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Old 2012-10-29, 13:17
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sh73888 sh73888 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 296
Clipping is unrelated to the number of machines/synths/samples/etc playing at once - if you have too much going on, that would cause disc overload. Clipping is related to the sound signal output of any individual sound signal source (such as a subtractor or drum machine etc) OR the combination of multiple sound signal sources that together cause clipping. Perhaps the same sound source's solo'd or in small groups could emit their outputs without clipping, but when you add multiple sound sources on top of eachother you are dealing with exponential amplification of frequencies as they combine in many cases. SO.. one of two things must ensue to eliminate clipping:

1. Turn down the volume of sound signal(s) that are clipping
2. Re-equalize clipped sound signals to taste until they are no longer clipping

This is the neverending cat and mouse game you are playing as you mix a track - should i cut the bass of sound A and boost its volume? Or should I boost the bass and cut the volume? If its a bassline - cut the bass and boost volume (backwards logically I know) - and if its a mid/lead, chances are you will like the sound better saturated, thus boosting eq freq's and cutting volume if necessary is the way to go.

There are no presets for this and every track will be entirely different, but basic methods are synonymous track to track.

Just remember if you are clipping its causing distortion via too much signal output from a signal source, or sources in combination - either due to combining frequencies (which causes exponential amplification) or due to flat out eliminating headroom via too much volume.

You want as much headroom as possible within reason - this actually creates more presence of your sounds in a mix - if things are turned up too much, then yes they are LOUD but they are also static and their is no headroom to compare the sound against so it actually defeats the purpose - what you want is loud sounds IN RELATION TO THE HEADROOM OF YOUR MIX. So this means sculpting the sound appropriately for filling the "room" in the manner you want it.