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Old 11th September 2009
chrisj's Avatar

Originally Posted by dannygold View Post
So do I clip plugins? I'd say no since they are virtually unclippable if written corretly... unless they're emulating analog clipping as part of the code. Certainly possible for a compressor or whatnot. I'd love a comment from a plugin coder. Chris from AirWindows? Massey? Who else is active here?
I'm all too active here

I would say, from good sounding plugin makers, watch out for anything that sounds 'warm'. Both me and Massey have notable plugs that are totally subject to clipping- my Iron Oxide and Massey's Tape Head are both very obviously using overdrive as part of the sound.

I don't think you mean that, I think we're talking about things like comps and EQs that in theory should ignore clipping. However, there are various ways clipping can affect them, most notably a 'gotcha' factor in the coding. If you go to fixed point for calculations, you can build in the headroom you'll have, and then if you exceed that you're back to digital clipping. Also, if you are for some reason applying a hard limit to the floating point signal (like keeping it between -1 and 1) that's just straight up digital clipping, same for if you're going to 16 bit fixed at any point. It's important to note that this applies to any variable in the code that's used to carry audio- just because the buss carries 32 bit float doesn't mean the plugin isn't running into a problem somewhere.

It is pretty easy to test whether a plugin copes or not. If it's 32 bit float, give it a +300 db signal and attenuate it back down. If it nulls with a -12 db signal, the plugin doesn't care about clipping one bit. If it does clip, it will be nuked completely and sound catastrophic

I oughta make some freebies for doing this but ordinary gain plugs would suffice.