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Do you usually clip plug-ins?
View Poll Results: Do you clip (>0.0dBFS) your plug-ins?
Never
67 Votes - 61.47%
Rarely
29 Votes - 26.61%
Often - input
3 Votes - 2.75%
Often - output (or both)
10 Votes - 9.17%
Voters: 109. You may not vote on this poll

Old 9th September 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
fenderbender.'s Avatar
 

Do you usually clip plug-ins?

???
Old 9th September 2009
  #2
I understand why you are asking this, but a lot of folks won't have a clue as to what the question really is I think.
Old 9th September 2009
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
fenderbender.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
I understand why you are asking this, but a lot of folks won't have a clue as to what the question really is I think.
Would you please help me explain the poll question? You know what I'm asking
Old 9th September 2009
  #4
I'm not sure that there's a neat summary of the issue that would be possible. The explanation of the question would probably be so long that people wouldn't take time to read it and understand it. And, when they did, they'd probably not really know if they are doing it or not unless they did a fair amount of exploration to see, since if they are it would likely be unknowingly.

You could just point them at the other thread I guess, but that's an awfully long poll question :-)
Old 9th September 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post
to question 1: headroom is important. plugins sound different at any given levels. means: some like clip,but most don't.
Asked about that at the mastering forum. Short enough I guess heh
Old 9th September 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I never overdrive my plug-ins except the Inflator which is designed to be driven over 0DbFs in certain situations.
Old 9th September 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
s.d.finley's Avatar
There are times when one could clip their plug ins and not realize it. That isn't on the poll.
Old 10th September 2009
  #8
Well, I voted "never" but that's a bit deceiving because I don't work ITB unless I really can't avoid it. I use it for rough CD mixes to give to the musicians..... so I rarely use plugins.

When I do process ITB I don't clip anything - I hate digital clipping. If I need to clip something I have plenty of analog gear for that........
Old 10th September 2009
  #9
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
I understand why you are asking this, but a lot of folks won't have a clue as to what the question really is I think.
It's called gain staging. And I think you're right. It's something that a lot of people who start ITB aren't really aware of.
Old 10th September 2009
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Tha Govna's Avatar
 

NEVER!!
Old 10th September 2009
  #11
Quote:
It's called gain staging. And I think you're right. It's something that a lot of people who start ITB aren't really aware of.
Actually it's more than that. This poll is his reaction to another thead in the High End section. Without reading that, and his reaction to it, it's not going to be exactly clear what he's trying to determine here.
Old 10th September 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
sonicdefault's Avatar
The only plug I clip is a clipper plug


-SD
Old 10th September 2009
  #13
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
Actually it's more than that. This poll is his reaction to another thead in the High End section. Without reading that, and his reaction to it, it's not going to be exactly clear what he's trying to determine here.
Sorry, I didn't see that one. What's it about?
Old 10th September 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 
The Beatsmith's Avatar
 

a lot of the time i'm using compressors or limiters that are supposed to be 'driven'
Old 10th September 2009
  #15
Old 10th September 2009
  #16
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
I'm not going to read a whole 11 page thread, but that first post is a wonderful explanation of gain staging and why it matters.

I've always thought people who start ITB are at a disadvantage. The analog world forces you to learn things like signal flow and gain staging. So when you migrate to ITB, you have it under your belt. Those things exist and matter ITB, but they're not as apparent. You're not forced to learn them in the same way.
Old 10th September 2009
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

I mostly do post. And yes, sometimes when racing against a tight deadline, a plug or rwo might get a little reddish. If I hear a problem I'll fix it. If I don't hear it, next case.

I really wish plugins had a selectable "inverse in/out" control -- move the slider and the input goes down while the output goes up by the same amount, or vice versa. Even better, a selectable "auto" mode -- stray into the red and the plug fixes its own gainstaging.
Old 10th September 2009
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
I'm not going to read a whole 11 page thread, but that first post is a wonderful explanation of gain staging and why it matters.

I've always thought people who start ITB are at a disadvantage. The analog world forces you to learn things like signal flow and gain staging. So when you migrate to ITB, you have it under your belt. Those things exist and matter ITB, but they're not as apparent. You're not forced to learn them in the same way.
But, if you read that thread, a lot of it is just as much about why what you learned in the analog world is wrong in the digital world. Actually, that thread was started off of another thread that was basically getting into that very subject, i.e. why so many analog folks have issues getting good results in the digital world. And there's considerably more refined discussion of the points made in the first thread, not all of which everyone agrees with.
Old 10th September 2009
  #19
I said never -- but that's a very big word. Let's say I never intentionally clip anything on the digital side.

That said I may go over 0 dBFS in signal flows where clipping is not an issue, not possible, with the assumption that it will be brought into nominal legal range before it hits a file, converter, or plug (which might use fixed point math and/or have reduced headroom for some other reason or have an operational sweetspot). Still, I figure it's easiest to just keep levels below 0 dB in general in the DAW signal flow.
Old 10th September 2009
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
I'm not going to read a whole 11 page thread, but that first post is a wonderful explanation of gain staging and why it matters.

I've always thought people who start ITB are at a disadvantage. The analog world forces you to learn things like signal flow and gain staging. So when you migrate to ITB, you have it under your belt. Those things exist and matter ITB, but they're not as apparent. You're not forced to learn them in the same way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
But, if you read that thread, a lot of it is just as much about why what you learned in the analog world is wrong in the digital world. Actually, that thread was started off of another thread that was basically getting into that very subject, i.e. why so many analog folks have issues getting good results in the digital world. And there's considerably more refined discussion of the points made in the first thread, not all of which everyone agrees with.
Yes to both.

I very much feel like the years I spend in the analog realm were invaluable and definitely helped inform my new practices in the digital world.

But... I had a lot to unlearn.

And that is one of the reasons that I now harp on this whole, don't do things out of habit, do experiment, every situation is different harangue you'll see me go into from time to time.

I did have a lot of half-baked thoughts, I didn't take the time to learn all my basics (and yet I still got higher marks than my first recording teacher when we both took the entrance test at a different school heh ), I did do things out of habit or because some more experienced engineer said to (mind you, I picked up a lot of good practical wisdom that way, too, but in retrospect, if I'd taken the time to learn my basics, I would have cut throug the occasional BS a lot quicker).
Old 10th September 2009
  #21
Lives for gear
 
A LaMere's Avatar
 

I chose 'rarely'... because every now and then.. yes I'll push some plugins to clip..
but for the most part no.

That being said, I don't record that hot of levels and have often been told by others that my levels are too low. I honestly don't mind a little extra noise in digital recordings most of the time... so.. in my opinion, my levels are fine..

I set them at what sounds best to my ear.. Usually, that's lower than will clip any plugin unless I'm intentionally trying to do it.
Old 10th September 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
I do it when it sounds good, some plugs sound good clipped.
Old 10th September 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 
larry b's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
I'm not going to read a whole 11 page thread, but that first post is a wonderful explanation of gain staging and why it matters.

I've always thought people who start ITB are at a disadvantage. The analog world forces you to learn things like signal flow and gain staging. So when you migrate to ITB, you have it under your belt. Those things exist and matter ITB, but they're not as apparent. You're not forced to learn them in the same way.
That is so true. Guys that have only ever worked ITB should take note of this.

FWIW i voted never. I actually take extra time to make sure that my gain staging is correct through all plug-ins. I have no use for digital overs.
Old 10th September 2009
  #24
Gear Guru
Sure, there are techniques to adapt and relearn when you go from physical analog to virtual digi.

However there is an awful lot that translates directly. There are many things in a DAW that mimic physical consoles. And not because of some analog nostalgia, but because of the nature of what they have to do. The difference between an audio track and an aux return, or an output and bus for example.
Old 10th September 2009
  #25
Old 10th September 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Waves SSL always seems to be clipping on output once I get things where I want them. no clip on mix window meters tho. if it sounds right, it's right.
Old 10th September 2009
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
fenderbender.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sevendaysoff View Post
Waves SSL always seems to be clipping on output once I get things where I want them. no clip on mix window meters tho. if it sounds right, it's right.
Yup!

Just like an SSL console, some things sound best with a little red light! I'm not ashamed to admit that I often 'clip' the input &/or output of certain plug-ins. Plenty have nice 'saturation' characteristics... Waves SSL, RComp, McDSP AC1/2, Sonnox, some reverbs, and prb. many others I'm omitting.

As long as you use your eyes AND ears, you hardly need to know about floating vs. fixed-point, truncation, et al. Though, understanding your DAW does help. . .

Caution and creativity don't often go hand in hand. Is it really difficult to differentiate between something that sounds good and something that sounds bad? I've never once thought 'this would be an amazing mix, IF you hadn't clipped your plug-ins'!
Old 10th September 2009
  #28
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderbender. View Post
Yup!

Just like an SSL console, some things sound best with a little red light! I'm not ashamed to admit that I often 'clip' the input &/or output of certain plug-ins. Plenty have nice 'saturation' characteristics... Waves SSL, RComp, McDSP AC1/2, Sonnox, some reverbs, and prb. many others I'm omitting.

As long as you use your eyes AND ears, you hardly need to know about floating vs. fixed-point, truncation, et al. Though, understanding your DAW does help. . .

Caution and creativity don't often go hand in hand. Is it really difficult to differentiate between something that sounds good and something that sounds bad? I've never once thought 'this would be an amazing mix, IF you hadn't clipped your plug-ins'!
doing something on purpose for esthetic reasons is a whole 'nother topic.
Old 10th September 2009
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
fenderbender.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
doing something on purpose for esthetic reasons is a whole 'nother topic.



How often is audio processing not aesthetic?
Old 10th September 2009
  #30
Gear Nut
 
Tweek Audio's Avatar
 

To the O.P.er, I don't beleive this is about cliping plugins. I think it's about running 1/8th the level into your plugins (-18dB) than many who run -2 dbFS, resluting with a -20dBFS signal going in.

Is there any documentation that can display that plugins actually do behave like analog consoles and that running -20dBFS into a plugin is actaully better than running -0.1dBFS?

I'll certainly be experimenting myself and will post my findings and probably a blind test. but I'd like to see somewhere where UAD, WAVES, OXFORD, Etc..... mention that their plugins will behave drastically better if you feed them -20dB as oposed to -1dB.

I'm not saying I'm sure of one way or the other. My findings will dictate how I conduct business as always.
If it's true that I can gain any amount of "betterness" in my recordings simply by lowering my record levels from - 6 - 10 dBFS to -20 dBFS, I will be the first to do so.

Blind test comming soon!

Last edited by Tweek Audio; 10th September 2009 at 09:50 PM.. Reason: -18dB is actually 1/8th. is it not?
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