Welcome to my review of the Black Salt Audio Clipper - a powerful mastering tool designed to help audio engineers achieve loud, clean, and dynamic masters.
If you've ever struggled to get your tracks to sound as loud and competitive as those on major radio stations or streaming platforms, then you're not alone. The loudness wars have been raging for years, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to achieve a professional-sounding master without sacrificing quality and dynamics.
In this review, we'll be taking a closer look at the Black Salt Audio Clipper, exploring its features, usability, and most importantly, teaching you how to use it to get loud masters. So, if you want to learn the pros secret to loudness, continuing on reading!
Black Salt Audio is a company that produces audio plugins for music production and audio engineering. The company is relatively new, forming in 2021, but has quickly gained a reputation for creating high-quality, intuitive, and affordable plugins. Their products are designed to help producers and engineers achieve better sounding mixes and masters.
So far, their plugin collection ranges from compressors to saturators and from multi-effects processors to clippers. There is something in there for everyone. For me, my favorite is the Clipper which we are going to talk about now.
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The Black Salt Audio Clipper is an audio plugin designed for instrument and master bus processing. It runs a digital hard clipping algorithm that is both transparent and high resolution. Its overall goal is to help engineers achieve more punchy, impactful, and louder audio.
From a technical standpoint, the Clipper works by chopping off the peaks in an audio signal. By doing this, it is able to increase the overall loudness and perceived volume of the track. This is because the softer levels are now able to come up while the louder ones are contained.
The Black Salt Audio Clipper is compatible with all major digital audio workstations (DAWs), and is available in VST, AU, and AAX formats for use on both Mac and Windows platforms.
To fully understand how the Black Salt Audio clipper works, you need to understand what hard clipping is.
Hard clipping is a form of distortion that occurs when an audio signal exceeds the maximum level that a system can handle. When an audio signal is amplified beyond a certain threshold, the system will be unable to accurately reproduce the signal, resulting in a distortion known as hard clipping. Hard clipping causes the waveform to flatten out at the maximum level, resulting in a squared-off or truncated waveform that sounds harsh and distorted.
With hard clipping plugins like the Black Salt Audio Clipper, you don't get that undesirable distortion. Quality clipping plugins will either add analog saturation when the signal gets above the threshold, or just clip it off entirely in a transparent way. Either option can be beneficial in both mastering and instrument bus processing.
When it comes to simplicity, the Black Salt Audio Clipper takes the cake. It has one knob, one fader, and one dual meter in the entire plugin. It doesn't get any easier than that!
The input knob simply adjusts the amount of gain you are pushing into the plugin.
The clipper threshold is essentially your output ceiling. Any level that goes over the threshold will be clipped.
Anything above the light blue line will be clipped off.
This meter is shared with the Clipped Meter. It shows the input level coming into the plugin on the left side of the meter.
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I use the Black Salt Audio Clipper strictly for mastering. It is in my mastering plugin chain no matter what type or genre the song is. It's honestly one of my favorite plugins! So, how do I actually use it?
Placement is important! As they say in life, location, location, location.
I put the Black Salt Audio Clipper right before my final two plugins, which are the Sonnox Oxford Inflator and Izotope Ozone 10.
I set the threshold to -3 dB. This means that anything over -3 dB will be clipped off. This helps me get a more even and compact sound going into my final plugins. It also helps the final limiter get the master louder in the end.
I turn up the input gain knob until I am seeing 2 to 3 dB of clipping happening at the loudest parts of the song. This is all I really need to get that extra control over the mix. To find out what happens next, check out my article, Step-By-Step Guide On How To Master A Song in 12 Easy Steps.
A good clipping plugin is needed in your music production workflow, and there isn't one better than the Black Salt Audio Clipper. It's dynamic and transparent sound is second to no other. With it's affordability and ease of use, what more can you ask for!
I hope this Black Salt Audio Clipper review has helped you gain knowledge on what clipping is and how it can help make your masters louder. Black Salt Audio has really reinvented the wheel with this plugin. In my opinion, it is a must have for any musician, music producer, or audio engineer who wants to make their music more powerful, dynamic, and loud!
If you found this article helpful, please considering buying through one of our links within the post. Now, go make yourself some loud masters!
"The only way to achieve modern loudness without destroying the punch and impact is with smart, purposeful clipping in the mix. Other clippers on the market are overcomplicated, overpriced, ugly, or all of the above… so we decided to make the clipper every real mixer wants: a dead-simple tool that gets the job done in seconds."
-Black Salt Audio Website
"Some of the links within this article are affiliate links. These links are from various companies such as Amazon. This means if you click on any of these links and purchase the item or service, I will receive an affiliate commission. This is at no cost to you and the money gets invested back into Audio Sorcerer LLC."