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Clipping indicator?

Official support for: meldaproduction.com

Moderator: MeldaProduction

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CableChannel
KVRAF
 
1614 posts since 14 Mar, 2013, from Germany

Postby CableChannel; Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:33 am Clipping indicator?

Hey there,

I got a distorted signal with MStereoProcessor a lot of times recently when feeding pretty loud material into it. Well this is normal as it adds something. It would be really useful however to have a clipping indicator!

Also I thought there is a safety limiter in all plugins now, so distortion should not be so badly audible?
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User avatar
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5270 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:45 am Re: Clipping indicator?

Well, the newest version will contain lots of visualisation, however be careful here, the fact that it does something doesn't mean it adds distortion itself! It has a crossover, so just the phase alteration may cause a difference in the limiter placed after it (or any other stage after it). The safety limiter is really safety, it is pretty clean though. But if it will remove the peaks over 0dB without distortion, that's very questionable. Anyway it's pretty probably that the distortion is caused by a stage after the plugin (that of course doesn't change the fact that the plugin is probably increasing level).
Vojtech - MeldaProduction
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User avatar
CableChannel
KVRAF
 
1614 posts since 14 Mar, 2013, from Germany

Postby CableChannel; Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:11 am Re: Clipping indicator?

No, in my case the signal is not even really loud. I have a channel with a piano, level is medium (around -6db in Cubase meter). Once I put the MStereoProcessor on it, with 100% excitation on the 3 upper bands and also some widening, it distorts very badly. Cubase channel meter still around -6db. No other plugins in use after the StereoProcessor.

Maybe I should use MLoudnessAnalyzer on it? What is the number that I should look for?
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User avatar
CableChannel
KVRAF
 
1614 posts since 14 Mar, 2013, from Germany

Postby CableChannel; Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:02 am Re: Clipping indicator?

I can provide audio examples and the preset used. Would be good to get help on this.
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goldglob
KVRist
 
149 posts since 10 Jan, 2007, from London

Postby goldglob; Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:07 pm Re: Clipping indicator?

Are the meters in MStereoProcessor indicating clipping?
User avatar
CableChannel
KVRAF
 
1614 posts since 14 Mar, 2013, from Germany

Postby CableChannel; Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:05 am Re: Clipping indicator?

Do these yellow bar tops mean clipping?

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But MLoudnessAnalyzer says -9db TruePeak before the StereoProcessor and -0.5db after it. So it should not clip right? Yet it sounds heavily distorted.
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goldglob
KVRist
 
149 posts since 10 Jan, 2007, from London

Postby goldglob; Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:27 pm Re: Clipping indicator?

Yes, the yellow bars indicate clipping. LoudnessAnalyzer True peak at -0.5db does not necessarily mean the same reading on the StereoProcessor master (different standards..? Not sure?), but if you are seeing the yellow bars just turn down the StereoProcessor gain.
There's something else...I set it up with well below clipping on the meters but when I then chose linear-phase or hybrid crossover rather than analog, I got a horrible distorted splut/splat sound on every input guitar note..then Reaper crashed. Re-started Reaper, tried again, same thing. Is this the sound you mean?
Vojtech?
User avatar
CableChannel
KVRAF
 
1614 posts since 14 Mar, 2013, from Germany

Postby CableChannel; Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:33 am Re: Clipping indicator?

No just run a piano sound through the plugin and it sounds distorted.

Vojtech, can you confirm that yellow bars indicate clipping? I can't see that in the manual. Usually (in other devs plugins) it is common that yellow is the top few db region and clipping is indicated in red.

Also I would be curious why there are two different scales at work? MLoudnessAnalyzer should also display the clipping shouldn't it?

Also, it does not really sound like digital clipping, it sounds like a smooth distortion. And the safety limiter on or off does not make a difference.
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goldglob
KVRist
 
149 posts since 10 Jan, 2007, from London

Postby goldglob; Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:59 am Re: Clipping indicator?

Just one thing (while waiting for Vojtech), the clipping indicators are red in some of the styles (not the default).
User avatar
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5270 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:00 am Re: Clipping indicator?

Ok, so:

1) Red bars do NOT indicate clipping! It is just a range slightly below 0dB, which you should avoid. Anyway you should try to make your audio below this level ;).

2) You said exciting to 100% plus some widening! No surprise it gets distorted! Basically both any widening and especially any saturation/excitation are nonlinear operations, hence they distort the audio by definition.
I suggest using AGC, because it seems you are a victim of the good old "loudness war". You increased excitation and felt it sounds so good with every increase, but it's just a psychoacoustic effect of "being louder -> sounding better". This means you should be especially careful when using these tools ;).
Vojtech - MeldaProduction
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CableChannel
KVRAF
 
1614 posts since 14 Mar, 2013, from Germany

Postby CableChannel; Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:21 am Re: Clipping indicator?

MeldaProduction wrote:Ok, so:
1) Red bars do NOT indicate clipping! It is just a range slightly below 0dB, which you should avoid. Anyway you should try to make your audio below this level ;).

OK. Would be good to have a clipping indicator though.


2) You said exciting to 100% plus some widening! No surprise it gets distorted! Basically both any widening and especially any saturation/excitation are nonlinear operations, hence they distort the audio by definition.
I suggest using AGC, because it seems you are a victim of the good old "loudness war". You increased excitation and felt it sounds so good with every increase, but it's just a psychoacoustic effect of "being louder -> sounding better". This means you should be especially careful when using these tools ;).


Ah, didn't know that. Well I thought widening just boosts the difference between the channels (i.e. the stereo content) while it damps the mono content. I wouldn't expect any distortion from doing that.

Also I didn't think excitation would add distortion (as long as you keep the overall volume in check) because it just adds clean harmonics.
I would expect distortion from saturation, but that is something different right?

Anyway, I was not using MSP to increase loudness, I was using it to get a broader mix and nice treble. But if the mix is already pretty squashed, it seems you easily run into distortion. Maybe I should lower the input gain for it and then put another compressor after MSP?
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User avatar
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5270 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:47 am Re: Clipping indicator?

CableChannel, you should be really careful here! Ok, so:

1) Clipping indicators are really useful only on limiters, otherwise you shouldn't go over 0dB, but it is not any miraculous ending, it's just ending of peak meters :), processing doesn't immediately go worse, so a clip indicator is useless in most cases. And in limiters it is useless too as the output should never clip.

2) Stereo widening boosts difference, but it is NOT constant! It depends on your signal and it is almost never constant, so it will be nonlinear -> distortion. And as you said yourself, you use it to get
"nice treble" - that's because it enhances higher harmonics, via distortion! It always works like this!

Look at it this way - no linear audio processing (without nonlinearities, thus distortion, or spectral processing, which causes latency) will create something that's not already in the signal, new harmonics for example!

So be careful and do NOT overuse it! It will initially sound better, but then you get the well known fatigue and notice the distortion.
Vojtech - MeldaProduction
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goldglob
KVRist
 
149 posts since 10 Jan, 2007, from London

Postby goldglob; Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:12 am Re: Clipping indicator?

goldglob wrote:Yes, the yellow bars indicate clipping...

Sorry, got that wrong, I'll be more careful in future about stating things as fact.
User avatar
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5270 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:15 am Re: Clipping indicator?

No problem, just note that "clipping indicators" are really useless when using 32-bit processing, these are ancient things from the old days of analog and 24-bit processing ;).
Vojtech - MeldaProduction
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User avatar
CableChannel
KVRAF
 
1614 posts since 14 Mar, 2013, from Germany

Postby CableChannel; Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:05 am Re: Clipping indicator?

I will never understand what nonlinearity really means :P

But I am still puzzled by one thing: I made these settings which cause distortion (100% global excitation plus some widening). Yet when I decrease the input gain the distortion goes away. Shouldn't excitation be independent of the level?

I clearly understand that e.g. for a compressor it DOES matter what level you are at. Because it makes a difference whether you are below or above the knee, for example. Here I would understand the term nonlinear. The curve that you see in MCompressor, which is the transformation that the compressor applies, is not a linear one but a curved one, so depending on the input level you actually see a different "local" transformation curve.
For excitation I don't really have a picture in mind, but I though it was something like "always add 2%" which is the same regardless of your absolut level. But obviously that is a wrong thought.
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