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What is Clipping?

Regardless of what style of recording you will be doing, if you fail to meet these simple requirements, YOU WILL MOST LIKELY FAIL! Recording audio is easy if you just follow a few rules. If you skip them, then your audio will suffer.
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thestorygirl
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What is Clipping?

Post: # 395Post thestorygirl
Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:04 pm

Hi,
I am wondering what exactly is clipping? I know it is somehow loss of audio; I know that on the wave track it goes off the charts. I know it doesn't sound good in playback.

So, if I'm recording with my gain up all the way, but before amplification my waves are appearing very small on my screen, but then after amplification some waves are disappearing off the chart, --did it originally clip or not until amplification? [for the reference, I am still using Audacity to record and edit out my mistakes in, because I have not had time to sit down and figure out those things in Reaper and I am afraid of screwing something up so I stick to what's familiar for now-- although I'm sure it will be easy once I actually learn that and get the hang of it-- and then I import the .wav into Reaper to do the noise removal, amplification, etc.]

Once I go through the Reaper process of amp & nr, etc., and we give it the -3.5 headroom, those louder peaks in my file look like they got their heads chopped off. But I turn it into Librivox and they say that it didn't clip. How can that be? I don't understand.

When I start actually recording in the template in Reaper, and the FX chains are turned on (before I hit Record, right?), will that prevent me from clipping in the first place?



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Post: # 396Post Dana
Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:00 pm

Digital Clipping is when your audio is either recorded or played back, louder the 0dbs. That is why you set your input level to around -18dbs. This gives you plenty of head room, before you will clip. (Go past 0dbs).
Mixing & Mastering is Simple WHEN Your Recording Is Within The Specs! RECORD PROPERLY & MASTER LIGHTLY My Gear

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Post: # 397Post thestorygirl
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:26 pm

Oh, ok so if my original audio is not playing past 0db, then my only problem is when I'm amplifying? So everything's okay even if the wavelengths look like they got decapitated?

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Post: # 398Post Dana
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:36 pm

Absolutely 100% incorrect! Anytime you record, you must bring your audio up to the proper level, to render it. If your input level is a -18dbs, it will never have the lawn mower effect. (Decapitated). If you use a hard limiter combined with a high increase of signal volume, this will also cause the lawn mower effect.
Last edited by Dana on Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added Hardlimiting and heavy volume adjustment explanation.
Mixing & Mastering is Simple WHEN Your Recording Is Within The Specs! RECORD PROPERLY & MASTER LIGHTLY My Gear

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Post: # 399Post thestorygirl
Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:54 pm

Oh, that's right! :roll: Never mind me!

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Post: # 400Post Dana
Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:06 am

thestorygirl wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:54 pm
Oh, that's right! :roll: Never mind me!
Since you are using Audacity, all I can do is give you the proper recording instructions. I have stopped giving advice on Audacity as I no longer keep up with their program. I will give you the same advice that was given to me. "Find one program and stick with it, till you know it like the back of your hand". I am still learning things about Reaper as they keep updating their software. So, regardless of what program you use, the following will always apply and needs to be done in the following order.

1. Proper recording environment.

2. Proper mic choice.

3. Proper mic placement.

4. Proper input level.
Last edited by Dana on Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Spelling
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Post: # 401Post thestorygirl
Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:46 am

Dana wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:06 am


"Find one program and stick with it, till you know it like the back of your hand".
Right.
Rest assured though, I do use Reaper for the mastering part and I think it has saved my bacon! Thanks!
I think the input levels are still my stumbling point. With my Alesis gain up all the way, it seems the most I achieve at loudest point is -28db and never ever gets beyond that. ?... This is before amplification.

When I use Reaper to record on, can I adjust input level even more? I know you have tried to show me before, but I am still seeking to understand this part.

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Post: # 402Post Dana
Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:08 pm

No, the only thing that will adjust your input level is your mixer, pre-amp or audio interface. You then use your DAW to bring your input level to the proper specs. I did a real fast video for you. I used a usb headset to make the video and a shure 7b that was powered by the same mixer you own. I will list the video in a PM to you. This video is 100% raw.
Mixing & Mastering is Simple WHEN Your Recording Is Within The Specs! RECORD PROPERLY & MASTER LIGHTLY My Gear

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