35

We think this site needs an expansion in scope to survive, as previously discussed in

Is the scope of this site too narrow?

How would you feel about merging with

Video and Film Production

Proposed Q&A site for professional, student and enthusiast directors, producers, writers, editors, engineers, technicians and cinematographers

?

We think this might be a logical grouping -- video production almost always involves audio, and many of the tools and processes are common.

If you like this idea, we can effectively re-launch the combined sites by expanding the scope of Audio to include Video.

  • What about Video/Film Recording? How will we call the resulting site? – Tamara Wijsman Apr 20 '11 at 20:42
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    We need a name that also recognizes that some questions are about live audio production. – jwernerny Apr 21 '11 at 12:35
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    Naming isn't my forté, but I do occasionally come up with good domain names. I propose av.stackexchange.com as the location of the merged site, if the merge goes through. – dgw Apr 22 '11 at 0:19
  • ...soooo, what happens next? There seems to be a kinda-sorta majority for merging with various buts and ifs attached. I feel like I'm just waiting for something--anything--to happen now. Can we help? Are you guys cooking up an amazing revamp behind the scenes to be revealed in a not too distant future? – user13 Apr 26 '11 at 23:44
  • @Kim Burgaard: What's happening now is we're listening... and discussing. There's no urgent need to make this happen yesterday, but we're going to implement this soon. It's those "buts and ifs" you mentioned (plus just giving everyone the chance to discuss and get used to the idea) that makes a more deliberate and sensible time line preferable. – Robert Cartaino Apr 27 '11 at 1:55

14 Answers 14

41

Yes!

Let's do it! This site is extremely high quality but, let's be honest, the number of new questions that show up here is barely adequate to keep the site interesting. Meanwhile we've got a bunch of people interested in video production who are chomping at the bit to get started.

I suggest keeping a mostly technical focus on all aspects of video and audio production, while avoiding the film-school "storytelling" aspects of filmmaking.

  • I agree; Most of the audio and video sites I have participated in don't gravitate towards discussions of "storytelling." They're more technical -- Mostly sites talking about the "production" aspect of those topics. Any story telling is typically limited to techniques, methodology, and the technical aspects of how to convey aspects of the story properly ("How to convey that the story has jumped back in the timeline?") – Robert Cartaino Apr 11 '11 at 21:05
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    I'm all for it as long as it stays focused on the technical aspects as mentioned above. – Friend Of George Apr 15 '11 at 21:26
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    I am also in favour of this merge. – Ian C. Apr 20 '11 at 20:41
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    I always knew Joel was just a Yes-man for Jeff... :P – Nick T Apr 20 '11 at 20:41
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    I'm also in favour; just like Software and Hardware get along on Super User, Audio and Video should be able to go along here... – Tamara Wijsman Apr 20 '11 at 20:43
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    Hello. I just received the email related to this question. As a developer and user of audio & video based software, I can tell you that each camp has a wealth of benefit by being exposed to the other. Timelines are timelines. Tracks are tracks. Background noise is an annoyance no matter the form its getting written out to tape. In regards to staying on the technical side, I believe that is where audio & video have the most to learn from each other. It would be a pointless endeavor to lump song-writing and script-writing in here as well. – mummey Apr 20 '11 at 20:52
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    I don't care WHERE it is, I just want there to be a good Q&A site for audio. It's my favorite hobby and the site has been hugely helpful, at least for me personally. I try to answer everything I can here in order to help make it a solid site, but there really aren't that many new questions that come in. – Warrior Bob Apr 20 '11 at 21:18
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    +1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 – An̲̳̳drew Apr 20 '11 at 21:50
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    Yes, because I'd hate to see it die. – Agos Apr 20 '11 at 22:11
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    I'm in favor because a larger audience will help establish momentum for the site, and if the traffic later warrants, it can be split if necessary. – JYelton Apr 20 '11 at 22:55
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    When I'm not buried in program code, I work with both audio and video production on a semi-professional basis. I agree that there are many crossover topics even though the purist in me might like to see the separation. I would be really excited to see the video exchange get going. Putting the two together makes sense to me. – bogeymin Apr 20 '11 at 23:30
  • I don't think it's possible to eliminate the "story telling" aspects as you suggest. The very fact that Video, Audio and "Audio for Film" production is oriented to story telling and "Audio for Music" production is an end in itself means that the technical questions and answers change completely. For example, mixing for theater is entirely different from mixing for headphones or for the home stereo system. I suggest finding another way to make audio production more attractive. – msutherl Apr 21 '11 at 0:00
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    I'm in favor of the combination. – Moshe Apr 21 '11 at 2:48
  • I would love to see this happen if only to get the wider video community (nearly all of which do audio in addition to video) a good place to ask questions as well. – Ron Warholic Apr 21 '11 at 19:16
  • I agree with @Warrior Bob but extend it to music/audio in general, a big stackoverflow style site for music/audio would be great. The only problem with that (as you see on Area51) is you get the linux vs unix mentality creeping in, which is really frustrating if you just want a decent site to cover it all. – Chris S Apr 27 '11 at 8:21
22

No!

I came to this site needing some information about creating and mastering audio tracks for music production. This has nothing to do with Video or Film Production.

Video may almost always involve Audio, but Audio doesn't always involve video. In fact, i imagine in most case it doesn't considering the size of the music industry, live performance, record labels, recording studios, etc.

I propose that we expand Audio to Audio & Music Production and thus merge sites such as the Guitar site into it. There is a large community of musicians, record producers etc which would more than likely love to have a site like this solely for music/audio. Film and Video production will just dilute it.

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    I agree completely. The problem is that there are two completely different industries involved. Associating video production to an audio production community results in a community of people from the Music Industry who sometimes work with video (music videos). Associating audio production to a video production website results in a community of people from the Movie Industry, video producers + "film sound" producers. I agree with David that Video and Film Production should address the film industry and Audio Recording and Production should be expanded to address more of the Music Industry. – msutherl Apr 20 '11 at 23:53
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    @David: Just to clarify, no one is proposing to narrow the coverage of audio on this site. Questions can be just about audio. We just want to create a more comprehensive site, inclusive of both industries. – Robert Cartaino Apr 21 '11 at 1:49
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    I don't care that much about video but I would like to see this site merged with other musician-themed StackExchange proposals such as Musical Practice and Performance. The only question I've asked got closed because it was related to "music", not "production". Too narrow- the technical and the creative belong together. – Nathan Apr 21 '11 at 2:03
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    +1 = Definitely NOT a good idea to add video. Sound and video are two very different beasts and most serious people who tackle those live in very different worlds. Keep them separate. Of course from a director point of view they come together, but from a Q&A point of view it does not make sense whatsoever to merge them. – asoundmove Apr 21 '11 at 4:41
  • @Jeff: I do not want to have to sort between video and audio questions when all I want to know is about audio. From a technical stand-point they are too far apart to bridge the gap. Each merit their own site. The converse, like David says would dilute this site unbearably. – asoundmove Apr 21 '11 at 4:44
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    +1 for "Audio & Music Production". Its scope feels more solid for a stack exchange website than a "Audio & Video Production" - which is too broad. Also, if they will be merged (audio with video), when the site will get too crowded it would be impossible to separate them. So, I think the right choice would be to expand audio to include the music industry, than the video industry. – nuc Apr 21 '11 at 8:00
  • Harmony Central has been one of the major audio/music forum on the Internet for years with over 15 million posts. That is a proof that audio.stackexchange can live by itself. Audio and Video are really 2 different expertises. – decasteljau Apr 21 '11 at 12:24
  • +1: Expanding the scope to include all things music-related feels like a much more natural and logical extension to me. For recording and producing music, understanding how to perform, tune and tweak the instruments, and to coach vocalists all relates to the final product. Apart from overall workflow topics, I don't have a good read on how much questions and answers from either side (audio vs. video) would appear relevant or interesting to the other camp. In fact, audio is frequently both recorded and produced separately from the footage, especially in professional video productions. – user13 Apr 21 '11 at 14:00
  • It seems to me that the gulf between audio and video can be solved very simply: audio and video tags. Look at stackoverflow: it's full of android, iOS, windows, microcontroller, everything. But people can find stuff OK. I think there's enough overlap between audio and video to merit a merger, and I don't think it'll cause searchability issues. – John Ripley Apr 21 '11 at 18:31
  • Guitars has been merged into Musicians. – Matthew Read May 31 '11 at 17:34
  • @John Ripley I think it would be quite a pain to have to add a tag to every question stating whether it is audio or video along with all the other tags. – Friend Of George Jun 8 '11 at 17:30
13

Yes, if "Audio" is added to to the title.

It is widely understood that audio editing is necessary in film production, but there is a huge category of audio editing that is separate from film. The title should reflect the inclusion of that category.

Maybe "Video, Film, and Audio Production".

  • or maybe Audio and Motion Picture Production – Adam Apr 20 '11 at 20:53
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    or something with the word Technical in it, to highlight it's not the creative side – 8128 Apr 20 '11 at 21:01
  • Why not Audio, Video and Film Recording and Production to keep the technical focus. It's not like film isn't a recording medium. – IDisposable Apr 20 '11 at 21:07
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    I don't think it will work to smash together two communities of people from completely different industries. Video, Film and "Audio for Film" production people are up to something completely different from "Audio for Music" producers. – msutherl Apr 20 '11 at 23:56
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    I think there is a lot to be gained by the merge, and I like the idea of keeping Audio in the name. I'm not sure I like the word "recording" as it immediately alienates those of us who primarily do live mixing. – jwernerny Apr 21 '11 at 12:44
  • I like the "AV Production" title proposed below the question above. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Apr 24 '11 at 14:41
12

I don't like it, but it may be the only way.

While I (admittedly) have not had the time to be engaged with this site, as a long-time recording engineer and a filmmaker, I would argue that the overlap in technical knowledge and ability to give answers between the two communities is largely a one-way street.

I work with many filmmakers who are only filmmakers. They come to me with audio questions all the time because they know I'm "an audio guy". I am capable of answering questions which other filmmakers are not capable of.

That's less true of the opposite. Audio engineers by-and-large are not going around trying to figure out how to do something in Final Cut, or which camera to buy unless they are coincidentally also working in that industry.

Audio is (in this day and age) inherently a part of film. Film is not inherently a part of audio, though.

The problem faced is that both communities are too small and insufficiently engaged in these sites to exist on their own. Putting them together forms a larger community, but that community may not have any coherence. It may even cause a greater number of unanswered questions, low-quality answers, or misinformed/non-expert answers which will only lead to a failure of two sites instead of one.

Long story short, I think this proposal provides a lot of benefit to the Video and Film community, and dilutes the Audio community. However, if it's the only way the site can survive then so be it.

9

No!

Let's not do it. It's true that this site has been slow getting off the ground, but take a look around the forums for any of the major DAWs (e.g. Cakewalk, Cubase, Reaper etc), as well as those of various hardware and plugin manufacturers (e.g. Line6, Toontrack) or general audio production sites (e.g. KvR, Sound on Sound) and you will soon see that there is a huge demand for answers to common questions on all manner of audio production related issues. What all those forums (and I could have listed many more) lack is the ability for people to find the best answers to common issues. That is the value proposition that StackExchange brings to the table.

I for one will quickly lose interest in this site if it gets diluted into a general purpose video production site.

  • 1
    I would also probably not come back. – Joe Mac Apr 20 '11 at 21:10
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    well, I just want to politely point out that this question went completely unanswered (Joel doesn't count) on meta.audio for nearly two weeks -- until we manually emailed the 500 users with rep >= 15. That is not a sign of a healthy site. I'd also politely point out that product-specific forums are a very different thing. – Jeff Atwood Apr 21 '11 at 3:43
  • @Jeff - if you look at any of the forums I mentioned you will see that even those that could be described as "product specific" have lots of questions that are not product specific at all. People who use one recording program / microphone / etc tend to run into the same sorts of issues as people who use a different one. – Mark Heath Apr 21 '11 at 5:40
9

No, but I propose a different expansion...

The video and audio camps are very different. I don't believe a merge-for-the-sake-of-a-merge with video makes much sense. However, I do strongly believe our focus should be expanded.

Topics that I believe should be on topic, in addition to the current:

  • Live Sound Production
  • Acoustics
  • Anything "live" production related (maybe even dig into lighting on the technical side of things?)
  • Broadcasting

Please comment with other suggestions. I know there are a few questions I've come across that would be gray area for the site.

Also, I realize these topics are generally accepted as on-topic for this site. However, our title/description doesn't really reflect that.

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    None of these are explicitly off topic today, although the "recording" part might indicate that. But it does say "and production". :-) – Lennart Regebro Apr 21 '11 at 14:49
8

Yes, but...

Quite a lot of the questions here are related to music production. That would be off topic on a Video site. On ther other hand, some questions are about things like podcasting or making sounds for games. That would be on-topic.

I think we have to look at each question to see if it should go to the Video site or not, and merge the other questions to a musician site, which seems likely to be coming soon: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/4059/musical-practice-and-performance

  • This seems sensible to me - I'd definitely feel like a video site would fracture into two general camps: "video" and "music". I initially didn't like the idea of merging with a musicians' site, but I'm warming to the idea. – Warrior Bob Apr 20 '11 at 21:21
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    Keep in mind that no one is proposing to narrow the coverage of audio on this site. Questions can be just about audio. Music production would be just as on topic as it is now. We just want to create a more comprehensive site, inclusive of both industries. – Robert Cartaino Apr 21 '11 at 1:41
  • @Robert: "On this site"? It was proposed to be merged. This site will then be no more. I think mixing music production and video production on the same site doens't make any sense whatsoever. The overlap in audience will be quite small, while the overlap in audience between music production and other musical practice and performance is massive. – Lennart Regebro Apr 21 '11 at 11:15
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    Yes, "On this site". The talk of merging is about merging the two topics. But it will be this site that is expanding to encompass the additional scope. This site is not going anywhere. – Robert Cartaino Apr 21 '11 at 13:56
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    @Robert: Well, it will be renamed from "audio" I suppose? :) So it's a new site, really. But the main point stands: Having Video production and Music recording in the same site makes much less sense than having Video + Audio production in one site and Music playing and recording in another. If we merge Video into this site or Music Perforamce and Production into this site matters less. Some questions will need to be migrated either way anyhow. – Lennart Regebro Apr 21 '11 at 14:46
4

Maybe!

I'm just a lurker on this particular StackExchange site.

I do composition, sound design, and programming. I often compose/edit to video, so the merger makes sense from that perspective.

However, my main gig is games. And frankly, the audio production process for games is significant enough to warrant being separated from Video. But, aside from the traffic problems you have now, you run into the problem of stepping on gamedev's toes.

There's also a huge community of audio people who aren't even interested in traditional audio production. Don't the audio programming and signal processing nerds deserve a space on StackExchange?

<Case In point>
Sadness:

</Case In Point>

Audio could encompass all of these, but then again there's little traffic on here. A better solution would be something like Multimedia.StackExchange, which could encompass production techniques for Film, TV, Web videos, Games, Art installations, etc.

GameDev.StackExchange is already pretty programmer-centric anyway, so I don't think it'd hurt to have questions that are more "art/audio department"-specific questions on a different site.


Edit

Final thought, if the scope is too narrow, expand the scope to cover all things related to audio. Not just the small subsect of postpro and music production. Part of that will involve attracting other types of audio people. I know I'd visit more often if I felt confident someone could answer a question about filter design.

  • I think the common ground between audio and video is to be found in signal processing, which should be kept separate since it covers much more than just audio and video. Signal, Image, & Video Processing needs supporters. – Eryk Sun Apr 20 '11 at 23:13
  • I'd be more interested in seeing this absorbed into larger audio/video StackExchanges, but you've got my commitment. – bearcdp Apr 21 '11 at 1:05
  • You mean extend it to audophiles? That is again a completely different audience from what the site aims at now. :-) And audiophilia is 100% about brands, so it would be a shopping site, not a Q&A site, really. So I don't see how that would work. – Lennart Regebro Apr 21 '11 at 11:23
  • No, not audiophiles, nothing related to brands. I agree that would be a pretty lame SE site. I'm talking about people interested in spatialization, physical properties of sound, the math behind all our lovely effects plugins, and synthesis (as in building your own patches in Max/SuperCollider/PD/etc. or making a hardware oscillator, or like the stuff Andre Michelle is doing with Flash: lab.andre-michelle.com/tag/audio ) – bearcdp Apr 21 '11 at 15:19
4

No!

I think audio production in itself is an expansive and very unique topic, but it seems as if the majority of questions are all related to audio itself;

These are all fantastic questions that get very high quality input from the community, but I think there's a lack of questions and content not due to scope but instead due to the format. Think of an audio question from above as a code question on Stack Overflow. You can post a specific issue and get an answer. If you want to talk about your favorite coding style, Programmers is the appropriate place. We need the equivalent of Programmers in order to promote more questions that focus on subjective techniques instead of definitive answers.

My opinion, anyway. Not like I'm going to protest if they get merged :)

Edit: I think it is very important to state that I am a music producer, and while I have extensive recording experience, when I'm here I'm looking for production-related information.

2

Neither expert in both field, but 134 days in beta with 372 questions and 271 visitors/day definitely proving this site need to expend more.

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2

Yes, but could it be with Music instead of Film and Video?

I think it's pretty clear that Audio.SE, as it stands, has been proven not to work very well. There is a small community who seem pretty dedicated, but the site is not "taking off." I think scope is exactly the problem, for a few reasons. I think Lennart Regebro put it best in this meta answer:

So non-musician guys come here and see questions about synthesizers and they go "Oh that kind of audio", and musicians go here and see questions about making gun sounds and podcasting and go "oh that kind of audio".

I don't think it stands a chance.

So I'm all for joining in with a larger community. However, I think it makes sense to associate more with a music community, where the kind of recording we're talking about is much more common (I think most of the questions on Audio.SE are about recording music). Is there any reason not to merge with, say, Guitars? Or the musicianship proposal on Area 51? It seems to me that the association would be clearer. If I say "studio" to musicians they all know exactly what I'm talking about, but if I say it to a video crowd, it could mean something completely different.

However, if we do merge with Film and Video, I'll still dive in and do whatever I know how to join in and help it out. While I think an "Audio and Music" site makes more sense, I believe the numbers and data will speak for themselves. If there's a problem, we can always split out somehow later. If it works, then I'll stand corrected. I mean, the StackExchange team has been doing this for a lot longer than I have :)

1

I'm not sure expanding to video will change a lot. Prosumer video is a smaller market than prosumer audio.

I think instead the problem is a focus on the technical side.

Currently the Audio site feels like a troubleshooting board. Where there has been wide questions asked related to practices or general knowledge, the discussions have been sufficiently rich. But on the scope of 'why isn't X digital output of Y model equipment working' or 'why does X software not work on Z audio interface', it gets too specific -- essentially, trouble-shooting.

If the creative/production/subjective side would make itself more present (as opposed to only 'audio'), I think a lot better discussions would happen around them.

Examples: electronic production, sound design, mixing, genres, workflows.

1

What's the rush? Why not give it a little longer time to mature? Surely the upkeep isn't that bad.

1

Merging with a video site could leave this site as an afterthought.

"Video and Audio Production" makes it seem like the site is for audio used in video. This title could lead viewers to believe that this site is not intended for Audio-only questions.

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