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-   -   Constant Clipping issue with 6.5.1 (https://www.propellerheads.se/forum/showthread.php?t=168258)

HarryRhodes 2012-10-01 18:21

Constant Clipping issue with 6.5.1
 
Hi there everyone, first post here and I was wondering if anyone else is having the same issue or have any suggestions?

I've just upgraded from Reason 4 to 6.5 and I'm pretty stoked about all the new features, let alone never having to export stems into a separate DAW for adding audio, but here's my problem:

Before upgrading, I was using Reason 4 to program all the usual stuff, and then exporting each element and importing into Cubase where I would add my guitars, vocal and any other live elements, where I would then mix and export. My biggest issue though was that within Cubase it took very little to clip my main-out audio meter, dropping the level of each track meant the whole project was way below the standard level as I was pushing my interface's volume to well over a third where it would normally sit when using Reason alone, or listening to music. I never had that issue when using Reason alone, until now. I've installed Reason 6, and when importing all my previous Reason sessions, and more so when recording audio I'm getting a constant clip until I bring all the faders down (and then I'm pushing my interface further than before.) just to regain the standard volume.

Anyone got any idea what's going on here? I recognise that it's probably down to the audio interface, but there are no real settings I can tweak on my computer. The interface I'm using is an Edirol UA-25 (24 bit/96kHz).

If anyone can suggest anything I'd be hugely grateful. Thanks guys.

RXTX 2012-10-01 18:34

Do you get clipping when you use Reason devices like the Subtractor, or is it because of your recorded clips only?

If it's only your recorded clips that are clipping, maybe the gain on your interface's preamps is set too high?

emotica 2012-10-01 18:35

Maybe you always been clipping, but had a default Mastering Suite sitting before the main outs, that would prevent clipping. Just a guess.

HarryRhodes 2012-10-01 19:00

I've got Reason open at the moment with a quick demo I recorded playing. There are no inserts in the master section and the hardware interface is showing a constant wavering meter at around -80 to -90 dB at the audio input stage with nothing plugged in and with the gains zeroed out. With the track playing the output meter is constantly around -4 to -2 and regularly clipping, yet the track is mixed incredibly low to my ears when my interface volume is set where I would normally have it when listening to music and, previously the level I would be at when working within Reason.

I'm just puzzled by the sudden volume drop, and wondered if it might be an audio interface issue. The demo songs are louder (with the mastering suite engaged), and with no sign of clipping but still not as loud as music I might be playing in iTunes (before when using Reason 4, my projects we're around the same level as tracks playing in iTunes).

If anyone has any suggestions or needs any other details about any settings that might be engaged please feel free to ask and I'll try find out what I can. If it's just something that can't be fixed then I guess I'll just have to adapt the way I work and hope the volume issue can be fixed at the mastering stage (although I was really looking forward to working safe in the knowledge that I wouldn't have to rely on this).

HarryRhodes 2012-10-01 19:05

I've got a track open now that I've transferred over from Reason 4 (re-routed everything into the new mixer) and it's all just reason instruments and I'm still getting a constant clip in the window on the transport bar, and again I'm not getting the volume I had in Reason 4. Strangely I'm not getting any audible clipping sounds, whether this is just a built in safe guard to prevent damaging the speakers I'm not sure, or whether there's actually a fault with either the interface/computer/Reason that is misrepresenting the level of the audio it's outputting.

RXTX 2012-10-01 19:15

Does the volume change if you play through a different sound driver (Edit->Preferences->Audio->Audio Card Driver)? My ASIO driver was significantly quieter than the WaveOut driver on my old soundcard.

HarryRhodes 2012-10-01 19:25

Well, I'm working on an iMac (with a busted screen, so it's acting as a 'tower' beneath my desk with an external monitor), and the built-in speakers aren't really representative in terms of volume, or at least not in any sense that I'd be able to tell as I bought the interface the day I bought the Mac so I've always used an external S/C.

Sorry for sounding like a broken record I just don't understand why when running MIDI only in version 4 it'd be running at a higher volume, and as soon as there is audio integration I'm having the same issues I had with my previous DAW (one of the key reasons why I opted to go for version 6).

I've since seen a similar post on here that does suggest mixing below the clipping stages and then fix the volume difference in mastering. Perhaps Reason 4 was running at a higher than normal volume (as opposed to version 6 running below). In the end I can still push up the volume on my interface/monitors but I just wondered if anyone had noticed this volume difference when upgrading from an earlier version to the current.

HarryRhodes 2012-10-01 19:28

Although, a friend of mine often sent me stems from his projects in Cubase LE, which I then imported into Cubase Studio and found his to be mixed considerably higher, causing my meters to clip, yet he had no such problem. The same friend has also recently bought Reason 6 so I guess I'll find out if there is a problem with my setup when he sends something over.

selig 2012-10-01 19:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by HarryRhodes (Post 1147594)
Well, I'm working on an iMac (with a busted screen, so it's acting as a 'tower' beneath my desk with an external monitor), and the built-in speakers aren't really representative in terms of volume, or at least not in any sense that I'd be able to tell as I bought the interface the day I bought the Mac so I've always used an external S/C.

Sorry for sounding like a broken record I just don't understand why when running MIDI only in version 4 it'd be running at a higher volume, and as soon as there is audio integration I'm having the same issues I had with my previous DAW (one of the key reasons why I opted to go for version 6).

I've since seen a similar post on here that does suggest mixing below the clipping stages and then fix the volume difference in mastering. Perhaps Reason 4 was running at a higher than normal volume (as opposed to version 6 running below). In the end I can still push up the volume on my interface/monitors but I just wondered if anyone had noticed this volume difference when upgrading from an earlier version to the current.

There is no volume difference between versions. Mixes created in v4 open and play just fine on v6.5 for me. I've tested and measured every update from v4.0 on, and every single time there's someone claiming there's a volume difference but no one can say "how much" - I can: 0 dB. ;-)

Yes, I'm being sarcastic, but also very literal - I've measured the difference and that's the number I came up with. If anyone has compared the two and come up with a different number, I'm 'all ears'! :-)

[also, to state the obvious, if you're clipping, you're too hot - turn it DOWN! It's the PEAK level that will clip a mix, but it's the "average" level that determines how 'loud' the mix is. This is an ESSENTIAL thing to understand if loudness is important. We all play by the same "peak" levels in every DAW - no DAW has more "level" than any other, since they all must export a standard audio file in the end. So when all peak levels are the same (0 dBFS), it's the VU or 'average' level that determine loudness. WIth peaks @ 0 dBFS (the clipping point), your VU level should be somewhere between -20 dBSF and -10 dBFS - the former for a more 'open' mix and the latter for a much more 'compressed' sounding mix.

You can go beyond these numbers, but not by far before getting into trouble on either end IMO. The difference between the Peak value and the VU/average value is called the Crest Factor. Most modern mixes have a crest factor between 14 and 10 dB, with classical and jazz going higher and possibly up into the 20s. Use the Big Meter in Reason, set to Peak + VU mode, to instantly see the crest factor and to easily judge the apparent loudness of any mix. Use compression/limiting in your tracks and in mastering to achieve more overall loudness by decreasing crest factor - doing so during mixing helps get more loudness during mastering, so don't expect all loudness to come solely from the mastering stage!]

HarryRhodes 2012-10-01 19:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by selig (Post 1147606)
There is no volume difference between versions. Mixes created in v4 open and play just fine on v6.5 for me. I've tested and measured every update from v4.0 on, and every single time there's someone claiming there's a volume difference but no one can say "how much" - I can: 0 dB. ;-)

Yes, I'm being sarcastic, but also very literal - I've measured the difference and that's the number I came up with. If anyone has compared the two and come up with a different number, I'm 'all ears'! :-)

Thanks for the confirmation, it's sort of a relief that it's something that should be fixable but I'm just not sure how, short of replacing the interface completely, as I've fiddled with the limited settings available on my computer and on the interface itself to no avail.


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