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Thread: Could Somone Explain why commercial mixes clip?

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    Could Somone Explain why commercial mixes clip?

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    I've always been told clipping is bad (i still dont know why, i guess cause it'll distort your sound and ruin your speakers) and you shouldnt have it in a mix. However, I read somewhere that if you clip your drums, its okay cause it'll make your mix sound louder which is good. But if clipping is bad, why do so many commercial mixes clip especially on the drum hits? I attatched Blank Space by Taylor Swift and if you listen to the first verse, everything is fine, even the drums, nothing clips. But when you get to the chorus it clips for like a second on the snare hit? Why is this? Is it okay to have drums cliping in a mix? Whats the point of having a limiter if your allowing drums to clip? if you could answer this it would be really helpful!! thanks!!

    Other commercial mixes that ive noticed drums clipping on is California Gurls (Katy Perry) , Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen) , and Part of Me (Katy Perry)
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    I guess one of the problems is that mixes limited very close to 0dbFS can clip when converted to lossy formats, like mp3 or whatever audio codecs Youtube uses these days. Lots of explanations in this thread: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/mast...-clipping.html

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    Clipping in general is bad, but in some cases it works for example on kick drums like you said. When people start to clip, more people clip as it becomes a standard. This is the result of "the loudness war" amongst most producers and mastering engineers currently. I would advise you to stay away from clipping at all times during composition and mixdown, and pay very close attention to EQing as well as artifacts and inter-sample peaks in order to get your tracks to sit well in the mix; and to make sure you can push your mixes through the limiter without any intersample peaks. Like krushing said, lossy formats can clip, but I can assure you most clipping in mixes now-a-days is intentional

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    Clipping has become another color in your sound palette. Just like distorted guitars in the 60s (or 50s?). Before electric guitar amps wheren't meant to be overdriven. Do what ever sounds good. There is no wrong or right in music. It's all a matter of taste.

    Dave Pensado's got a good take on that subject:
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    I prefer to say that unintentional clipping is bad. But clipping under controlled circumstances is no bad thing.

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    I'm not an expert in this field but I think it can happen during D/A conversion - it's called "Inter-Sample Peaks". I got a few of my own tracks back from mastering and they were over 0.0db. Also I think that a lot of clipping of commercial mixes is intentional to make them stand out even more. If you have a lot of high frequencies you can hide the clipping distortion to a certain degree - and if it's just for a YouTube release or some other known digital platform it's probably ok.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaurav Par View Post
    I've always been told clipping is bad (i still dont know why, i guess cause it'll distort your sound and ruin your speakers) and you shouldnt have it in a mix. However, I read somewhere that if you clip your drums, its okay cause it'll make your mix sound louder which is good. But if clipping is bad, why do so many commercial mixes clip especially on the drum hits? I attatched Blank Space by Taylor Swift and if you listen to the first verse, everything is fine, even the drums, nothing clips. But when you get to the chorus it clips for like a second on the snare hit? Why is this? Is it okay to have drums cliping in a mix? Whats the point of having a limiter if your allowing drums to clip? if you could answer this it would be really helpful!! thanks!!

    Other commercial mixes that ive noticed drums clipping on is California Gurls (Katy Perry) , Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen) , and Part of Me (Katy Perry)
    Clipping is perfectly okay as long as it sounds good.

    As a general rule of thumb avoid clipping but it can add a nice distorted sound to the drums which is why it's sometimes a sought after sound among the pros.

    Only to be implemented once you're very familiar with different types of distortion and how they effect the sound, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by henning View Post
    I'm not an expert in this field but I think it can happen during D/A conversion - it's called "Inter-Sample Peaks". I got a few of my own tracks back from mastering and they were over 0.0db. Also I think that a lot of clipping of commercial mixes is intentional to make them stand out even more. If you have a lot of high frequencies you can hide the clipping distortion to a certain degree - and if it's just for a YouTube release or some other known digital platform it's probably ok.
    except he is doing a visual inspection of a file and observing clips and digital overs so no D/A conversion at all. nor is there any D/A conversion when transcoding from one audio file format to another

    mix uses of soft clipping aka wave-shaping are common enough; it is the principle behind distortion, overdrive and saturation plug-ins; even hardware pedals that distort and overdrive and saturate are using wave-shaping circuitry to achieve the resulting alteration of the sound source
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    If it sounds good.

    It is good.

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