Clipping?

Discussion in 'Audio Help & Tips' started by iamsickflowz, Jan 25, 2011.

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  1. iamsickflowz

    iamsickflowz New Member

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    Hey guys when im done recording my vocals and i play the vocals with the instrumental in the recording software it clips and i always export it down to an mp3 and use that as my song.

    is this okay or should i play with the volume of the instrumental and vocals until it doesnt clip?
    test
  2. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    You never want clipping.. never.. that being said.. sometimes you encounter occasions where it's too late.. Dave Aron, who was 2pac's engineer gave the example that pac would get super loud sometimes and in his grimey voice right in the middle of the verse.. obviously you didn't ask 2pac to do it over.. so you have to make it work..

    so #1 at all costs avoid clipping.. so in your case while you still can, yes.. adjust the levels until they are not clipping and then put the stereo mix though a limiter to maximize the volume.

    For future reference.. some clipping can be resolved with the pencil tool in pro-tools by altering the waveform

    Last but not least... in the digital realm.. clipping is not always audible.. if you don't hear distortion or artifacts of any kind from the clipping.. and if it sounds the way you expected.. then it's probably going to be ok for most standard systems but may be bass heavy in clubs or after market systems with amps and subs.. not to mention, if your levels are clipping.. audible or not.. there won't be sufficient headroom to master the track..

    good rule of thumb is to get your snare drum hitting at around -5db and mix everything to that, adjusting as necessary. After I mix everything to the snare at -5db I will pull down the master fader until I'm averaging -6db or less before then mastering the stereo mixdown which will put it at -.1db or so.

    Most important clipping rule is not to clip while tracking.. if you clip at the preamp while doing vocals then forget it.. always play it safe and turn your levels down if you're not sure.. better too low than too hot.. I like to average around -10db going in during tracking.. lots of headroom.. makes the plugins work better and more efficiently. good luck.
    test
  3. Xabiton

    Xabiton RM Veteran

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    I think it should also be added that some distortion in the analog realm is acceptable and can sound quite good if you plan on printing to tape. But I doubt anyone here is doing that so I would suggest maybe investing in a small compressor and running that after your preamp for some light compression on the way into the pc and maybe even turning your mic gain down as u record. Back up from the mic even if u are too agressive.
    test
  4. ~G.I~

    ~G.I~ Mastering Engineer/Mod

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    you are probably recording to an MP3 instrumental rather then your own beats fully tracked out I assume.

    Lower the volume of the instrumental by 10dB or so, maybe even more depending on what input level your pre-amp works best at.

    Just do the mix to your vocals, and adjust the volume of the beat till it sits right, not of the main vocal. Because the beat is more then likely already smashed/compressed/limited etc... So to get your vocals to mesh you would have to crank them up way too much and end up distorting the life out of it.
    So lower the beat and just record normaly

    then when you are done and you need to re-adjust the loudness you can use a compressor or a limiter to make it glue together more smoothly

    thats what I always do and it always works.
    test
  5. chilo1994

    chilo1994 New Member

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    Clipping never works. When you record you want your Master Volume at 0. Not negative or plus, just 0. All of your individual track volumes should not be in the red (anywhere between -3 and -6 db) and it's best if you use an external peak monitor or RMS meter. These programs show you the true red u wanna stay out of.

    And if you're dead serious about your music don't listen to any of these other dudes on here telling you to "compress" or "limit" the master to mesh it. You'll just lose allyour dynamic range and muffle important frequencies that promote the clarity and brightnessof the overall mix. Get it professionally mastered it'll cost you anywhere from $20 per track to $300 for a whole album but it's well worth of it if you want "that sound". Noone should try mastering a track if they didn't go to school for it.
    test
  6. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    This is grossly inaccurate.. first of all.. learning is learning.. school or not.. not everyone can afford an expensive degree in audio engineering.. that doesn't mean you're not serious about music production.. compressing and or limiting the master.. or a stereo mix, IS a part of mastering.. when you send your music off to be mastered.. a compressor and a limiter both are going to be used more often then not.. usually it will also go through a mastering eq, reverb, stereo imager.. etc.. You don't need a degree to do a good enough job to be competative.. all it takes it the motivation and dedication to learn.. the best thing for someone to do who can't afford professional mastering.. is to use a reference track.. a song that sounds the way you want your song to sound that you can compare to your song.. using a frequency analyzer is a great way to compare what you are doing with your reference track... compressing and limiting certainly DOES NOT destroy the dynamics of your track when used correctly in conjunction with everything else you are using to master with..

    My advice is to NEVER listen to the guy who tells you not to listen to anyone else.. the guy who thinks his own method is right and anyone else who says different is wrong.. is a moron..

    There is no replacing professionally mastered material produced in a professionally calibrated mastering studio.. however, technology in mastering techniques for project studios has come a long way.. and for many.. it's the only solution.. and obviously the majority of people searching for this kind of information have not made it yet and most likely can't afford professional mastering on a regular basis.. that's not to say you shouldn't aim for the stars, but you also should not forgo mastering your own material to be competitive when it's your only option..

    It is also very bad advice to say that your master should always be at Zero.. that's completely wrong.. It is ideal to have your master fader at 0, but the output is the output no matter how you get there.. the most important thing is that none of the elements in your mix should ever be hitting above your master level.. I've worked with a couple of professional engineers who have graduated, or are currently attending Middle Tennessee University, and it is not at all uncommon to drop your master fader by a few db to bring your ceiling down..

    The best advice anyone should ever be giving is to share what they know.. always recommend to be open to other advice from other people with experience.. and to remember that your ears are the most important tool you have..

    I really wish people would stop giving bad advice.. it's one thing to share what you believe.. it's another thing to tell people they shouldn't listen to anyone else.. worst advice ever!
    test
  7. chilo1994

    chilo1994 New Member

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    Easy there bubblegums. What is it with you people on these forums with 5,000 fackin posts anyway -you all seem about the same, always have to get all rhetorical for 15 minutes when we're sitting here talkin about clipping and mastering.

    Nobody wants to read the Gettysburg address so cut the shit and stop being such a wimpy little pansy- just stick to the facts buddy.

    *Keep your fuckin master fader at 0

    *Keep ignoring these little girly paragraph-novelist fags who tell you not to listen to somebody telling you not to listen to anyone else.

    *Google the provisions of sending your mix to get mastered so that you can se for yourself Mr. Douche is really Mr. Wrong.

    *Remember that master limiters and compressors are used in a chain of eq's and maximizers that work together to glue the track professionally. "Sweetening" your mix at home only makes it sound good from whatever reference your actually mixing it on.


    Thanks for almost screwing this decent fellas head up asshole. Good thing there's still decent,level-headed folks out there like me to come and straighten out the sally's prancing around the internet and the rest of the world. Have a great Christmas!
    test
  8. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    I hope you really believe yourself.. with your attitude, you deserve to go nowhere.. and with the advice that you're giving.. that's exactly where you'll end up.. funny that you think you know more than the pro's at MTSU.. they'll get a kick out of that..
    test
  9. chilo1994

    chilo1994 New Member

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    Tell all the pro's at MTSU in the whole fuckin world about your special argument on the internet, shit head. They're gonna laugh with you for a minute until you walk away and they start talking about what a fag you are for coming up to them all excited like "yeah man,i just SONNED some guy ON THE INTERNET....he had like FIFTEEN POSTS ROFL" but really you look like a little fairy boy. Keep kickin that science wisdom man.
    test
  10. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    Look.. I could care less about post counts.. I'm sorry I hurt your vagina by telling it like it is.. but there's nothing worse than misleading advice.. and simply put.. it is bad advice to tell people they shouldn't listen to anyone else.. the FACT of this matter is.. a fader is a fader.. turning down the master fader by 2db is not different in any way than turning down every other track fader down by 2db and leaving the master at 0.. it is simply lowering the volume level.. which.. if you mixdown before mastering.. again.. it is not at all uncommon to adjust the master down by a few db to lower the ceiling.. I've seen Alan Parsons do this.. I've seen Daniel Rowland do this.. I've seen John Merchant do this.. Dave Arons and plenty of other professionals.. So are you saying they are wrong? So yes.. I'm going to call you out when you give advice that I know to be bad advice.. I never judged your advice by your post count.. I don't even look at post counts.. I judged your advice by the fact it was wrong.. sorry your feelings got hurt, but you should have been respectful and then an adult conversation could have ensued..
    test
  11. chilo1994

    chilo1994 New Member

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    Buddy. Now wer'e bringing Alan Parsons into this. Christ almighty. Hey, if you don't mind me asking- where did you see all these legendary big studio names do all this at? Were you physically sitting behind Dan Rowland and Alan Parsons when they turned around to you and said, "Now, here is where I will turn my master fader down below zero." ? Or is this something you read about somewhere or saw on youtube?

    The fuckin Beatles use to hard pan low end bass tracks to the right and vocals to the left- would you also suggest this to a HIP HOP ARTIST trying to get the best recording results AT HOME?

    And by the way- tracks volumes and master volume IS DIFFERENT. The volumes of individual tracks are called 'initial volumes' and the master bus turns the mix up as a whole. You're talking about if you increased every trackby 1+ db equally it'd be the same as increasing the the master by 1+db, and YOU'RE WRONG. Plus- my dick is huge, balls are shaved, and I'm cooler than you.

    I'm throwing up on my lap top now.Buh-bye.
    test
  12. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    I trained with Dan Rowland.. which is where I initially learned about adjusting the master fader.. the others I saw do it in various contexts.. point is.. THEY themselves did it and suggested it..

    your analogy of the Beatles is horse shit.. it has zero relevance in this discussion.. I suggested a technique that is still widely utilized to this day..

    The master is the sum of all of the tracks being routed to it.. thereby it is the same.. where when all of the tracks are routed to an aux or the master.. and then you turn that aux or master up by 1db.. you're turning them all up by 1db.. but hey.. it's impossible to argue with stupid.. so I'm just going to let you go on running your mouth about your giant balls.. you're doing a good enough job digging your own grave embarrassing yourself acting like a little kid on the internet.. you don't need any further assistance.. for that matter you probably are a little kid judging from your ridiculous argument.. say what you want.. I'm done arguing with you..
    test
  13. capItal eyez

    capItal eyez Member

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    This was a cute arguement.

    The only thing I can say to you two "engineers" is that does it really fucking matter what the master fader is set at, if the end product sounds good.

    The answer no.

    But Mr Roush suggesting a limiter to a novice isn't the best idea in my opinion, because thats most likely whats causing the problem in the large scheme of things.

    some producer wanted his beats "volume" to be as loud as industry beats are and reckless squashed his shit.
    test
  14. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    Well at least you were almost respectful.. but "Einstein" the point is that the beat was clipping.. so his options are to turn it down and settle for having his song be quiet compared to other songs he's competing with.. orrrrr.. he can try to master it as good as possible with as minimal a loss in dynamics and quality as possible by using a typical mastering chain and very subtle settings.. at the very least, a brick wall limiter can stop the clipping.. and a limiter is not something that only pro's can use.. any fool with the internet can become proficient in using a limiter.. which is essentially a compressor with a high ratio.. soooo.. it ought to be among the first things anyone tries to learn and understand

    soooo.. instead of trying to knock people trying to be helpful, maybe you should try to be helpful yourself.. a lot of good it does to point out problems and not solutions..

    One thing you are right about is the fact that the beat was no doubt poorly limited to begin with where it is clipping.. which is all too common.. but duplicate that same beat a few times and use multi-band processing applying varying amounts of eq / compression / limiting etc.. and you can absolutely improve the sound.. which is the point.. making it as good as possilbe.. obviously if it sounds good it is good.. and obviously it didn't sound good which is why he was reaching out for advice.. not some snot nose negative hater shit..
    test
  15. capItal eyez

    capItal eyez Member

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    Obviously this whole other argument has gotten you a little flustered and you have to take your jabs where you can.

    I wasn't insulting him in saying if it didnt sound good, I was actually defending your point of lowering the MF.

    I personally think you should suggested a "glue" type compressor for his master fader, instead of a limiter.

    And honestly I've read your posts and you seem very informed and intelligent in this field, any idiot on the internet can not operate a limiter. The knowledge and work experience you posted in your other posts you know that a good M.E. makes a HUGE difference. I've been mixing for years and yeah I can put a limiter on the MF or a Mastering chain pulteq> vari mu> to whatever limiter I desire, but if a M.E. does it, it sounds a hella of a lot better.

    In the end no disrespect, like I said it's obvious you know your shit.
    test
  16. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    My apologies.. no offense, but it wasn't a matter of being flustered.. it was a matter that you said.. "you two "engineers" .. I took that as a Jab and as you suggesting that I was not an engineer.. and it's never a matter of being flustered.. it's a matter of boredom.. I don't mind if anyone thinks I don't know what I'm talking about and I'm certainly far from being right all the time.. it's just this site and the fact that people on it can't wait to jump on someone's shit like they've been perched in the bushes waiting to strike first chance they get.. I'm just anti-negativity.. I'm all about being tactful and respectful.. If you disagree.. there's a respectful way to do so.. just too many snot nose little shits on this site that love to hide behind an IP addy and talk shit that they would never say to a person face to face.. but again, my apologies.. no hard feelings.. it's all good.. and no.. not every idiot can get on the internet and learn how to use a limiter, but you'd have to truly be pretty dunce not to be able to.. lord knows there are plenty of people who fit that description though it's easy to take for granted that not everyone has some common sense.. and I certainly agree there's no replacing a M.E... it only ever boils down to doing what is within your means and not settling for less than you absolutely have to.. pz
    test
  17. elizdaavis

    elizdaavis New Member

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    I am not able to reach a conclusion amidst all arguments..

    -------------------------------------------------------
    Hip hop music
    test
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