What if I like the sound of my clipping interface?

Dicus

Enthusiastic Member
As a general rule I have always gainstaged my interface so it doesn't clip. But ever since I have got this this Focusrite Clarrett interface I really enjoy the clipping sound on bass guitar and kick, I goove around with it for a bit and then turn it down cause I feel I should. Afterwards I often tend to add saturators, heavy compression and some sort of fuzz, ending up with a somewhat similar sound.

Is there a reason not to use the clipped signal for a nice analog crunch? (besides from committing to that sound?)

or should I just find a doctor, a priest and sober up?
 

Mickster

Well-known member
If you have a track or two in your mix that actually clips it could affect your master track volume and some mastering effects by rising the overall mix volume too high. I understand what you're saying about the "sound"....so if I were you I'd bounce those tracks...with any effects you may have added....to new tracks while keeping the resulting track volume down to a normal level (out of the red...into the green). That should preserve your original clipping sound while not affecting the master / mix. I'm guessing there might be other ways too.

Mick
 

Gtoboy

Active member
The sound you are after is so desired that there is an actual procedure for it: Aux bus with compression to the point of clipped/distorted signal, saturate to smooth if desired, eq as desired, bus kick, bass and if desired, snare to aux.
 

Farview

www.farviewrecording.com
If that is the sound you want, just do it. It won't break anything. The only downside would be committing to that sound, since it can't be undone.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
Is there a reason not to use the clipped signal for a nice analog crunch?
That depends on whether or not the sound is so horrible that hordes of angry Vikings come battering at your door.
Truth be told, sometimes, the clipping actually isn't bad. In fact, sometimes, it's not even noticeable. And I can see it working on a bass and a kick in that subtle, yet present way.
It's just that most of the time it is the horror sound that inspires justifiable homicide.
(besides from committing to that sound?)
I'm a committer. I believe in committing to the sound I want very early on. It has been so extremely rare that I will change a sound once I've committed to it that I can't recall the last time I did, if I ever have done. One of the benefits of committing is that whatever that sound is that one is committing to, you can craft other sounds to fit with it.
Finished is better than perfect and regret can come later.
or should I just find a doctor, a priest and sober up?
If it's a jazz doctor or a rock'n'roll priest you might be in a worse situation !
 

Dicus

Enthusiastic Member
Away for the weekend, thanks for all the replies, this is great! :D
Wait a sec - are you clipping the input stage of the AI, or is it clipping in the DAW?
Yes, the input on the interface, I have never any desire to use any of the clipping noises my DAW provides me with :P


Some discussion in this Q&A and also covered a bit in an older discussion on his channel.

Thanks, I will look up that video! exciting!


That depends on whether or not the sound is so horrible that hordes of angry Vikings come battering at your door.
Truth be told, sometimes, the clipping actually isn't bad. In fact, sometimes, it's not even noticeable. And I can see it working on a bass and a kick in that subtle, yet present way.
It's just that most of the time it is the horror sound that inspires justifiable homicide.

I'm a committer. I believe in committing to the sound I want very early on. It has been so extremely rare that I will change a sound once I've committed to it that I can't recall the last time I did, if I ever have done. One of the benefits of committing is that whatever that sound is that one is committing to, you can craft other sounds to fit with it.
Finished is better than perfect and regret can come later.

If it's a jazz doctor or a rock'n'roll priest you might be in a worse situation !

I really like that idea of committing, I never have to because I can't afford analog hardware. Which usually results in me tinkering for hours on a sound and then redo it the next time I open the session.


If that is the sound you want, just do it. It won't break anything. The only downside would be committing to that sound, since it can't be undone.
Good to know! Happy it's not a terrible recording sin, I will be hapilly summoning hordes of angry Vikings with filthy bass sounds.
 
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