The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Clipping Mastering Converters vs. Clipping protools Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Clipping Mastering Converters vs. Clipping protools

I'm getting ready to purchase a mastering grade ad converter for clipping my masters (either the burl b2 or the dangerous convert ad +) to get my loudness as I find it to sound alot better than limiting....but I'm trying to understand it theoretically.....When I output my mix to whatever analog piece of gear (before the converter) that I will be using to push the audio into the converter....my question is....by the time the ad converter is clipping,will the signal in protools be clipping in the red as well....or is that why most mastering grade converters have input attenuator settings to keep the signal from clipping in protools while the signal is clipping the converter?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I don't get why people is still interested in clipping the converters..
The loudness war is over and even 15 years ago didn't make recordings sound any better.

With spotify and other streaming services clipping converters makes no sense, not that made more sense back then..but..
Today you are limited to a certain lufs level anyway. No more cd's..

Do we really need to go louder?
Really?
Big labels are no longer interested in music, if they ever were.

What we need is good QUALITY masters (and music in all its form)..

There might be mastering engineers that might disagree with that.. what can I say..

good luck with your endeavours.

Just my 0.02$,



Cheu

Last edited by cheu78; 1 week ago at 02:06 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I agree with Cheu (see above)

Having said that yes if you clip your AD connected to PT or any other workstation you will have a signal "in the red" going in.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by O-dawg View Post
I'm getting ready to purchase a mastering grade ad converter for clipping my masters (either the burl b2 or the dangerous convert ad +) to get my loudness as I find it to sound alot better than limiting....but I'm trying to understand it theoretically.....When I output my mix to whatever analog piece of gear (before the converter) that I will be using to push the audio into the converter....my question is....by the time the ad converter is clipping,will the signal in protools be clipping in the red as well....or is that why most mastering grade converters have input attenuator settings to keep the signal from clipping in protools while the signal is clipping the converter?
The input attenuator on the Burl B2 is before the AD chip in the signal path. It's there so you can avoid clipping the AD chip while still getting some transformer saturation from hitting the analog input stage hard. Any ADC that has a built in attenuator would have it located before the AD chip.

So, if you want to clip the AD chip then don't bother to attenuate.

And yes, if you clip the AD then the resulting file in PT will also be clipping.

If you want clipping from the AD but don't like seeing red on the meters afterward then you'll have to lower the gain of the files after printing them. But if you zoom in on the waveforms you'll still see nasty clipping...
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
I don't get why people is still interested in clipping the converters..
The loudness war is over and even 15 years ago didn't make recordings sound any better.

With spotify and other streaming services clipping converters makes no sense, not that made more sense back then..but..
Today you are limited to a certain lufs level anyway. No more cd's..

Do we really need to go louder?
Really?
Big labels are no longer interested in music, if they ever were.

What we need is good QUALITY masters (and music in all its form)..

There might be mastering engineers that might disagree with that.. what can I say..

good luck with your endeavours.

Just my 0.02$,



Cheu
I agree with this and I disagree.

I don't like the sound of clipping the AD, and I don't like the loudness war. So I'm with you in principle.

But the loudness war is not over. The vast majority of clients still demand loud masters. Most albums still get pressed to CD, just in smaller runs. Loudness normalization isn't ubiquitous yet and it doesn't always work properly.

Sad but true.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
Clipping converters seems kind of old-fashioned now. There are better options ITB, and that's a much more flexible way to go IMO...makes it easy to use unclipped files for the vinyl master, etc.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Slug1's Avatar
The best approach is to have something in the analog domain to push the gain into the AD converter. It can be before your analog gear or between your analog gear and the AD. If before the analog gear you need to make sure that your analog gear has enough headroom. I prefer to have it be last in the chain and push into the AD. If you have made up your mind and want to clip the AD, never do it by trying to push the gain from your DAW output because you’ll end up clipping digitally and that is never a good thing. You could also end up hitting the DAC too hard. So get something to push gain in the analog domain. Lots of different choices.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
But the loudness war is not over. The vast majority of clients still demand loud masters. Most albums still get pressed to CD, just in smaller runs.

Sad but true.
Are your/those clients aware that on spotify/apple music it doesn't make any sense nor their music any louder (and of course not better)?

The small runs of cd's will disappear soon anyway.. And for vinyl it doesn't work having such level.. It's phisically not possible to get a decent vinyl that will play ok with those masters.. So it's really useless (and not only bad..).

Running hot into analog gear with high headroom (like xformers or tubes mostly) is something very different than clipping converters imho.
Some genres or songs might benefit from saturation or some sort of "bending".. (which will give you also more level in the end).. But this is a completely different thing.

To me if somebody is clipping converters in 2018/2019 there's something basically wrong..

and I'm not saying that is a good practice or sounding better, but you have a lot of good options otb and itb to get serious levels without clipping converters.. Is this really not enough?



Cheu
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Are your/those clients aware that on spotify/apple music it doesn't make any sense nor their music any louder (and of course not better)?
Yes most people are aware of loudness normalization on streaming platforms. Many have tried mastering to those lower loudness targets and found their tracks sound quieter than other tracks. The technology isn't perfected yet. And normalization isn't always turned on. Spotify web player doesn't have it. Spotify mobile app has 3 choices for loudness (Quiet, Normal and Loud). If someone chooses Loud then Spotify must use a limiter to raise the gain without clipping. In short, there are problems with normalization. And then there's downloads - are you sure those will get normalized when played?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
The small runs of cd's will disappear soon anyway.. And for vinyl it doesn't work having such level.. It's phisically not possible to get a decent vinyl that will play ok with those masters.. So it's really useless (and not only bad..).
Most MEs make separate non-limited versions for vinyl. I expect CDs to be around for at least a few more years. Almost all of my clients still press CDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
To me if somebody is clipping converters in 2018/2019 there's something basically wrong..

and I'm not saying that is a good practice or sounding better, but you have a lot of good options otb and itb to get serious levels without clipping converters.. Is this really not enough?
I agree. Clipping converters is so 1991. If you must clip (I don't BTW) then an ITB clipper will work better.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Head
 

Thanks for the replies guys!I did see a guy on youtube using the digital/analog api mic pre doing what the above guy was refering to by clipping/saturating the analog side of the pres and using the digital side to gain stage non clipped audio back into protools....it sounded pretty good too....but even with clipping converters apart from the loudness,when done tastefully,it still has a glue and rounding of transients because of the crest factor of pushing audio with a wide frequency range up into a certain loudness.Clipping wheather people like it or not,is also considered a color,and when done right will always sound better than even light limiting and percieved to be bigger,clearer and more exciting than a quiet master when a/b'd...but believe me....I do understand what the advocates for more dynamic mixes mean because a quiet well balanced mix with all of its transient in tact will usually be punchier....but when clipping is done right....the punch will still be present....just not to the same extent.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
The good thing in our craft is that we all have to find a own way to achieve results we like. For loudness some like clipping, some limiting, some none and some a combination. One major aspect that is mostly forgotte in those discussion is how you work within yourchain and therefore how you feed the clipper/limiter stage(s).So, a head to head comparisson from the same person within the same chain may be quite useless therefore...
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
zvukofor's Avatar
Not every converter clips nice, why not just using HW clipper(s) for this with any favourite clean AD? Then you can use a lot of different sounding clippers and a lot of them has some variables to adjust to taste.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
b0se's Avatar
Try StandardCLIP and/or KClip 3, both top ITB alternatives.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by O-dawg View Post
I'm getting ready to purchase a mastering grade ad converter for clipping my masters (either the burl b2 or the dangerous convert ad +) to get my loudness as I find it to sound alot better than limiting..
Personally, I've never fancied the sound of clipping converters, but my Dangerous Convert-AD+ handles excessive levels really well.

I think your top priority should be getting the best sounding ADC possible, great att clipping or not.

The Convert-AD+ is well worth trying out.


Cheers
Fred
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenzy View Post
Personally, I've never fancied the sound of clipping converters, but my Dangerous Convert-AD+ handles excessive levels really well.

I think your top priority should be getting the best sounding ADC possible, great att clipping or not.

The Convert-AD+ is well worth trying out.


Cheers
Fred
Thanks bro!Totally agreed...even if I dont like its clipping i can still track through it....Both my convert plus ad and convert 2 d to a will be arriving today!
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
b0se's Avatar
There's a video of Luca (Studio DMI) using the AD+ for clipping. Sounds very nice. Dangerous gear is ridiculously expensive in the EU though.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
Try StandardCLIP and/or KClip 3, both top ITB alternatives.
Or Venn audios freeclip
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by O-dawg View Post
Thanks bro!Totally agreed...even if I dont like its clipping i can still track through it....Both my convert plus ad and convert 2 d to a will be arriving today!
Bro, you won't be disappointed!

Do clock your system from the Convert-AD+ - great sounding digital clock and internal sync of your main ADC - best of both worlds.

You're in for a treat! :-)


Cheers
Fred
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by O-dawg View Post
but even with clipping converters apart from the loudness,when done tastefully,it still has a glue and rounding of transients because of the crest factor of pushing audio with a wide frequency range up into a certain loudness.Clipping wheather people like it or not,is also considered a color,and when done right will always sound better than even light limiting and percieved to be bigger,clearer and more exciting than a quiet master when a/b'd...
Hard clipping creates square waves. There is no rounding of transients.
Although correct: not all methods sound the same. No process always sounds best (IME).
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
Hard clipping creates square waves. There is no rounding of transients.
Although correct: not all methods sound the same. No process always sounds best (IME).
Maybe I chose the wrong wording....a rounding of the sound if you will.....I wasn't literally talking about the waveform as much as a rounding of the sound in general....which as I stated above is the color that even clipped mixes can exhibit.....if done tastefully....the truth is, mixes that have been clipped the right way dont sound clipped......tasteful clipping sounds natural, louder and still dynamic,just like in the same way tasteful limiting doesnt sound limited.Balance is key.....
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Some A/D's can take a pretty good walloping before getting to it's breaking point, which all gear has analog or digital. The production of a record is a huge factor in this. I'm going to be the odd man out here. I've never really liked ITB clippers. I much rather push my capture as hot as I can, and when it sounds like it's starting buckle, I back off. To me the key is proper makeup gain at the end of the analog chain. Most analog eq's and compressors have their sweet spots, but it's usually far lower in volume than what one would consider a hot level...hence proper makeup gain.

I remember the Crainsong Trakkers makeup gain being extremely clean when pushed. I now have a pair of Titans that I sometimes use for this very reason, and indeed works really well.

In my opinion the loudness war has sort of fizzled out into a new benchmark of how most everyone expects their records to sound. At least on the pop and rock genres. Although I'm sure there a lot of hot jazz records being released.
Old 6 days ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by engmix View Post
Some A/D's can take a pretty good walloping before getting to it's breaking point, which all gear has analog or digital. The production of a record is a huge factor in this. I'm going to be the odd man out here. I've never really liked ITB clippers. I much rather push my capture as hot as I can, and when it sounds like it's starting buckle, I back off. To me the key is proper makeup gain at the end of the analog chain. Most analog eq's and compressors have their sweet spots, but it's usually far lower in volume than what one would consider a hot level...hence proper makeup gain.

I remember the Crainsong Trakkers makeup gain being extremely clean when pushed. I now have a pair of Titans that I sometimes use for this very reason, and indeed works really well.

In my opinion the loudness war has sort of fizzled out into a new benchmark of how most everyone expects their records to sound. At least on the pop and rock genres. Although I'm sure there a lot of hot jazz records being released.
I sometimes use a flamingo preamp for the same reason as you use your titans. Pretty cool for mixbuss, plus a great clipper.
Old 4 days ago
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by engmix View Post
Some A/D's can take a pretty good walloping before getting to it's breaking point, which all gear has analog or digital. The production of a record is a huge factor in this. I'm going to be the odd man out here. I've never really liked ITB clippers. I much rather push my capture as hot as I can, and when it sounds like it's starting buckle, I back off. To me the key is proper makeup gain at the end of the analog chain. Most analog eq's and compressors have their sweet spots, but it's usually far lower in volume than what one would consider a hot level...hence proper makeup gain.

I remember the Crainsong Trakkers makeup gain being extremely clean when pushed. I now have a pair of Titans that I sometimes use for this very reason, and indeed works really well.

In my opinion the loudness war has sort of fizzled out into a new benchmark of how most everyone expects their records to sound. At least on the pop and rock genres. Although I'm sure there a lot of hot jazz records being released.
I agree!I don't like software clippers because when you push them to a certain point you can literally hear them smacking up against the 0db wall and mushing things out.I just purchased a stereo mic pre Great River mp-nv2 to not only use for saturating virtual instruments but to also use to push my mix into my Convert ad+....but I will also experiment with the opposite way as the gentleman above described.Using the input stage of the great river to clip my mix and use the output to make sure It doesn't go into protools clipping.I can't wait for my great river unit to get here so I can test these 2 theories and see what the results are.I know I will get stoned by the sluts for this next comment but.I have even experimented with using a gain plugin to push my mixes into the red in protools,yes raw digital clipping!!!!!Up until right before begins to break and literally bouncing the file out, only to bring the clipped waveform back into protools(Floating Point Math:Hint...The file is never really clipped until you bounce it down) to add a limiter only for the ceiling setting,so that my final output level won't have any intersample peaks or overs.Some say this produces aliasing distortion, and maybe it does.....but when I do it, it always sounds good to my ears, transients thwacking, midrange clarity and focus and sparkley highs that are not smeared.But maybe after I run these other clipping test I may actually prefer something different....Test and analysis and trusting my own ears is the motto I live by.
Old 4 days ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by O-dawg View Post
...but when I do it, it always sounds good to my ears, transients thwacking, midrange clarity and focus and sparkley highs that are not smeared.
What type(s) of music are you working on?
Old 4 days ago
  #25
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
What type(s) of music are you working on?
My genre is christian rap which sonically would be hiphop and r&b, I'm technically just another hip hop head who uses dr.dres chronic 2001 cd as a reference,who cant afford a studer a827 and a ssl 4000 series console still trying to get as close as I can...... heck,if I cant have tape saturation from track to track I'll settle for transformer saturation.....lol
Old 3 days ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by O-dawg View Post
I'm technically just another hip hop head who uses dr.dres chronic 2001 cd as a reference
To get Chronic 2001 loudness on Hip Hop tracks using clipping, I'd expect to hear obvious distortion on beats with prominent sustained bass content. Those big LF waves square off badly when clipped compared to using a good quality limiter... IME... YMMV I guess...
Old 2 days ago
  #27
Clipping the AD converters has a sound on its own, but just works in some genres, its a bad practice when used out of context, and a very missunderstood topic.

I tend to approach clipping by using the Bettermaker Mastering Limiter, it has a combination of soft and hard clipping, and doesn’t create a perfect square waveform as many AD converters do, I hear a huge difference because this way you can retain the last harmonics of transients that otherwise get shaved by a typical AD converter, giving you a better way to clip, resulting in a more deep, natural and therefore louder sound after all.

Having the chance to clip with a soft and hard clipper and then send the final signal to conversion calibrated to a -0.1db fraction it really makes a huge difference when hitting the final AD Converter.

There’s many AD Converters nowadays that have similar options, all great, Dangerous, Hedd, etc.... but I find myself having better results doing it in a dedicated gear that gives you the options, just when necessary, and not burning my AD, at the endo of the day, it sounds more natural and less overprocessed for me.
Old 1 day ago
  #28
I see discussion about clipping convertor and almost anyone is talking about the driver.
You need two unit for this, the AD and the pusher and you need to think this thing as a couple.
Having a converter able to handle the tension and a gain stage able to deliver the current.
Old 1 day ago
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxnscratch View Post
Having a converter able to handle the tension and a gain stage able to deliver the current.
True, unless you recalibrate the analog input stage of your ADC.

Or use a Burl B2 ADC (mentioned in the OP) which has that handy stepped input attenuator with a range of -24 to -12.

And the Dangerous Converter-AD+ (also mentioned in the OP) has 3 switchable calibration levels (-18, -16, -14).
Old 1 day ago
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
True, unless you recalibrate the analog input stage of your ADC.

Or use a Burl B2 ADC (mentioned in the OP) which has that handy stepped input attenuator with a range of -24 to -12.

And the Dangerous Converter-AD+ (also mentioned in the OP) has 3 switchable calibration levels (-18, -16, -14).
It won't change the impedance relationship between the gear.
Even if having calibration on the front panel is a good idea (I would love that) 2dB increment is a bit coarse.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump