Clipping in playback within DAW...

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drumandstage
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Clipping in playback within DAW...

Post by drumandstage » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:17 am

I have recorded a MIDI Drum track, two guitar tracks (one after the other, not played simultaneously) and a bass track.

With no FX, everything is whistle clean. Add effects per channel, and clipping occurs during playback within DAW. If you mix down to MP3/WAV, everything is clean.

How do I monitor and mix without the distortion/clipping?

I am currently using a Focusrite 2i4 2nd Gen for the interface and am monitoring with it through either headphones or speakers with similar results in both.


OH! Can someone explain this for me? It is in the 2i4 product description on Sweetwater:

Vanishingly low latency lets you monitor with plug-ins, no DSP required


Thanks!!!
Sweetwater Creation Station 450 (64GB RAM, 500GB SSD, 3 2TB HDDs, Windows 10 Home 64-bit), MX8, Studio One 4 Pro, Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Clipping in playback within DAW...

Post by Mark Bliss » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:11 pm

I am guessing you are hearing distortion, during playback/monitoring?
The description "clipping" is possibly confusing? Without hearing it and more details its difficult to advise.
But in general, "clipping" would render into your mixdown, not just be heard while monitoring the project.

I suspect you are getting the "glitching" of buffering from latency settings lower than your computer can support maybe?
You might try adjusting your buffers/latency slightly to see what effect that has.
Stay in tune, Mark

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Acoustica Greg
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Re: Clipping in playback within DAW...

Post by Acoustica Greg » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:15 am

Hi,

If you're not already using ASIO mode in Mixcraft's Sound Device preferences, try ASIO.

Greg
Mixcraft - The Musician's DAW
Give it a try here: http://acoustica.com/mixcraft/
Check out our Mixcraft University video tutorials.

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Rolling Estonian
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Re: Clipping in playback within DAW...

Post by Rolling Estonian » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:39 pm

Many effects have an output control, I'm thinking you have a plugin that ups the gain. Go through and find which one makes track louder and see if it has an output.

M

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Clipping in playback within DAW...

Post by Mark Bliss » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:03 pm

Well, my first thought was also gain structure related. It's so common and easily explained given:
Most people record at hot levels,
Many plug ins add gain by default or with presets, etc.

But the OP writes that the distortion is only when monitoring, and the audio renders ok, no distortion.
This leads me to conclude it is not gain/clipping and is more likely buffering over runs.
Unless there's more details to this that we are yet unaware of......
Stay in tune, Mark

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drumandstage
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Re: Clipping in playback within DAW...

Post by drumandstage » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:35 am

I have gone back and corrected gain issues. There were some. And I think "clipping" was an inaccurate term, and I actually know better than to use it in this context. I was agitated and didn't reread prior to posting.

It was suggested that my Interface can't process several tracks with the low latency setting. Not really reading about others having this issue, though.

Evening a single track solo'd and well away from the red 'clipping' indicator can have some irratic dictortion infrequently, and irregularly. I mean that it isn't within the track, so it may happen or may not, or may be a little less or worse when I replay with no changes.

And the "within DAW" wording could be/likely is wrong, as well. It could be my interface. I just do not have enough experience with ths yet. I had previously used the PC's sound card to monitor and that is apparently not an option with this Focusrite.
Sweetwater Creation Station 450 (64GB RAM, 500GB SSD, 3 2TB HDDs, Windows 10 Home 64-bit), MX8, Studio One 4 Pro, Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre

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dpaterson
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Re: Clipping in playback within DAW...

Post by dpaterson » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:35 am

It was suggested that my Interface can't process several tracks with the low latency setting. Not really reading about others having this issue, though.
This is true I'm afraid.

Going back to basics:

What sample rate and buffer size are you selecting from within Mixcraft??? (And for goodness sake make sure that the option "Use Device's Preferred Settings" is NOT ticked i.e. it causes havoc with Focusrite interfaces) (trust me I have two of them). Assuming also that you're using the Focusrite ASIO driver and have selected it in Mixcraft.

Regards,

Dale.

P.S. This is nothing more than a sales pitch:
Vanishingly low latency lets you monitor with plug-ins, no DSP required
While it is indeed true that EXTREMELY low latency is achievable with the Focusrite products: it depends on a number of things not least of which are a) processing power, b) plugins beings used, c) number of tracks. For instance: I can record a single guitar track (using a mic.) at 44.1kHz and a buffer size as low as 16 no problem. But that's it. If I then begin to add plugins and more tracks then the whole thing goes "tilt". I usually work at 44.1kHz (NOWADAYS) with a buffer size of 128, 256, or 512 (plugin type and number of plugins and number of tracks dependent).

What exactly is meant by "no DSP required" is beyond me though.

It's worth noting (for the sake of interest) that it's possible to record with NO latency using a Focusrite interface (this as it relates to recording external analog audio of course).

P.P.S. Not knowing your setup or level of expertise here: there's a lot more to this I'm afraid. For one thing: sampling rates and buffers sizes aside there's an entire list of Windows Services that can and should be disabled too. From just reading your posts (again) and seeing that the so-called "distortion" is random it could very well be that some or the other Windows Service (maybe even more than one) and/or other software that is running in the background is interrupting Mixcraft and your ASIO driver etc.

drumandstage
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Re: Clipping in playback within DAW...

Post by drumandstage » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:13 pm

Shazam! The buffering rate did it! WOW. Easy. Stress level just dropped tremendously.

On a separate note, I have been auditioning Studio One and having an issue not getting electronic drums to work in it, and with this new found sound clarity, I may very well stick with MC8
Sweetwater Creation Station 450 (64GB RAM, 500GB SSD, 3 2TB HDDs, Windows 10 Home 64-bit), MX8, Studio One 4 Pro, Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre

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grumpysnake
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Re: Clipping in playback within DAW...

Post by grumpysnake » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:00 pm

Hi Dale,
In regards to the "no dsp required" Focusrite are basically claiming that with their interface you can have near zero latency while also monitoring VSTs which in my eyes is a bit of sales technique. No hard feelings to them though as I have been using some of their stuff for years and still have my mk1 Octopre. However DSP is basically when all the plugin processing is done on the interface, take the Univeral Audio Apollo for example. You can run heavy cpu plugins off their interface without slowing down your CPU something of which the Focusrite 2i4 doesn't have.
One technique I would try (without rambling on too much) drumandstage, would be to set the interface to 10ms and then use the 'Direct Monitoring' function, it seemed to help me with my first gen 2i2.
Regards
J
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dpaterson
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Re: Clipping in playback within DAW...

Post by dpaterson » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:22 pm

Good morning.
Shazam! The buffering rate did it! WOW. Easy. Stress level just dropped tremendously.
Well I'm pleased to hear it. But you also really do need to go through the thread on optimising your workstation as well. Windows is notorious for having dozens of services/processes running in the background that are totally unnecessary for the most part and especially when you're using your workstation as a DAW.
On a separate note, I have been auditioning Studio One and having an issue not getting electronic drums to work in it, and with this new found sound clarity, I may very well stick with MC8
Don't you think it would be wiser to master (no pun intended) one piece of software before moving on to another???
In regards to the "no dsp required" Focusrite are basically claiming that with their interface you can have near zero latency while also monitoring VSTs which in my eyes is a bit of sales technique. No hard feelings to them though as I have been using some of their stuff for years and still have my mk1 Octopre. However DSP is basically when all the plugin processing is done on the interface, take the Univeral Audio Apollo for example. You can run heavy cpu plugins off their interface without slowing down your CPU something of which the Focusrite 2i4 doesn't have.
Uh huh. Now understood (about the DSP). And agreed then i.e. it's a sales pitch (technique) is all (and right up there with the six analog outs as advertised for the 18i8!!! LOL!!!). Agreed too with "no hard feelings" i.e. I've two of them: a 2i4 and an 18i8 and if I ever needed more inputs and outputs I would certainly go the Focusrite route again no question.
One technique I would try (without rambling on too much) drumandstage, would be to set the interface to 10ms and then use the 'Direct Monitoring' function, it seemed to help me with my first gen 2i2.
That's a buffer size of 440 at 44.1kHz so shouldn't be an issue at all (as noted it's possible to go lower but it depends on everything else that's going on at the time). Just one thing that may be worth mentioning: small buffer sizes and low latency are really only applicable when recording MIDI using VST instruments or external sound sources. Once you have the recordings and start editing there's no reason to not raise the buffer size considerably and in my opinion it's preferable to do it this way. Matter of fact: IKM's Lurssen Mastering Console does not run nice if I don't set my buffer size to the max. of 1024 (as but one example).

Regards,

Dale.

drumandstage
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Re: Clipping in playback within DAW...

Post by drumandstage » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:26 pm

dpaterson wrote:Good morning.
Shazam! The buffering rate did it! WOW. Easy. Stress level just dropped tremendously.
Well I'm pleased to hear it. But you also really do need to go through the thread on optimising your workstation as well. Windows is notorious for having dozens of services/processes running in the background that are totally unnecessary for the most part and especially when you're using your workstation as a DAW.
On a separate note, I have been auditioning Studio One and having an issue not getting electronic drums to work in it, and with this new found sound clarity, I may very well stick with MC8
Don't you think it would be wiser to master (no pun intended) one piece of software before moving on to another???
In regards to the "no dsp required" Focusrite are basically claiming that with their interface you can have near zero latency while also monitoring VSTs which in my eyes is a bit of sales technique. No hard feelings to them though as I have been using some of their stuff for years and still have my mk1 Octopre. However DSP is basically when all the plugin processing is done on the interface, take the Univeral Audio Apollo for example. You can run heavy cpu plugins off their interface without slowing down your CPU something of which the Focusrite 2i4 doesn't have.
Uh huh. Now understood (about the DSP). And agreed then i.e. it's a sales pitch (technique) is all (and right up there with the six analog outs as advertised for the 18i8!!! LOL!!!). Agreed too with "no hard feelings" i.e. I've two of them: a 2i4 and an 18i8 and if I ever needed more inputs and outputs I would certainly go the Focusrite route again no question.
One technique I would try (without rambling on too much) drumandstage, would be to set the interface to 10ms and then use the 'Direct Monitoring' function, it seemed to help me with my first gen 2i2.
That's a buffer size of 440 at 44.1kHz so shouldn't be an issue at all (as noted it's possible to go lower but it depends on everything else that's going on at the time). Just one thing that may be worth mentioning: small buffer sizes and low latency are really only applicable when recording MIDI using VST instruments or external sound sources. Once you have the recordings and start editing there's no reason to not raise the buffer size considerably and in my opinion it's preferable to do it this way. Matter of fact: IKM's Lurssen Mastering Console does not run nice if I don't set my buffer size to the max. of 1024 (as but one example).

Regards,

Dale.
DONE! Thanks, Dale!
Sweetwater Creation Station 450 (64GB RAM, 500GB SSD, 3 2TB HDDs, Windows 10 Home 64-bit), MX8, Studio One 4 Pro, Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre

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