Is clipping A/D wrong?
#31
16th February 2011
Old 16th February 2011
  #31
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Ted Jensen Thread

This is quoted from the Ted Jensen thread, starts off with Chris Athens and then goes to Bob Katz. I would definitely read the whole thread, found it very useful. There were also many discussions about clipping throughout the thread Ted Jensen.. Whose Watched Him?:

"Originally Posted by Masterer
That's pretty much it. Sequoia takes an "object oriented" approach. You can mess with the faders on the track, the master buss or the object [segment of audio] itself. Like I said before, I don't care much about overs. What I care about is how the clipping sounds. If it sounds like shit then I have to take a different approach. Sometimes I use the L2, sometimes I don't. To me it's a matter of choosing the lesser of all the evils that you can visit apon that poor innocent soundfile. Your mileage may vary."


Originally Posted by Masterer
That's pretty much it. Sequoia takes an "object oriented" approach. You can mess with the faders on the track, the master buss or the object [segment of audio] itself. Like I said before, I don't care much about overs. What I care about is how the clipping sounds. If it sounds like shit then I have to take a different approach. Sometimes I use the L2, sometimes I don't. To me it's a matter of choosing the lesser of all the evils that you can visit apon that poor innocent soundfile. Your mileage may vary.

"Distortion is an incredibly powerful loudness mechanism. The ear reacts to the higher harmonics and calls it "loud". But there's one BIG problem with distortion clipping.... the problems it creates when it leaves the mastering room. Especially on the radio.

Mark Anthony's CD with Jennifer Lopez (wasn't that mastered by Ted?) sounds absolutely horrid on the radio. Mark's voice sounds like he has a terrible frog in his throat. This distorted CD is a perfect example of what radio can do to a crushed CD once it leaves your place. If more clients and A&R directors checked their masters on MP3 players and on the radio, then more crushed masters would be rejected before they hit the streets.

The cause of this problem is a very wide spread spectrum, extreme high frequency harmonics and program density that causes filters in codecs, sample rate converters, transmitters, and radio processors to further distort the signal. Noise modulation, distortion modulation, the works.

I recently crushed a rock CD for a client who's going ga-ga over it, because it's as loud as Coldplay. But it sounds much worse on my mastering system than the X&Y album because I had to use considerable DIGITAL DOMAIN CLIPPING to make it as loud. It sounds quite edgy and hard, but the client loves how it sounds in his car. Wait till he hears it on the radio, though... if they ever make it to radio. :-(

Coldplay's album was well-mixed to begin with, and mixed for loud. My client's album was wimpy loud and poorly mixed when it arrived here, his engineer overused plugin compressors with the wrong time constants, and wimped out every vestige of real loudness before the mix even came to me. And then they wanted it louder than that....

------

Let me summarize the types of clipping and the different symptoms they can cause:

Analog domain clipping---unless you push it tremendously and unless you use a very non-linear exciter to do your work, analog domain clipping contains mostly "harmonic" multiples and can sound very "consonant" to the ear. It also does not usually produce any "illegal" (out of band) signals that will alias and produce inharmonic (in band) distortion.

Analog domain clipping in an A/D converter. A/D converters, when they clip, will also not produce any "illegal" (out of band) signals because their built-in lowpass filters are located POST the clipping mechanism. As long as you don't push them too hard, they are the best place to clip (if you're going to clip).

Digital Domain clipping is the worst animal because it creates inharmonic products that spread throughout the 20-20 kHz spectrum and which cause all post-processors and codecs (e.g. mp3) to give up the ghost. If you oversample to 96 kHz, however, clip it not too hard, peak limit at 96 kHz and then downsample to 44.1, you can emulate a bit of what happens if you clip an A/D.... because the downsampler contains a filter post the clipping and prevents some of the inharmonic distortion from occurring. But it is no substitute for analog domain clipping, just another tool.


---

As far as I'm concerned, all of this is an academic argument. We've ruined the sound of music forever with the loudness wars that have taken us to the point where we "have to crush"... that is, if you join in with the loudness wars.

I'm guilty. But I do not default to "stun" when I get a product. That is not my "default" position."
lucey
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#32
16th February 2011
Old 16th February 2011
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Clipping as a limiter is wrong. Distorting a Marshall amp with your guitar ... also wrong. Playing a Fender Rhodes through an SVT head with 2 SVT cab at 2 ohms ... totally wrong! And all are right, done musically
Table Of Tone
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#33
16th February 2011
Old 16th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Clipping as a limiter is wrong. Distorting a Marshall amp with your guitar ... also wrong. Playing a Fender Rhodes through an SVT head with 2 SVT cab at 2 ohms ... totally wrong! And all are right, done musically
Nicely put!
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#34
16th February 2011
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Originally Posted by Table Of Tone View Post
Nicely put!
It's always cool to remember that Jim Marshall was designing the cleanest amp ever made ... a clear and bold intention on his part ... and then the universe intervened.

The first known use of guitar distortion was a speaker damaged in a trunk on the way to a session ... in one version of reality at least.

'Whatever works' is a cliche for a reason. 'If it sounds good, it is good' ... another fine cliche. You gotta love a cliche ... so true everyone's saying it.
Table Of Tone
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#35
16th February 2011
Old 16th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
It's always cool to remember that Jim Marshall was designing the cleanest amp ever made ... a clear and bold intention on his part ... and then the universe intervened.

The first known use of guitar distortion was a speaker damaged in a trunk on the way to a session ... in one version of reality at least.
Link Wray, right?

I see pre-amp tube overdrive in a similar context to ITB clipping N limiting and output tube overdrive in a similar context to pushing into a good ADC.

The the former alone, won't get you much depth or dimension but a little (and I mean a little) of the latter certainly will, especially if you're not being asked to go crazy loud and you don't wanna change the mix too much with a ton of limiting.
#36
16th February 2011
Old 16th February 2011
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechSpec View Post
This is quoted from the Ted Jensen thread, starts off with Chris Athens and then goes to Bob Katz. I would definitely read the whole thread, found it very useful. There were also many discussions about clipping throughout the thread Ted Jensen.. Whose Watched Him?:

"Originally Posted by Masterer
That's pretty much it. Sequoia takes an "object oriented" approach. You can mess with the faders on the track, the master buss or the object [segment of audio] itself. Like I said before, I don't care much about overs. What I care about is how the clipping sounds. If it sounds like shit then I have to take a different approach. Sometimes I use the L2, sometimes I don't. To me it's a matter of choosing the lesser of all the evils that you can visit apon that poor innocent soundfile. Your mileage may vary."


Originally Posted by Masterer
That's pretty much it. Sequoia takes an "object oriented" approach. You can mess with the faders on the track, the master buss or the object [segment of audio] itself. Like I said before, I don't care much about overs. What I care about is how the clipping sounds. If it sounds like shit then I have to take a different approach. Sometimes I use the L2, sometimes I don't. To me it's a matter of choosing the lesser of all the evils that you can visit apon that poor innocent soundfile. Your mileage may vary.

"Distortion is an incredibly powerful loudness mechanism. The ear reacts to the higher harmonics and calls it "loud". But there's one BIG problem with distortion clipping.... the problems it creates when it leaves the mastering room. Especially on the radio.

Mark Anthony's CD with Jennifer Lopez (wasn't that mastered by Ted?) sounds absolutely horrid on the radio. Mark's voice sounds like he has a terrible frog in his throat. This distorted CD is a perfect example of what radio can do to a crushed CD once it leaves your place. If more clients and A&R directors checked their masters on MP3 players and on the radio, then more crushed masters would be rejected before they hit the streets.

The cause of this problem is a very wide spread spectrum, extreme high frequency harmonics and program density that causes filters in codecs, sample rate converters, transmitters, and radio processors to further distort the signal. Noise modulation, distortion modulation, the works.

I recently crushed a rock CD for a client who's going ga-ga over it, because it's as loud as Coldplay. But it sounds much worse on my mastering system than the X&Y album because I had to use considerable DIGITAL DOMAIN CLIPPING to make it as loud. It sounds quite edgy and hard, but the client loves how it sounds in his car. Wait till he hears it on the radio, though... if they ever make it to radio. :-(

Coldplay's album was well-mixed to begin with, and mixed for loud. My client's album was wimpy loud and poorly mixed when it arrived here, his engineer overused plugin compressors with the wrong time constants, and wimped out every vestige of real loudness before the mix even came to me. And then they wanted it louder than that....

------

Let me summarize the types of clipping and the different symptoms they can cause:

Analog domain clipping---unless you push it tremendously and unless you use a very non-linear exciter to do your work, analog domain clipping contains mostly "harmonic" multiples and can sound very "consonant" to the ear. It also does not usually produce any "illegal" (out of band) signals that will alias and produce inharmonic (in band) distortion.

Analog domain clipping in an A/D converter. A/D converters, when they clip, will also not produce any "illegal" (out of band) signals because their built-in lowpass filters are located POST the clipping mechanism. As long as you don't push them too hard, they are the best place to clip (if you're going to clip).

Digital Domain clipping is the worst animal because it creates inharmonic products that spread throughout the 20-20 kHz spectrum and which cause all post-processors and codecs (e.g. mp3) to give up the ghost. If you oversample to 96 kHz, however, clip it not too hard, peak limit at 96 kHz and then downsample to 44.1, you can emulate a bit of what happens if you clip an A/D.... because the downsampler contains a filter post the clipping and prevents some of the inharmonic distortion from occurring. But it is no substitute for analog domain clipping, just another tool.


---

As far as I'm concerned, all of this is an academic argument. We've ruined the sound of music forever with the loudness wars that have taken us to the point where we "have to crush"... that is, if you join in with the loudness wars.

I'm guilty. But I do not default to "stun" when I get a product. That is not my "default" position."
thumbsup Thank you for this.
#37
16th February 2011
Old 16th February 2011
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Can I rephrase the OP question and ask does it sound good (how and when) rather then - is it wrong ? (AD cliping)
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#38
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazbina View Post
Can I rephrase the OP question and ask does it sound good (how and when) rather then - is it wrong ? (AD cliping)
It often sounds bad, however in some cases, if approached correctly (right source material, right tools, proper technique, good judgement, reasonable goals) and not overdone, it can indeed sound pretty good. In some cases, depending on which aspects of the mix you consider most important, alternative methods of attaining high levels will be worse by comparison. Some limiters eat snare drums or make them spongy, while clipping may preserve the crack, but at a cost of edginess elsewhere.

Even when you choose to do it, it usually sounds a bit worse in some respects, but it is louder, and hopefully the overall emotional intent is supported.

The idea is that you must accept that you may be doing unavoidable damage, but to achieve the goals of the client who won't be swayed from the path of super-loud, you need to take some drastic measures, and the intent is to make the damage as benign and invisible as possible, stopping before it becomes plainly objectionable. You're making compromises for level and trying to hide them the best you can, while highlighting a certain energy and short-term impact that serves the client's vision.
lucey
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#39
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Originally Posted by jazbina View Post
Can I rephrase the OP question and ask does it sound good (how and when) rather then - is it wrong ? (AD cliping)
Any high end Class A AD/DA is usually a winner.
#40
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Clipping as a limiter is wrong. Distorting a Marshall amp with your guitar ... also wrong. Playing a Fender Rhodes through an SVT head with 2 SVT cab at 2 ohms ... totally wrong! And all are right, done musically
Intentionally using an amplifier's characteristics, such as overdriving a guitar amp, or employing speaker distortion, to achieve a musically effective sound, to be recorded [or even to be listened to in a live performance], is not equivalent to distorting an a to d converter while mastering a piece of music that has already been performed and recorded. It is disingenuous to try to draw such a comparison, or to try to justify clipping of a to d converters by drawing such a comparison.

People need to man up and admit that they are just doing it to be louder than the next guy, rather than being absurd by acting like it is some sort of "artistic enhancement".

The amount of tracks where one could say that digital clipping is actually effective as a sonic improvement, or even where it could be somehow construed as "adding to the aggressive vibe", is below miniscule.

Its bad enough to try to fool the public, but if you start believing your own fooling ................

Its not "musical", guys. Its just not.
lucey
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#41
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
The amount of tracks where one could say that digital clipping is actually effective as a sonic improvement, or even where it could be somehow construed as "adding to the aggressive vibe", is below miniscule.

Its bad enough to try to fool the public, but if you start believing your own fooling ................

Its not "musical", guys. Its just not.
There is good AD clipping, better than any limiter. And limiting is part of the business (and the art). Doing loud well has a real value. If you want to not clip anything and use a limiter or none, be my guest.

The point of my post was that the Intention of the designer and the Use in the real world are often miles apart. And yes, limiting is a musical choice. Not all music needs to be fully dynamic to be it's "best". That's dogmatic and wrong.
#42
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
There is good AD clipping, better than any limiter. And limiting is part of the business (and the art). Doing loud well has a real value. If you want to not clip anything and use a limiter or none, be my guest.

The point of my post was that the Intention of the designer and the Use in the real world are often miles apart. And yes, limiting is a musical choice. Not all music needs to be fully dynamic to be it's "best". That's dogmatic and wrong.
Its a musically useless gesture, and a deceptive business practice. And its not your call to make those type of musical decisions. A piece's musical dynamics are the purview of the composer and the performer. If it was your composition, you might have half a leg to stand on, but that's not the case. Your doing it to be loud because you think you will "win business" by being loud.

To wit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by masterer
We've ruined the sound of music forever with the loudness wars that have taken us to the point where we "have to crush"... that is, if you join in with the loudness wars.
History may look back on all this "loudening" and "clipping" as some of the worst engineering ever, and some engineers may likely be viewed as a bunch of rationalizing charlatans with no backbones, and no real vision beyond what might give them a fleeting business advantage at the expense of the integrity of their work. Its gotten completely shameless.
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#43
17th February 2011
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Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
Its a musically useless gesture, and a deceptive business practice. And its not your call to make those type of musical decisions. A piece's musical dynamics are the purview of the composer and the performer. If it was your composition, you might have half a leg to stand on, but that's not the case. Your doing it to be loud because you think you will "win business" by being loud.
Actually I do loud because my clients tell me over and over again, to make it loud. It's their call, as you say.

You have no idea how the real world works ... mastering is a service job ... we are not making things loud because we hate music and love money.

Maybe get off the internet and come back when you have a clue
ORC
#44
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Is it wrong..who is to say???

Do I personally like doing it - NO! do I do it YES! do I get paid for doing it -YES! Case closed...
+1
#45
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Actually I do loud because my clients tell me over and over again, to make it loud. It's their call, as you say.

You have no idea how the real world works ... mastering is a service job ... we are not making things loud because we hate music and love money.

Maybe get off the internet and come back when you have a clue
LMAO.
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#46
17th February 2011
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FM radio has been clipping/limiting the signal for decades. It's not like MEs started the loudness war.
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#47
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Not to mention pretty much every record before the L1 that was -14db rms or louder sure as hell got there from clipping the ADC.
Nah, there was the Sony DAL-1000 (Digital Audio Limiter) back in the days of Sony PCM-1630s, DMR-4000s, and DAE-3000 editors.

Also popular in mastering circles were the digital limiters from Jeunger and the Weiss BW102 (which started life as the Harmonia Mundi).
#48
17th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Clipping as a limiter is wrong. Distorting a Marshall amp with your guitar ... also wrong. Playing a Fender Rhodes through an SVT head with 2 SVT cab at 2 ohms ... totally wrong! And all are right, done musically
Knock off the comparisons to distorted guitar/other wonderful innovation. If you turn up the volume on a CD that doesn't have a distorted guitar, you won't suddenly get a distorted guitar appearing in the song. In fact, no knob you can twiddle on your stereo will do any thing close to placing a distorted guitar into the song. Thus a distorted guitar is an actual something and contributes to the universe.

If you turn up the volume on a CD that hasn't been flogged for volume...you get volume! Not only that, you get BETTER volume than the clipping would have gotten you. So clipping and other forms of loudenation are nothing at best and destructive at worst.

Clipping/limiting/flattening/distressing/pumping while tracking or mixing... Sure. It's your sound. Make any sound you want. Doing all that crap when you don't actually want to change the sound of the mix but you want to push the volume...futile and stupid.

It's not being an old fart railing against progress (at age 33!). It's calling a train wreck a train wreck.
#49
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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And it goes even deeper than that. When somebody figured out how to plug a Rhodes into the "wrong" head, suddenly there was a new option available for production. More avenues opened up. New things could be tried.

Clipping and other forms of mastering loudenation shut down production options. It takes choices away. You know your work is going to be pummeled in the end, so you have to build towards that. Every step of the production is built around "will this work for loud?". Now there are a bunch of things that you can't do. The production choices got smaller.

It's an anti-innovation.
#50
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheebs Goat View Post
Clipping and other forms of mastering loudenation shut down production options. It takes choices away. You know your work is going to be pummeled in the end, so you have to build towards that. Every step of the production is built around "will this work for loud?". Now there are a bunch of things that you can't do. The production choices got smaller.

It's an anti-innovation.
+1000.

And to whoever said the snare sounded better after the track had been run hot thru a converter. How did the REST of the track sound? If you like a clipped snare or kick (i do too), there are waveshaping plugins you can use. Or you can clip just the snare with your favorite piece of gear then throw it back in the mix. The mix may benefit from clipping a sample or a track within it. It will never benefit from clipping the whole thing, no matter what you think about it. FM clippers are a totally different animal so don't throw them in this discussion.

Of course, this is a job for the mixing engineer not the mastering engineer. This is why you see the phrase "fix it in the mix" being coined so often here.
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#51
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Originally Posted by Th3_uN1Qu3 View Post
+1000.

And to whoever said the snare sounded better after the track had been run hot thru a converter. How did the REST of the track sound? If you like a clipped snare or kick (i do too), there are waveshaping plugins you can use. Or you can clip just the snare with your favorite piece of gear then throw it back in the mix. The mix may benefit from clipping a sample or a track within it. It will never benefit from clipping the whole thing, no matter what you think about it. FM clippers are a totally different animal so don't throw them in this discussion.

Of course, this is a job for the mixing engineer not the mastering engineer. This is why you see the phrase "fix it in the mix" being coined so often here.
They don't care what the rest of the mix sounds like if they are the drummer on the track...<GRIN>
#52
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Good one. At some point some people should release a compilation - "Music for Drummers".
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#53
17th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheebs Goat View Post
Knock off the comparisons to distorted guitar/other wonderful innovation. If you turn up the volume on a CD that doesn't have a distorted guitar, you won't suddenly get a distorted guitar appearing in the song. In fact, no knob you can twiddle on your stereo will do any thing close to placing a distorted guitar into the song. Thus a distorted guitar is an actual something and contributes to the universe.

If you turn up the volume on a CD that hasn't been flogged for volume...you get volume! Not only that, you get BETTER volume than the clipping would have gotten you. So clipping and other forms of loudenation are nothing at best and destructive at worst.

Clipping/limiting/flattening/distressing/pumping while tracking or mixing... Sure. It's your sound. Make any sound you want. Doing all that crap when you don't actually want to change the sound of the mix but you want to push the volume...futile and stupid.

It's not being an old fart railing against progress (at age 33!). It's calling a train wreck a train wreck.
Again, my point was that design Intent, and real world Application, can be worlds apart.


It's great to see people passionate about dynamics. I have a few clients like that.

Until they hear their record in the iPod after the perceived competition. Then most ask for another db or two!

Here's an idea ... make your record anyway you want.

As a mastering engineer, where the client will demand volume, it's in the interest of music to be good at clipping, and at volume in general. Not all loudness is flat. It can be done better, and worse.
#54
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Look, I understand being at the mercy of an idiot who doesn't get it and is paying you to work. I understand that the current environment is made of nothing but idiots who don't get it so everybody has to do this crap day in and day out. I also understand that some loud is "less worse" than other loud.

The problem comes when you start trying to twist it into some sort of beneficial innovation. Yes, it is "better" when somebody comes up with a way to loudenate that sucks a little bit less. But less suck is still a net loss.

It's only a matter of time until a large digital distributor like Apple starts tagging songs with loudness meta data before sale and enabling a lossless volume leveler as a default on their playback devices. Once that happens and the blanket is lifted off of this mess, this style of mastering (and production and mixing) is going to die over night because it simply does no good.
#55
17th February 2011
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Hey, if Metallica can do it, so can I, so should everyone!!

Metallica "Death Magnetic" Clipping Distortion - Mastering Media Blog

Metallica "Death Magnetic" - Distortion is deliberate, say band - Mastering Media Blog

And THAT came out of Sterling!!

I absolutely trust Ted's work though... But management, IMHO, should have never allowed this to be released by them, even if it is the all-mighty Metallica...

Wasn't the the entire first run recalled because of complaints? On purpose, says Lars? yeah right...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Th3_uN1Qu3 View Post
Good one. At some point some people should release a compilation - "Music for Drummers".
Point proven !! hahaha!!
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#56
17th February 2011
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Use your ears, there is no right or wrong here. I sometimes like to clip my Mytek ADC 96 a bit on the way in. It often sounds more transparent to me clipping the Mytek ADC a bit in combination with a digital limiter than simply trying to achieve the same gain with just a limiter.

There are no rules, just listen and try different approaches to hear what works best for the specific material.
#57
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheebs Goat View Post
The problem comes when you start trying to twist it into some sort of beneficial innovation. Yes, it is "better" when somebody comes up with a way to loudenate that sucks a little bit less. But less suck is still a net loss.
Agreed again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleatoric View Post
There are no rules, just listen and try different approaches to hear what works best for the specific material.
Well, if we wouldn't have to listen and try different approaches at what is essentially deliberately destroying the sound... wouldn't we have time to accept more work and thus get more money?

Anyway, let me throw this out. If you're looking for a way to clip that doesn't suck - lowpass, save file. highpass at the same freq and same slope, clip, sum with lowpassed, limit. You'll get higher RMS levels plus that "saturation" feeling. The filter frequencies are up to you to choose, go ahead and experiment if you think it's workable. This is how FM radio processors do it. Actually, it's AGC, multiband compression, multiband limiting, multiband clipping AND a modulation limiter at the end! I would never do it on anything intended to go on a CD but i've used this method on my radio broadcasts and it sounded good on that.
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#58
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
  #58
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Originally Posted by Big_Bang View Post
I absolutely trust Ted's work though... But management, IMHO, should have never allowed this to be released by them, even if it is the all-mighty Metallica...

Wasn't the the entire first run recalled because of complaints? On purpose, says Lars? yeah right...



Point proven !! hahaha!!
What management?
lucey
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#59
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheebs Goat View Post
Clipping and other forms of mastering loudenation shut down production options. It takes choices away. You know your work is going to be pummeled in the end, so you have to build towards that. Every step of the production is built around "will this work for loud?". Now there are a bunch of things that you can't do. The production choices got smaller.

It's an anti-innovation.
Total bullshit. Absolutely false. No truth what-so-ever.

At no time during mixing should you EVER think about making it loud, you can and should make it as musical as you want, dynamics included. If you are not doing this then your mastering options need to be broadened, because your ME sucks and has lead you astray.
#60
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Total bullshit. Absolutely false. No truth what-so-ever.

At no time during mixing should you EVER think about making it loud, you can and should make it as musical as you want, dynamics included. If you are not doing this then your mastering options need to be broadened, because your ME sucks and has lead you astray.
You guys are nice to argue about it Lucey, but at a certain point its like a religious/scienctific call. Clipping an ADC is wrong because god/science says its wrong. Even though music is created using your ears and not just god or science's logic.

Heres an idea. For you die hard anti clippers out there. Hire a great mastering engineer (such as Lucey) to master one of your songs and do one using just ADC clipping, and one just using limiting. Then you can decide. Easy!
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