How to Use Bitwig's Hard Clip Preset for Maximum Loudness and Punch
Tutorial | Aug 11, 2020
I created a preset card hardclip for Bitwig Studio to clip the peaks of audio signals without going into the red or having intersample issues. The preset consists of Bit8, initial settings and two tool devices. I explained how to use it and how it can help to make a track sound louder and more percussive. I shared the preset in the description of the video, in my GitHub repository, on bitwig.community/presets and on the Bitwig Discord. I encourage viewers to save money and support my channel by using the link to the Bitwig Store with my code.
You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon
Questions & Answers #
Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:
What is the purpose of the preset card hardclip? #
The purpose of the preset card hardclip is to provide a way for users to clip the peaks of their audio without going into the red, having any intersample issues, or other problems. It does this by using the Bit8 device of Bitwig Studio and some initial settings and two tool devices.
How does the hardclip differ from a peak limiter? #
The hardclip differs from a peak limiter in that the hardclip gets rid of all the peaks at exactly 0 dB while a peak limiter lowers the volume of peaks that exceed the 0 dB line. The hardclip also produces more distortion, overtones, and a snappier attack than a peak limiter.
What are the main knobs in the hardclip? #
The main knobs in the hardclip are the input gain and the output gain. The other knobs are for more advanced uses such as adding noise or making the signal mono.
How can I get the preset card hardclip? #
The preset card hardclip is available on my web page, on my GitHub repository, on bit
This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.
[00:00.000] In this video, I want to talk about my preset card hardclip and I already posted this
[00:04.900] on the Bitwig Discord some weeks ago, but I wanted to make a video about it and explain
[00:09.660] what it does and why I created it.
[00:12.900] So usually when I share projects, there is a VST on all the channels called FreeClip.
[00:19.380] And it's pretty annoying that I have to use a VST for this.
[00:23.980] So I searched for a way to create this natively inside Bitwig Studio and I found out that
[00:30.860] you can actually use the Bit8 device of Bitwig Studio to clip the peaks without going
[00:37.980] into the red or have some intersample issues or other stuff.
[00:42.740] So I created this preset and it basically consists only of Bit8, some initial settings
[00:50.060] and two tool devices.
[00:51.900] So it's pretty nice to use, it's not too complicated and it works pretty well.
[01:02.740] If you want to save some money on Bitwig Studio and the upgrade plans and you want to support
[01:07.860] my channel and my content, then go to my web page, use the link to the Bitwig Store,
[01:12.980] use my code and save 10% on the regular price.
[01:18.620] So I have a small little drum base sketch here inside Bitwig Studio, this is how it sounds.
[01:25.620] And as you can see, the screw basically exceeds the 0 dB line by almost 4 dB.
[01:42.660] And what you usually do is you use a peak limiter here and just put the peaks back in its place.
[02:02.060] What you can see are all the peaks exceeding the 0 dB line are basically lowered in volume
[02:08.620] and pushed back into the material.
[02:12.740] So when you raise the input, gain here a bit.
[02:23.620] You make the material louder but you lose some punch and percussiveness and transience
[02:30.980] and yeah, it sounds kind of soft, right?
[02:36.540] In the style of drum base, you need a lot of punch and you need some snappy attacks everywhere.
[02:43.420] So you are using a hard clipper, in this case here it's the preset I want to give you.
[02:50.860] This is how it looks and it's default setting, it gets rid of all the peaks at exactly 0 dB.
[02:59.260] So remember, we are exceeding here the 0 dB line.
[03:04.140] By 3 dB, if we put this on, we are at 0 dB.
[03:14.420] And you can push the gain pretty hard.
[03:24.540] And you never exceed 0 dB, okay?
[03:27.780] We gain therefore a lot of distortion, some overtones on some percussive material, even
[03:35.420] sounds better sometimes.
[03:43.340] So drum base lifts basically off of distortion and clipping and loudness gain.
[03:50.420] So if you have here some drum bass, for instance, let's put this back here, let's go to
[03:58.380] the drums bass here.
[04:00.180] As you can see, I have the hard clip on every channel here.
[04:11.580] So this is the channel without the hard clip.
[04:17.660] It's exceeding here also the channel by 3 dB.
[04:21.900] And yeah, they sound pretty lifeless or let's say pretty quiet and too dynamic.
[04:31.740] So it's not really a nice fit for drum bass.
[04:35.220] So we use a hard clip on the drums.
[04:43.500] Until the bass drum starts to distort.
[04:51.340] So I basically try to find a sweet spot between too much distortion and losing all the
[04:58.420] transients and amplifying the signal, getting more RMS and adding a bit of this hard clip
[05:08.420] snap, basically.
[05:15.740] Can even use an EQ in front of the hard clip to decide what you want to mix into the
[05:38.500] Sometimes it's even better than just don't use the input here, just leave that at zero
[05:45.540] and then use the EQ and drive certain frequencies into the clipper and decide what's sound
[05:52.100] better to your ears, right?
[06:01.340] So in terms of this hard clip here, I have two main knobs that are actually important,
[06:10.260] that's the input gain and the output gain.
[06:13.020] More the rest here is basically just fancy stuff you can use but you don't need to use
[06:18.780] So for instance, I have here the noise function of the bit 8 I'm using, which is a dither
[06:25.020] function, it adds some noise but it's sadly in the post.
[06:29.740] So you add the noise after the clipping stage.
[06:33.820] So you get of course then peaks above zero to B again, so you have to use the hard clip
[06:41.300] but again after this, so it's not great but if you need noise you can introduce the noise
[06:52.580] Change some things on the bit 8 you are maybe just to have some sound design effects or
[07:03.180] make the signal mono I think.
[07:12.060] What the main knobs are basically just input gain and output gain, that's all you need.
[07:18.100] Okay, that's it for this, okay, so we have a clipper now here on the drums.
[07:26.500] So let's measure actually the loudness here of the drums in front and after the clipping
[07:35.380] So what's what, this is in front, okay.
[07:46.860] So as you can see by introducing a bit of input gain, we get the drums from minus, minus
[08:04.700] 9, loves to minus 6.7, loves, which is nice, we gain a bit of RMS and we gain some distortion,
[08:15.900] some overtones and we gain some loudness and yeah, all the fancy stuff we need.
[08:25.260] Then I have here the bass line where I've also a clip on the end and there you can use
[08:33.700] this to bring in some distortion.
[08:57.220] And again also here in front of the clip on EQ just to take out some frequencies that are
[09:02.620] distorting too much in the clipping stage so you can use also an EQ for that to just
[09:10.020] yeah, remove some frequencies before you clip the whole signal, okay.
[09:17.540] And then we have here of course a clipper on the drum and bass bass also an EQ here.
[09:24.620] And then transient control too, yeah, raise basically the sustain signal.
[09:55.620] So at the end we have also a clipper here to clip the signal from the drum and bass
[10:00.860] and the melody lead sound.
[10:28.540] As you can see we have probably the material or the track is pretty loud actually.
[10:42.180] So we are at minus 4, loves just for this drum and bass a bit and that's super loud,
[10:50.580] it's actually too loud, but what you can hear, you can try if you put the clip at some
[10:56.220] of the tracks, some of the basses, some of the groups and cut out peaks here and there
[11:01.220] and use the EQ to remove all the distorting signals in front of the clipper.
[11:07.540] You can drive your track pretty loud if you want so without losing too much of course.
[11:14.740] You never get this with a limiter so you need the clipper.
[11:17.580] So that's it for this video, this preset is available basically everywhere, you can go
[11:22.020] to the description, just hit the link or you can go to my GitHub repository or you can
[11:27.100] go to bitwig.community slash presets or you can go to our bitwig discord and download
[11:33.420] it there.
[11:34.420] It's free for everyone so have fun.
[11:36.820] If you learned something new then please leave a like, subscribe to the channel, maybe
[11:40.700] subscribe also on Patreon or use the new YouTube memberships, it really helps a lot.
[11:46.020] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video, bye.