January 11, 2017
Drum clipping has been a forward-thinking tool in the music industry for well over a decade now. Over the past few years, it’s picked up some mainstream traction, and is on track to being one of the biggest technologies of the next generation of mixing.
Here are the three biggest benefits to clipping your drum tracks that we found during the development of DF-CLIP:
This one might seem a bit obvious to anyone that’s used a clipper in the past (or is familiar with the process). By clipping the drum’s transient, we’re able to significantly increase the gain on a drum track. This increased gain translates directly to a higher RMS volume, and can give a decent boost to your track’s perceived volume.
For tracks that are already “maxed out” level-wise, this increase in perceived loudness can be just what you need to get it over the edge.
In a dense drum mix, it’s easy to lose the clarity of your individual drums. This is bad news for your snare and toms, both of which can have a decent amount of body tone. While your transients aren’t as likely to get lost, your overall kit will suffer without the natural ring coming through.
By applying a clipper, it becomes easier to bring that ring out of each drum. You’re essentially level-matching your transient to the ring, allowing you to further process each track on a level playing field.
Your overall tone will benefit from the clipper’s application, especially with the multi-band functionality found on DF-CLIP, allowing you to get the most out of all that your drum shells have to offer.
The opposite end of the spectrum from the boosted tone is the punch of your transient. Once again, by bringing these two elements closer together, we’re able to bring out the best of our drum mix.
Too often on something like a weak snare, we’ll capture a great attack without the frequency content to back it up. You can frequently hear this when a drum is hit and instantly disappears in the mix. Applying a clipper beefs it up by boosting some of those frequencies immediately behind the transient. This boost supports the transient, and lulls the listener into a sense of fullness.
Check out our guide “Get Your Drums To Cut Through Any Mix” in which we dive head first into the technology behind DF-CLIP and the ways clippers have profoundly impacted our industry for the past decade (and where they’re going).
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