Vlc Media Player Good For Detecting Excess Bass!?

So is this clip from exactly the same place where you were hearing the clipping problem earlier?

I tested it in VLC player myself now - even at max volume - and did not hear any REALLY obvious clipping, although there are definitely some quite “hot” sections, like that first loud synth stab at around 3 seconds in.

After taking a very quick look at the waveform itself, one thing did immediately catch my eye:

This is a portion of that first loud synth I mentioned, which you can see here on the right. You’ll notice that the top half of the waveform seems quite normal and the dynamics are quite ok, but the lower half of the waveform seems louder and more harshly limited. This happens sometimes with certain synth sounds or samples which have a DC offset which is shifted off-center. I’ve added the red lines myself just as a visual aid - they’re both positioned the same distance from the center line.

Zooming in a little closer, we can see that it’s not really clipping a LOT (and obviously not technically clipping beyond 0dB), and it’s not as much “squashing” as we might expect to see from some intense hard/digital clipping with really badly flattened peaks, but… it’s still possible to see that something is going on here. The lower half of the waveform has had its peaks flattened in quite a uniform fashion, when compared to the upper half.

Is it possible that this synth sound is just a bit unbalanced (in terms of DC offset), and the slightly rough peaks on the lower half of the waveform are responsible for the distortion you’re hearing?

yeah, thank you soo much…its basically the synth thats clipping from what I hear, u r correct…how would I fix this…i have used this synth before and this didn’t happen…plus how could i detect this within renoise as I am unable to detect this while tracking…waaaaaaaaaay appreciative!!! :)

If that is the case, I’ve found that just straight up removing all sound below 20Hz will remove most offsets.

If it’s coming directly from a VSTi synth, then there might not be a lot you can do to change its original shape. You could perhaps try to experiment with some slight changes to the filtering or something like that. If you are using an EQ on the output of the synth, it could also be that one of the bands is rather strong which is really cranking up the peaks.

In any case, there is a quick fix you can try (which is perhaps not designed for this, but who knows). Renoise itself has a DC offset DSP device which has an “Auto DC” mode. This helps to shift the signal back into a more centralised position if it is really out of whack, so if you add that to whatever track has the synth and experiment with its position within the chain, then it may help out, but I cannot be certain.

Typically, if you had a sample which had been recorded from something with a faulty electrical circuit (bad grounding, for example), the DC offset would tend to be shifted in one direction, and the center/baseline of the sample would appear to be higher or lower than it should be. The DC offset correction would then bring that baseline back to normal. As I said, sometimes you can also have weird synth sounds which are just stronger in one particular direction. While this is technically not a DC offset, rather more a kind of bias towards one side, you may find that DC correction can still help.

Just as a quick example of how the DC correction works on a sample:

Before: Raw output from Novation V-Station VSTi - Factory patch “Bass 1”

After DC offset correction via Renoise’s sample editor:

They sound more or less identical, but there is a very obvious difference in waveform shape.

Thx, btw do you know how I could tell this was happening before I get into trouble? If it wasn’t for vlc media player, I wouldn’t know! Have you ever had this problem before? I don’t think I ever hear about dc offset issues here…

I guess it’s just one of those things… you stare at waveforms for years, and you start to notice these weird little differences :)

If you watch the track scopes in Renoise while you’re playing with a synth or sample, it’s quite easy to get an idea of what’s happening. Do you see the peaks hitting the top and bottom areas of the scope equally, or do they seem to be biased towards one particular direction?

Using that simple V-Station bass example from before, you can see here that it’s clearly more biased towards the lower half of the waveform:

In the same way, when I loaded your .WAV into SoundForge (or Renoise’s own sample editor), I spotted some potential issues right away:

Since you mentioned hearing some kind of distortion, I tried to spot any clipped or flattened areas in the peaks, and as you can see from the image, it’s quite visible.

Once you see that the clipping is only happening on one side of the waveform, it’s just a question of how do you bring that back into a more centralised position?


Well, Ill be… the previously unknown villain of dc offset, thank you for educating me! Read about you(your plug in rather), some time ago in CM! Amazing you telling me about such exciting topics as DC OFFSET!! Who knows what I could ever help you with…time will tell;)

Oh dear, I have noticed yet another post-rendering phenomenon. I once again, rendered a track I am working on and tested it in VLC…instead of my kick distorting now, I hear lots of squealing artifacts with every kick thump. I thought it was a result of over compression so then I removed all compression annd plug ins to see who the culprit was. It actually didn’t improve in the slightest. I then solo’ed the kicks in the demo tracks(keith 303 and beatslaughter) and the same thing happens after rendering! So this time it is not me(or am I rendering incorrectly?). When i play kicks in audacity, it is not that bad, however, there is an audible ring with every kick(audible if solo’ed). I don’t hear these artifacts in pro tracks in vlc. I am pretty sure beatslaughter and keith 303 know what they are doing so it can’t be them. I have tried with all rendering settings and mostly use 32bit float at 44100hz, is it my computer or renoises rendering engine? Very Strange… :blink:

Once again, you better provide clear .WAV examples of what you are hearing, cause it’s gonna be an absolute bloody nightmare trying to diagnose these kinda problems :)

Ha ha! Will do! Will try to do now…do you know of another way to upload besides soundcloud…at this rate i will exceed my upload limit! :)

Actually will do in the morning…need some sleep…if u know of another upload method lemme know thx gnight!

i would say cocoshare but as my german buddies killed it :angry: , you could try 4share.com or box.net

Ok…so here we go…the first link is to the rendered kick drums in the beatslaughter demo song…i probably won’t be using this upload site anymore as I saw porn being advertised on it! Nothing wrong with that, however, not when you are trying to share music files!! drums
I will upload the second in a bit, box.net is a much more professional upload site, clean and simple…just need to get the link!

edit:My Drums these are my drums!

Well, I dunno what to say about this one. Regardless if I play this .WAV in VLC, Winamp, etc., it sounds identical to the original demo song when played in Renoise.

To confirm that nothing weird was in your .WAV file, I just rendered my own version from the original demo song itself, and then compared the two waveforms in SoundForge. They appear to be identical. So, in my opinion, whatever strange stuff you are hearing is NOT present in the actual waveform, and is not coming from Renoise.

I know it’s already been discussed, but you should double check VLC itself. It has various options for signal gain, EQing, surround sound, etc. Just make sure that everything is set to default/flat settings. Any kind of EQ or gain could be causing you to hear something weird. Try playing the .WAV in other players like Windows Media Player, Winamp, Foobar, etc. Do you hear the same problems there? If you hear the same problem from several different media players, then it must be caused by something in your audio setup.

What kind of sound card do you have? Does it has some kind of EQ, filters, effects, surround sound, etc., that can be applied to its master output? That kinda stuff is very common on SoundBlasters and similar cards, and if you have anything like that enabled then it should definitely be turned off while making music. Even if it’s just a simple EQ adjustment to boost the lows/highs a little bit, disable it.

What kind of speakers do you have? What kind of amp/receiver is driving them? Are there any EQ settings there you could reset to default/flat settings? Etc.

Regardless of the fact that the pro tracks you are comparing against do not appear to be affected by the problem, clearly there is something else going on here.

Just checked the 2nd .WAV you posted now. I do not hear any kind of ringing or strange artifacts in this, either.

ok will check my settings…as far as i know the artifacts just occur or are most pronounced in vlc…thank god its not my files!! just tried it in windows media and sounds perfect! so u didn’t even hear any artifacts in your vlc turned up(the vlc volume)? my sound card must just not like vlc!

Nothing, except for the usual expected distortion from the volume being way too loud - but that happens in every player that offers the ability boost gain above 100%, not just VLC.

Tools -> preferences -> show settings all -> audio -> untick ‘high quality resampling’

See if that makes any difference ;)

I think maybe i had a similar problem, the problem was the signal routing from the wave channel to my E-MU soundcard’s mixer (PatchMix DSP) where it was clipping in the peak meter.
Then i had to put a trim-pot before the peak meter in the signal chain and turn the trim-pot volume down to where it doesn’t show any clipping. I don’t really know if that really solved my problem though, but i can’t hear clipping, though i couldn’t really notice the clipping before either it was only a visual clipping as far as i know, but i have such crappy pc speakers for monitors at the moment. :P
Could it be some kind of invisible preamp that amplitudes the signal on it’s way from the wave channel to the soundcard mixer perhaps?

Not shure if it has anything to do with your problem, but i thought maybe there are some routing problems or something similar whith your soundcard?

WOWWWW …this thread is OLDDD lol…how did u find this?

I am way past these issues…basically all songs rammed into the limiter will do this…the pro songs I was comparing to were mastered quite conservatively(or werent sub heavy)…I find all “hot” bass driven tracks make vlc clip…

Must be intersample peaking…keep the peaks at -.5 and it doesnt happen…anyways its no issue its neither here no there… B)

edit: this thread is just over 2 years old!!!

Haha, i just saw 2.august, not the 2009 part. :P don’t really know how i got here to be honest.