Author Topic: vs files and clipping counter  (Read 5373 times)

erniemit

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vs files and clipping counter
« on: October 30, 2012, 03:48:44 pm »
I am taking clipping very seriously because I assume it's "gone forever."  That is, when I play back the digitized recording it will have missing information no matter what volume is being amplified and sent to the speakers.   At the same time, I want to maximize the volume for a better sound to noise ratio, right?  I have seen that when the input gain is set to something like 6, i might get 1 clip on the clip counter for a record side.  When set for 7, i get more, and when set with 8 or 9, I might get 200 clips stored.  The best advice I can read is something like when the clip counter gets "too high" turn it down.  What is too high?   What is considered an acceptable, or optimum, clip count for an album side.   

Now, when I am done recording, I typically move the FLAC files from "My Albums" into a named folder (Artist, year, Album) in "My Music."   That album folder also contains a "cover.jpg," which is what WinAmp wants to see so it can display album art while playing.   Please explain the three files stored in the vs folder.  After I am done with any editing, can I erase those, or should I keep them?  Do they do any good if I have moved the FLAC music files to another folder?  I assume that these are there to log changes so "undo" works, and stuff like that, but I did not see in the literature what those were intended to do.

Thanks.  I really appreciate what you are doing here.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: vs files and clipping counter
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 07:31:17 pm »
Hi,

Yes, clipping is a bad thing (it squares off the tops of the waveform), although a few isolated clips are probably inaudible in practise.  If you are recording from the NAD PP-3, use the 'Set Digital Gain to 1' button in VinylStudio's Check Level dialog.  The recording level on the PP-3 is not adjustable and the recording level slider just boosts or cuts the level in software (which is pointless as it happens after the ADC stage rather than before).

If the playback level is too low, use the Normalise button in VinylStudio's Graphic Equaliser dialog to correct it after recording.  You can get to this via the 'Filter Settings' button in the toolbar beneath the waveform display in the Cleanup Audio window.

It is not common to move the 'raw' recordings made by VinylStudio.  Instead, go to the Save Tracks window and save your tracks.  This will:
  • save each track as a separate file
  • apply any audio cleanup tools you have used
If you don't want separate files for each track, you can use 'Save a Copy' in the Cleanup Audio window to save a copy of the recording with the audio cleanup tools applied.

The files in the vsfiles folder are used to generate VinylStudio's waveform display.  VinylStudio will regenerate these if needs be so you can delete them if you want.  They are, however, small enough not to worry about compared with the recordings themselves.

erniemit

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Re: vs files and clipping counter
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 09:16:22 pm »
I would not need to move the FLAC files made with vinyl studio if it put them in separate folders, one for each album, and named them the way I like.  For WinAmp, the cuts and a file renamed to "cover.jpg" need to reside in one same folder together.   Right now, the vinyl studio digitized music files all get put into a folder named "My Albums" with each side as a separate track.  I could only have one "cover.jpg" in any one folder, so everyone would have the same album art if they stay where they are getting put in "MyAlbums" with no folder structure inderneath.   The place where they automatically go does not seem to be adjustable like the tracks destinations are.  Let me know if I am missing something.   

You might agree that naming my own folders and moving files later is fine when you consider: My folder protocol is that all music (CDs, LPs, and other HD sources) go under a folder named FLAC (residing under my music) and each folder in that is "artistLast ArtistFirst year albumname" and the files in it are "track songname," so everything lines up properly, as I like albums arranged cronologically under each artist rather than alphabetically by albumname.   I intentionally use "last first" for artists in those folder names, as I do not want to find Bowie under "D," or Beatles, Stones, and hundreds more, under "The."  Rest easy, Led Zeppelin is under "L," albeit Boz Scaggs is going to have to be under "S"  I use windows explorer for operating and copying stuff onto a memory stick (for example) when I want to take a play list somewhere where the receiver has a USB socket in front.  By the way, the FLAC folder is there because someday i may have another folder under MyMusic named "MP" where I can convert and dump i-pod music for my kids portable applications.  Make sense?

Now, more importantly, having read what was made available, I certainly do have my digital gain set to one for the reasons stated in your literature.   Past that, it seems like it is necessary to get the slider also set right, as it seems appropriate to do that everytime before recording is to start.  Now, are you saying that the two vertical bars that jump while actually recording with the slider control beside is only meaningful when we're bringing in analog music and I can have 800 clips per side and it will not matter?   Cool.   I was clearly over engineering that aspect if I understand you correctly.  Thanks in advance for confirming this new understanding in your next reply.   Also, please confirm:  if I am happy witht the output of the FILES in comparrison to the CDs in that same library it should be fine not to normailze?  A couple of dB between one album and the next is nothing comparred to some hot CDs that appear to run about 5 dB higher than the rest.   

BTW, I like to store albums in two tracks; side one and two.  I don't need or have time for breaking tracks, or clean up.  I still think it's cool to hear a needle drop when the album files start...it's a good way to turn a few heads and announce the origin when no turntable is seen to be spinning.  Except for some hiss in between cuts, I really don't have a lot of albums that would require a clean up.  I've been an edge only handler and put them in plastic sleeves for 35 years.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: vs files and clipping counter
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 10:13:01 pm »
Well, you're not really using VinylStudio in the way it was designed, but that's OK.  When you use VinylStudio's 'Save Tracks functionality, you have a lot of control over file and folder names.  But if you want the 'raw' recordings, you are stuck with VinylStudio's default naming convention.  Also, they won't be tagged.

One way round this is to create a single track spanning each album side and name them Side 1 and Side 2 respectively.  Saving tracks will then generate files with nice names in nice folders with proper tagging, and if you do ever use the audio cleanup tools they will be properly applied.  Worth considering, at any rate.  You can control the exact file and folder names used in VinylStudio's Settings dialog.

Once you have clicked 'Set Digital Gain to 1' (which sets the recording level slider appropriately), don't move the slider.  If you see clipping, it's occurring upstream of the ADC so there's nothing you can do about it, but at least you're getting a true picture.  You're also getting the best possible dynamic range without introducing any additional clipping.