This is potentially related to Shopping questions?.

The question Library/Big Marble staircase Room Tone is looking for a sound library that includes sounds that match what he is looking for. This seems like it is highly specific and not really any better suited to this site than it is to a google search to find it from a sound library directly.

Do we want to entertain questions like this or should they be marked as off topic for reasons of being product recommendations?

Note that I am NOT asking if Sound Library questions should be off-topic. I am only asking if requests to identify a library with a particular sound in them should be off topic.

3 Answers 3


If nothing else AJ, they are useful questions because someone may have that specific sound in their personally recorded (unreleased, ungoogle-able) library that they are willing to trade or hand over.

  • VERY good point I even forgot to touch on. And I know I've asked my share of these request questions and have paid it forward to others in return. Feb 11, 2014 at 20:40
  • Is that something that happens regularly? If the hit to miss ratio is high (someone typically has a sound that fits) then I guess I could see this being a good argument, but if most of the time people don't, then it seems like it could result in a lot of noise. I'm mostly just worried about having a large portion of the site simply be asking for various sounds since that would detract from the rest of the site.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Feb 11, 2014 at 20:40
  • Yes, regularly (see questions with REQUEST prefix) Feb 11, 2014 at 20:41
  • Ok, thanks, that helps me understand where it is coming from.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Feb 11, 2014 at 20:41
  • Hmm, one major problem I noticed looking through some of these REQUEST questions is that the majority of answers consist solely of "talk to me I have something". That's got no longevity to it at all because if the user ever stops being active, then the answer is worthless and a new user could potentially have to go through dozens of dead answers before finding one that works. That's a major problem to the usability of the site.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Feb 11, 2014 at 20:46

It is certainly on topic and a great help to the user base. I completely, 110% disagree with you. I learn and stay current by hearing of a lot of libraries mentioned through here, as I'm sure others do. It was ALWAYS been a relevant question to SSD/SDSE, and it should remain so.

Yes, instructions on how to make a sound are useful... but without source material, doing so is useless. It's like driving a Porsche with no gas in the tank.

Sound library questions, again, are very relevant, and very on-topic. We cannot do our job without sound libraries, as much as we like to record our own material, and sharing that knowledge on here is of great benefit to the user base. I mean this is, and has been, a sound design forum. That answers the question of relevance pretty black and white.

  • How is it of any additional benefit beyond being able to google for that kind of a sound though? The point of a Q/A site isn't to be the google of finding any particular sound. It is to be a repository of knowledge about the field. Questions that are more broadly useful about a sound library (such as what the relative strengths and weaknesses of different libraries is) would be much more useful in my opinion, but looking for where to find one particular sound seems like a LMGTFY question.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Feb 11, 2014 at 19:23
  • By the way, not trying to argue with you, just trying to understand where different members of the community are coming from.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Feb 11, 2014 at 19:24
  • Well I'm sorry to say that it is argumentative no matter how you try to frame it. Being a repository of knowledge about the field makes a sound library question of perrfect relevance. Again we can';t do our job without source material.Example: sound.stackexchange.com/questions/22142/… New library, unknown provider, would never have learned of this without it coming up in a SSD/SDSE discussion. Feb 11, 2014 at 19:27
  • that was what I was trying to clarify, the sample you gave would still be on topic under the answer I gave. It is talking about a library in general, not trying to find a library with one particular sound. I have edited my answer to try to clarify this.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Feb 11, 2014 at 19:30
  • Thanks for clarifying. I still think it's relevant because there are so many libraries out there, many of use have worked or know of many of them, and can give feedback to others with questions about drilling down on the best offerings. Example: someone asks where they can find some good vehicle sets. I might say: Feb 11, 2014 at 19:35
  • There's the SI 5000 series, okay recordings, not too great, but a lot of different vehicles - Dodge Omni/Neon and Crown Vic and Mustang GT are decent though. There's also some workups in the General HD, don't know about them. Soundstorm has a a few good workups of a Crown Vic Chrysler Sebring, Mercedes E320 among others - its Chevy Malibu is okay too. Boom Library's Everyday Cars has a good variety of Euro cars. recordings are okay, but lots of good gems in there especially the car doors. Feb 11, 2014 at 19:38
  • that makes sense. Honestly, I'm even a bit torn when it comes to something more categorical like that. I'd be more inclined towards having a question like "where can I find good car sounds?" than "where can I find a good 2013 porche sound?" It's much harder to research the entirety of a library vs one particular sound you are looking for.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Feb 11, 2014 at 19:39
  • This can not only help the OP, but a future user who may search the site seeking similar advice. And in doing so, we've done a service to the community. Feb 11, 2014 at 19:39
  • Part of the confusion to which the question is being based off is likely because the "question" in question asking for a specific roomtone quality (ambiguous at best, there really is no such thing as "that" type of roomtone) versus concretely asking for a make and model of a car or something of that nature. Feb 11, 2014 at 19:44

Personally, I believe they should be marked as off-topic as shopping recommendations because there is no added benefit being provided from the site or to the site. If they can find our question here, then they should be able to find it from a sound library as well. While instructions on how to help make a sound are very useful, where to purchase one seems to be of dubious lasting value at best.

Note that I'm not saying that I think sound libraries in general should be off-topic, but rather than shopping for one particular sound doesn't give any additional benefit beyond what a Google search could do and doesn't add value to a Q/A site. Questions on the strengths of various Sound Libraries would be broadly useful and could still potentially be on topic. (Though I don't know if answers to such questions would stay valid over time or not.)

I think there may be room for questions that deal with looking for a library that fits a category of sounds well since this becomes more complicated than a Google search to judge the quality of a large portion of a library, however I think if they are looking for one specific sound, it is probably too specific and should be re-asked or edited to be more generally useful.

  • It's on topic simply because its a request from a fellow sound designer in need of help. I'm not sure about how it'll be if video editors start asking for sounds, but previously with SSD, we all understood the nature of our jobs and just wanted to help wherever we could. And in full trust that we would be supported in our times of need. So yes its definitely on topic.
    – user6513
    Mar 15, 2014 at 18:20

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