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Author Topic: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?  (Read 5098 times)

Viitalahde

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Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« on: March 02, 2011, 01:10:41 pm »

I clip.

Clipping the A/D has been the best way to preserve transient impact when going loud, and done tastefully, downsides can be minimized. One of the downsides is, IMO, that clipping the A/D tends to make things sound a little the same. Maybe this is different with different converters, mine's the HEDD192.

But just recently I've been finding out that modern digital limiters are actually really, really good. As an experiment, I've now done a couple of projects with no A/D clipping and the results have been good for "normal" loudness.

We all know the good sides in running the analog levels lower, and no clipping route is one of the things I'm going to experiment with more often.
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Jaakko Viitalähde
Virtalähde Mastering, Kuhmoinen/Finland
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bblackwood

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 01:13:45 pm »

Hey Jaakko, which limiters have you found to be most useful / 'transparent' (using that term loosely)?
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Viitalahde

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 02:37:14 pm »

Hey Jaakko, which limiters have you found to be most useful / 'transparent' (using that term loosely)?

Right now they're the Voxengo Elephant 3 and the Fabfilter Pro-L.

Transparency is indeed a loose term in this case - I would define transparency as transparency to what happens to the "innards" of the music, no matter how the transients are squashed.

And as with A/D clipping, limiting needs pre-work, too.

Digital clipping is still an useful tool, and I just used it today. I don't use it like I would use A/D clipping, it's more like just shaving off a little peaks and share the load.
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Jaakko Viitalähde
Virtalähde Mastering, Kuhmoinen/Finland
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Mastertone

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 06:31:27 am »

Pro-L is amazing, i need to get it...
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Jonas Ekstrom
Mastertone Mastering
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Noah Mintz Mastering

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 11:29:55 pm »

This is a topic that been talked to death but in a way it's always poignant. Clipping is something you do sometimes and sometimes you don't. What ever works best for the program material. Generally I look out for the 'over' light (on my dCS converters it actually says "over") and I back it off if they come on too often.

Regarding limiters, I still usually go between the Sonnox and the L2 but I've added the Pro-L which is a must have I think.

Lately, for the more acoustic or clean stuff, I've not been monitoring through a limiter at all. Rather mastering without one and only adding it if needed after I'm happy with the sound of the masters. Then I add the one that changes it the least. There is not one limiter that is most transparent I find. They all work different on different material.
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Noah Mintz
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bblackwood

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 11:56:40 am »

*adds Pro-L to demo list*
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 12:06:10 pm »

It's all about hearing where the distortion has moved to on any given track. The operative word being "moved". No free lunch.

As an aside you mean we still have to type letters everytime? zzzzzzzzzzz
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Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering UK based online mastering studio.

bblackwood

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 12:07:12 pm »

As an aside you mean we still have to type letters everytime? zzzzzzzzzzz
First two posts only, I believe.
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Waltz Mastering

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 01:22:07 pm »

I think a large part of the complaints people have with modern sound is a product of clipped converters.

With the advancements of other ways to get level, I don't think it's needed.
...a little to cold and permanent sounding to me.. hard to detect on crappy systems, but can get nauseating
on the good ones... never been a fan and not hard core about it either,.. just hope it's a passing fad.

Joao Bessa

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2011, 10:01:30 pm »

Right now they're the Voxengo Elephant 3 and the Fabfilter Pro-L.

Transparency is indeed a loose term in this case - I would define transparency as transparency to what happens to the "innards" of the music, no matter how the transients are squashed.

And as with A/D clipping, limiting needs pre-work, too.

Digital clipping is still an useful tool, and I just used it today. I don't use it like I would use A/D clipping, it's more like just shaving off a little peaks and share the load.

When you say digital clipping, what kind of process do you use for that?
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Mastertone

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2011, 05:45:39 am »

When you say digital clipping, what kind of process do you use for that?

There is a "clip" mode in the elephant, or try the gclip vst free plugin
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Jonas Ekstrom
Mastertone Mastering
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2011, 08:29:36 am »

To Quote my intern "Pro-L is the bomb" Great sound and very very transparent. A must have...
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Thomas W. Bethel
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2011, 10:23:34 am »

For some material it is a complete no go, very material dependent.
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Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering UK based online mastering studio.

Cass Anawaty

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2011, 10:47:35 am »

Haven't used Pro-L, but clipping still wins here (for that type of material).  Present company excluded, I don't think most people even understand what they're talking about, and tend to attribute any distortion they hear (or even "overcompression") to "clipping".
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Cass Anawaty, Mastering Engineer
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subvert

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2011, 09:06:49 am »

There is a "clip" mode in the elephant, or try the gclip vst free plugin

If on occasion things really need to be very loud, I typically run Elephant in Clip mode feeding into Pro-L...
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Subvert Central Mastering
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lowland

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2011, 09:42:18 am »

The Loudness Police will be after me, but if 'loud' is the son du jour I clip the TC6000 a bit before Pro-L, and that probably achieves a similar result to Ben Subvert. I've found hard-clipping the TC to be quite effective, don't know if this is some function of its 48bit processing but it sounds as good as one could hope.

FWIW, Pro-L hasn't replaced Ozone's loudness maximizer for me, but is another good tool in the box. I use them each about half the time depending on which is working best for the material.
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Nigel Palmer
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Treelady

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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2011, 04:18:44 pm »

I'm going to go on the record as saying the Pro-L is gorgeous to look at but I'm not sure it's transparent - and I'm talking at just clipping the tops of things.  I have to do more tests.  Likewise, I've been trying the Pro-Q because I just love the interface, but I'm not sure it's as high fidelity as things like the Algorithmix Red/Orange... TBD
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Viitalahde

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Re: Should A/D clipping be reconsidered?
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2011, 04:26:09 pm »

I don't think any limiter is transparent, as well as isn't clipping. The thing I like about Pro-L is that it has various completely different sounding modes which can work really, really well.

I have the Elephant 3, and they work together very well.

But just recently I crushed the crap out of something with the HEDD, and it sounded really good. Whatever works.
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Jaakko Viitalähde
Virtalähde Mastering, Kuhmoinen/Finland
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