What the hell is "Clipping"?

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Brooksy
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Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 12:42 pm Reply with quote

Not being talented enough to make electronica..and having a look around the boards...I noticed something that puzzles the heck outta me...

WHAT'S CLIPPING?

I have listened to a few tracks and can't notice anything wrong with them...Educate this dumb brain please Laughing
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unproject
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Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:14 pm Reply with quote

basically it's your audio signal going over 0 db. ya can avoid it by limiters or compressors. compressors over the ratio of 20:1 act as limiters. so with certain attack/release settings and the threshold < 0 db, a compressor with 20:1 ratio, will avoid clipping (if it's on the master track of course)

hope this helps
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unproject
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Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:20 pm Reply with quote

oh and it doesn't mean that if ya can't hear any weirdness because of clipping, nobody will. when mixing a professional tune, the goal is to make it sound good on all types of sound systems (and all types of ears of course) so since you can't know when clips will strike, best thing to do is avoid them in yer production stage
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baranimo
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Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:38 pm Reply with quote

what an explanation. Very Happy

your the man kanka. Very Happy
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Soulfish
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Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:46 pm Reply with quote

unproject wrote:
oh and it doesn't mean that if ya can't hear any weirdness because of clipping, nobody will. when mixing a professional tune, the goal is to make it sound good on all types of sound systems (and all types of ears of course) so since you can't know when clips will strike, best thing to do is avoid them in yer production stage


And check your mixes throughout the process on the shitest stereo you can get your hands on - Old Black and White TV's and my car are the current favourites with us.
Case in point - Listen to Panthera in a studio with proper monitors and you understand the skills they had and how involved their production is - otherwise - it's just another loud rock band (minus a guitarist - How gutted was I!!!!!)
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alek_acero
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Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 3:04 pm Reply with quote

unproject wrote:
oh and it doesn't mean that if ya can't hear any weirdness because of clipping, nobody will. when mixing a professional tune, the goal is to make it sound good on all types of sound systems (and all types of ears of course) so since you can't know when clips will strike, best thing to do is avoid them in yer production stage


yes , and this is the big difference between "cd" mastering and "live".....If ya wanna use a lot of distortion into a track ya will "clippppppp" and have to overcompress it to avoid clippind and the cd sounds bad......on the other hand, when ya're playing live (or djing) clipping helps a lot to saturate your basses and make ppl jump......even if they are overcompressed.....

the max "clip" ya can have is when smoke appears into the compressor and then....the amplificator cut off....bah! ( that's why ya have to use a band limiter)

(every amplificator has a "clip" led that helkp ya to know when your signal is too too...)
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Brooksy
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Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 3:21 pm Reply with quote

Wow...thanks guys....


Now....what the hell is clipping Shocked Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Thanks buddies. No wonder someone who heard a backing track wondered if the CD was faulty...thanks people. Wink
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Cnyl
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Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 7:31 pm Reply with quote

Ummmmm. you don't need to use limiters or compressors to avoid clipping. Just make shure that when you're laying your tracks that you keep your input level out of the red.
Closest to 0db as possible with out going over....
Quote:
yes , and this is the big difference between "cd" mastering and "live".....If ya wanna use a lot of distortion into a track ya will "clippppppp" and have to overcompress it to avoid clippind and the cd sounds bad......on the other hand, when ya're playing live (or djing) clipping helps a lot to saturate your basses and make ppl jump......even if they are overcompressed.....

the max "clip" ya can have is when smoke appears into the compressor and then....the amplificator cut off....bah! ( that's why ya have to use a band limiter)

(every amplificator has a "clip" led that helkp ya to know when your signal is too too...)

It is NEVER good to clip your amps for a long period of time... What kind of distortion are you talking about? Guitar distortion? You can use as much as you want with out clipping.
Just watch your input and output levels... If your talking about turning up your system to the point of distortion, well..... That's insane!! Back in the day the Peavy boards used to sound best for kick drums when clipping the input signal... Made it kinda dirty and gave it a little attack. But with digital... You don't want any distortion! Digital distortion is horrible! And it shows up everywhere..If you end up having distortion on a CD, something is TOOO LOUD! With anolog you had natural tape compression
wich helped a lot when going just past 0db...
Just keep everything out of the RED and you'll be ok.... The least amount of FX (comp/limiters) you use the better.. you don't need it when laying tracks! That all comes into play when you are ready to master.
Quote:
the max "clip" ya can have is when smoke appears into the compressor and then....the amplificator cut off....bah! ( that's why ya have to use a band limiter)

You are kidding I hope.....
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smili
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Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:04 pm Reply with quote

If you have a wav editor you can look at the file and see it go "off scale" or flatten out at points as it reaches maximium possible amplitude. Programs like Wavlab and Sonic Foundry will analyze a file and tell you how many "overs" you have and how many consecutive samples are clipped.

There's alot of clipping that you're not going to be able to hear. It's probably bad to to clip ever during the tracking phase or recording, but I'm going to say I'm not so sure on the final mix. There's clipping on commercial mixes (although sometimes they've just strapped on a brick wall limiter at 0.1db below 0, but even though it's not hitting 0db it's no longer a natural waveform), and there is clearly a tradeoff in pushing the levels hard. It might be worth it if pushing the levels hard sounds better than the mix without clipping. I think you may be surprised to find you like a somewhat clipped mix more than a non-clipped mix. In addition, I don't think hard limiting or heavy compression is always the answer. Sometimes it just won't sound as good. I know it's might be a cop out to say use your ears, but do some mixes and see what your ears tell you. I think you'll find on some types of music you'll be able to live with some clipping to get a mix that sounds better in other regards. Sonically there is a tradeoff in my ears to staying with conservative levels.

smili
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mittins
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Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:25 pm Reply with quote

It's when something in the recording sounds 'fuzzy' Brooksy. Confused
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Brooksy
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Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:28 pm Reply with quote

Thanks smili. Well..I've learned something...cool. Thanks people. Wink


mittins wrote:
It's when something in the recording sounds 'fuzzy' Brooksy. Confused


You ain't got my ears dude..everything sounds fuzzy Laughing
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mittins
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Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:32 pm Reply with quote

Cool avatar Brooksy, it's changed since I last had a look.
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Brooksy
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Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:36 pm Reply with quote

A lot has mittens.....(evil demonic laugh Evil or Very Mad )....Brooksy's getting down and dirty...WELCOME TO MY WORLD... Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad ...

OK, I just scared myself Laughing
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mittins
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Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:46 pm Reply with quote

Please refer to: OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION-" Personality test", page-2, post #8. Mr. Green
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Brooksy
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Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:51 pm Reply with quote

mittins wrote:
Please refer to: OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION-" Personality test", page-2, post #8. Mr. Green


Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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