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RICHARD HUTCHINS

Vocals clipping badly , how to cure ?

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Hi all,

I am reviewing my 2 year  old tracks armed with a lot more knowledge ( thanks to this forum) but sadly not nearly enough! So I have a track where the vocals are clipping, and to get the fader out of the red I need to bring the gain right down.( see screenshot)

Then of course I can hardly hear the vocals anymore.

I know I did everything wrong when I recorded this last year as I was very much a complete novice.

Am I right in thinking a solution would be to bring down the gain on the vox to stop the clipping, and then route the rest of the tracks to a bus so that I can bring all the other volumes down? So the end result would be that relatively the vox would be back up in the eventual mix? Or does this sound like one of my many bonkers solutions?

I so need a recording contract and an engineer. ( And a Lear Jet please 😉)

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If the vocals were recorded that way, and it looks like they were, then there is not much you can do. The clipping is part of the wave file and cannot be removed by just by turning the volume down.  There are tools that can help, Izotope RX, to mention one, but they are comparatively expensive and won't completely remove the artifacts.  

The best option is to re-record them.

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I can see that track is probably toast. When you see a waveform with flat tops and bottoms that is a sure sign that track is well past 0db.
 But- Most importantly is what does that part sound like?  If it sounds nasty there’s no point carrying on because with digital audio if it clipping it’s toast.
That’s why lesson #1 is always set you inputs well below where clipping is even remotely possible. Super easy to turn up tracks but if it clips it basically garbage. You need to re record any part that clips. There’s nothing else can be done. 

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1 hour ago, John Vere said:

You need to re record any part that clips. There’s nothing else can be done.

IMO this is a way to dramatically expressed! 😉

If a part has clippings for very short sections, then it can be repaired with tools like De-clip in iZotope's RX or the De-clip of the Restoration Suite of Acon Digital. Though, in one of the phonemes above the clipping seems to be very bad. But even in such situations I had some pretty good results. The limit for De-clip operations is probably when a passage of several notes is clipped all together.

Yes, I also agree that sometimes re-recording maybe a good option. But there are situations when a) it is not possible to re-record or b) you don't want to re-record all (of some reason) and then it is also difficult to match the old recording (if you don't know the exact positions, distance, environment).

But sure, it is a good practice to record generally less hot! 😄

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Yes I agree, it looks like re recording it. But thanks everyone  ( as usual) for taking the time to spell it out to me!

My vocals are poor and so as a consequence I dislike re doing them, it really doesnt come naturally to me, much prefer to be playing keys or guitar etc. But in this case there is clearly no option.

Longer term I need a brilliant vocalist who is not working and is unknown, tried advertising but to no avail, all the really good ones are in bands, or have egos the size of a house! Or both. 

Deep breaths here we go...

 

Thanks again though for sparing your time in replying and helping.

 

 

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You can do it Richard. I know you can!! My secret weapon when it’s not working is the best Scotch I can afford 🥃

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