GClip has long been a popular VST plug-in and is now available in the excellent Rack Extension format. It offers straightforward signal clipping with an optional, configurable soft-knee. Oversampling can also be enabled if required.
Here are the most common uses of GClip:
- Digital distortion - Simply boost and clip hard to create harsh, digital distortion. This is the kind of distortion you'd get from a cheap loudhailer, especially if combined with a band-pass filter.
- Conditioning - GClip can be used prior to other effects to tame excessive peaks, which might otherwise lead to undesirable responses when processed.
- Compression - GClip can be used to reduce the peak levels of a signal, reducing the overall dynamic range. This can be done with a soft-knee to avoid hard, digital clipping. It's a very different process to standard compression, and not a substitute, but for some material it can be very effective.
Oversampling can be activated if clipping introduces aliasing artefacts. I would always recommend starting off without oversampling and only using it when it makes an audible improvement.
- Version 1.1 - By popular demand, the UI has been updated to include a waveform display. There are also controls on the folded front panel now. This is a free update for anyone that has already purchased GClip.