Old 12-17-2014, 08:29 AM   #1
buckman
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Default Clipping or Not Clipping?

I am starting to use Reaper as my mastering editor, so basically maximizing my dance tracks.

The thing is, I am just trying to guage how the 0db meter works?

I personally have a large L/R meter to the side of my arrange page rather like a 2-track editor so I can see my stereo and mixdown levels all the time.

I am also using the SWS Item Analysis to analyze my stereo finished file to see where the Peak Level is (up to and not over 0db)

I imported a loud finished dance track master as a text, and ran the SWS Item Analysis and it says

SWS Item Analysis Peak level: Channel 1 = 0.00 dB Channel 2 = 0.00 dB

So 0db, but the level Meters clip??

Which do I trust? the SWS Item Analysis Peak level, or the level meters?

I also get this when converting a WAV file into an MP3 for speed of sending something, I know its say -0.01db maximized and fine, but when converted to an MP3 it suddenly Clips at over 0db?

Does Reaper have a setting for the Level Meters, which i can callibrate, so i get a true reading the same as the SWS Item Analysis Peak level?

Help
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:34 AM   #2
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I have just found by right clicking my Level Meters, and my settings are as follows if it helps?

I have set them like this due to familiarity with Stereo Audio Editors like SoundForge which I am trying to emulate (and leave! for Reaper)

Is there any setting here, that could be causing normal Audio to look as if its clipping?
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:44 AM   #3
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Are you getting distortion or is it just the red light you are worried about?
The light goes on at 0.0dB. It should say what the peak is so you can see if and how much it over shot.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:46 AM   #4
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It was just the Red light as I thought this was a warning of peaking..?

Is there anyway to get the light to come on at +0.1 so its definetly over when the light comes on?
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:52 AM   #5
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If a sample-stream has two consecutive samples at maximum excursion (either pos or neg) it is usually thought to be clipping.

Different meters use different logic, but two or three consecutive maximum samples is the norm. Of course this is merely indication if the meter is reading a floating-point stream, unless it is being delivered to a fixed-point stage like the converters in your interface.


And on that subject, DA converters can be clipped with levels close to max, even if none of the samples actually hits 0dBFSD.



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Old 12-17-2014, 08:55 AM   #6
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Zero can reasonably be considered clipping, given that peaks can over shoot the maximum sample values in output reconstruction and all. (Maximizing mathematically to zero is typically risky.)

I would guess that it is possible to change though.

edit> planetnine beat me to it.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:58 AM   #7
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Agreed. -1dBTP is much more sensible, but some commercial masters intentionally clip, so who is going to listen to reason..?


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Old 12-17-2014, 09:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planetnine View Post
Agreed. -1dBTP is much more sensible, >
Exactly which is why if i could set it at 0.0db to clip, I prefer to master dance music (limited hard) at -0.1db
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:05 AM   #9
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I don't know about the rest of you but for me Reaper's peak reading is always .1db low.

The reason I say this, any time I normalize to a certain level, it will end up reading .1db low. Or record a sign wave test tone at a certain level, it will show .1db low.

When I set my master limiter up for a max of -.5db, it comes out at -.6db.

It's no big deal, I've gotten used to it, I don't really care that my mixes are .1db lower, it's better than if it went the other way, .1db higher.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Zero can reasonably be considered clipping, given that peaks can over shoot the maximum sample values in output reconstruction and all. (Maximizing mathematically to zero is typically risky.)
Personally, that's not something I worry about. The integer samples on the digital-side of the DAC are absolutely hard-limited by the number of bits. (Nothing bad happens on the digital side if you get close to maximum or hit the maximum... It only clips if you try to go higher than you can "count" with the number of bits you have.)

But, there's nothing that says the re-constructed continuous-voltage waveform on the analog-side can't go over 0dB from an inter-sample over. A DAC can be designed with plenty of headroom on the analog-side for inter-sample overs.

Quote:
Exactly which is why if i could set it at 0.0db to clip, I prefer to master dance music (limited hard) at -0.1db
You know... A hard-limiter is pretty-much a "clipper" (depending the algorithm & settings and how "hard" you limit). So, I doubt it makes any difference if you normalize to 0dB or -0.1dB after limiting.

Of course, it doesn't do any harm to normalize at -0.1dB either... You won't hear any difference in volume, and if anybody "analyzes" your file, they won't think it's clipped.

Last edited by DVDdoug; 12-17-2014 at 10:44 AM.
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