Audio Clipping

August 30, 2017
 by Paul McGowan

7 comments on “Audio Clipping”

  1. I was wondering if there was a way for the questions from YouTube to flow through to this page so viewers would not have to go both places to see the interactions. I checked my YouTube history for the prior link there and it says the video was removed although it seems to have been moved to another link but the questions are gone. I wondered if this would be the only place to see this now or is the YouTube channel being adjusted, seems I have answered my own question there!

    BTW thanks for answering my question about clipping related to dynamic compression.

    1. Yes, it is problematic to have both these places to watch and comment on the videos. I wish I knew how to do it better. Maybe some more experienced folks can help point me in the right direction. This video thing is all new to me. But, that’s called learning!

      I killed the first clipping video because it had a few technical problems. The opening was shot in 4K and the part with me in 1080P. So we downsampled the first part to match and then reposted the completed video. 4K seems a waste on YouTube but maybe not…

  2. Would it be worth mentioning the more insidious problem of the clipping of brief high-level transients? This is not likely to damage anything but the sound can be subtly wrong in consequence.

    1. Happens in analog for sure and you’re right. It can certainly impact sound quality without damage to drivers. That said, much also depends on the amplification device. For example, a small—transformer coupled—tube amp clips “softly” (with rounded edges so the high-frequency content is missing) while a solid state amp might square them off.

        1. Yes, soft clipping was all the thing for a while – and in pro equipment as well. It’s actually a pretty simple circuit to enact. A set of back to back zener diodes and a couple of capacitors to soften the clamps and you have a soft clip circuit.

          1. Again, thanks for the response. It may well be a simple circuit but I remember at the time thinking that soft clipping was a plaster, and that clipping was Nature’s way of telling you to get a more powerful amplifier!

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