There was recently the question

Making all elements clearly audible in the mix

Which seems better suited for Sound Design stack exchange

There was another question related to mastering which I reccommended be moved to sound. stackexchange, but there was some debate in the comments about where the question belongs, so straight up:

Where do Questions pertaining to mastering, mixing or Production belong, and are they allowed on music.stackexchange?

Thinking about it now, it seems that there could be some value to having mixing questions on here, when it comes to things like how to mic up an instrument, doing live eq etc, but does that extend to doing an album mix, and if not, where is the line?

  • As long as it's about music production, it's currently on-topic. Mastering dialogue or sound effects would not be.
    – user28
    Nov 4, 2014 at 18:53
  • 1
    @MatthewRead Your statement makes little sense semantically. Mastering and sound effects are music production, and we have many forms of them as popular questions and answers. They don't want to be "audio SE", they are "sound design SE", and their complains make that distinction clear. It is common that Sound SE users refer to us for "more musical subjects", including mixing and mastering of musical works. "Mastering" is a board concept, I think that instead of rejecting it all (which wouldn't make much sense), we should define (or clarify) which facets are on-topic and which aren't. Nov 4, 2014 at 19:22
  • @JCPedroza Sound effects can be used in music, sure, but that doesn't make working with sound effects automatically about music. I was also not talking about the Sound Design site in my comment above. Your comment on the answer appears to be restating exactly what I said above.
    – user28
    Nov 4, 2014 at 19:51
  • 1
    @MatthewRead "Appears" is the magic word. As written, your statement can be interpreted in many different ways. I wouldn't normally care much about it, but coming from a moderator I think it's important to make this things as clear as possible. "Mastering dialogue or sound effects would not be" can easily be used by trigger happy users to close anything mastering and sound effects related. A more accurate statement would be "Mastering dialogue or sound effects that isn't related to music would not be". Even in your given context, it can be confusing. Nov 4, 2014 at 20:40
  • @MatthewRead The reference to Sound SE was made by the asker and by you in another comment. The status of the scope of that site is a mess. Even the mods are not sure of what they want to be. Nov 4, 2014 at 20:43
  • 2
    As one of those mods, I agree with you JC! There are really two communities in there. They haven't merged well at all.
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Nov 5, 2014 at 9:51

2 Answers 2


I think we should welcome these questions here, as long as they are related to music. Even if you're not actively performing these tasks, it's good to know what the engineer is doing when you're in the studio.

Also, the status for sound design is unclear to me. Before when questions were suggested for migration there, it seemed their scope was not clear. Different communitites have been merged there, and there were difficulties coming to an agreement.

We should have very good reasons for disallowing certain types of question. If there already is a stack exchange where the questions are welcomed, that could be one. But I don't think that's the case in this example.

  • Whether sites overlap is more or less up to the SE team that decides whether to start a new site (from Area51 or otherwise). Generally speaking, scope does not change for an existing site based on the creation of another that overlaps. We should just worry about what we here want to cover and what serves our user base. With that said, the status and scope of Sound Design is extremely unclear to me as well. sound.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic provides no help besides repeating the name of the site. I won't migrate anything there unless requested both by the poster and an SD mod.
    – user28
    Nov 4, 2014 at 18:43
  • 2
    We should welcome mixing and mastering questions as long as they are related to music. There's mixing and mastering outside the musical realm. With that said, I don't see mixing or mastering questions on this site that aren't related to music. Nov 4, 2014 at 19:29
  • @JCPedroza: Yes, added that clarification to my answer. Nov 4, 2014 at 21:10

Within the music and production communities, "Sound Design" has a meaning (albeit grey), and it's normally unrelated to production techniques for realistic recording of live instruments. If I'm trying to find out how to mic up, fx process, and mixdown a recording of a band, calling it sound design would be a real stretch. I'm not trying to "make a new sound".

  • It might be a "real stretch" by your definition, but sound design is not a well defined concept and the meaning changes depending on who you ask. Nov 5, 2014 at 23:24
  • No, that is incorrect. I've worked in live music, acoustic production, and pure synthesis contexts. No one calls regular acoustic music production "sound design", they just don't. If the SE were named "Music Production & Sound Design" that would make sense, but "sound design" is a term largely used in film music, video game, and synthesis circles. It's never heard in regular music production circles. Nov 6, 2014 at 5:58
  • Regarding sound design, what is being done in films, music, video games, and synthesis circles than isn't being done in music production? Nov 6, 2014 at 7:10
  • Sound Design is a subset of music production. Within the music community "Sound Design" means something. It doesn't mean recording, mixing, and mastering a live band. Seriously. Look on Amazon for books on Sound Design and check the table of contents. Sound Design is about sculpting new sound with synthesis and sampling techniques and processing to make them new, not capturing existing sound accurately. SE can keep the sound design site named as is, but musicians will keep posting production questions here because they won't think it belongs on a forum called Sound Design. Nov 6, 2014 at 16:04
  • Oscillators, operators, samplers are nothing more than sound sources. In the case of recording engineers the sound source is the musician. Instead of envelope, filter, (etc) knobs they use angles, distances, mic choice. The musician is designing sound too, shaping it through the performance details and device choice. Sound design isn't exclusive to synths and samplers. Foley artists are the fathers of sound design, they are considered sound designers, they carve their sounds acoustically, and capture them using microphones, and they worry about recording accurately. Nov 6, 2014 at 17:50
  • Take a look at sound design for visual media. Dialogue, effects, ambience (atmosphere), and music are all considered integral dynamics of the sound design of the work. For a lot of people, sound design is much more than "sculpting new sound with synthesis and sampling". I can also refer you to sources that share my definition (Emroy University sound design course, David Sonnenschein's Sound Design book, and even the Wikipedia entry, to name a few), and that's my whole point: the definition changes depending on who you ask. Nov 6, 2014 at 18:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .