Clipping refers to a distortion that occurs when an audio signal reaches its maximum amplitude (volume). When a sound is recorded or amplified, it is represented as an electrical waveform. If the amplitude of this waveform exceeds the maximum limit that the recording or amplifying equipment can handle, the peaks of the waveform get “clipped” or cut off, often resulting in a distorted and often harsh sound.
Let’s break it down a bit further. Imagine you’re at a live concert, and the musician’s performance is so intense that their guitar signal is too strong for the speakers to handle. As a result, parts of the music start to sound like they’re getting chopped off, leading to a rough and edgy quality. That’s what clipping sounds like.
Nowadays, you can find examples of clipping used intentionally in various music genres to create specific artistic effects. One prominent example is in electronic dance music (EDM), where producers often employ clipping to add intensity and energy to the tracks. By carefully controlling the levels of the audio signals and allowing intentional clipping, they can give the music a powerful, aggressive edge and achieve a very loud overall final mix.
In hip-hop and rap, clipping is also frequently used to achieve a gritty and raw sound. Artists and producers might deliberately push the recording levels to the brink, creating a feeling of heightened emotion and amplifying the impact of their lyrics.
In summary, clipping is a musical term that might seem puzzling at first, but it’s all about that power-packed punch of distortion when the audio signal exceeds its limits. While unintentional clipping can lead to undesirable sound quality, modern music production has embraced clipping as an intentional creative technique.
So what’s this site all about anyway?
Well, if you ever find yourself needing music for anything – a YouTube video, a podcast, a school project, a presentation, TV commercial or even a film – then browse, preview and download any of our tracks