AJ Henderson Aug 23 '15 at 14:33
  • 1
    I'd also add that I don't think record producers are on topic here. Producers are more the business and musical side than the sound side. It is more music and less engineering. This site (as I understand it anyway) is primarily concerned with the sound engineers side of things. We may be able to handle a producer's question if the are acting in or near an engineers role, but most producer questions would fall outside of scope. – AJ Henderson Aug 23 '15 at 14:39
  • The term "Producer", at least in the electronic music realm, became more in the realm of composer/mix engineer/sound artist. E.g. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_van_Dyk These people are definitely concerned with nearly all of the techniques listed in JCPedroza answer and as I've said before there is a lot of them online. – Hari Karam Singh Aug 24 '15 at 13:48
  • 1
    Record Producer (Wikipedia). Yes, they do have an impact on the sound, but they work more in line with defining the musical sound and working with the musician. They are "more cowbell" more so than "how do I get the cowbell to sound just right". Is there some crossover and some that take on multiple roles, sure, absolutely, but they are really working in both capacities then. The key distinction is that they are making both musical and sound decisions. We actively avoid musical decisions here. – AJ Henderson Aug 24 '15 at 14:04
  • I know of people who call themselves "producer" who have spent days on the sound of their kick/snare combo or their synth. – Hari Karam Singh Aug 24 '15 at 14:09
  • 1
    @HariKaramSingh From this we can conclude that "producer" is a very vague concept, so it might be a good idea to avoid it. – Jamm Aug 24 '15 at 21:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .