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Clipping while recording - no more warning in L8?


PBenz

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That book looks fantastic. I take it you recommend it? Anything else you care to mention about it?

Yes, I recommend it, but don't take it from me because I'm a lazy bastard that buys expensive books but still gets all his info from ask.com. (easy now nikkik - I'm just playin with ya! :wink: )

 

But seriously, I have yet to see a negative comment written about that book - it always came highly recommended. It made me think about things in a different way, and it provided some interesting and compelling techniques for EQing, setting compressors, speaker placement, mic placement, etc.

 

fwiw, I think Stav designed one of these consoles, if I'm not mistaken.

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wow, another useful feature taken out of logic 8.

 

I used this feature alot because if i clipped I would do the whole thing over. Now I would never know

Actually the feature is still there, but in a different (and more user friendly, IMO) form - the clip indicator. It gives you the same info as that annoying (but useful) window that used to popup in L7.

 

Unfortunately this feature is not working for me at all. Jury is still out on why.

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wow, another useful feature taken out of logic 8.

 

I used this feature alot because if i clipped I would do the whole thing over. Now I would never know

Actually the feature is still there, but in a different (and more user friendly, IMO) form - the clip indicator. It gives you the same info as that annoying (but useful) window that used to popup in L7.

 

Unfortunately this feature is not working for me at all. Jury is still out on why.

 

what do you mean "clip indicator"?

 

Do you mean the red that pops up on the fader?

 

This is not a good option as you will always have to check it. I would not call the pop up annoying, its better thats its in your face so you dont miss it correct?

 

Like in your case....

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Ask any reputable gear engineer (key word: reputable)

Michael Stavrou is not a reputable engineer?

 

For your reference: http://www.mixingwithyourmind.com/

Hmmm... he does not design gear, per se.

He has written a book that takes a more "zen" approach (from what I have heard). I would really like to see, in context, the passage he wrote that states he believes it is best to hit ADC as hard as possible without clipping, and then to continue that thru the chain.

 

I see things explained in a manner that distorts truth every day. Analogies that seem logical on the surface, but with more knowledge and understanding, it becomes readily apparent just how off those analogies and explanations are, especially how those things are used to make something true that simply is not. Unfortunately, it can take some serious time and energy to find truths, and often in the digital world it is because the fundamentals are explained as I described above, rather than with proper foundation to even begin to build upon. I always recommend Nika Aldrich's book ("Digital Audio Explained..."), but with good and solid reason. There are some very, very minor points that some will argue over, but I would say that in general, almost any digital audio engineer that has read it and understood the material will proffer it as the single most important piece of technical reference done in near layman's terms that is available today. Personally, I do not find it as rough as trying to read thru some of Stephen Hawking's material to grasp the mere basics of quantum mechanics, string theory, (general) relativity, etc. I think most people who have made it thru algebra, maybe some light physics...and some common sense :D can easily make it thru the book.

 

I try to avoid discussion on all this stuff, but fell headlong into this one due to my being so aggravated with Logic today, and looking for something to distract me...ooops.... ;) Oh- the joke was funny BTW! :D

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edubz - "clip indicator" is the little area with the numbers above the meter on each channel strip. Forgive me - the proper term for this is "clip detector" (p. 548 in the User Manual). So far I'm the only one that has reported this as not properly indicating clipping while tracking. I doubt you'll find many people around here that don't find that old popup in L7 annoying, and I encourage you to read over the other posts in this thread, especially those from Marcel and Nikki. (and this one, for what I am about to say)

 

Nikki - thank you for taking the time to discuss a topic that you normally avoid. After reading over some incredibly technical posts on the Pro Sound Web forum, I am beginning to think that Stav might be wrong - in this area, at least. I believe he made the argument about losing "significant bits" of information if you record at too low a volume, and I've come across several posts (links below) that discount this as myth. I won't go any further on this in all fairness to Stav, since I am not technically proficient enough to defend his position on my own. (Not YET, anyway). In spite of this controversial topic, though, I still love his book.

 

Thank you also for the book recommendation. Nika's book will be here Fri, and I am eager to get into it. I have tried really, really hard to study everything I can about getting great sounds in my little bedroom studio, but there are only so many hours I have to devote to this, and I think now that I may have made a mistake with my recording levels. On a recent jazz-oriented track (which you can listen to here if you're interested), I went back into my studio just now, opened the project, disabled all plugins, set the faders at unity gain, and wouldn't you know - every single one of my drum tracks lights up the clip detector. (Drums were the only thing I recorded - piano & bass were recorded in Holland using Cubase). Honestly, the track sounds pretty good to me, but I can't help but wonder how it would have come out had I set the input levels lower. Discovering this was a shock - I had been setting my levels at the AD converter, trying to get them as hot as possible without clipping. I never knew that this was happening within Logic.

 

I heard that - you cried "fool!", didn't you! LOL

 

Assuming my input levels were, in fact, too hot, I guess I'm an example of someone who tried his best to be a good engineer and study up on the topic but STILL wound up being misled. This gets me depressed - if a guy like me can feel like he's done his research and still get it wrong, it just shows you how much misinformation exists out there.

 

Anyway, I am glad I started this thread. I deeply enjoy the process of discovering how things work, particularly when it comes to audio, but I still would like my clip detector to work! :-)

 

Links to those threads I mentioned:

 

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/15038/16814/

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/4918/0/120/7735/

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I'm sad to hear that the clipping warning message is gone. Would have been nice to have an option as to whether you wanted it displayed or not. I relied on that lil' thing. It was never, EVER wrong in what it reported... "6 contiguous samples clipped" and so on...

 

Damn...

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PBenz:

You are an example of the people I wish there were more of. Instead of making excuses, crying foul, or anything else like that, you are doing what I wish so many others were doing: education. Nika did a great job IMO, and mostly because he remains very close to being impartial, and not imparting his own, subjective conclusions.

 

I would not go so far as to say that every person who ever buys Logic, Pro Tools, Cubase etc should be reading these books. But, for those who truly want to know their tools and "race car" better, I cannot think of a better way to get going.

 

That is a shame about your tracks. But, if there aren't any offensive overs, you could be ok. I cannot think of the name of it, but I could have sworn their was a good meter plug-in that you might use to be sure; it can even show (potential) intersample peaks.

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I have an update: the clip detector works just fine while tracking on a MacBook Pro running Leopard (10.5.1), but not on my studio computer, which is a Dual 2.5GHz G5. So perhaps this is a PPC issue?

 

Anyone want to buy me a Mac Pro? :-)

 

i am in the train right now, just recorded my snoring neighbour with the built in mic and got him to clip the level.. so red meter and red warning light, on a PPC powerbook... no PPC issue, maybe a g5 one?

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i am in the train right now, just recorded my snoring neighbour with the built in mic and got him to clip the level..

That is freakin hysterical. :D Thank you for the test and the laugh.

 

I ran another test just now and I have finally determined the cause of the problem: it's my interface. In the studio, I have a Fireface 800, but I also have a Fireface 400 which uses the exact same drivers. So I hooked up the FF400 to the MacBook Pro, and whallah - no more clip detection!

 

Strange, though, that Cubase still lights up it's clip light. The only thing I can think of is that Cubase lights up it's light precisely at 0db, while Logic will only light it up once it goes over 0db. Does this make sense?

 

In any case, it seems that the Fireface is simply not allowing anything through beyond 0db. I'm undecided at the moment whether I like this or not, since it forces me to look at the TotalMix mixer to see if I've clipped, and unfortunately that mixer does not keep it's clip light on. Granted - after the eye-opening education I received in this thread, I am going to start tracking at significantly lower levels, but I will still miss the convenience and utility of the clip detection light.

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I am going to start tracking at significantly lower levels, but I will still miss the convenience and utility of the clip detection light.

 

If THAT's what you've learned from this exercise, then, you can now take the pebble from my hand, grasshopper.

 

:)

 

it's ALL about leaving room for overhead, imvho.

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i am in the train right now, just recorded my snoring neighbour with the built in mic and got him to clip the level..

That is freakin hysterical. :D Thank you for the test and the laugh.

 

I ran another test just now and I have finally determined the cause of the problem: it's my interface. In the studio, I have a Fireface 800, but I also have a Fireface 400 which uses the exact same drivers. So I hooked up the FF400 to the MacBook Pro, and whallah - no more clip detection!

 

Strange, though, that Cubase still lights up it's clip light. The only thing I can think of is that Cubase lights up it's light precisely at 0db, while Logic will only light it up once it goes over 0db. Does this make sense?

 

In any case, it seems that the Fireface is simply not allowing anything through beyond 0db. I'm undecided at the moment whether I like this or not, since it forces me to look at the TotalMix mixer to see if I've clipped, and unfortunately that mixer does not keep it's clip light on. Granted - after the eye-opening education I received in this thread, I am going to start tracking at significantly lower levels, but I will still miss the convenience and utility of the clip detection light.

 

It is deadly funny to stay awake in the train, put your phone on silent and take pictures, take your laptop and record snoring, and other sounds people make while sleeping. For the pictures: friends are busy building a website for these pics called Sleepingbeauty. I will all provide you with the url as soon as its live.

 

sorry for this offtopic information :)

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Are you using the latest firmware and drivers?

Is the limiter on or off ont the ff400?

I had been running 2.60 of the driver, but I see that the latest is now 2.60a, so I installed it. No difference.

 

I am running the latest firmware on both the FF400 (1.65) and the FF800 (2.47).

 

Unless I am blind (entirely possible :) ), the FF400 does not have a limiter like the FF800.

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I had been running 2.60 of the driver, but I see that the latest is now 2.60a, so I installed it. No difference.

 

I am running the latest firmware on both the FF400 (1.65) and the FF800 (2.47).

 

Unless I am blind (entirely possible :) ), the FF400 does not have a limiter like the FF800.

 

Ok! Then it sounds like a flaw on the CoreAudio driver!

I would contact RME about this. They are usually really fast on patching there drivers.

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I would contact RME about this.

Done, although I'm not sure that this is their problem. See my earlier post about how this works with Cubase and how Logic might not be lighting up the clip detector unless the signal is over 0db. (Just a thought)

 

But I really find it strange that the FF800 works well and not the 400. :shock:

Don't you?

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Actually, neither of them work!

 

Wow... you're right.

I just tried it on my Fireface 800 and I dont get the red light either! :shock: :x

I think it must be something with the Core Audio driver that is not working correctly.

I don't have cubase but isn't it hooked with ASIO when using Steinberg?

 

I'll contact RME too.

 

Thanx for the eye opener!

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I don't have cubase but isn't it hooked with ASIO when using Steinberg?

I could be wrong but I was under the impression that ASIO was Windows-only.

 

One thing I noticed in Cubase is that the clip indicator lights up, but the numeric level indicator never goes above zero. I just fired up Cubase on my notebook, and sure enough, using the built-in audio driver, I can easily get the level to display a number higher than zero.

 

Soooo .... I think this confirms my suspicion: the Fireface never outputs anything higher than 0db. Cubase will light up the clip light right at 0db. Logic won't light it up until it goes over 0db.

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Soooo .... I think this confirms my suspicion: the Fireface never outputs anything higher than 0db. Cubase will light up the clip light right at 0db. Logic won't light it up until it goes over 0db.

 

Bingo. As I said earlier, no A/D converter will output any higher than 0dBfs, it can't. The behaviour of the DAW meters at 0dBfs is what you guys are talking about.

 

Is there anything that lights up on your interface when the A/D is clipped? Most have something... Use that as your guide.

 

Assuming you are recording to 0dBfs...

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I could be wrong but I was under the impression that ASIO was Windows-only.

 

Yeah, that's correct. It was me that stupidly assumed that you used a windows machine with cubase.

 

Soooo .... I think this confirms my suspicion: the Fireface never outputs anything higher than 0db. Cubase will light up the clip light right at 0db. Logic won't light it up until it goes over 0db.

 

 

Bingo. As I said earlier, no A/D converter will output any higher than 0dBfs, it can't. The behaviour of the DAW meters at 0dBfs is what you guys are talking about.

 

Is there anything that lights up on your interface when the A/D is clipped? Most have something... Use that as your guide.

 

Assuming you are recording to 0dBfs...

 

The strange thing is that it clips with the internal interface.

So I think PBenz is right on the spot. The Fireface drivers do not report anything over 0 dB. I assume that RME has implemented this the right way but maybe they could change something in the driver to report an overload.

I'm not sitting with my FF800 right now but I'm pretty sure that totalmix detects the overload... But then I could be wrong on that one too!

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Back on the 1st page of this thread, Homina reported seeing his clip detector light up, and he's using an M-Audio FW410. The little video he posted shows the light going on, but I just noticed that the level never goes above zero! Ok so now maybe this is an RME problem again and my suspicion was wrong. Hmm.

 

In any case, both the clip light on the Fireface and the OVR indicator in Total Mix will light up to indicate a clip. However, TotalMix doesn't keep this lit. Maybe there's a way I can change that. If so, problem solved. But staring at TotalMix or my interface while tracking myself is not an option.

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