Today I asked this question (now deleted but after I asked the same thing on audiokarma, it ended up that I need a summing box)

My question was about the appropriate audio connection for my needs, an audio source stereo to a single speaker. The question before was on hold as off-topic and after deleted as home audio/audiophile question.

Before I put my question I googled on Sound Design, finding questions like these:

Stereo and mono cables and jacks? What happens when you cross them?

Combining two balanced mono outputs to seperate channels of a single stereo jack.

Summing Stereo to mono?

I'm definitely not a technical guy about sound, but I have the impression that my question has been deleted just because I contextualized it adding the purpose and the picture of the unit (I did because I didn't know the technical terms, now I can write a question like: How can I make a mono output from a stereo input with cables?)

Was really necessary to delete it? editing the question maybe was a better solution?


The questions you reference here were originally asked on an Audio/Video Production SE site, and were indeed on topic. Since then, the audio portion of that site was merged with a Sound Design site.

The audio related questions were migrated here rather than the (now only) video site.

The site as it is today has a different scope than that of A/V Prod SE. Our site scope and accompanying help page are still a work in progress given the age of this new site. Unfortunately, this can and does lead to confusion for new arrivals.

We're working on it :)

  • thanks for the clarification – Guido Preite Aug 11 '14 at 19:18

I didn't edit because the edited question would have still been a duplicate, but yes, context matters. This is mostly due to the difficulty in setting good boundaries on the scope of the site. Home theater and audiophile applications were clearly outside the realm of both AVP and Sound Design, so they were an easy definition. Additionally, while they may seem similar (and are in a few ways) there are also differences when dealing with professional audio devices and production PAs verses home audio gear.

In today's site, there is a good chance that the old questions might end up considered off topic as well (I'm not sure either way), but home theater is still off topic.

It is worth noting that we are not the only SE site with such a policy either. ServerFault, which is targeted at professional server and network administration, has a similar policy. If you know the professional context well enough to map your question to a professional context, you can still get an answer, but it will be answered in that professional context and it is possible some answers may not be applicable to you. If you specifically mention that it is for your home network, it is off topic though as the context is wrong.

The reasoning is the same, for a professional, asking how to configure a basic Linksys router isn't going to be a question, nor is trying to troubleshoot built in DHCP server issues. These are questions that aren't desired on a site primarily built to serve a professional community and so the professional boundary makes an easy to judge line, even if it may rule out some questions that would be ok in another context.

We don't really have a better way to try to subdivide it and prevent an overflow of non-professional questions that will make the site burdensome to the target audience, so we rely on context for making judgement calls. We have to be consistent with it so that when someone asks for home theater speaker recommendations, we can tell them it is off topic without them complaining that asking questions about how to wire up the home theater system wasn't off-topic. It just keeps chaining out without a hard line somewhere.

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