Choosing the right clipper for your productions
Dance music is extremely competitive when it comes to loudness. One of the most effective ways to achieve maximum loudness is to use clippers to tame the peaks of individual sounds and buses within your mix.
One thing I want to quickly address is that the majority of clippers available use the EXACT same algorithm. If you see a clipper with a hefty price tag claiming to be superior in sound i encourage you to be sceptical.
Another thing is that a lot of great clippers are FREE and based on the above point of them sounding the same, the main thing you should be looking at is the user interface and whether or not it looks attractive/intuitive to you.
With that being said some paid clippers offer some unique features/benefits that i consider to be worth the money.
So with the above disclaimer lets jump in to some clippers we like.
An affordable clipper with the best workflow – Kclip 3 (Kazrog)
This has been our go to clipper for a long time. As mentioned above most clippers sound the same so what we’re looking out for is workflow when choosing a clipper.
The reason this plugin excels at workflow is due to its linked input and output gain which acts as an autogain meaning you can very easily hear the effect the plugin is having on your sound without being tricked
by a mismatched gain.
If workflow is most important to you but you dont have any money to spare they also offer Kclip Zero which includes the linked gain feature with a limited UI.
It also comes with multiband functionality, has a good UI and has a good selection of extra algorithms making this plugin the top of our list.
A great free clipper with a multiple algorithms – Free Clip (Venn Audio)
This one gets a mention because on top of the usual hard and soft clip algorithms it also has some unique algorithms that we really like the sound of including Quantic and Cubic.
Markus Wingz showed us this one as he really likes using the Cubic algorithm on drums, since then we like to use it for this sometimes too.
Having multiple algorithms makes this clipper a great choice for creative saturation on multiple sounds.
Venn Audio also have a paid version of this plugin called V clip which has an enhanced UI that shows the waveform so you can visually see how you’re affecting the sound and is still a good bang for buck.
A free clipper with a solid UI – StandardCLIP (SIR Audio Tools) https://www.siraudiotools.com/StandardCLIP.php
If you’re looking for a free clipper with a good UI we recommend this one.
This plugin has unique meters with red lines showing how much of the signal is being clipped alongside a waveformview where you can see how thats being affected too.
If you’re a visual mixer or looking to understand whats happening to your signal this ones for you!
There are many other clippers available and since this article has been posted there may be some new ones that have since taken the crown. So we encourage you to do a little bit of research yourselves too!
Happy producing everyone 🙂