We all love Sound Design Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what will their first impression be? Let's try to look at this site through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before, and see how we stack up against the rest of the 'Net.

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 10 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter. Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well? Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!

  • am i seriously the only one doing this? – Arnoud Traa Sep 3 '14 at 15:50
  • @ArnoudTraa, the site evaluation consists of reviewing 10 random questions and their answers. If you go to the review queue, you'll see a new entry for site evaluation. When the time period is over, the results will be displayed here. In the past, this post has been used to discuss the results of the site-eval reviews. Though, you can certainly post whatever you'd like. – JoshP Sep 3 '14 at 20:32
  • thanks for letting me know how the evaluation works. however i was hoping to get some discussion going :) – Arnoud Traa Sep 5 '14 at 8:56

I find it a little disconcerting that we have a couple questions reviewed with nearly equal parts Excellent and Needs Improvement

How to create a transparent multiband splitter?

I'm just curious how this question needs improvement. The OP accurately described...

  • what was the goal,
  • what had been tried,
  • and a specific question.

Also, no matter how you word it, this questions appears at the top of the google search.

The question has attracted a better than average view/answer count.

It seems to me that this question is precisely what an Excellent question should be.

  • Well, I agree that the question is of high quality (I voted so in the eval). And I don't think that it's the case where the on-topicness is questionable, but maybe for some it is? – yo' Sep 9 '14 at 19:59
  • It's an excellent question, formatting and ideas are good. But is this a sound design question or a DSP engineering question? I don't really know actually. In other words: does it belong here? I think that's the reason some people will find a bad question, and that's also a reason why this way of 'self-evaluation' is only the start of a bigger evaluation "what is sound design stack exchange" about? – Arnoud Traa Sep 10 '14 at 9:17
  • @ArnoudTraa I think it has nothing to do with DSP engineering. DSP engineering is lower level. Asker is not trying to code a splitter, but trying to use already existing tools to do the splitting. I honestly don't see why frequency splitting shouldn't be part of this site's scope. The question couldn't be more on-topic. The question and answers are useful and relevant for sound design in general. If anything it bothers me that such a relevant and useful question is being labeled as "possibly off-topic" or "possibly not good for this site". – Tom Cat Sep 10 '14 at 14:38
  • @ArnoudTraa what is sound design stack exchange about? Why not "sound design in general"? – Tom Cat Sep 10 '14 at 14:43

Sad to say you guys have it ALL WRONG. The primary reason users signed up for the original SSD in the first place was because it was a gathering place for people who loved SOUND DESIGN. Not music production, not recording bands, not figuring out how to make Garage Band work, but SOUND DESIGN. And to focus it a bit more, SOUND DESIGN as it related to film, television, and occasionally theatre productions. THAT'S IT. We didn't want to discuss much past that. We loved talking about film sound, or how a particular sequence of a movie soundtrack moved us and motivated us to seek careers as sound designers. We fed off each other, we posted wide-open questions and expected wide-open answers. We were NOT RIGID. That's not how we operated. Anyone was free to ask, and anyone was free to answer. If we didn't like it, we downvoted like crazy, and hopefully the person that posted got the message. If we did like like, we upvoted like crazy and even more questions and comments were generated, spawning new threads and even private emails that resulting in actual, real-life meetings and job offers.

This SE is nothing like that. This SE is rigid, has a whole slew a newbie posts and is basically a site that, as a first time visitor seeking sound design inspiration, I would not choose to visit again.

I'm not here to offer suggestions - I already did that. I'm only posting to let you know that Arnoud is right and that the original spirit of SSD seems to be, once and for all, completely lost.

That's really sad.

  • It's done. I'm out. – user7731 Sep 23 '14 at 13:55

Obviously my problem with some of the questions is that they're music related and not focussed on sound telling the story, example: how was this snare made. Of course the answer is ok on that one, it's jus that it's only about 'a sound' not the function of the sound in a context. This is what i feel sound design should be about. Hence our current discussions on what's on topic and what's not.

  • 1
    Sound synthesis is a huge part of sound design. How to build sounds, as in "how was this snare made", is as important as how sound is used to tell a story. Why restrict the scope of this SE only to only one fraction of sound design? – Tom Cat Sep 9 '14 at 20:05
  • Please, tell how he tells the story with this snare? First and foremost, it's a music production question. And of course Sound Synthesis is a huge part of sound design. I've never claimed otherwise, what I'm saying is that in the snare example, there is no context besides the original song. The writer doesn't want anything other than to know how it's made. And even though that is not wrong to ask, I don't think it's very interesting for a sound design site, that is about sound design for media (film, games, installations etc). – Arnoud Traa Sep 10 '14 at 9:14
  • There is no context because context is not needed for the question to be answered. The question will be interesting by its own merits, not unnecessary ones. I personally think it is a very interesting question. Difference in interests is expected in a heterogeneous community. Story telling is just one fraction of what sound design for media is. I don't think it's healthy to expect and suggest it to be part of %100 of the questions. If sound synthesis by itself will be on-topic, don't expect story telling to be part of it. – Tom Cat Sep 10 '14 at 12:55
  • I guess your right about that, it doesn't have to be a 100%. But I'm getting a bit tired of new users that have little idea what is on topic and ask things that have (imho) little relevance. At the moment nobody seems to really know what is on topic, I'm the only one trying to figure that out, it seems.. I don't want to be a hard ass on everyone. – Arnoud Traa Sep 10 '14 at 12:59
  • Why not enlarge the scope? It's not like it will scare media sound designers out of here, and this SE could use some more users, visits, and activity in general. Maybe both parts (the one you consider off-topic and the one you are part of) can benefit from each other while staying relevant to sound design. – Tom Cat Sep 10 '14 at 13:14
  • 1
    @JCPedroza "It's not like it will scare media sound designers out of here" well it did, and it does still. that's what i'm trying to halt – Arnoud Traa Sep 10 '14 at 13:29
  • 1
    Also, I'm sorry if these comes as "bone picking", it wasn't my intention. I'm honestly interested in the discussion of why the site should be opposed on sound synthesis focused questions. It is nothing personal, and I don't think it had an offensive tone. If it did, I apologize. – Tom Cat Sep 10 '14 at 18:19
  • 1
    @JCPedroza Reading all this gives me a clear impression that you missed what happened with the merge. Arnoud is pretty spot on, and it's sad to see him get accosted for stepping up and working towards getting back the focus that so many of us enjoyed before the merge. I'm an electronic musician as well as a professional sound designer and like many, I loved SD being a place that was not overrun with "how do you make this snare," even if I've answered a few. The broader scope that has occurred has killed this place and many amazing sound design professionals have given up on this place. – user7731 Sep 19 '14 at 18:53
  • 1
    I think you are just new here. A quick read through meta will give you plenty of proof of what happened here. Numerous real professionals with vast amounts of knowledge are now gone because of the amount of off topic and uninteresting posts that have permeated this place. Part of the brilliance and success was the quality/quantity approach and narrow focus on Sound Design, not music production. – user7731 Sep 22 '14 at 15:34
  • 1
    @JCPedroza have fun with your awesome forum about Garage Band. I'm out. – user7731 Sep 23 '14 at 13:53
  • 1
    @SteveUrban I'm watching the profiles of the people that are complaining of the lack of content, and all I'm seeing is that you guys are part of the problem not the solution. You specifically haven't asked a question since 2012. You ask for a dynamic that you are not contributing to. There is no reason why you shouldn't be asking what you consider interesting questions. Synthesis questions don't stop you from talking about something else. There is more than enough room for everyone, as other successful SEs have proven over and over again. – Tom Cat Oct 2 '14 at 0:30
  • 1
    @SteveUrban Also, regarding this quote: It was a niche website that catered to a very specific community. That's exactly why you guys want and need a forum, not a SE Q&A. SEs are not for small niche communities. SEs seek growth, reach, visibility. This is not the place to carve such a restricted environment. – Tom Cat Oct 2 '14 at 0:35
  • 2
    @JCPedroza We want what we had before the merge. The problem is not about packing up and moving on to somewhere else. The problem is we had a wealth of information on our old site that is now lost in the rubbish that fronts this SE site. Like I've said many times before, one of the biggest draw for us at SSD were the more prolific and experienced contributors that frequented the forum. They were not your run of the mill professionals but the ones whose work we all respected and because of the site, were given access to their wisdom. You can't possibly replace that. And time has proven that too – user6513 Oct 2 '14 at 13:07
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    @JCPedroza We aren't asking because we stopped thinking we would get the right answers. The qns on SE stay up for a day at most and then they get buried by the other qns. The qns that we asked often warranted answers and opinons by many many people. It's hard to do it in SE because of the nature of the site. You and the others use it to acquire quick answers while we wanted a variety of opinions. – user6513 Oct 2 '14 at 13:12
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    You are correct that meta doesn't get enough activity to really be a solid indicator of community direction and I'm currently torn between the more basic crowd, which seems more active and seems to participate more than the old SSD crowd, but it can't be denied that the net impact is that many (almost all) of the experts that were involved with SSD were driven out because of the noise level from the merge and subsequent scope confusion. (Which we haven't been able to fix for the aforementioned issue of user churn and lack of meta participation.) That is a matter of site history fact. – AJ Henderson Mod Oct 3 '14 at 8:28

Final Results

Net Score: 5 (Excellent: 5, Satisfactory: 1, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 5 (Excellent: 5, Satisfactory: 0, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 2 (Excellent: 3, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: 2 (Excellent: 3, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: 2 (Excellent: 2, Satisfactory: 4, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 2 (Excellent: 2, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 1 (Excellent: 3, Satisfactory: 1, Needs Improvement: 2)

Net Score: 1 (Excellent: 1, Satisfactory: 4, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: -1 (Excellent: 2, Satisfactory: 1, Needs Improvement: 3)

Net Score: -3 (Excellent: 0, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 3)

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