Mailing List
           A Professionally Oriented Audio Discussion Group
                  In The Spirit of Plato's "Republic"      
Q:      What is PRO-AUDIO?
A:      PRO-AUDIO is a professional discussion group dedicated to the
        discussion of issues endemic to the world of audio engineering.
        It is meant to provide an alternative to for those
        who seek a more intellectual, engineering-oriented list for the
        discussion of technical issues, audio philosophy, and other 
        allied arts.
Q:      Why is PRO-AUDIO a mailing list and not a USENET newsgroup?
A:      USENET is, frankly, too noisy.  The spirit of PRO-AUDIO used to
        be embodied on the newsgroup when it was created
        several years ago.  Back then it was a group for professionals,
        and conscientious non-professionals, to discuss technical issues
        in audio, and for students of audio to raise legitimate and well
        thought out questions that would spark intriguing discussions
        among audio professionals. But today, with every twelve-year-old 
        with a modem and a Tascam Portastudio on the net (and many adults 
        acting like 12-year-olds), the pro audio groups have been swamped 
        by issues that are of no interest and as a result, most professionals       
        have fled the newsground. PRO-AUDIO is a venue to give those 
        professionals, and those who truly wish to learn from them, a 
        private forum.
Q:      Who is welcome on PRO-AUDIO?
A:      Anyone is welcome to read PRO-AUDIO, but posting on the mailing list is
        restricted to audio professionals, students, and conscientious 
        non-professionals. Recognized audio professionals will be placed on a 
        special list that will permit them to post freely on PRO-AUDIO.  Those not 
        on this invited list are welcome to submit postings to PRO-AUDIO which may 
        be posted at the list moderators’ discretion.
        The operators of PRO-AUDIO (a committee chosen by the staff of PGM,
        the late Gabe Wiener's company) reserve the right to decide, in 
        their sole judgment, who gets to post and who doesn't.  PRO-AUDIO 
        is not a democracy.
Q:      What's all this about Plato's Republic?
A:      Plato asserted in his monumental work "Republic" that democracy
        was the worst possible form of government, because the populace
        did not have enough specialized knowledge to make judgments.
        The best governance, according to Plato, comes from those who
        have specific knowledge of the field of governing.  An analog of
        this is why we go to doctors.  When one is ill, one does not
        take an opinion poll on what the best treatment should be.
        One instead goes to someone with specialized knowledge...a
        doctor.  When one is lost at sea, a vote among the sailors
        as to which direction to go is hardly the most appealing
        option.  Far wiser is to ask someone trained in the art of
        direction-finding....that is, a navigator.
        In the case of governance, the person skilled in the art of
        running a state was called a Philosopher-King...that is, 
        someone who was vested with absolute power, but someone who
        also knew to use it do what is _right_.
        [I recommend the Allan Bloom translation of "Republic" for 
        those who want fuller details on this paradigm, known as
        "The Ship of State." - Gabe]
        PRO-AUDIO operates on the same principle.  Plato predicted
        that democratic governments eventually descend into chaos.  The
        newsgroups of USENET have succumbed to this phenomenon.  Once 
        an idyllic intellectual forum governed by courtesy and
        thoughtfulness, today's USENET is nothing if not chaotic.
        While PRO-AUDIO is open to anyone who behaves themselves,
        it is certainly not a democracy.  Anyone who behaves in an
        obnoxious, rude, or inappropriate manner (as determined solely
        by the list's operators) will be extirpated.
Q:      But isn't that censorship?
A:      Yes.  But this is my private machine and I can do whatever I
        want on it.  A magazine can refuse to print your article.  A 
        bookstore can refuse to sell your book.  Those who don't like
        my policy of moderation can feel free to post to the newsgroups 
        and be assured that they (and everybody else and his brother) 
        will have all the free speech they care for.
        As A.J. Liebling once wrote, "Freedom of the press is largely
        reserved for those who own one."  This is my press, and I
        decide who gets to use it.
        The reputation of the operators of PRO-AUDIO is well established 
        in the professional audio community, and these guidelines are here 
        to keep PRO-AUDIO a pleasant place for professionals to discuss
        audio.  We have no desire to have our mailing list flooded with 
        for-sale messages or with outlandish and patently absurd techno-babble
        spewed by people who couldn't engineer their way out of a paper bag.
        Behavior on PRO-AUDIO is nothing but common sense.
Q:      What kind of postings are prohibited?
A:      The following are examples of inappropriate messages.
        - For Sale and Wanted-To-Buy messages, EXCEPT when the item being
          bought or sold is of particular significant interest to audio
          professionals.  In other words, if you're selling your old 
          U-87 or a used DA-88, forget it. 
        - Argumentative and nonconstructive discussions that attempt for
          instance to assert that analog or digital audio is "better" 
          than the other, or that simply agree with a previous post 
          without adding significantly to the discussion.
        - Articles of the "What's the best microphone for under $100?"
          variety.  Most of us don't know about mics in that price range.
Q:      How do I subscribe to PRO-AUDIO?
A:      List subscriptions are handled through a web interface at 
        Enter your email address, choose a password and select whether you want
        to read individual list posts or the digest (a daily collection, or 
        whenever the postings reach about 40 kbytes). You’ll be e-mailed a 
        confirmation code, respond to that and you will be subscribed.
        Once you’re subscribed, you can log in to the web interface with your 
        email address and password (if you forget the password you can enter just 
        the email address and the password will be sent there) and change 
        addresses, put the subscription on hold, change to digest mode and so on.
Q:      How do I post to PRO-AUDIO?
A:      Send mail to and the system will instantly recognize 
        you and pass your message to the list moderators about as fast as you can 
        send it. Readers whose contributions to the list are of consistently high 
        quality will be added to the invited posters list and will be permitted to 
        pass their messages through to the list without the need for moderation.
        If you have administrative requests, send to:
Q:      What if I don’t want to use the web interface?
A:      All of the subscription functions may be handled by e-mail as in 
        past versions of the ProAudio list software. Send a one-word e-mail
        “help” (without the quotes) to 
        and a list of instructions will be returned to you.
Q:      How do I retrieve copies of posts that have appeared on PRO-AUDIO?
A:      All PRO-AUDIO posts are archived and will be sent to you by e-mail
  upon request to the list server. Posts from the beginning in 1995
        are still stored on the Majordomo server. If you send an e-mail
        message to with the lines
        index pro-audio
        index pro-audio-digest
        you'll get a complete list of the archive files available for 
        download (index pro-audio sends a list of the monthly archives,
        index pro-audio-digest sends a list of the digests). Then, send
        another message to with the line
        get [listname] [filename]
        where [listname] is either pro-audio or pro-audio-digest, and
        [filename] is the complete file name as shown in the list you
        received. You can combine as many get commands as you like in
        one mail message; the files will be e-mailed to you.
        Posts from December 15, 2004 to the present are archived on the 
        Mailman server and can be reached via the web and e-mail interfaces
        described above.
Q:      What may I do and not do with the postings and archives of 
A:      The entire contents of Pro-Audio are copyright by the estate
        of Gabe Wiener and by the original individual posters, and may
        not be copied, sold or used in any commercial or restricted 
        manner. Individual subscribers are granted a nonexclusive,
        nonassignable right to copy the contents for their own use but
        such use may not include providing the contents to any other 
        party. Interested parties are invited to refer to the subscription
        and archive features of Pro-Audio where all content posted since
        1995 is available, but such linking may not include the 
        production of compilations, archives, indexes or similar works.