The help page says that questions need to be about sound design, but don't give any further clarification. So what constitutes sound design in the context of being on topic for this site?

The typical SE "what kinds of questions can I ask here" page goes something like:

This SE-Site is for people who do/are/interested-in XXX...

We welcome questions like/about/of-the-kind
- Question topic 1 
- Question topic 2 
- etc.

Additional text that further explains the nature of the community (e.g.
academic vs. enthusiast) and the types/varieties of questions that are
or are not on topic. 

I have found that the current "what questions are on topic" help page does not have this kind of additional explanitory information common to other SE sites.

I would find it helpful for the community to further expand on the definition of "sound design" as pertains to setting the boundaries of what is on/off topic for this site.

Ultimately, the discussion engendered here might be used to expand the site's description on the help page.

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_design Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 16:31
  • 1
    Is the wikipedia definition canonical for this site?
    – Dave
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 16:42
  • No, but does this give you a quick answer on what sound design is in general? Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 16:43
  • I'm trying to get a sense of where this community draws the boundaries of "sound design" so that I can properly interpret the help page.
    – Dave
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 16:45
  • Well I guess that is a valid question. Maybe you should append your original question with this? Ie. Are you a sound designer or aspiring to be one? What do you consider sound design etc. etc. This helps us help you :) Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 16:48
  • I got pulled in by the audio-merge and I'm trying to sort out where this community is going. I read the help page and found the guidance that "sound design" questions are on topic vague, so a meta-question on that portion of the help page seems in order.
    – Dave
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 16:50
  • I understand your sorting quest, but work on your question a bit and we can get the discussion going. Can you do that? Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 16:52
  • 1
    Dave, discussions about the on-topic/off-topic boundaries are still actively taking place post-merge. Yours may be an ideal way to further the discussion, but just be aware, you may not end up with hard lines as of yet. This answer to another meta post links to a number of different discussions you may find applicable. Also, just click through the "Related" list on the right sidebar here.
    – JoshP
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 17:17
  • possible duplicate of Is this a sound design forum - if so, what are the boundaries of that definition?
    – Dave
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 17:19
  • This one seems to have bubbled back to the top again.. The Help page still says "Questions about instrument or musical sound design are specifically not on topic" yet last time I queried our range of topics, it was said that this is now on topic, after the 'great merge fallout', which was before my time.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 14:54

3 Answers 3


Sound Design is a site dedicated to questions and answers about professional sound design and production. Questions that are on topic include questions about

  • sound design in the film and video game industries
  • live production audio
  • mixing and recording in a studio from the perspective of the sound tech
  • field recording

Questions about instrument or musical sound design are specifically not on topic as this is not a Q/A site for musicians, though music related effects questions that would be asked by a recording engineer or mastering tech are fine. If you are a musician, then Musical Practice & Performance may be what you are looking for.

Note that if your question is about Audio for Video Production, it may also fit well on Video Production, however please do not double post your question on both sites.

  • I think this could still use some improvement about the dividing line with Video Production, but I'm not sure where we want that to be.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 13:59
  • I think the 2 challenges I see here are with your first and third bullets. We need to really define Sound Design (possibly by using the Wikipedia description @Arnoud linked to) and we need to make clear that mixing and recording questions do not include general audio hardware questions.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 10:24
  • I like the wording here. What I'm trying hard to come up with is a polite way to say "In order to figure out how to plug in your mixer, you must first read the instruction manual."
    – Tim Post
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 6:20
  • @TimPost what? RTFM doesn't work? ;)
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 12:41

The sound design "What is On Topic" is still very vague and opaque to outsiders 6 months after this question was asked. From reading a couple META questions I'm under the impression that sound design for music production is off topic for this exchange. I think this needs to be made much clearer if that is indeed the case.


it's become pretty apparent that this place that SSD has migrated to is not about Sound Design and the name should just be changed to Generic Audio Questions or similar.

  • Unfortunately I have to agree with you @Brad. I'll give it a little more time as TimPost said that he would post some more info very soon. In general this section is NOT about sound design, it's just a misconception from the powers behind the merge what sound design is IMHO.
    – ErikG
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 6:48
  • 6
    i don't completely agree. i've been monitoring for almost a week now and besides a majority of 'generic audio questions' there are some highlights! i think 'we' are on the right track. Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 9:04
  • 1
    @ArnoudTraa - I agree with both you and Brad. I think we do still have a good number of great Sound Design oriented questions, but I also thing the range of topics the site covers does go beyond just Sound Design too, so the idea of changing the name is probably still a good one. The problem would be figuring out what fits better while keeping it clear that we aren't the one stop home theater shop too.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 13:30
  • I really like what SSD was, and hope it can be that again. But looks like the line can be hard to set. At what point does sound design cross over to film composition for instance? I guess there will always be subjects right on the verge, but questions about "how to do that Skrillex sound" is not what I want to see here. Considering that, elsewhere on Stackexchange, people are discussing this:scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/60005/… ...we should be able to get back on track, yeah? Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 6:57

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