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Thread: When is clipping REALLY clipping?

  1. #1
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    In the Cakewalk console view, you can monitor your input meters during recording.

    If the levels get up to 0db, you get the red light, indicating clipping.

    I did some experiments last night to see what the effect of clipping was on the actual audio track. It appears that even thought the signal appears to be clipping a small amount, there dont seem to be any audio "repercussions". I can't hear any distortion.

    If I push the levels WAY past the clipping point, I can hear distortion.

    So, when does clipping really occur?

    Can I assume that Cakewalk's meters are giving me a "safety zone" of headroom?

    I appreciate any and all responses!

    Conrad Josepi

  2. #2
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    You need a much better V/U meter than CW provides to even try to calibrate the "safety zone" you're speculating exists. I don't think it's a safety zone, just a mistake! Both Cool Edit and Vegas Pro have much more resolution in their output meter displays and seem to be very reproducible. I've heard a .wav file played back through the Gina that showed a few peaks in the red but no clipping distortion evident that when burned onto a CD and played back through a CD player <did> clip. But I've never heard a .wav file that stayed on the cool side of 0 dB (Even <0.1 dB away from the line) burn (according to Cool Edit or Vegas Pro)a CD that clipped in the CD player.

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