ADClip5

ADClip5Demo is a universal binary Audio Unit plugin for loudness maximization. Bear in mind that CDs and Loudness War are going out of date and you don’t necessarily want loudness maximization anymore! I’ve made several versions of Righteous for aiming a mix/mastering at targets like YouTube or anywhere that applies replay gain. Though ADClip is still one of the most intense loudness maximizers around, I’m supporting it with new versions because it’s out there and still being used, not because I think it’s the future of mastering. It’s not (though it’ll still catch stray peaks exceptionally well).

However, for those of you who use it differently or still slam levels like old school, ADClip5 has some amazing new features. The big one is a popup menu that lets you audition ONLY the clipped content (turn your monitoring down first!) or the treble/bass supplementing. Because that’s only safe to adjust if you can hear it, the ‘trim’ controls are back for both those features. They default to 0.1 which is the same as before, but now you can crank the effect up ten times as high. Reinforcing clipped-off highs gets you a ‘spikey’ harsh loudness like FG-X crapping out, reinforcing bass sort of spreads the bass out. Neither one should be at a significant amount of loudness compared to the regular track, especially the highs reinforcement, but since you can control it now it’s up to you. Being able to monitor it lets you hear exactly what’s being used, which might be a precaution.

The Clip Only setting lets you quickly find a max smashing level even if your ears get fatigued from too much loud smashy: if you can hear recognizable stuff on Clip Only, it’s going to be extra ugly when you listen back later with fresh ears. If Clip Only is in constant use but you can’t make out anything more than sputtering, you’re reasonably safe.

ADClip5 still uses its special ADClip entry/exit softening to suppress digital glare when pushed hard. It now declares no latency so you can track with it as part of a zero-latency setup, but it will delay the signal by exactly one sample: I figure that’s not going to affect performance timing, and on the 2-buss it won’t affect relative positionings of tracks. We might be able to see better DAW performance when all the plugins used are declaring zero latency, so I’ve made this change. For use in submixes and places where you’re smashing tracks with a clipper to get specific tones, I recommend looking at the new plugin OneCornerClip, which is more of a waveshaper and delays zero samples. ADClip needs to soften the exits from clips, so it can’t do that.

ADClip5 is $50.