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Kazrog KClip - how does it compare? Dynamics Plugins
Old 2nd July 2015
  #1
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Kazrog KClip - how does it compare?

Kazrog says "Kazrog KClip is the most transparent mastering loudness plugin ever."

A strong claim. Anyone tried it?
Old 2nd July 2015
  #2
Gear Nut
Me.
It's cheap, clean and loud.
Old 2nd July 2015
  #3
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For $20 I bought it, and in my limited testing so far, it sounds very good. But I'm not an ME, and I don't have the expertise to test for low-level artifacts. I'm not very knowledgeable about the technology of clipping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pisi View Post
Me.
It's cheap, clean and loud.
Old 2nd July 2015
  #4
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Kazrog's Avatar
 

Just for you guys, I've put together a competitive analysis page that compares aliasing noise in KClip vs. other clippers. Sorry if this is a bit nerdy, but it is a difference you can hear in terms of retained mix clarity, not just see on a graph.
Old 2nd July 2015
  #5
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Thanks for jumping in Shane! You make a compelling case for your claim, and those analysis graphs are very informative. I understand why you are reluctant to name competitors products, but it would be nice to know which they are.

As I said, I'm not an ME, and the concept of using clipping to make a master louder is something I'm still getting used to. It's taken me a while to get my head round the idea that clipping a waveform can actually be more transparent than limiting, but it's starting to make sense to me.

Again, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazrog View Post
Just for you guys, I've put together a competitive analysis page that compares aliasing noise in KClip vs. other clippers. Sorry if this is a bit nerdy, but it is a difference you can hear in terms of retained mix clarity, not just see on a graph.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazrog View Post
Just for you guys, I've put together a competitive analysis page that compares aliasing noise in KClip vs. other clippers. Sorry if this is a bit nerdy, but it is a difference you can hear in terms of retained mix clarity, not just see on a graph.
Hi Shane,

excuse me for my following nerdy comment, but linked analysis and measurements aren't exactly right IMO.

- note about ideal clipper, which produces just second order harmonic product is wrong. Symmetric waveform clipping produces odd harmonic products (3,5,7.. multiples).

- essential thing for measurement and analysis of harmonic products and aliasing is to avoid test frequency, which is integer divisor of Nyquist frequency. Because in that case, most reflected images (aliasing) will be effectively hidden behind fundamental and its harmonics in the passband. That's why it is better to use for instance AES17 standardized 997Hz (chosen specifically to work well with both 44.1 and 48k sample rate to don't share any factors) instead of 1k to actually see something. Similarly if one want to see some aliasing artifacts for 10k signal, it is better to adjust generator to 9970Hz.. Otherwise all plots at 48k will be looking surprisingly nice compared to 44.1k ones.

- also with equal amount of waveshaping applied, harmonic distortion products and its structure across various clippers will be basically the same and difference will be at quality of anti-aliasing filter for oversampling. But just generally saying difference of aliasing amount relates to sound quality doesn't seems to be correct to me. It is one factor of course, but for instance there is also intermodulation distortion, where multiband clipper will be likely better. Similarly, some intelligent clippers could benefit from psychoacoustic and masking, which can be well hidden during simple 10k sine test..

I've downloaded demo of your clipper and made couple of comparative plots, which I will put into my next post.

Btw. I've found, win32 version of your plugin reports 16s latency to DAW, is it correct? Plugin has quite significant phase shift. Briefly looking at symmetric impulse response, I assumed, FIR filter was designed as linear phase, but there could be uncompensated delay.

Michal

Last edited by msmucr; 3rd July 2015 at 01:44 AM..
Old 3rd July 2015
  #7
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So here are some comparative plots with better resolution (due to higher FFT length and more suitable window function) and adjusted frequencies as I wrote in previous post to illustrate difference.
I compared Kclip to Limiter No.6 (only similar thing, I have, its other modules were bypassed and 4xOS was turned on). Both has 12dB of gain into hard clipper, output levels were adjusted to -3dBFS.

Sine -3dBFS, 1000Hz, 48kHz SR


Sine -3dBFS, 10000Hz, 48kHz SR


Visually almost same results as expected.

Sine -3dBFS, 997Hz, 48kHz SR


Sine -3dBFS, 9970Hz, 48kHz SR


This actually shows some difference, although in favor of Limiter No6.

Michal
Old 3rd July 2015
  #8
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Kazrog's Avatar
 

Thanks for your thoughts and analysis. Ah, had a dyslexic moment putting the page together - I often get even and odd order mixed up - sorry about that; it's been corrected on the page.

As for the phase shift, it has been determined that there is uncompensated delay, and it will be addressed in the next free update.

The KClip demo is limited to 2x oversampling, so it may not perform as well as some of the competition. The full version in 16x oversampling has (so far) beaten everything in tests. I'll also post 9970 tests as soon as time permits.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazrog View Post
Thanks for your thoughts and analysis. Ah, had a dyslexic moment putting the page together - I often get even and odd order mixed up - sorry about that; it's been corrected on the page.

As for the phase shift, it has been determined that there is uncompensated delay, and it will be addressed in the next free update.

The KClip demo is limited to 2x oversampling, so it may not perform as well as some of the competition. The full version in 16x oversampling has (so far) beaten everything in tests. I'll also post 9970 tests as soon as time permits.
Thank you for the reply and explanation regarding demo limitation and delay issue (linear phase response is quite essential for parallel processing or multimiked tracks). I'm glad, vendors shows some measurements and puts technical thing at websites and I hope, I don't disgusted you from doing it..

Best regards,

Michal
Old 3rd July 2015
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for the great informative posts from the developer and Michal. Much appreciated.

I will look into your clipper with great interest!
Old 3rd July 2015
  #11
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Not sure what kind of oversampling method / filter you are using but would it be possible to give us a x512 or x256 oversampling options for KClip? I'd be extremely interested in testing these "over the top" values.. for science. :-)

I've been attempting to build something like this myself in Synth Maker / Flowstone but it's such a long time since I've used it that I just can't afford the time it takes to do it at the moment (yeah, bogged down by work still).

Cheers!
Old 3rd July 2015
  #12
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Kazrog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic View Post
Not sure what kind of oversampling method / filter you are using but would it be possible to give us a x512 or x256 oversampling options for KClip? I'd be extremely interested in testing these "over the top" values.. for science. :-)

I've been attempting to build something like this myself in Synth Maker / Flowstone but it's such a long time since I've used it that I just can't afford the time it takes to do it at the moment (yeah, bogged down by work still).

Cheers!
It's definitely possible, it's just a question of whether or not it brings any audible benefit. I've had one other person tell me of some mythic, lost experimental plugin that went up to 1024x oversampling.

The bottom line: if you can't tell the difference consistently in an ABX test, it's probably pointless. Still, it is something I'm curious enough about to give a go when time permits.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #13
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The weird thing with aliasing and intermodulation distortion is how it creeps up through the chain. Thus a heavily oversampled process, even if the benefits seem ridiculously small, can indeed be beneficial at the end of the chain.

It'd probably be splitting hairs at the mastering stage but you know how we mastering engineers are.. we like even the tiniest benefit.

However, clipping can be used very effectively in mixing as well and there you may even end up using 5 or 6 instances where a tiny difference can make quite a big difference in the end as it lowers the overall "noise floor".

If you ever get the time to try it out then let us know. Would be awesome to test it.

EDIT: there is a compressor plugin, The Glue, from Cytomic that allows for huge amounts of oversampling and there you can still hear a clear difference between x8 oversampling and x64 oversampling.
Old 4th July 2015
  #14
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Kazrog's Avatar
 

All valid points. One thing that many people don't know is that not all oversampling of a given multiple is created equally - in fact, far from it. It's about as meaningful of a metric as CPU clock speed. The most critical aspect of oversampling is actually the filter design, so you could easily have a situation where (for example) one 4x oversampling implementation beats another 8x oversampling implementation at aliasing rejection. This happens all the time.

In any case, you are absolutely correct about multiple instancing throughout a mix and the way aliasing can creep up a chain. That alone is reason for me to pursue further two things: 1) higher oversampling rates and 2) offline render mode vs. realtime monitoring mode settings.
Old 4th July 2015
  #15
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazrog View Post
That alone is reason for me to pursue further two things: 1) higher oversampling rates and 2) offline render mode vs. realtime monitoring mode settings.
And some form of metering would be great too
Old 4th July 2015
  #16
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Laurend's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazrog View Post
2) offline render mode vs. realtime monitoring mode settings.
I don't get your point 2.
Old 4th July 2015
  #17
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The demo is good.

Sir, would it be possible or to add a link button between input and output, so that the output is lowered relative to increasing the input? Not maybe a good idea to some but I felt it would be good for easy work-flow.
Old 5th July 2015
  #18
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Kazrog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurend View Post
I don't get your point 2.
Well, let's say I added 1024x oversampling or something similarly ridiculous - chances are the CPU usage will go up quite a bit. With offline render mode, you could print your session at 1024x oversampling but mix at 16x for example, just so you have enough CPU headroom to do all your realtime processing.
Old 5th July 2015
  #19
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Kazrog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiomaster View Post
And some form of metering would be great too
Coming soon...
Old 5th July 2015
  #20
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Kazrog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melopie View Post
The demo is good.

Sir, would it be possible or to add a link button between input and output, so that the output is lowered relative to increasing the input? Not maybe a good idea to some but I felt it would be good for easy work-flow.
Also coming soon...
Old 5th July 2015
  #21
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Giuseppe Zaccaria's Avatar
 

I got this plug yesterday, didn't know about, after few hours trying I have to say that it is very good sounding, actually impressive for the price range.
I own basically all kind of limiters, I usually end up using the Brickwall2 in conjunction with Nugen ISLv2...
But let's not talking about Brickwall2 (which I recon the best ever made - period)..
So my 'second' favourite is the Nugen ISLv2, and KClip really stands very well next to it.
While ISLv2 is tiny more real to the source, respecting the original file better, KClip in alot of circumstances will do it best expecially if the source is a bit harsh..
KClip gently rolls off high freq which comes handy with bright thing.
Slightly tight bass freq and very slightly (hard to perceive) narrows image.
I like it alot! Also cause is about 18.5 euro!!!!!
I think it will always be a choice along with Brickwall2 and ISLv2..
Bare in mind that I 99% of the times use 2 limiters, one follow the other, and I believe KClip will be used often.

Well done Kazrog!

Enjoy
Old 5th July 2015
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazrog View Post
All valid points. One thing that many people don't know is that not all oversampling of a given multiple is created equally - in fact, far from it. It's about as meaningful of a metric as CPU clock speed. The most critical aspect of oversampling is actually the filter design, so you could easily have a situation where (for example) one 4x oversampling implementation beats another 8x oversampling implementation at aliasing rejection. This happens all the time.

In any case, you are absolutely correct about multiple instancing throughout a mix and the way aliasing can creep up a chain. That alone is reason for me to pursue further two things: 1) higher oversampling rates and 2) offline render mode vs. realtime monitoring mode settings.
Good points! Offline render mode would of course be an absolute must if you try some ridiculous oversampling modes.

If you need somebody to help beta/alpha test these ridiculous sample rates then let me know.. own both KClip and your excellent ReCabinet.

Cheers!
Old 5th July 2015
  #23
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Great! I'm looking forward to it. Right now, the metering (or lack of it) is a limitation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazrog View Post
Coming soon...
Old 6th July 2015
  #24
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

I think it's important that you be able to not only meter the input and the output but also how hard you are driving the signal into 0dB...so a meter after the input knob and before 0dBFS to simulate what it's like hitting the input of an A/D converter.

I see why mixing folks might want an output knob to trim the output after cranking the input to get clipping, but maybe a mastering mode would be a good idea where there is no actual output control and everything hard clips at 0dB.

When I clip my A/D converter (Crane Song HEDD) and play the file back in Wavelab, the highest digital readings are exactly 0dB. Then I of course add a limiter and/or NUGEN ISL2 to get a little move overall level and set the output ceiling to -0.5dB or so to avoid true peaks and clipping after encoding to lossy formats etc.

I haven't had a chance to really use KClip a lot but I notice that pushing it hard can cause readings over 0dB. I plan to use it more after a few of these features are added.

Anyway, it seems that KClip doesn't have a hard clipping point at 0dBFS like a good A/D converter will have. I like the guard feature which I'd set at -0.2 to allow a bit of headroom for further processing but maybe a true mastering mode would be good where there is no output control.

Maybe that's what some of the soften settings are for. I notice that changing the quality and soften settings can prevent going over 0dB when the output is at 0dB and the guard is off.

Finally, do you think there will be a VST3 version at some point? Has KClip been tested in Wavelab at all? VST3 plugins in Wavelab tend to be tricky and unstable if not properly tested. Either they cause a crash or they are only audible on playback but do not get rendered properly.
Old 6th July 2015
  #25
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Zyzygis's Avatar
 

Still finding KClip to be a real workhorse both in the mix and on the 2bus.
One thing I've noticed when opening projects in Studio One 2.5 is that the output guard button state is not remembered. The guard switch appears on, but is not active until it is switched off and on again.
Old 6th July 2015
  #26
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Kazrog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyzygis View Post
Still finding KClip to be a real workhorse both in the mix and on the 2bus.
One thing I've noticed when opening projects in Studio One 2.5 is that the output guard button state is not remembered. The guard switch appears on, but is not active until it is switched off and on again.
This was a bug fixed in the 1.0.2 update. Please download the latest version. You may need to toggle the setting and re-save your project(s) after updating. Thanks!
Old 6th July 2015
  #27
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Kazrog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jperkinski View Post
I think it's important that you be able to not only meter the input and the output but also how hard you are driving the signal into 0dB...so a meter after the input knob and before 0dBFS to simulate what it's like hitting the input of an A/D converter.
If you turn up the input gain knob (for example) +3dB, you're driving the signal exactly +3dB. Not sure I follow what you're asking for here..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jperkinski View Post
I see why mixing folks might want an output knob to trim the output after cranking the input to get clipping, but maybe a mastering mode would be a good idea where there is no actual output control and everything hard clips at 0dB.
That's precisely what the Guard does if you don't adjust the Ceiling control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jperkinski View Post
When I clip my A/D converter (Crane Song HEDD) and play the file back in Wavelab, the highest digital readings are exactly 0dB. Then I of course add a limiter and/or NUGEN ISL2 to get a little move overall level and set the output ceiling to -0.5dB or so to avoid true peaks and clipping after encoding to lossy formats etc.
Right, and that's pretty much the workflow happening inside KClip when you use the Guard and Ceiling (minus limiting, of course)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jperkinski View Post
I haven't had a chance to really use KClip a lot but I notice that pushing it hard can cause readings over 0dB. I plan to use it more after a few of these features are added.
Yeah, this has confused a few people out there... Those are intersample peaks that are the result of clipping in the oversampled domain. The manual (and tooltips inside the plugin on mouse hover) does a good job of explaining the philosophy behind KClip and why it is a dual stage clipper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jperkinski View Post
Anyway, it seems that KClip doesn't have a hard clipping point at 0dBFS like a good A/D converter will have. I like the guard feature which I'd set at -0.2 to allow a bit of headroom for further processing but maybe a true mastering mode would be good where there is no output control.
Again, the hard 0dBFS clipping point is the Guard. If you adjust the Ceiling control after that you are simply taking the signal that is at the hard 0dBFS clipping point and lowering its volume, post processing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jperkinski View Post
Maybe that's what some of the soften settings are for. I notice that changing the quality and soften settings can prevent going over 0dB when the output is at 0dB and the guard is off.
The soften setting adds soft clipping before the hard clipping stage is hit. The manual shows how that works, with oscilloscope trace pictures.

If you turn off oversampling using the Quality knob, you effectively negate the need for the guard, but you also end up with massive audible aliasing (not advisable unless you want that as an effect - 99.9% of the time you would NEVER want that, especially on a master.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jperkinski View Post
Finally, do you think there will be a VST3 version at some point? Has KClip been tested in Wavelab at all? VST3 plugins in Wavelab tend to be tricky and unstable if not properly tested. Either they cause a crash or they are only audible on playback but do not get rendered properly.
KClip should work fine in WaveLab, although it hasn't been extensively tested as much as in multitrack DAWs. VST3 support is planned down the road.
Old 6th July 2015
  #28
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Zyzygis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazrog View Post
This was a bug fixed in the 1.0.2 update. Please download the latest version. You may need to toggle the setting and re-save your project(s) after updating. Thanks!
Great, thank you!
Old 15th July 2015
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexCherry View Post
In my opinion It sounds really bad. (listening on ATC 100 ASL in great room)There are better clipping plugs on the market.
Would you tell me?
Old 15th July 2015
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexCherry View Post
In my opinion It sounds really bad. (listening on ATC 100 ASL in great room)

maybe it could work on individual tracks as an FX but not on the master.

There are better clipping plugs on the market. Your music is worth it.
Please show me in the right direction.
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