How to deal will clipping?

wilson89

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#1
Ok so I'm fairly new to producing in terms of understanding how all the stuff actually works but there's one thing that bugs me, I'll be mixing a song for a while, it's going well, then when I listen back there's just on little point where the audio clips.

Now I'll try to lower something but then it dissapears in the mix, so I have to spend ages trying to get rid of this clip. Is there any plugin that can just detect this clip and help me out with it? I tried a limiter but that just squashes the entire track, i tried a maximer but again that squashes the track and makes my verses so loud that the chorus doesn't have any impact.
 

Manu Forti

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#2
if your looking for a quick fix try G Clip

http://www.gvst.co.uk/gclip.htm

But Really nothing beats getting to know an EQ well... but another good way to prevent clipping is to use very good samples in first place ie kicks snares and watch you dont use too much distortion. works for me in most cases.
 

wilson89

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#3
Well my clipping seems to be down to a little too much volume, but it's one quick clip just as it hit an area in the chorus, I feel like my eq and mix is generally quite good at the moment, I just want to get rid of this tiny clip rather than lower the volumes of everything and ruin it.

I'll try gclip, thanks.
 

Manu Forti

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#4
Np i get these issues regularly and i dont use g clip now but i have done in past.

my songs are usually a bit low in volume say -11db id like to get mine up a bit aswell i think -10db is pretty much on the mark... so theres room for improvement here aswell but yeah give it a try it might just cut off that annoying sound. Failing that back to the drawing board lol
 

jimjimjim

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#5
a lot of clips are caused by frequencies combining.
have you tried the surgical eq trick to get rid of unwanted frequency spikes - that will free up room in your mix and you wont have to lower anything?
 
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#9
learn about gain structure
thats helpful.

For me, I usually start a tune with drums, i'll bring in a kick i like and instead of leaving the volume fader where it is at 0 i'll pull it back to about minus 12. Then turn the volume of my monitors up loads so the gain loss isnt percieved. If you mix every sound in around that kick you'll find that by the time you finish the tune, you'll have at least 3-4 db of headroom on the master, maybe more, no clipping ever!
 

lostnthesound

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  1. As previously mentioned, learn the importance of gain structure. This is an essential fundamental of music production, especially when it comes to the digital realm.
  2. Technically, you can clip a bit on your individual channels–it's the clipping on the master out where problems start to occur. This is mainly do to the way DAWs handle summing the audio. However, you should always allow enough headroom so you are no where near 0db in the first place. Try turning up your headphones/monitors to avoid the urge to push the volume faders on your mixer.
  3. Research perceived loudness. It's possible to have a "loud" sound without coming anywhere near 0dB. This can be done through overdrive/saturation, parallel compression and the intelligent layering of similar sounding instruments, increased voices via unison, etc.)

Cheers.
 

jimjimjim

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#12
surgical eq:
add an equaliser to a track. set maximum gain but minimum spread (q) so you have alittle peak /\ - like that. now sweep that peak aross the frequencies and you will hear it go crazy at certain points. where it goes crazy simply change the gain to negative maximum. \/. this basically chops out that frequency spike - without really taking anything away from the sound.
you might need to do it a lot for certain things like pads.
it basically chops out the nasty spikes and leaves more room in yer mix.
thats a shite explanation sorry. go to you tube and search surgical eq - shoudl come up with something better than my explantation
 

wilson89

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#13
Thanks guys you've certainly given me a lot to think about

  1. As previously mentioned, learn the importance of gain structure. This is an essential fundamental of music production, especially when it comes to the digital realm.
  2. Technically, you can clip a bit on your individual channels–it's the clipping on the master out where problems start to occur. This is mainly do to the way DAWs handle summing the audio. However, you should always allow enough headroom so you are no where near 0db in the first place. Try turning up your headphones/monitors to avoid the urge to push the volume faders on your mixer.
  3. Research perceived loudness. It's possible to have a "loud" sound without coming anywhere near 0dB. This can be done through overdrive/saturation, parallel compression and the intelligent layering of similar sounding instruments, increased voices via unison, etc.)

Cheers.
For me I've always created the song and then tried to mix it so that the chorus is powerful and almost clipping over 0db. Should I not even be aiming for 0db?
 
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#14
Thanks guys you've certainly given me a lot to think about



For me I've always created the song and then tried to mix it so that the chorus is powerful and almost clipping over 0db. Should I not even be aiming for 0db?
tbh mate dont worry about your tunes sounding loud, get the mix sounding even, you can get the loudness later with mastering, if you cant afford mastering then you can do a self master yourself to get the loudness, but you will have far less headaches with clippping this way
 

lostnthesound

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#15
Thanks guys you've certainly given me a lot to think about



For me I've always created the song and then tried to mix it so that the chorus is powerful and almost clipping over 0db. Should I not even be aiming for 0db?
Do not aim for 0dB. The goal is to allow for anywhere between -6dB and -12dB (depending upon the specs per mastering house). The reason for this is that the hardware used for mastering (as well as higher end mastering plugins that emulate hardware like waves & ozone) are expecting a signal with a good amount of headroom so it can work it's magic. If you send a track that is already hot, the end product will suffer a great deal because you're already well above the signal the hardware is expecting to get. For example, try adding a mastering plugin (like Logic's AdLimiter) or an instance of Ozone on your master out with your peak signal around 0 before applying the mastering plugs. Then, do the same with your peak signal around -6 – -9 dB. You'll immediately notice the difference in sound.

Personally, I use KMeter, it was developed by Mastering God Bob Katz and will help aid your mixes in finding the "sweet spot" of headroom for premastering. For $50, it's the best metering tool around IMO.
 

wilson89

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#17
Do not aim for 0dB. The goal is to allow for anywhere between -6dB and -12dB (depending upon the specs per mastering house). The reason for this is that the hardware used for mastering (as well as higher end mastering plugins that emulate hardware like waves & ozone) are expecting a signal with a good amount of headroom so it can work it's magic. If you send a track that is already hot, the end product will suffer a great deal because you're already well above the signal the hardware is expecting to get. For example, try adding a mastering plugin (like Logic's AdLimiter) or an instance of Ozone on your master out with your peak signal around 0 before applying the mastering plugs. Then, do the same with your peak signal around -6 – -9 dB. You'll immediately notice the difference in sound.

Personally, I use KMeter, it was developed by Mastering God Bob Katz and will help aid your mixes in finding the "sweet spot" of headroom for premastering. For $50, it's the best metering tool around IMO.
So my track should be about -6db when completed? And then you would just master it in order to get some volume? Does mastering include eq? Or is the eq'ing all done in the -6db range before mastering.
 

lostnthesound

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#18
So my track should be about -6db when completed? And then you would just master it in order to get some volume? Does mastering include eq? Or is the eq'ing all done in the -6db range before mastering.
Again, it depends on the mastering house that will be mastering your tune and what amount of headroom they prefer. I personally always aim between -6 and -9 and will adjust accordingly after contacting the mastering engineers, even if it means simply dialing down the master output fader by a decibel or two.

Mastering does a little bit of everything to your track: limits the volume, exploits the track's dynamic range, adds sheen, etc. This is all done by strategic eqing, limiting/compression, and perhaps even some saturation to add a bit of edge and warmth. The key is how those tools are used. Because how quickly a tracks can sound like shit from improper mastering, it's best to let a pro handle it. Not too mention, a fresh set of ears on your tune can really aid in creating a great end result.

Cheers.
 

Propie

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#19
Where are you clipping? is it on a specific channel or is it on the master channel? if it is just on your master channel i would suggest just turning down the master channel. I think that if you turn down the master channel or turn down all your channels by the same amount it would stop your track from clipping, as i assume that the sounds that you getting are the ones that you are looking for. I used to place a limiter on the master bus to protect from clipping the master channel. this left my mixes sounding pretty average at best.
 

equilibrium

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#20
bus drums, turn down drum bus channel and everything accordingly, get this http://www.slatedigital.com/products/fgx/

Where are you clipping? is it on a specific channel or is it on the master channel? if it is just on your master channel i would suggest just turning down the master channel. I think that if you turn down the master channel or turn down all your channels by the same amount it would stop your track from clipping, as i assume that the sounds that you getting are the ones that you are looking for. I used to place a limiter on the master bus to protect from clipping the master channel. this left my mixes sounding pretty average at best.
don't turn down your master. also, using a limiter on your master ruins your dynamics unless you have a lot of experience

EDIT: You should really also get this http://www.pspaudioware.com/plugins/dynamic_processors/psp_vintagewarmer2/ and put it on the drum bus.
 
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