Does this waveform look clipped to you?

msgmsg Posts: 5,551
I was splitting up a .flac into tracks and was a bit surprised when I saw this after importing.
Does this look clipped to you?

m2qmp42rdmsq.jpg


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Comments

  • msgmsg Posts: 5,551
    I don't really know a whole lot about Audacity, and this could also be a problem with my rip method, so I need to check a few things before drawing any conclusions about this album. It's very loudness-dynamic, and has some really quiet passages on it, but wondering whether this could be one of "those recordings" I've been reading about.

    cbb48o97gmef.jpg
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  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,137
    edited August 2017
    Looks more like the loudness wars than clipping. Can you hear the clipping? Usually it's pretty noticeable unless it's just on the edge.

    Hard to say as my Audacity days were a long time ago.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,137
    edited August 2017
    Dynamics and loudness aren't the same. Think of dynamics being the difference between the loudest and softest passages of a song or album. Something that is dynamic has a large swings between loud and soft passages.

    Loudness is just loud, all parts of the musical composition are at the same basic level of output. No variation between different instruments, vocals, drums, etc. You just know it when you hear it kind of thing.

    H9
    Post edited by heiney9 on
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 16,293
    edited August 2017
    I agree with Brock. Loudness wars makes it so when you try and turn up the CD/File it just gets unbearable to listen to. No definition between anything just loud and distorted after a certain point. A brick walled CD you cannot listen to cranked up they just become nasty distortion.
  • msgmsg Posts: 5,551
    edited August 2017
    Ah, yes, the Loudness Wars - I think that's what I was thinking. Isn't that where an engineer will "normalize" the track at the end, to boost everything relative to the average max peak?

    I'll zoom in and take a closer look here. I can't really tell whether it's clipped or not by the audio, though there's been some discussion of the quality of the vinyl version. I should see squared off tops at the wave peaks if it's clipped when I zoom in, right?

    That second screen capture above looks oddly, too-neatly sculptured to me too, so I wasn't sure whether that was a result of clipping somehow, as well.

    What you describe dynamics to be is what I intended by with the loudness-dynamic descriptor. Didn't quite know how else to describe the character of music, eg varying from soft/quiet varying to very "loud", so used Loudness to describe the perceived output level. Maybe Levels more properly describes what I meant.
    Post edited by msg on
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  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 16,293
    yes IMHO you are seeing clipped signals in the waveform.
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 3,852
    My experience says the audio was recorded with compression to keep from clipping (why you see a few areas above the shelf, not quite enough to trip the gate). This also allows the average volume of the track to be boosted to keep from having a quiet CD.
  • msgmsg Posts: 5,551
    Interesting. How would that be, 'recorded with compression'?
    What's the shelf? I gather gate = threshold?

    AP - Thanks for that link to the section of the manual. I need to read up for sure. I actually stumbled across something similar while trying to figure out how to determine whether it was clipped. I decided to force clipping by amplifying the audio, just to see what clipping was supposed to look like. It's just like what you posted - clipped audio section shows in red, and when you zoom in, it is indeed squared up - as if dragging a line across a ceiling.

    I've got a lot to learn about audio recording, and I'm not sure I even want to know or be aware of it. I still have to wonder whether and how a recording can be similarly damaged by the time it's in mastering.

    I think one of the things I'd like to try for fun is to record a track into Audacity from an LP, and then compare the waveform to a digital rip to flac.
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  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 3,852
    edited August 2017
    Durring the mastering process, the mix can be put through a compressor to help push the average dB level up so that the main L&R channels don't clip durring transients or go into distortion at the digital level.

    Really it comes down to poor prep and poor initial track capture by the engineer, and that's how they fix it post production. Any compression should have been done during the initial recording, not in post.
  • msgmsg Posts: 5,551
    That sounds gross.
    I just had a visual of a meat grinder.
    But I'm in vamp apprenticeship under F1, and so am just up from a nap, not thinking clearly yet, and my hair's sticking up all over the place. (Clearly I'm still a novice.)
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  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 3,852
    It is gross. With over a century of recording technology at our disposal, and all the knowledge that comes with it, there's no reason to have a poorly recorded and mastered piece of music anymore, ever.
  • Looks compressed to me. There should be an option in the audacity menu that allows to show clipping.
  • msgmsg Posts: 5,551
    There is, and it doesn't show clipping. I need to show you guys some more screenshits. I amped the file to induce clipping to see what that would look like. It shows up in red. I don't know enough about waveform analysis to know what compression looks like. What are the defining characteristics of compression? And is it the same as the Loudness Wars?
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  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 11,213
    edited September 2017
    Please no screenshots ....that's just gross
    Post edited by KennethSwauger on
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
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    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
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    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,482
    That's a funny typo ya' got's there, msg. Too much fiber today?

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • msgmsg Posts: 5,551
    Lolol waaay too much fiber!
    You know it's bad when your shorts look like shrapnel tore through metal.

    Sorry Ron. Safety first - shield your eyes.
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  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 11,213
    As Russman would describe ....green apple splatters :s
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
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