In this episode, we explore drum limiting and how it can transform your drum sound. Join us as we dive into the world of limiters, clippers, and saturation to achieve an impactful drum mix that stands out.
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Malcolm & Benedikt discuss the significance of using clippers and limiters to shape the perfect drum sound.
Discover how these techniques can level up your music by adding punch or addressing inconsistent playing. They also delve into hard and soft clipping, explaining the difference and why and when you’d use them.
Understanding the differences between hard and soft clipping and when to use limiters versus clippers can lead to significant improvements in your music production skills.
In terms of practical application, we explore how to use limiters and clippers on drums to best benefit the overall drum sound.
For example, limiters can fix inconsistent playing and reduce the snare bleed in overheads. In contrast, clippers can create headroom and increase the punch of the drum hits.
It's also essential to understand how the type of limiter or clipper used affects the sound of the drums in different ways.
There is a clipper that is always on my snare channel right when I import. I know I'm going to want it every time. It just lives there. So for me, clippers are the priority on drums. - Malcom Owen Flood
Part of the discussion centres around hard and soft clipping.
The differences between them are significant, and understanding these differences is key to effectively using limiters and clippers on drums.
Additionally, we explore how saturation-based clipping and limiting can be applied to a mix and how these tools can control dynamics and add harmonic color.
To sum up, mastering drum processing through techniques like clipping and limiting can dramatically enhance your music's sound quality.
Whether you're a seasoned pro or a DIY enthusiast, gaining knowledge in these areas can provide you with valuable insights and practical tips to get those drums hitting right!
Mentioned On The Episode:
There's a few plugins that are, in my mixing template, turned on automatically right away. Most of them are default settings, flat, not doing anything or bypassed, but there is definitely a clipper that is always turned on on my snare channel right when I import.Benedikt:
This is the Self Recording Band Podcast, the show where we help you make exciting records on your own wherever you are DIY style, let's go. Hello and welcome to the Self Recording Band Podcast. I'm your host, benedict Heijn. If you're new to the show, welcome. So glad to have you. If you're already a listener, welcome back. We appreciate you. If you're watching this on YouTube, please know that this is also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you are listening on an app like that, please also know that you can watch this on YouTube, actually, if you search for the Self Recording Band. Today, we're going to continue our little series on snare sounds, but it's going to segue into drum processing in general, to a degree, I think, because we're talking about clipping and limiting snare drums or drums in general. We started with EQ and compression, so go back to these episodes if you haven't heard them yet. This time we're talking about limiting and clipping and, as always, I'm here with my friend and co-host, malcolm Owen Flood. Hello, how are you, buddy? Hey, benny, I'm great man. How are you? I'm great too. Thank you, how was your weekend? Any cool things to tell us?Malcom:
Hey man, I played with cameras for the entire thing. If I'm honest, I did get over to SilverSide Sound Long time. Listeners will know Lucas McKinnon, who was on for an episode, and those who picked up mixes unpacked will probably know SilverSide Sound as well, because the song Dark Ice I did with the artist Scove there the drums were recorded at SilverSide Sound as well, so one of my favorite studios to hang out at. So it was fun being in there again. The place is looking great.Benedikt:
Awesome, so good to hear. So we wanted to go there when I was in Canada, but I think Lucas was away so we weren't able to do that actually. But another time I'll be back and we'll check it out Exactly.Malcom:
Yeah, totally yeah. How about you, benny? What's?Benedikt:
new, so I've created that's actually audio related. I've created, finally, a completely new mixing template from scratch. Oh, wow. Not from scratch. I took my old one, but I exchanged a lot of it. Like I swapped out most of my plugins and I was just I don't know what it was. I was just wanting to try something new after working from the same template for so long. I mean, I always switch up things and I try new plugins and new approaches, but like starting with a completely fresh thing was something I wanted to do for a long time. So I did a lot of tests during these last weeks and months. It was pretty annoying because I kept promising Thomas Like it was annoying to Thomas because I kept promising him a new template for I don't know the past three months or so and I kept testing and testing and shooting out things and then and I don't have much time to do that these days so it's like it just took a while but now I have a new template, which is very exciting, awesome, awesome. I might do some content on that eventually, maybe, maybe. Mostly, I wanted to put it to test first and see how it actually works on projects.Malcom:
So that was one thing. I finished that on the weekend, although I usually don't work weekends, but this was something I just wanted to get done. And the other really exciting thing was I went to a show of a band that I've worked with for I don't know how many years now. I've done everything they've ever put out, I think, except their very first demo. They're called Swallows Rose. I was working with them when they got signed and when they started touring and really we grew together basically, and it's a really I love that band, one of the best, I think. I said to them once that if I could clone one artist and forever only work with them, it would be them Just clone 100 times and then I would. Only I would be happy forever. They're just the perfect combination of everything. Anyway, I love all the people I work with, but those guys are special to me and so I went to a show because they had their 10 year anniversary and I took my kids to that show, which was their first punk rock, loud punk rock show, which was really cool. And our little son fell asleep after two songs or so, so I had to carry him around for the rest of the set but he just slept through the whole show, the whole set, but he was rocking out for the first two songs but then it just was too late for him and he couldn't stay awake. And our daughter Elina, she totally loved it and yeah, she was asking a ton of questions and then that was a fun thing to do with them for sure. Only one set of the evening and then we left and went home, but they were super excited, yeah.Malcom:
That's a cool experience for sure. Can you introduce your kids to live music like that and let them see what it's all about?Benedikt:
Obviously, hearing protection and everything and staying away from the loud speakers, but it was really really cool and funny enough, both of them now want to be a drummer. After seeing that, I don't know why.Malcom:
Drumming looks like the most fun to me.Benedikt:
Yeah, they were most impressed by the drummer and I can relate I always wanted to be a drummer in a band. Yeah, yeah, I still do Don't tell anyone.Malcom:
You gave me an idea there for an episode we got to do in the future and listeners, please let us know if you're interested in this. But you mentioned working with the same band over and over again and that's a fascinating thing because I mean, this may not have occurred to people that haven't done it before, but when you do go back into the studio with a band again, it can be potentially way more efficient because of the established workflow. That happened on the first record and that's really cool. But on the flip side, it can also be really stagnant if you don't explore and push and communicate on what the vision is for the new project. Are you trying to just do the same thing or are you trying to take it in a new direction and go about it a different way? And I've had those chats with bands before that I've gone back into the studio with and it's always been a very useful way to spend our time is actually having a discussion like, okay, what did we like, what didn't we like, what do we want to do different? Why? And then just communicating like that can go so far. And one more thing would be that I've also had bands come back into the studio and think it's going to be easy because we've already done it, but not prepare as much and be worse. So we should totally do that episode one day.Benedikt:
Oh yeah, for sure, I agree. It's a great episode actually, and you know what? I'm going to make a note because otherwise we'll forget. Yes, we will Thank you. Let's talk about clipping and limiting right. Hell yeah, oh yeah, okay. So we love that, and for good reason. I love to clip and distort and stuff like everything. Basically, I literally have a sticker in front of me here on my desk that says distort everything, because I really do, and but this, what we want to talk about today, is not necessarily an audible distortion, but a way to control drums and their transients. It might be audible distortion, could be but it could also not be, and a lot of people still. I think it's gotten more popular the last couple of years, but a lot of people still don't know that you can intentionally clip and distort things without it sounding distorted or causing any problems, and that it's actually that distortion can be a good thing, basically and drums are a prime example for that where you can do it with like, without causing any audible damage, but gaining a lot from it Absolutely, absolutely.Malcom:
Yeah, snares in particular, which is the primary topic of what we're talking about today, can benefit hugely from clipping in particular. And that is simply because they are these big pokey spikes with a lot of transient to chop off. That's going to still leave a whole lot of information behind if we do that. So everybody hopefully can picture what a snare waveform would look like big spike followed by relatively short decay, the. You know, the majority of the body of that waveform isn't necessarily in that spike, but that's a lot of loudness. You know, if you think of that spike as the peak which it is and you chop off a good chunk of that, you still have the sound of a snare. You know, it's just not so crazy loud at the snap of it. And that is really the benefit and trick of clipping or limiting in a way with snare drums, because now we don't have this like crazy spike that's like six to 12tp louder than everything else hitting our master limiter down the line, because we've managed to just chop it off and get it more uniform. And the best part is is that even when we do this, when we chop that off, the perceived loudness doesn't really go away. It doesn't seem like. The snare gets quite crazy quiet when we clip it.Benedikt:
No, exactly, not at all. I mean depends on how much you do, but usually not, and you can clip quite a bit without it this happening. So you're totally right. Now, the main reasons I would say for why I want to do this is what, like you said, controlling that first initial very loud peak, like that transient, but then also to a degree or like, let's say, like why we would use clippers and all limiters. There's different applications for each of them and we're going to talk about them. But another thing could be, if you want to fix inconsistent playing and we'll let you know what we'll reach for if you want to do that so maybe the drummer is just hitting some hits way harder than others and we want to make it a little more consistent. That could be an application. Then, similarly to similar to what we talked about on the compression episodes snare compression episode it could be to add or reduce punch, like basically define how upfront the snare or the drum sound should be. Should it like jump out at the speakers or should it be like pushed back into the mix a little more? You have control over that. With limiters and or clippers we can add grit and character to the signal so we can actually audibly distort it and make it cool sounding or, you know, just mess it up in a in a in some way, so we can do that, of course. And then, yeah, and so these are these. I'd say, what are the three main reasons for why we wanted to do, or for actually, with the transient control that you mentioned, for why we want to use those. And now the question is when do we use a clipper and when do we use limiters? Do you like use them for the same thing and you just, or do you just only use like one ever, or is there a certain thing to do with either, or, so for me on drums I really only use clippers.Malcom:
I'm that's definitely a rule I've broken 100% because sometimes I find that clippers don't do, like kick drums in a way that I like, for example, or like low toms. The more base information, the less I like clippers, it seems. So in that case a limiter might just be the tool I grab. But but a clipper like I think there's a few plugins that are in my mixing template, turned on automatically right away with, like most of them are are either just like default settings, flat, not doing anything, or bypassed. But there is definitely a clipper that is always turned on on my snare channel right when I import and then I, you know, have to go check that it's dialed in. But I know I'm going to want it every time. It seems like I just can't even think about when I've turned that off. It just lives there. So for me clippers are kind of the priority on drums.Benedikt:
So it actually lives on the snare channel because you said and I remember before starting this episode you said it's mainly a bus thing for you.Malcom:
Yes, so. So yeah, the clipper does live on the snare channel, but the majority of the clipping and saturation happens on the bus for me, okay so yeah, there was some preamble pre recording chat about what we do. Sorry guys. Yeah, that's all good.Benedikt:
It's all good, interesting. So you do both. I do the same too. Actually I do I do both. So yeah, for me it's same. When it comes to low frequency content, I don't like clippers a lot because they like the low end. Just the harmonics it adds to it creates this like farting sounding low mid range. You know, I don't know it. Just there's like these. Yeah, it's, it's stuff that creeps up in the low mid range that just doesn't sound pleasing. And I always have to take out a lot of that if I use clipping on kick drums and I just rather limit them. So I agree, unless I want that sometimes I want that additional punch that it can add. So if there's a very subby kick drum and you clip that, then it sometimes adds the upper bass punch. That was lacking, but oftentimes it's not what I want.Malcom:
Yeah, I think real quick we should mention like hopefully everybody's heard bad clipping, like unintentional clipping on like a mixing console or something, where it's just like, oh, that's like a really nasty noise. Or clipping a DI can actually be a good thing but like on its own sounds really ugly before it hits an amp, you know. So there's this bad sounding clipping and I find that when you are clipping like a kick drum or something, it's more likely to sound like bad clipping, where when I clip my snare you generally don't hear clipping, you just hear an improved snare, ideally. Does that make sense?Benedikt:
Yeah, absolutely. That totally makes sense.Malcom:
Yeah, we're not trying to add this crappy little distortion click on everything we're clipping. That's not the goal here. If anybody's unfamiliar with it, you think we're crazy. No, exactly.Benedikt:
And so maybe we should really quickly. I think we've done that in a different episode already, but I want to just recap real quick the difference between clipper and limiters in very simple terms, or like with a visualization that I've used before. I think if you imagine like a line of trees and with all the branches and everything down to the ground, now limiting would be if you, you know, take a huge hammer and just hammer these trees into the ground. They stay the way they are, basically, but they disappear into the ground. The branches and everything just gets lower, so they're not as tall anymore, but they look the same, just lower. Basically, that would be limiting. Clipping would be if you chop off the top with a chainsaw and everything stays exactly where it was before, but the top is now missing. Both are lower peaks, but the peaks look different and the whole thing with the limiters stays the same. It's lower with the clipper, so the whole thing gets lower. With the clipper it stays the same without the peaks, basically, I hope that makes sense. That's the way I always picture it, and so what that means is when you limit a snare drum or a whole drum kit, every time the loud drum is being hit, the limiter pushes down on that hit and pushes everything else down with it. So the bleed, the other parts of the drum kit, everything that's on that track that you're limiting is going to get reduced by a certain amount of dBs, whereas clipping, everything stays exactly the same, except for the very top that's just being being chopped off and so you don't get pumping effects and you don't get. Yeah, pumping is basically the thing that we were trying to avoid here, but also it doesn't make the punch go away as much. It's much more transparent actually, because the majority of that snare is still intact and that the fact that just this little tiny peak at the beginning is missing doesn't really take away from the overall feel and the punch, unless you're doing way too much, whereas with the limiting, the meat, the punch, the substance of the whole hits kind of disappears and it sounds softer oftentimes, depending on the limiter you choose. So what that means to me is that I use limiters actually on snare drums sometimes, but for a very specific reason. So when I want to fix inconsistent playing, sometimes the limiter does the trick, just because inconsistent hits also sound differently, and taming the louder ones, making them less punchy and also quieter, brings them closer to where the softer ones are sometimes. So I can use a limiter to make a performance more consistent and then afterwards maybe use a different kind of processing like a compressor or transient designer to bring back the punch. But now to a more even consistent signal. That's sometimes something you could do, or I use limiters, but my favorite application for limiters on drums is on overheads. If I actually don't want the snare in my overheads, if it's like sticking out too much and it's too dynamic and I want to focus more on the cymbals, for example, and less on the whole kit, then I might want to limit the overheads, to just duck the the snares and turn them down and Get rid of the snares in in the overheads that way. So I get more of the punch from my close mic. So that's a thing that I like to do a lot, and the shittier the limiter is, the better it is for that applications or something like a waves L1 or Any stock limiter. You know these are great for that because they don't preserve the transients really well, they really kill the transient and they can almost remove snares from overheads and and and. So I really like these types of limiters for that specific application when I want to intentionally destroy the transients or get rid of it could be in room bags as well.Malcom:
Yeah, you're right, benny, that that told me. I lied to you earlier. I definitely do use a limiter as well on my overheads to Try and delete the snare, sometimes like the L1s, famously just a snare destroyer. Yeah right and if you want that to stop poking out in your overheads and rely more closely on your close mics, then or or your samples, right, because sometimes your samples can sound really fake if the snare is too obvious in your overheads and if that snare doesn't sound good in the overheads. It's a bit of a problem right. So a limiter can just push that down out of the way and let your you know, replacement snare kind of take priority, which is incredibly helpful sometimes yeah totally, yeah, exactly.Benedikt:
And in clipping I use for when, when I either want to leave it the same, like sonically, and I don't want to change how it sounds, but I want to create more headroom so that it doesn't trigger my drum bus compressor or my mix bus compressor. Then I use clipping to just get control the peaks, get rid of the loudest peaks, and then I have a more consistent thing to work with and little bit of Headroom. Because again, at some point there will be a limiter and even if it's just an in mastering or like on the mix bus or wherever, but whenever the signal gets to the limiter and I still have like loud, uncontrolled snare peaks, then it might cost the limiter to do, yeah, to just work a lot on some of those hits and it might push down on the mix way too much and then it can create weird pumping. And so I like to have a more consistent thing that I send to my drum bus or my, my mix bus, and so that's why I like to control things. And if I want to do it transparently, the clipper is my choice there, just because it's. It's me it sounds more transparent than limiting for drums, right. And then the other reason why I like it on drums is that it actually adds a little bit of punch. It does to me it does the opposite of what a limiter does. The limiter Makes it sound softer and reduces punch while controlling the transients. And the clipper also controls the transients but actually adds a little bit to it. It makes it beefier, it makes it thicker, not necessarily the pokey sort of high like top end transient can be, depending on how it distorts, but oftentimes it adds a little more around the 200 Hertz like low mid-range area where it just thickens things up a little bit. For me it just adds harmonics there and sometimes I need to boost less there then without the clipping, just because it makes it.Malcom:
Yeah, a little bigger and punchier sounding. Yeah, that's good for my primary use of, like, say, the the close snare clipper On on like a direct snare mic is actually just to shave off a little bit. I, especially on the loud, peaks to to make my compressor that's going to be after it have an easier job, that understanding that the, the information coming into it, just so it's a little more uniform in what's being delivered to the compressor. So you know, the crazy loud peak just doesn't just slam the compressor and make it all sound kind of dramatically different. That's usually what I'm doing. I'm just kind of like Lightly shaping things into a closer performance.Benedikt:
Oh yeah, totally that's. That's a main use case, as for me as well, when I think one things to be transparent, I do that, by the way, on the drum bus in front of my drum bus compressor and on the mix bus in front of my mix bus compressor. So In in both cases. This is kind of funny because I use a clipper on the drum bus as my last thing sort of before it goes to the mix bus, but I use a limiter as my first thing before it goes to the drum bus compressor. But that limiter only does half a dB or one dB on the loudest peaks To make it more consistent so that the drum bus compressor can groove and pump more Consistently with the drums. Right, but for whatever reason, I tend in this case I use a limiter and not a clipper first, but it only does like a DB or so and the clipper is at the end of it as the final thing. On my drum bus and on the mix bus it's kind of the same thing. I go into a limiter first. Actually that only does very, very, very little, and then I go into the mix bus compressor. That then always does the same amount of gain reduction basically on the mix and and that's not my final limiter that I have for loudness, that's just the first thing before the mix bus compressor, and then later there's another limiter, of course for the loudness, in combination with the clipper again, because that is more transparent than just limiting a lot. So, all that to say, I'm stacking limiters and clippers, a lot, and and, and I yeah, it's the combination of all of those and it all leads to one thing and that is Consistency, or two things consistency and like my compressor is having an easier job, it's like like you said. And then the other thing is On my final limiter when I do the mastering, when I master the songs myself or even other people when they master my stuff, the mixes are already pretty loud and pretty controlled. So on my final master limiter, if I only do like two db's of limiting or so, I'm already at a like Competitive loudness. I don't have to do a lot there. It's already loud because I've controlled it in so many instances, only doing a db here and there. But um, that's to me. That to me, is the much more transparent approach to Leaving those peaks, compared to like leaving those peaks as they are and then slamming the master limiter 10 db's or so.Malcom:
Yeah, yeah, I'm with you on that. Um, it's, yeah, it's very loud by the time it gets to mastering. So we're achieving, yeah, a more uniform dynamic, but we're also achieving like a punch in loudness. Um, so it's like it's not only more convenient In that it's like easier to work with by the time we've clipped and limited these things. It's also like sounds better for our genre, right when we've got these heavy hitting drums now that, uh, aren't going to be poking out of our mix in Really hard to control ways, making it hard for us to mix our guitars and vocals around. Um, it, yeah, it all kind of sums together and, as you mentioned, there is, of course, a limiter down the chain at the mastering stage, so kind of prepping it for that Does a lot for us. It's like if we didn't do this, that mastering limiter would have to work so hard to get, you know, a more loud tube of audio out, and I don't think it would sound as good.Benedikt:
Yes, absolutely and totally. And um, let's talk a little like before we wrap this up, let's say why we, why clipping lenses up so well, um, two drums and and not so much two other things, and why we do why. Why work so well for drums? Because I think part of it is as I said, it adds to the distortion, like the distortion adds to the sound a little bit. Um, you said it, it makes it seem like it's a little more hard hitting. I feel like it's. It's adding a little more, you know, body to it. But also sometimes, depending on the type of distortion, if it adds, if there's a top end sort of crack to it, then it adds almost like a More of a rim shot thing where it just sounds a little harder. I don't know, that's part of it. But I think that the main reason is the distortion on such a short lip of audio is just not audible, versus if you have a lot of low end or like sustained notes a bass guitar with sustained notes, for example, you couldn't get away with with clipping like that because it would cause like audible distortion. And I think that's the main reason we're dealing with like very short lips of audio that if you distort those, it's so fast that we can't detect that. Really, it's that the transient is masking that that distortion, if it happens right on the transient or right after the transient, and so so, yeah, I think that's that might be part of the reason. So, yeah, what do you think like? Is there any other reasons for why it works so well on drums or any other side effects, positive or negative, like that clipping brings?Malcom:
well. I just find that clipping in general seems to work better on like short, sustained sources, until I mean that's. That said, I also tend to use one on my mastering bus, so there's a lot of information going on there, but transparently it does like like on snares, for example. It just works really well on those short kind of punchy things, and that's where it's so useful. It's just making it loud and chopping off the top of it kind of thing. And even when I do use it on the mastering chain, I guess I'm still trying to just shave off peaks, right, which you know. If I do you go too far now you're in kind of like the body of your mix. It's gonna sound terrible, probably. So it really just works in that format and it's worth exploring. Benny, something I would love to hear from you because this is something I honestly I don't know how to explain. I just use my ears when I'm using it, but a lot of clipping plugins have a soft to hard clip curve and I want to know if you know how to actually put that into words. What's happening there?Benedikt:
I'll try so I think I know what it does. Let's see if I can explain it so. Hard clipping means up to a certain point to threshold, like similarly to the threshold with limiters or compressors. Up to a certain point nothing happens, and when the signal crosses that point it chops it off. Like, yeah, there's no going further. Basically, it's just Nothing be until then, and then it chops it off. Basic example would be zero dbfs in your DAW. Up until zero, no clipping. If you go beyond zero on your master bus, hard clipping, it won't go any any further than zero, right? So that would be hard. Soft clip clipping would be if you, the closer you get to zero, the more it starts introducing like distortion or saturation. And when you are at zero, it basically or like Not zero, like when you hit that, that threshold, that point, it starts to bend more and distort and distort and sort more the more you push it. Basically, there's no hard threshold where it does everything. It starts before you actually reach the point and it goes beyond that point In a in a more musical sort of not yeah, how do I say this? Yeah, in a musical way, in a way, so you can, similarly to how you what happens when you, when you play into a distorted guitar amp, into a crunchy guitar amp, where If it's very quiet, the signal going in it stays clean. If you get closer to where the amp starts to distort, it gets a little crunchy, and then if you go in really loud it distorts all the way. So that would be soft clipping. It's not that it's clean all the time, and once you go past a certain thing it's crazy distorted, right, right. So yeah, so that's the thing and you can. And if you want to use that example, for example on a master bus or on a drum bus or whatever, then you can use it to. If you use hard clipping, you do that basically to just just for loudness reasons, to Transparenly, just chop off the peaks. That's what hard, hard clipping is useful for. You Don't want to change how the mix sounds, you just want to chop off the peaks and make things louder in a transparent way. Or maybe add a little bit of like crack to the snare drums or whatever, but it doesn't change it a lot. If you use soft clipping, then the closer you get to your threshold or to that, whatever the plug-in calls that point, you introduce harmonics and Like saturation and the signal gets a little denser and it's not this ugly kind of distortion, it's like, yeah, it's just at first, it's just harmonics. It gets a little more dense, it gets a little more harmonically rich and then at some point you're gonna hear it distort and then you probably want to go back. Unless it's intentional, that's, yeah what happens.Malcom:
That is a great explanation, thank you.Benedikt:
And it also gets louder with the soft clipping, but not like it's not as transparent, but more musical and not as annoying when it distorts because it doesn't immediately Low up things right right, yeah, no, that's good.Malcom:
Now, the only other thing I think that we have to mention in this episode is that there's also like saturation based clipping and limiting going on. Probably in both our mixes and Up until now we've been talking about traditional clippers and traditional limiters, you know, like L1, pro, l, stuff like that, where you just you know that's the jobs doing and we're typically using it for that. But I'm also, on an average mix, gonna have like either FabFilter, saturn or Soundtoys Devil Lock living on my drum bus too which are just like distortion tools, like decapitator would be another one. Some people like well, everybody likes that plug-in is awesome, but like the. What I'm saying is that that is is doing those things. You could be clipping or limiting your audio using these plugins, but you are doing it under the intention of audible distortion, which is a different approach and and these tools are built for that and we'll do it probably much better Then just pushing a limiter or a clipper really hard, but it's worth. It lives in the same realm technically if you think about it that way.Benedikt:
Yeah, absolutely 100%. Distortion is distortion in a way, and then when it comes to clippers, it's just another form of soft clipping and and limiting is different from that. But also, if you push a limiter very hard, it also will distort and introduce harmonics and they all have their own character. That's why it's this mix of controlling things in a transparent way but also then Adding whatever the sound of that tool is to the mix, and you got to be intentional about that. All of those tools have a box tone, all of those tools have a character and there are some that you can use very transparently. Others have a clear signature sound and you you get to pick and choose. And that's what's fun about it. All those different distortion and clipping tools, they are fun. There's like a color, color palette and you can mix and match and and as long as you got one or two that are just, you know, to get the job done, just transparent, to get things loud. With the rest, you can feel free to experiment and you'll find your go-to's for certain sources, I think, and things that work better on some source than not so much on others Absolutely Really cool. Do you ever do any crazy things like multi-band clipping, limiting or any other special tricks, things like that.Malcom:
No, Well, actually yes.Benedikt:
Yeah, I guess yeah. There's one thing that comes to mind, but like go ahead.Malcom:
Like that filter. Saturn is a multi-band distortion plugin, right? So yeah, I totally do that. I'll often like push different parts of the mid-range or fatten up the low end with that plugin, like on the drum bus, and yeah, so I guess I do.Benedikt:
Yeah, I do. There's one thing on drums that I do, because you're still talking drum clipping and limiting. Here I like some high-frequency limiting on overhead sometimes or the drum bus, something that for example, the Fatso, the Empirical Labs Fatso does. There's a plugin also, and the Extresso plugin has a Fatso module on it or similarly to the Fatso. And then there's the hardware, of course, and there's other things too, but what that thing has they call it on that particular unit, it's called warmth, but it is a high-frequency limiter and you can do that with a multi-band compressor. Maybe you can build one yourself, sort of like a plugin version of that, or you can. Maybe there's other high-frequency limiters out there. I just love what the Fatso does and I know there's other software there. But if you basically just use something like Pro MB and you just only use the top band and you set the attack and release to the quickest possible and you like ratio as high as it goes, you basically build a limiter, because that's what a limiter is. It's just a compressor with like unlimited ratio and the very quick attack and release times and then you set it so that it tames, you know, peaks just in the upper part of the spectrum. I sometimes find that sound pretty pleasing. It evens out the overheads a little bit. It makes it almost as like a tape kind of feel to it. I don't know, but the Fatso does it particularly well. Whenever I do that, it's just more, it's just smoother, it's just I don't know, I just like what it does to the top end. Anyway, that's the only multi-band thing that I like on drums. When it comes to tool, I mean, it's not really clip, it's a mix of like actually saturation and limiting, if I think about it, what the Fatso does. But they call it high-frequency limiting yeah.Malcom:
Cool, do you all that? Yeah, I don't think I've tried that. So something for me to give a shot at.Benedikt:
I don't do any other crazy things. It's very basic and it's the same couple of tools actually that I use for mo, at least for the transparent things. I like to experiment with intentional distortion, but when it's just about clipping, making things loud, it's nothing fancy that I do on drums. Just knowing the difference between limiting and clipping is important. I really hope we got that point across, that people know, yeah, same here.Malcom:
It's not the same, and then when to use which, yeah, and with our compression episode we talked about practicing hearing it. It does take practice to really tune it on to clipping versus limiting as well. So do encourage you to just load up a snare track, throw both those on and bypass one and just go hard, slowly, go hard and soft with your clipper and then with your limiter as well, and just get used to hearing what they do, and once your ear kind of tunes in on that, you'll kind of be able to grab the tool you need when you need it.Benedikt:
Yeah, exactly. Maybe one thing we could say here is whenever something, Whenever you control transients, you use any tool to control transients and afterwards it sounds too soft, pushes it too far back into the mix, Try a clipper instead. Because that's usually what compressors or limiters do, depending on how you set them, Try a clipper instead. If it ever sounds too hard pokey, whatever, and you want it to be a little softer or consistent, use a tri-limiter If it distorts tri-limiter, like on kick drums. So, yeah, that could be a thing. So, if it's too soft, try a clipper if it distorts tri-limiter. And if you want to make things jump out of the speakers and stay up front, a clipper would be my first choice. And if you want to push things back into the mix and make them sit better in the mix, try limiters or fast compressors. All right, good. So hope that episode was helpful. People told us in the YouTube comments and also in some messages that I got that they liked this little series, so thank you for that. Also, two little shout-outs. The first one goes to Flo Raitova, who sent me this wonderful shirt that I'm rocking right now. It says F-R-Audio. That's the studio of one of our coaching students, Flo Raitova and the little card, and I was very, very happy about this, so I decided to wear it for the show today. So shout-out to Flo. We did a case study episode with him. By the way, if you go back a couple of episodes, he's amazing. Thank you so much. And the other shout-out goes to Stefan, who's also a member of our community. At least, I don't think he's a coach, no, he's not in the coaching program but he's in our community and Stefan is on his. I think he's on a trip for work or something and he's basically work. Took him near my area here and he just sent me a message asking me if I wanted to go for a run with him today because he's close to me, and I was like, yeah, for sure. So that's what I'm gonna do right after this workday today. I'm gonna go for a run with one of our community members and listeners, which is always fun.Malcom:
Man, I hope you're ready. Benny's a killer out there. Yeah, no, we're.Benedikt:
We're gonna keep it. Take it easy, Just like we did with you, Marko. That wasn't too hard of a run.Malcom:
We're gonna do the same. No, that was great, so and yeah and Stefan's bad is calling the ghost cats, by the way.Benedikt:
a shout-out to them. Oh right, not All right. So hope you have a great day too, and thank you so much for listening, as always.Malcom:
Absolutely. See you next week everyone.
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