Pro Audio Files

  • Mad-D

    Hi Justin, Why do you tend to use Clipping to the analog stage instead of Clipping Plugins?

    Are that process different?

    I think Clipping as a way to shape a waveform (example: making a Sinewave like a Square).

    If you have a good plugin that perform internal oversampling (like 8x or 16x) what’s the point of clipping the file in the analog input stage?

    My question only a curiosity, I can’t do a really accurate comparison cause I use RME converters (they’re great but not pristine like other mastering converters).
    If you want you can try to made another article about the clipping difference from plugin to hardware 😀

    Many thanks for the article, there are good gems in there!


  • Justin Perkins

    Hi Mad-D,

    You ask an interesting question. I feel that at this time, clipping the input of a high quality analog to digital converter produces a unique and generally pleasing result that I haven’t been able to achieve using a plugin.

    I admit that I haven’t searched high and low to find a plugin that does clipping as well as my Crane Song HEDD, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one day somebody can make one. I have a lot of plugins that I really love for other processes, but I can’t seem to find one that has the same results of clipping the A/D converter, especially when I need to do a VERY loud modern rock or pop master.

    I do plan to do some more simplified articles for The Pro Audio Files in the future and I’d be happy to do some A/B comparisons of a song mastered entirely with software, and compare it to a version mastered with the analog chain using clipping on the way back in. Other than the Crane Song HEDD (for obvious reasons), I have UAD and Waves software versions of all my hardware so I think a reasonable A/B test could be done.

    As a side note, I think that A/D converter emulation could be something that we see in the next few years from software developers as we’re already seeing microphone emulation, mic preamp emulation, and of course quality classic analog gear emulation is not a new thing anymore. I’d love to see a company make an emulation of high quality A/D converters that can also simulate how they sound when clipped.

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