Mixing Tip: Use 32-Bit Floating Point Format To Avoid Clipping

20

Use 32-Bit Floating Point Format To Avoid Clipping

In the mixing stage, it’s very easy to push the levels a bit too far or just add too many sounds in to the same frequency range making the mix clip at times and after the mixdown (exporting to WAV), you have a piece of music with a distortion which doesn’t sound good at all. Nastily clipping song is very hard or impossible to fix afterwards and as frustrating to master.

Luckily there’s an way to make sure the clipping won’t destroy your mixdown. What is it? Export to WAV using 32-bit floating point format (It’s the native format of FL Studio mix engine).

The thing is, 32-bit floating point format has a virtually unlimited amount of headroom (Headroom is the space between the highest signal peak and 0.0dB, measured by dB’s. Anything peaking above 0.0dB will usually cause clipping). By exporting your song to WAV using 32-bit floating point format, you don’t have to worry about the clipping issue:  just normalize the exported wave file and you’re all good.

However, if you exceed the 0.0dB limit while mixing, you will HEAR clipping. But the clipping doesn’t happen inside FL Studio – it’s just the signal that goes to the DA-converter of your sound card. So no audio data has been actually destroyed.

Okay, I’ll demonstrate all this in the following video:

Even so, don’t be fooled by the 32-bit floating point system. You still need to mix your songs properly by setting the levels in balance (my mixing guidelines might help you out) and it ‘s always a good practice to keep the peaks below 0.0dB. And if you wan’t to edit your WAV file with a third party program, it needs to support 32-bit floating point format – otherwise you need to export your WAV to 24-bit or even 16-bit and these won’t protect you from clipping. So try to make it a habit to not exceed the 0.0dB. Just to be safe. 🙂

ps. Thanks to Nucelon for bringing this up.

Share.

About Author

Petri Suhonen is an electronic music hobbyist. He has been producing music with computers over a decade on such styles as trance, downtempo, ambient & experimental electronic using FL Studio.

Leave a Reply

20 Comments on "Mixing Tip: Use 32-Bit Floating Point Format To Avoid Clipping"

Notify of
avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Jon W
Jon W
5 years 4 months ago

Great tip!

I’ve been using 32 bit floating because I assumed it was the best option, but didn’t really no why.

So now I do 🙂

Thanks!

Jabari
Jabari
4 years 1 month ago

Yeah same here.. Now I know what its for

RP
RP
5 years 4 months ago

Would these be OK to do on individual tracks you want to bounce to audio and re-import? Or is this a technique best applied to the master buss?

DSP
DSP
5 years 3 months ago
hahaha man this is very slick, i dont know if this can fix a bad mix, a distorted mix or unclear mix, anyway i do some experiments. But until then i have 1 questions and is about mixing. How to start a mixing process? 1. With Master track empty 2. With some eq, compression… (mastering setup) After experiments….i find that no mater how good it is a mix, when mastered bringing eq, compression, limiter… the whole track will change, you know? Everything will change, your track become louder and louder and this will afect entire track: dynamics, harmonics and even… Read more »
V-Tyle
V-Tyle
4 years 11 months ago

Thanks, your tutorials are always great!!!Keep more coming.

Austin
Austin
4 years 2 months ago

Quick question, I use fl studio’s too and whenever i open a new song it automatically puts a default limiter on the master. I have producing for almost a year now and I dont really see a problem with using it but also I can’t seem to not use the default limiter because everything seems to clip after I take it off ha. Is this something to worry about? usually i will mix my songs fine and then send a wav to my cousin who is really good at mastering and he will master it.

thanks:)

K-stereo
K-stereo
1 year 3 months ago

Is it possible to make good sounding beats/professional ,using nothing but Fl studio ?

Ivan
Ivan
1 year 12 days ago

Tank you for this tutorial!It helps me alot!!!!

steve king
steve king
2 months 22 days ago

thanx it really helped me

wpDiscuz