Online Recording Forums Obsolete?

It seems to me that in years past there were many more Recording/ Mixing/ Songwriting forums online than there is in today’s online environment. I used to be a member of StudioTrax and I would often visit Brandon Drury’s site “Recording Review”. I’ve visited quite a few other sites for brief periods also.

Are there less online home recording forums than there used to be? The ones I’ve checked out in recent years seem to be ghost towns now and others have disappeared. I’m wondering if many home recording/ semi-pros, etc. have gravitated to getting their information on sites like Youtube, Reddit and other information/ learning based sites.

Do any of you know of other good sites to keep up with your recording/ mixing/ music knowledge and aspirations ?

I don’t have much time for online stuff anyway so I don’t look for places to post and I don’t like facebook etc so I can’t really answer this question, but when I google “at home recording forums” I see quite a few. , SOS forum, Gearslutz, to name a few. Of course forums come and go as we have seen, and people tend to move around.

Another factor here too maybe is the increasing automation of both music creation and production functions, that might enter into it, and the market for rap and electronic based stuff is huge and they don’t emphasize live recording as much as older styles do.

Just some thoughts.

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there are a few good communities on facebook as well but I do understand that some people dont like FB. Not sure how many “websites” per say are active anymore.

Youtube definitely has great resources for recording and mixing, but its hard to find first hand experience with some finer things. I dont think recording forums are obsolete or will be but they have sort of become like the hidden treasure.

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I have been wondering this as well lately @Wicked.

As a long time member and regular contributor to Recording review for a while there (maybe 2010 until it closed) I’ve noticed a change even on this forum that has a fair chunk of the loyal and regular RR users present too.

Personally, that time when I was a regular user of RR, I was consciously looking to improve my recording and mixing techniques. The RR forums were great and it was the 12 month mixing comp that was held there that got me improving the most (thanks to the wonderful feedback which continues here).

Initially, my thoughts were that the users here are already of a high level overall, or that they are amateurs who genuinely want constructive feedback that they will USE and feel comfortable here (unlike many FB pages where people are really just promo-ing under the guise of wanting feedback).

But as I find myself wanting to lift my game further again, I have found that yes, I turned to this forum, but largely have looked for more formal packages (video tutorials) - and some YouTube.

I love that the Bash This Recording section is alive and will here and I have valued the feedback I have received as well as the reciprocal benefits of listening to and commenting on other’s mixes.

But in regards to mixing and recording discussion, there is very little.
That makes me think that people are learning via other means. I don’t think they are obsolete a safe, knowledgeable and respectful community to critique mixes is hard to come by.
That’s why I love this place even if I just drop in and out in spurts.


I probably got into the recording forum thing fairly late… Around 2006 on RR. I got to watch this happen, and I found it fascinating. From that point, we had about a good 5 or 6 years before it all slowly disintegrated. Here is my (slightly cynical) take on it…

From my perspective, the reasons the “traditional” recording forum format died was because it represented a big hole in the market for online education, which was largely ignored while the last vestigages of the “old guard” of the recording industry while it remained intact… I mean, why would they take any notice of a bunch of rank amateurs and enthusiasts making a racket in their bedrooms? They were no threat; they were “inconsequential” - leave them to share their collective ignorance.

Around about 2008-10, suddenly everyone who had been making a living out of record production found themselves in the situation where they needed to “pivot” (as the entrepreneurial gurus say), because the bum fell out of the traditional record industry. Almost overnight, an extreme poverty of CD sales equated to no budgets for recording and mixing. Studios closed by the truckload. Those who still had clients moved their monitors into their spare bedrooms and continued to mix, albeit for much reduced rates - life in an already cutthroat industry became pretty much impossible.

Almost overnight, mixing “in the box” became ‘de rigueur’ among the crowd who had, only a few years before, sworn black and blue that it was “impossible” to mix a record professionally on anything less than an SSL4000E and a bunch of outboard gear in a million dollar studio.

Suddenly, “rank amateurs” and hobbiests (who, ironically were also mixing in their bedrooms) started to interest the pros… Why? They were still no threat in terms of the quality of their work. A few “weekend warrior” mixers/producers will never match the quality of those who have made it their life’s work, even when the “playing fields” (bedroom studios, ITB workflow) are levelled… So why the interest?

In the throws of a lack of work and income, some of the pros started to take more than a passing interest in the flourishing (at the time) recording forums, even engaging with the amateurs. (Who remembers “Mixerman” gracing us with his presence on RR? - that was fun)

… And it seems the really clever, shrewd go-getters realised that, in doing so, what appeared to be an undisciplined rabble of audio carnage and atrocity on the surface, was actually a glimpse of the promised land…

So the fulcrum of the “pivot” was realised: Rather than talking down to the amateurs, you needed to get on their level, feed them some free videos on YouTube to got them hooked. Why, there were already no-names with HUGE followings on YT dispensing mixing advice for “free”. Imagine the following you could gather if you could drop names at will and dispense tales of a storied career among the rarefied air of the top tier in music?

The path became clear. Follow the now standard Internet “drug dealer” business model (give the stuff away for free at first, then ask for payment for the “really good stuff” once the clientele is hooked). Build your own “communities” of those who now have paid for access to this “truly professionally lead group” who can share their newfound knowledge among each other. (Sound familiar?)

So within a few short years of the recording industry haemorrhaging money to it’s near death, the clever guys and gals at the top had it worked out: “Audio Education” was the new buzz word. All the better that you could dress it up very graciously as some kind of audio philanthropy. Suddenly, everyone from the rarefied realms was only to eager to “give back”!

They effectively co-opted a vast, existing audience into paying for something they were pretty much getting for free before… Only now the information was vetted and approved by “pros” and had the vital stamp of their “authority”…

… I mean, after all, how many different ways can you say “If it SOUNDS good, it IS GOOD”! (Smilie)


It’s not just music forums, it’s all forums. It’s a sign of the times - social media has taken over; forums are generally a thing of the past.


As consumer appreciation for the art form presumably degrades further with time, robots will likely take over the tasks. They are already training AI to learn jobs from humans and replicate them. At some point, a Pop music listener won’t know the difference between human and bot mixing and mastering. Just a theory. :wink:

You’ll know it’s happened when the Smithsonian sets up a quaint historical display dedicated to the human audio engineer. :roll_eyes:

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