This question is a duplicate of this question on guitars.SE, and of course completely on topic on both sites. In my opinion, that is an example of how these micro sites for musicians are a mistake.

Most questions on this site is about recording music. And not only are then question about how to best record an acoustic guitar on topic on several sites, somebody who records a band will want to know why that fourth string on a guitar buzzes, how to tune drums so they sounds better and where to buy a good piano stool that doesn't squeek.

There is no sharp distinction between the musicianship of a guitar hero and the musicianship of a sound engineer. In Audio Recording and production, all this knowledge is needed. When recording a band, you need to fuse the knowledge of singing, playing various instruments and how to best record them into one indistinguishable whole.

There is already a proposal for Musical Practice and Performance. I think that it should be extended to include recording. The main reason it doesn't already do this is because audio.SE already exists. The users here should all commit to it, and we could then move these questions there.

There is a similar discussion on guitars.SE, and seeding a new music site with questions from audio.SE and guitars.SE would make for a healthy start.

UPDATE: music.SE is here now. This is therefore now more a question of if we should migrate the music recording questions or not.

8 Answers 8


Conceptually I like the idea of having a more widespread approach to a single site, for the same reasons you mentioned: there are a bunch of questions that are definitely on topic on several sites.

The key distinction for me would be what the intended audience of any of these sites would think of having a broader scope. Would recording engineers have any real interest in reading a general "making music" site? Would a guitar site's audience really want recording discussions? Maybe. It'd really be speculation for me to say one way or another. I personally would enjoy reading all of that in one place, but I'm no professional, and my hobbyist recording isn't that far from my hobbyist songwriting.

StackOverflow.com does experience similar fracturing though, due to the number of programming languages and technologies involved. How much trouble does it cause for that site to have all the different programming languages and technologies on one site? I suspect a music site's experience will be mostly similar.

  • I'm sure a guitar sites audience have no problem with recording discussions. If professional sound engineers want guitar questions or not I'm less certain of. Stackoverflow works wonderfully and benefits from the wide scope. There is noticeable fracturing in that many people (including me) never leave their favorite tags, but that fracture is beneficial for those with a narrow interest, and trivial to overcome for those that cares about many things. Feb 17, 2011 at 17:21
  • I'm with @Lennart on this one: I think mixing the two is a good idea, there's much to be learned from both camps being under the same SE banner. Tag filters can help people ignore the stuff they really don't want to see. I look at superuser.com as an example: I like that it mixes all OSes (though I'm guilty of using apple.SE a lot these days). So this is my vote for merging audio.SE and guitars.SE.
    – Ian C.
    Feb 25, 2011 at 17:21

Do note that one community member is not restricted to register at only ONE SE site. I think professional guitar players that are also pro engineers are looking on both sites.

Therefore, IMO it comes down to this:

  • Don't ask the question on both sites. You are most likely getting answers from people who are looking at both sites anyway.
  • Ask the question on the site where you expect most people knowing the answer. I don't know much about the guitar player scene, but if the question is about making a professional recording, you will probably have more success in here than you would have in guitars.SE
  • I agree completely with this answer. Having many other irrelavant questions to recording would be a bother to look through. Players writing songs or performing don't need to know about mixers necessarily, and when they decide to they can come here. How would tons of points in piano playing be useful when discussing cable lengths and distortion?
    – Vass
    Mar 14, 2011 at 16:37

I agree that there is a lot of overlap, as many people who are into audio recording are hobbyists with home studios wanting to record their own music / bands. There are several aspects of musicianship that are of interest to such people and could fit quite well on this site I think:

  • composing
  • arranging
  • technique (getting a good sound / performance from your instrument)
  • gear recommendations (again with particular reference to what gets me a good recorded sound)

I personally would be very happy with a "recording musician" focus for this site. However, this is not the same thing as saying that all questions on musical instruments belong here. Also, I see no reason to turn away those whose interest is in recording podcasts, or film soundtracks etc.

  • Well, music.SE has arrived, and merging with the Video proposal seems quite popular. So it's more a question of migrating music recording questions to music.SE. Apr 27, 2011 at 13:32

I'm strongly in favor or merging this forum with other music-production related forums in the StackExchange universe.

StackOverflow, the Stackexchange site where it all started, is a good example of whiy this would be a good idea: Many developers got sick of having to look for the suitable forum and create an account there just for asking a new question about a technology they are using for the first time. At StackOverflow they don't have to, because everything programming-related is acceptable.

Likewise, as a composer I have questions about music theory, some new keyboard that just appeared, audio engineering, music theory and other topics vaguely related to making music. Having one forum where i can ask all these questions would be a huge plus for me.

Sure, there would be more topics that are not related to audio engineering. But since all questions are tagged by topic it's very easy to filter out those you might not be interested in.


Hi from a Music.SE frequenter.

I would definitely welcome audio production questions on Music.SE, provided we can come up with good tagging and such. I think there are two issues here:

1 . Involvement of production/recording equipment in recording of acoustic music

The choice of instruments and even technique can be influenced by recording equipment and venues and such. For instance, violinists will often play aggressively in large concert halls, and much more delicately in recording studios in order to avoid gritty sounds. The choice can be as much a matter of musical preference as a technical one, as a lot of people like the strong attack sounds of the violin -- whereas many don't.

So, in that sense, recording and production plays an active role in music performance -- and hence should be considered an aspect of performance.

2 . Electronic/electroacoustic music

This is a slightly weaker point that's still worth noting anyway.

The border between performance, composition and recording is often completely blurred, and electroacoustic music spans the whole spectrum.

On one end you have almost purely electronic musicians like Daft Punk; on the other end you have mixed musicians like Radiohead. Both of them use production equipment not only for recording and production, but as first-class compositional elements.

As much as I'm more of an acoustics person myself, I think it should be said that to a lot of musicians, the issue is one of a continuum -- so they would much rather production and performance seen as one.


There is no sharp distinction between the musicianship of a guitar hero and the musicianship of a sound engineer.


Audio Engineers are not musicians… and just because someone who plays an instrument might be interested in recording their music, that does not make them an engineer.

There's much more to audio engineering than studio work. There's movies, sound effects, speech and live sound environments, game audio design, post processing, broadcasting, equipment design and electronics.

Audio Recording and Production encompasses the entire field of acoustical engineering, which goes way beyond the creative and more into technical aspects of recording. Schools offering BS degrees in audio production probably do not spend a lot of time talking about the best guitar strings. They are simply a different audience.

Musicians also work with MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interfaces) and computers. That doesn't mean they should merge with Super User. You really can take this "there's overlap so let's merge" idea too far. Taken to it's logical conclusion, you'd end up with one big site with tags: Why can't you have just one site

  • 2
    Note the "Sharp distinction" mention. Again, just as a drummer needs to know tune drums, so does a sound engineer, and just as a guitarist needs to know how to make his guitar sound good, so does the engineer, etc. The overlap is massive, and there is no sharp distinction between the audiences, which for the overwhelming part will be amateur musicians anyway. Obviously you can take any idea too far. This is not the case here, IMO. Feb 23, 2011 at 15:06
  • there is a point to this answer. Maybe it is too strong, but not completely off. There is a difference in emphasis. like pelle ten cate says, that you can register on multiple sites.
    – Vass
    Mar 14, 2011 at 16:39

I disagree entirely with merging audio recording with Music, to borrow from my answer there on this question.

First, if the AV site crashes and burns, that's a discussion for then and not now.

Second, it would be bizarre and confusing for AVP to cover non-music audio and for Music to cover recording music. There's a huge overlap in the techniques, technology, etc. and there's no reason that people with expertise in recording audio shouldn't be able to talk about recording music.

While it's true that many musicians have recorded music and have expertise in that area, I would expect audio engineers who record music for a living to have greater expertise. A much larger group with expertise in recording music should be present at the AVP site.

And, while it's true that many musicians may have questions about recording their music, StackExchange makes it easy to direct them to the Audio site. Moderators can also easily migrate questions to that site. A large proportion of AVP users will be able to answer their questions, as opposed to the small proportion of musicians who have done serious audio production.

I also disagree with others who think music recording, or apects of it, should be on-topic on both sites. That makes for confusion and a division of expertise. There's also no clear line between the audio-engineer-technical-aspects and the musicality-aspects, and drawing one would be likely to alienate people. Technicians wouldn't react well to being told they aren't "musical enough", and that sort of thing.


I oppose merging Audio with the Music site, particularly right now, and here's why:

Music is currently experiencing an influx of question from the just-closed Guitars site, and the fallout from those questions hasn't settled yet. Of course, the obvious solution to that is to let some time pass--but do we really want things to stabilize there, only to bring in several hundred more "outside" questions?

At the moment, there's a vocal minority in Music opposed to guitar electronics questions, and (I think) wants to close them as a matter of course. (There was apparently a chat about this, which I'm not even going to read.) I've brought up migrating some of those to Audio (such as questions about line noise and ground loops and so on) as an attempt at compromise, and there's some agreement on that.

However, I'm getting a distinct vibe of *"only real music here, please"* at the moment. And, as a guitarist, I'm suddenly feeling very unwelcome there. Am I going to be sneered at if I ask my question about my noisy wah pedal there, or shielding the cavity of a Squire telecaster?

I think that at the moment, those questions would be in serious danger of being closed, despite their clear relationship to maintaining guitars and making music. (Rock is still music, last I checked.)

In summary, I don't think Music can handle a merge like this at this point in time, nor should they be expected to.

  • Depends on what "this point in time" is, which will change. :-) I do agree that there is a vocal minority that says "only real music please" and "real music" is apparently what is referred to as "classical". That attitude will kill this site. May 30, 2011 at 4:36
  • "This point in time" is May 29 2011 at 21:51. When circumstances change, so can this answer. Jun 3, 2011 at 18:29

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