Limiters vs Clippers in Dubstep

Whats up, I wanted to get feed back from people on how they go about using limiters / clippers in dubstep production. I know what both do, just want to see how people go about using them and why they chose one over the other etc?

i hardly use either

compression usually in the ixing stage,

on mastering i use a soft clipper then a limiter afterwards to catch any stry peaks.

this seems to give the best balance of level control and transparency

no idea, but i think if you push both too hard the result will be shit. I used to just slap Loudmax which is a kinda slow but not bad limiter on master.

I recently started messing about with Limiter no.6 and the signal goes through these 5 modules RMS compressor, peak limiter, high-frequency limiter, clipper, true peak limiter.

Other than master i sometimes Loudmax individual tracks where i want to preserve the sound but get rid of peaks

Never bothered with clipping plugs, if I need that I’ll just clip my ADC and it sounds stupid transparent compared to the few (admittedly of questionable quality) clippers I’ve tried. I also use transformer saturation on my analog gear to do a similar trick. Can be like sausage fattener but gooooood sounding. Generally I do less than 1.5 dB of limiting with my brick wall. Keep everything sensible and follow to doctors oath of “do no harm” when using these brutal tools. Always check A/B while volume compensating to see what you are actually doing to your music rather than just falling in to the louder is better pitfall.

1 BigUp

Adc soft clipping is like 10 times better.

I’ve only ever found the soft clip on the limiter in reason and one cat one I can’t remember what it’s called to be any good.

I did my dissertation on it and basically found that most people cant tell anyway lmao

1 BigUp

Limiting on the master is generally a no-no, I used to whack one on, until someone told me it fucks with the dynamics as for clipper go soft as Sam says, or I always find Ableton’s glue compressor is a nice balance between the two.

It’s fine to limit the master if you want that vibe imo

But u do lose a lot of dynamics

if you get good at making drums with some space and air between the hits - so it feels as if it is physically moving around - (I mean you can feel a thwack or pop or something infront of your speaker or you see the cone of the speaker reacting.)
then just try out no compression and let the drums ‘compress’ the rest of the track by filling up space

Its almost always about bass and drum levels when people think of compression. But if you get the drums right - most basses will just conform to the way the drums take up space. .

so just focus on drums. The best producers have a nice drum mix and it takes so much attention of the listener.
and basicly I think producers want compression so some sounds ‘poke out’ in peoples faces when they listen. But try to do it with the drums first and mostly. Trust.
It’s especially a good idea to use as little compression as you can the higher the bpm goes,
Because transients drown out with the somewhat slow release settings ALL compressors have.

Just one guys opinion though.

1 BigUp

That’s a similar approach to me, I also find compressing during the mix is a lot more transparent to just slamming one limiter! Im gonna go check out some clipping/ saturator plugins, heard fab filter saturn sounds pretty good. My go to is normally either invisible limiter or pro L for limiting and just the ableton saturator for clipping.

Yeah I do limit the master but I typically only push 2 db gain reduction or so. The ableton glue compressor is insane, its literally become my go to compressor.

oh… if you want to stick something on a group or buss or something to bring it together
then that sausage fat plugin is super

edited my first post a bit

As you see you will get several different answers depending on personal taste and musical style. Personally I don’t like mixing with limiters but they can be useful during sound design and experimentation. To me it’s more of a mastering tool and something that is heavily abused.

I do keep a limiter on my master for convenience but it is always off until I start designing sounds. Good quick way to save your ears/speakers/cats.

If you decide to mix into a limiter, your mix should sound nearly identical when you turn it off except a little quieter. If things are clipping or sounding too uneven it’ a good way to tell you’ve got a poor mix.

As for soft/hard clips I really don’t mess with them unless I’m experimenting with synthesis but I do use a lot of saturation because there’s more control and a similar effect.

1 BigUp

saturation is basically soft clipping but u can ajust more things usually

but i feel u

Yeah they can both achieve the same things, like so called “waveshaping plugins” too do the same thing.
When he said “clippers” it made me think of straight up soft clip plugins like GClip. More than one way to skin a cat etc.

1 BigUp


I’m pretty guilty with over-using these both for my productions. Of course it goes without saying that it all depends on what sounds better after trying both but…

I tend to find that:-

If a track is more dynamic and more bass’y then Limiting sounds better

If a track has less dynamics and less bass then Clipping sounds better