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Examples:

How to make this synth sound in the background around 0:15?

How to create a sound like the opening of this song by Mac De Marco?

Are these, and the occasional questions like them, on-topic?

Do we want them to be?

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Thoughts:

  • They strike me as being quite similar to identification questions, just with longer answers. E.g., instead of being able to say, "that's a G minor chord", it's more like, "that's a square wave and a saw wave with a 20 ms VCA attack and filter emphasis at 50%", etc.
  • They seem like they would rarely be useful to future readers.
  • Many sounds are only possible or are much easier with a specific synth or plug-in, which then makes questions about those sounds practically gear-search questions.
  • Extremely specific questions seem a lot worse to me than more general sound design questions. In other words, "how do I make this exact sound from this exact song?" seems much more problematic than "how can I create a soft brass pad with an analog subtractive synth?" Frankly, I'd personally prefer the latter kind of question be on-topic. The former, not so much.
  • I'd be more Ok with "I've been struggling to approximate this particular sound with my gear. Here's a sample of my goal and another sample of what I've been able to craft so far. What can I do to make my sound more similar?" That seems like a more interesting and useful question.
  • Maybe these questions would be reasonable if we required askers to state the specific equipment/plugins that they want to use to create the sounds. That would firmly remove the possibility of a gear search and turn it into an answer to a specific problem that can actually be answered.
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These type of questions are really only suitable for Sound Design, and there are some very smart sound engineers there who manage to help most people.

As Andrew T commented, the replication tag is most relevant.

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Are these, and the occasional questions like them, on-topic?

I think moderators have been clear that they are off-topic. Your question covers quite similar ground to my question here: Our on-topic page currently says that 'identifying a... technique' is off topic, but does that reflect our current feelings? ...which was answered by a moderator in no uncertain terms.

Do we want them to be?

I personally do think that answering questions along the lines of 'how do I make this musical sound' would seem to be one of the core purposes this site could serve.

As per some of the comments in my linked question, I do understand some of the concerns about these questions - they'd require work from the community to look for duplicates and keep the questions as searchable (and, perhaps, browsable) as possible.

One concern I don't really understand is the worry about questions turning into 'gear search' questions. If (as is most often the case) a sound is most straightforwardly produced with a particular class of equipment, then we can say so without needing to focus unnecessarily on particular makes and models, or allowing tedious 'what is the best'-type questions. If there are times when it really is only a specific bit of gear that will do the job, then on those rare occasions, we can be honest about that. (Gear search questions are only 'bad' when there isn't actually a right answer, IMO.)

Redirecting these questions to 'Sound Design' may work in practice - it rather depends how good they are at answering them. Last time I was over there, their site was a little quieter than this one.

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