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converter clipping for the poor :)
Old 6th September 2007
Lives for gear
converter clipping for the poor :)

I'm not a mastering engineer and only have a soundcard. I was very curious of converter clipping and some time ago I found this on the forums (steven slate drum samples demo song). The person who mastered this said he only used converter clipping. Since I can't clip my converters I referenced it on har-bal and tweaked a track similar to it by ear. Later I blended it with the orijinal source and figured that it could be a nice step in mastering. My problem is that I always end up with harmonic distortion and I guess because my reference is an mp3. Also I am not benefiting enough because my converter clipping sound is limited to that song. I thought if I had a reference like this it would solve my problem;clipping white noise on a converter at 96 khz (.wav). Can someone make this for me and link it here(only 1-2 seconds would be enough)? I know its not the same thing but I just want to try how well it works.
Old 6th September 2007
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Cellotron's Avatar

Verified Member
Cooker -
Your idea is fundamentally flawed. Har-Bal is an equalizer - not a limiter - and because of this it will not be able to emulate the effects of clipping regardless of what impulse response you feed it. What clipping is doing is cutting off all transients over a set threshold resulting in wave forms with sharp flat topping. You need a very high quality Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) in order to successfully do this at the input of your sound card - which is why mastering engineers usually invest a good bit of money on these things. A much cleaner way to do clipping if you don't have access to a great ADC is to clip at a digital gain stage - i.e. overload the input of a digital fader or plugin.

A freeware VST plugin that does digital clipping very well is at
GVST - GClip
I'd recommend trying this out to see whether you can get results that you like. The main thing is to be very cautious applying it as clipping often leads to numerous artifacts such as distortion, clicks and crackles once a threshold dependent on the material being processed is passed.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 6th September 2007
Lives for gear
I tryed the plug-in and you are right it is very sensitive.I thought that sound was acheved by only converter clipping but figured after trying the plug-in you recommended it needed 1 or 2 more things. Thanx alot!!
Old 6th September 2007
Gear Guru
UnderTow's Avatar

Verified Member
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I tryed the plug-in and you are right it is very sensitive.I thought that sound was acheved by only converter clipping but figured after trying the plug-in you recommended it needed 1 or 2 more things. Thanx alot!!
I think your idea of converter clipping is even more flawed than Cellotron thinks: Converter clipping isn't about getting a particular sound! It is only used to get things louder after everything else has been done right to get the desired sound (from room acoustics to mics to preamps to converters to mixing techniques etc etc).

Old 7th September 2007
Lives for gear
I've experimented on a few mixes I have(rock,funk,slow electronic stuff...) since I downloaded the free plug-in. When the plug-in started to distort, I played with the multiband comp. and eq settings to prevent it as much as I could. As I pushed those mixes to the edge, I did get closer to a certain sound. Yes, it isn't just about getting that sound but I found what I was looking for. It varys on how much you are tweaking according to the amount of loudness you want.
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