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How is Digital Clipping Bad? (Formerly known as "Eh????????)

#1
Ok, look at the image below. It is the start of a very long tune with lots of break edits.

[Image: 1.JPG]

If I zoom in, you'll see that I've puposely clipped everything above 300Hz. This is because (unless my ears are absolutely fucked up, which I don't think they are) I have found that you can clip stuff a lot before there is any noticable difference (usually). This means that your drums can get really really loud and the amplitude hasn't changed at all (like an extreme form of limiting).

[Image: 2.JPG]

Ok, so I do a spectral analysis of the snares just to check everything is nice and criss and ting to find this:

[Image: 3.JPG]

Strangely enough, all the low end frequencies I sucked out of it before have suddenly re-appeared! Ok, they aren't audible at all; I couldn't tell they were there just by listening to it so it shouldn't really matter but I think that they really shouldn't be there and I am ecstatic about removing pointless frequencies; they piss me off and I love to anhialate them with 5 filters layered on top of each other; it makes me feel powerful! Twisted

So then, I drew out my most powerful filter and absolutely destroyed the fuckers! This was the result:

[Image: 4.JPG]

I thought "Yeah, wicked! It looks clean" but then I went back to the waveform and it looked like this:

[Image: 5.JPG]

Before the EQing, they looked like this:

[Image: 6.JPG]

Here's what the levels were like:
Before clipping the drums peaked at -14dB
After clipping the drums peaked at -18dB (but had the same loudness)
After Clipping and EQ the drums peaked at -14dB

So, after the EQing, the sound is clean but the dynamics I was controling with the distortion go down the drain, out the window, down the bog and however else you want to put it - they are all over the shop once EQd.

After clipping and EQing, I tried clipping again but I just got a load of low-level, low-frequency bollocks which has just totally baffled me.

Also, I once made a track which had a low-level low-frequency (about 0.005Hz) going right through it. I don't know how it got there because I high-passed every element of my track so it must have been the software I was using but when I high-passed the tune at 5Hz to get rid of it, my lovely compression went out the window too so it appears that distortion and compression put a load of unwanted low-level noise in your tunes...

Can anyone explain why this is happening?
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#2
What are you using to clip?
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#3
Teef
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#4
Macc Wrote:What are you using to clip?

I just basically keep turning the volume up until just before I can hear the bad effects and then turn it down again by the same ammount of dB.
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#5
Sir Loris Of Crowthorne Wrote:Teef

Exactly
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#6
Do you know what digital clipping looks like, not to mention how it sounds?


Make sure you know what that looks like, then think about this;

A horizontal line on a graph of output against time (ie a waveform) represents what?
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#7
Wink
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#8
bhima Wrote:If I zoom in, you'll see that I've puposely clipped everything above 300Hz.

First thing. Im assuming you mean you have filtered out everything BELOW 300Hz ?

Did you do this just at the beginning of the track ? Or all the way through ?
Can you post a 5 second WAV of the beginning of the tune ?

The Spectral Analyses that youve posted - where are they measured? is that directly analysing a WAV that you have previously filtered out the low end on? Or is it an analysis of what you are monitoring back at your soundcard inputs?

If its an SA of the WAV, i assume its just the first (filtered) part that you have selected for analysis ?

One point - layering 5 filters on top of each other is likely to introduce not inconsiderable phase artifacts....

A question - what do you mean by 'the dynamics you were controlling with distortion' ?

The low level low frequency artefact you mentioned was likely an artefact of DC offset.

I dont understand this:

bhima Wrote:
Macc Wrote:What are you using to clip?

I just basically keep turning the volume up until just before I can hear the bad effects and then turn it down again by the same ammount of dB.

Can you elaborate. You are increasing the level of a sound by x, then decreasing it by x ??

I take it all this is happening inside a DAW ?
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#9
He's literally digital clipping I think scope - hitting the top to chop off peaks and then turning down again.

There's 239586938471341234098 reasons not to do that that spring immediately to mind Hahaha
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#10
indeed.

lets hear more though. id like to know where all this is happening.

from what you say macc, its destructive editing in digital domain ?
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#11
It seems that way from all the plots bhima's posting.
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#12
too much processing and not enough play makes Bhima a dull boy Teef

seriously dude, why are you even bothering with all this gurgle?

JUST MAKE THE TRACK!

sorry.....
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#13
Too much moaning and not enough being on point makes Ashes a dull old git :P

This is good stuff to know when you haven't been making tunes for 46 years like you... :P
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#14
Macc Wrote:Do you know what digital clipping looks like, not to mention how it sounds?


Make sure you know what that looks like, then think about this;

A horizontal line on a graph of output against time (ie a waveform) represents what?

0Hz???
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#15
Macc Wrote:There's 239586938471341234098 reasons not to do that that spring immediately to mind Hahaha

Can you explain (some of) them! It sounds fine to me; nice and raw.
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#16
Sorry, I don't really have time to fully reply now but it seems that digital clipping must be a bad thing from what I've just read...

I think people like Dillinja (Who is a great producer but hasn't really had the musical talent lately) digitally clips, as you say and his tracks are pretty phat...
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#17
Where did you hear that about dillinja?

He definitely pushes his levels on his desk, bounces to DAT and resamples and seems to brickwall a lot (I know he has gone software - they all have - but I guarantee he still uses his old methods and kit before resampling back into his DAW).

But from listening to his tracks I can't see where the digital clipping/distortion comes in?
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#18
Macc Wrote:Too much moaning and not enough being on point makes Ashes a dull old git :P

This is good stuff to know when you haven't been making tunes for 46 years like you... :P

there isnt a laugh smiley warm enough to colon Teef

but i'll stick with

Hahaha

bless.

sorry, was feeling a bit frustrated and i really am not and have never been geel enough to give answers to Q's like this.

seriously.

PLEASE JUST MAKE THE TUNES FIRST ASK QUSETIONS LATER.
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#19
Logos Wrote:Where did you hear that about dillinja?

I've looked at his tracks in my sound editor and a lot of his snares are clipped quite a bit... They aren't exactly flat though because other things in the tune change the shape a little but I can definately see that there's some clipping going on. His early Amen stuff is clipped aswell, especially his VERY early stuff...
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#20
Ashes Wrote:PLEASE JUST MAKE THE TUNES FIRST ASK QUSETIONS LATER.


Err.... That is what I have done. What do you think those images are? A non-existent tune I got theoretical screenshots of for the sake of argument? Icon_question
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#21
bhima Wrote:Can you explain (some of) them! It sounds fine to me; nice and raw.

Your ears are wrong :P
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#22
Dillinja's (or anybody's tune's) won't be clipped they'll just be brickwll limited close to the 0db point....this still gives the same squaring off of the wave effect....is this what you mean....?

This easily achieved, crudely done just wack you beats through an Ultramiximizer, hammer down the threshold and job done....

I wouldn't advise doing that tho cos it sounds like shiz.....

Xaf
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#23
NONONONONONONONONONONO!

So much poor info in this thread. I wish I wasn't busy so I could go off on one Mad

'won't be clipped they'll just be brickwll limited close to the 0db point....this still gives the same squaring off of the wave effect....'

This is not correct - well, it is on a 'very zoomed out' scale, but on the wavecycle scale it is incorrect, at least with anything other than the absolute shittiest limiters you have about these days.

Fuck it, I actually want to work twice as hard so I can show you what I am on about.



Sorry, not bitching, just that wrong info makes the geek in me go AAGHH! Grin Oops
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#24
You're gonna have to explain this one to me...cos that's how i'd go about getting the effect.....

What's the difference.... other than the inherited/digitial distortion (nasty square wave type sound) you get from actually digitally clipping?

Xaf
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#25
I'll show you asap.

The main question is;

Why is it you want to clip?



I'm guessing your (plural) answer is 'so I can make shit LOUDER'. Icon_question
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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