Top 7 Clipper Plugins 2022 (Best Limiter Alternatives)

Top 7 Clipper Plugins 2021 (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Peak Clipping is a much-used technique for achieving smoother masters with a rich sound. Hence, this article brings you the 7 best clipper plugins available in 2022.

Clippers are dynamics processors used for either controlling transients or for generating harmonic saturation. Instead of avoiding distortion as limiters do, clippers utilize it. Furthermore, they often retain the tone and punch of a mix better than limiters do to a certain level.

Due to the distortive nature, people often find the masters done using clippers sound “brighter,” “thicker,” or “richer.” It is similar to how exciter plugins work as they also introduce distortion to add clarity and “sheen.” If you wish to learn more about the difference between a limiter and a clipper, click here.

How Audio Clipping Works & Best Clipping Plugins | integraudio.com

Now, let’s check out some of the best clipper plugins available in the market:

The 7 Best Clipper Plugins 2022

1. Venn Audio V-Clip 

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

V-Clip is one of the most intuitive yet highly configurable clippers featuring detailed audio analytics.

You could use this plugin as a creative saturation stage or as a mastering clipper. It features a user-friendly interface with an audio visualizer with zooming features. 

The visualizer shows you the gain reduction, the input audio, and the output audio. Furthermore, it can be enabled or disabled. Similarly, it also features automatic gain adjustment, which ensures that your output audio isn’t peaking. If you prefer RMS over dB, you can switch the scale as well.

On a side note, the main clip shaper view shows your audio’s RMS (green) and peak (yellow) levels independently.

Venn Audio V-Clip Review - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

V-Clip comes with a pre-equipped “Visualizer” which could be considered an oscilloscope tool.

Venn Audio V-Clip  - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

You will abundance of presets that should suit your clipping needs. The first folder is equipped with “Standard Shapes”.

Venn Audio V-Clip  - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

The second one comes with “Complex shapes”. As you can see, it comes with a different main screen:

Venn Audio V-Clip  - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Finally, here is what the “Oversample” tab comes with:

Venn Audio V-Clip  - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Extensive Clip Types
    There are nine types of standard clip shapes and three complex shapes that add distinct character to your sound. The standard shapes range from very soft clip shapes to hard ones. In addition, you can adjust each shape with the soft-knee knob next to the drop-down menu.
  • Custom Clip Shape
    With the Custom Shape mode, you can control the positive and negative samples independently, which allows for asymmetric saturation. It also lets you add both odd and even harmonics to your distortion for a richer and thicker sound.
  • Built-in Oscilloscope
    V-Clip has a built-in oscilloscope and test tone for analyzing the effect your clip shape has on audio. These features are advantageous when creating a custom clip shape, and you want to see what you are doing with the waveform.
  • Anti-Aliasing
    This plugin supports up to an incredible 256x oversampling. In addition, it has independent oversampling controls for real-time and offline modes. Another thing worth noting is that it features double DSP processing, which adds precision to the audio processing if your DAW supports it (most do).

Compatibility:

V-Clip is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Despite being highly configurable and feature-rich, V-Clip remains intuitive and easy to use. We like its custom clip shaping, internal test tone, and oscilloscope features the most as they are relatively rare. Furthermore, its extensive list of clip shapes ensures that you will have plenty to play around with before you have to start creating custom shapes.

2. SIR Audio Tools StandardCLIP 

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

When it comes to clippers, you will want more control and reliability, which this plugin delivers.

StandardCLIP is an advanced clipping plugin that you could use in two ways: as a dynamic effect for mastering or as a harmonic generator for distortion/saturation. Its multiple clipping modes, extensive oversampling, and linear phase mode make sure that your audio can be manipulated in the way you want, without introducing unwanted artifacts or phaseshift.

SIR Audio Tols StandardCLIP Review - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Same as with the V-Clip, StandardCLIP also offers oscilloscope mode:

SIR Audio Tols StandardCLIP Review - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

And finally presets that come with StandardCLIP:

SIR Audio Tols StandardCLIP Review - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Multiple Clip Modes
    There are three modes of clipping in this plugin: Soft Clip Classic, Soft Clip Pro, and Hard Clip. The first two are designed to add saturation as the audio nears the clipping level until it finally clips, whereas Hard Clip doesn’t add any saturation at all until it clips. It makes the latter sound much more drastic compared to the previous two.
  • Soft-Clip Saturator
    The slider below the clip mode selector lets you adjust the amount of soft-clipping applied to your audio. For the Soft Clip Classic mode, it acts as a mix parameter. However, it adjusts the threshold in Soft Clip Pro mode, which compresses the audio by half and adds equal makeup gain.
  • Oversampling
    Oversampling is an essential feature for a clipper. So, StandardCLIP features up to an incredible 256x oversampling to eliminate any aliasing. In addition, it also had advanced options that let you adjust the filter cutoff, order, and filter kernel size (for linear phase mode). Note that higher levels of oversampling will consume a lot of CPU power.
  • Output Gain Assistant
    This feature helps you find a reasonable headroom between the calculated clip level (indicated by a red arrow on the output gain fader) and the ceiling level. Simply play the loudest part of your audio while the assistant is open, and then click on “Apply New Output Gain” to set the output gain. It helps ensure that none of your peaks are shooting over the ceiling, which might cause aliasing despite oversampling.
Peak reduction with StandardClip - by E-Clip

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

There are plenty of features in StandardCLIP as far as clippers could have, so it will keep you quite busy. However, the user interface may not be the most intuitive for people who aren’t familiar with all the technicalities of clipping and sonic distortion. Then again, the fair pricing and the number of features make this plugin a considerable choice.

3.  Newfangled Audio Saturate

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

With merely two significant sliders to tweak, Newfangled’s contender is probably the easiest yet very musical-sounding clipper to master.

Saturate was first integrated into Newfangled’s limiter called Elevate. However, the clipper is now available discretely to use as a mixing effect or for mastering.

According to Newfangled Audio, the clipper utilizes a complex signal processing chain under its hood to deliver transparent and clear sound no matter how hard you drive it. At the far left and right of the interface, you will find meters and numeric labels displaying both the peak and the RMS levels.

The center part of the interface shows the main clipper’s shape. Unfortunately, the default symmetrical clip shape is the only one available in this plugin.

Newfangled Audio Saturate Review - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Easy to Use
    Many people want a ton of features in their plugins, but an equal number want a simplistic tool that just gets the job done. If you are one of the latter folks, the lack of an interface that looks like a cockpit will be a welcome change from most of the entries on our list. Saturate claims to give you anything from a hard clip to the smoothest curve feasible with a single slider called Clipper Shape, and its excellent sound confirms it.
  • Plenty of Drive
    The plugin features a whooping drive gain of 24 dB. You’ll likely be using far less for purposes like mastering, but if you are someone who enjoys super distorted bass or guitars, Saturate has you covered and then some. Furthermore, since this plugin is a spectral clipper, it makes sure that any amount of drive will keep the sound tonally the same.
  • Automatic Gain Adjustment
    Above the output peak meters, you can set the output gain to Auto. It will adjust the output gain automatically and make sure it doesn’t overshoot over 0 dB. Unless you are okay with manually checking the levels to confirm, having this feature turned on makes mastering much easier and alias-free.
Newfangled Audio Saturate Audio Demo

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

While the default sound of Saturate is musical and smooth, if you ever wish to get creative with asymmetric distortion or even a different symmetrical shape, you won’t have any choice. So, in a way, a similar price gets you much deeper features. However, we suggest downloading a trial, listen to how it sounds, and if you love it, it’s worth it.

4. kazrog KClip 3

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

With multiband features and extensive clip types, KClip 3 offers much more than meets the eye.

KClip focuses on every aspect of music production. So, it can be fully transparent for mastering and busses, or it can be as characterful as needed for creative uses. The right part of the interface displays extensive LUFS metering with variable scales from -12 to -24 dB LUFS.

The lower values are instrumental when you are utilizing the threshold parameter instead of the input gain. Furthermore, its clip shapes are designed for clean mastering, emulating analog units, and even oddities like germanium diode saturation, guitar amps, and blown speakers.

They help get creative sound effects without tweaking too many knobs.

kazrog KClip 3 Review - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Multi-band
    Other than the default clipping view, you can switch over to a multi-band mode with four bands. You can adjust the crossover between the bands freely and, if so desired, disable the saturation per band. Each band has all the controls you find in the default single band view, so it’s easy to have a certain kind of saturation on the lower frequencies with another trait in the higher ones.
  • Mastering Grade Sound
    KClip features spectrally transparent clipping shapes as well as oversampling to avoid aliasing. You can have a different oversampling value for online and offline mode each so that you can prevent too much CPU usage during real-time monitoring.
  • Coherent Clip Modes
    There are eight clip modes in this plugin: Smooth, Crisp, Tube, Tape, Germanium, Silicon, Guitar Amp, and Broken Speaker. The first two are designed for mastering and will make the sound smooth and transparent. And the rest of the modes range from analog sound to creative choices. Of course, you can also adjust the soft knee of almost every type of clipping.
  • Mid/Side Control
    KClip still takes clipping one step further with a knob for adjusting mid and side mode with all the extensive features. It’s handy when you are trying to apply clipping only to a specific element in your mix while mastering. For example, setting the mid/side knob towards the mid signal and using a band focusing on the mid frequencies will result in the vocals getting saturated while the rest of the mix remains untouched.
KClip 3 - Mastering Tutorial

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9.5 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

In conclusion, KClip is undoubtedly one of the best clipping tools in the market, and this new version with multi-band mode makes it an almost no-brainer choice. We highly recommend giving it a try, and make sure you watch out for a sale; you’ll often find a generous price drop.

5. Boz Digital Labs Big Clipper

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

There’s no such thing as a messy distortion with Big Clipper, and the reason is simple.

Big Clipper combines a clipper with a standard limiter in four blend modes to achieve a whole new world of dynamics processing. The interface features an input gain (Push), a threshold (Pull), and a Shape parameter. The Shape fader lets you adjust how hard or soft your clipper is.

Note the Attack and Release faders, which you can’t find in any of the other clipper plugins, at the bottom right of the interface. It’s because those faders belong to the limiter algorithm. Overall, the interface feels quite comprehensive but not overwhelming.

Boz Digital Labs Big Clipper Review - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Crossover Blend Modes
    The crossover blend mode lets you divide your audio into two ranges of frequencies and apply the limiter/clipper in each. There are two crossover blend modes available: Clipper | Limiter, and Limiter | Clipper. Each places the two processors in the mentioned order. You can select the crossover frequency using the Blend fader (from 100 Hz to 20 kHz).
  • Other Blend Modes
    You can have the limiter and the clipper in parallel or series routing. In the series mode, the Blend fader acts as a threshold offset for the Clipper. So, if you have the Pull knob set to -16 dB, the Blend Fader is set at 6 dB, your Clipper will have a threshold of -10 dB only.
  • Stereo Processing
    You can have Big Clipper process in stereo mode, mid/side mode, mid only, and side only. In the first two modes, the plugin processes the mentioned signals independently. Note that a single instance of this plugin will not let you adjust the mid and side signal separately. You will need an instance for each.
  • Frequency Sensitivity
    This section lets you adjust how much sound from each of the three bands enters the signal detector. It isn’t precisely multi-band, but it does allow you to specify how saturated or clipped each band is. It is useful when you are clipping a full mix and don’t want the kick introducing too much distortion, for example.
Using Big Clipper as a Bass Driver

Compatibility:

Big Clipper is available for Windows 7 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, AAX, and RTAS formats.

Summary:

The technique of using a limiter alongside a clipper has been around for a long time, but it’s rare to use them in specific ranges of frequencies. And if you think about it, it does make sense. However, the features come at quite a high price tag for a clipper.

So, we suggest trying it out and making sure the features are worth it – keep in mind that the concept is better suited for mastering than any other use case.

6. IK Multimedia Classic Clipper 

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

IK Multimedia focuses on making its plugins sound analog and pleasant, and this plugin shows it well.

Classic Clipper has a simple interface over a well-designed signal chain that you could use for anything from mastering to heavy saturation. The interface features a saturation indicator, which lights up whenever your audio hits the nonlinear zone set by the Slope parameter.

Of course, if your input is loud enough, even a hard shape will cause much saturation. However, if you don’t want that, you can lower the gain, which goes either way by 15 decibels. Also, just to clarify, the output meters display the left channel on the top and the right channel on the bottom.

We recommend this clipper if you are after clean and pleasant clipping for mastering purposes.

IK Multimedia Classic Clipper Review - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Stereo Control
    The three buttons on the far left of the interface let you select whether you want the clipper to apply on both the left and right channels simultaneously or independently. Using the L and R buttons, you can set a different setting for each of your stereo channels as needed. It can be handy for, say, drum busses when you want to add some mild saturation, but the ride cymbal has rendered the stereo balance askew. This feature is only available in Classic Clipper on our list.
  • Digital Overs Indicators
    The two L and R Over LEDs at the top of the interface indicate digital clipping of your output. In general, you don’t need to worry about it if your output gain is at 0 dB or below because the internal ceiling of Classic Clipper is set at -0.05 dBfs. However, if you have the output gain turned over 0 dB, keep an eye on those indicators. In addition, when they light up, they don’t turn off until you click on them. So, if you find them lit after playing your song throughout (even with the interface turned off), you need to find the spot where it clipped digitally.
  • Slope Control
    The clipping shape or the slope is adjustable using the Slope parameter. It is continuously variable from an ultra-soft non-clipping mode for saturation to a straight digital hard clip. Which shape you require depends on your specific music/audio and how apparent you want the clipping to sound.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

In general, clippers are used for mastering, and that’s the end this plugin serves best. You could use it for creative distortions, but it doesn’t have multiple clipping shapes or asymmetric distortion. So, it sounds like the saturation you might find in hardware units. If you are looking for an alternative mastering dynamics tool, we highly recommend Classic Clipper.

7. JST Clip

More Info & Price 

Aiming for bolder sounds with the bare essential parameters, JST Clip offers super quick results.

This plugin fits well as both a mastering tool and a distortion plugin. The huge knob at the center controls the input gain to drive the saturator. There is also a trim knob that controls the output gain.

Keep in mind that the clipper already keeps your audio below digital 0 dB even with the trim at default.

JST Clip Review - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • 2x Gain
    The plugin features a 2x gain multiplier, which takes the default maximum of 12 dB gain to 24 dB. Enabling it transforms this plugin into a heavier distortion plugin compared to the default subtle saturation. This feature could be useful for saturated snares, kicks, 808, and even heavy guitars.
  • Convenient
    With only a gain knob, a trim control, and a mix knob, there are barely any controls at all to tweak. While some may take this approach as terribly limited, there are plenty who prefer a “one-knob” solution any day. So, it’s probably a good idea to give it a try before judging; you might be in for a pleasant surprise.
The ONLY Clipper You'll EVER Need | JST Clip Plugin Review

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.8 or higher, both 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

There isn’t much to explain about this plugin – it’s a clipper designed to sound symmetric and musical. So, if you like the sound of it, it’s a no-brainer for the price and simplicity. And if you don’t, there isn’t much you can do about it. Trying it is the only way to decide.

Also, Consider checking our free VST/AU Plugin:

Deelay by Integraudio & Sixth Sample – Free Delay VST/AU Plugin

The 5 Best FREE Clipper Plugins 2022

1. Initial Audio Initial Clipper

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Initial Clipper sets the bar of free plugins a notch higher with its elegant user interface and simplicity.

When using a limiter to master a track, we often want transparency. That might even involve using many parameters, additional compressors, etc. However, Initial Clipper seeks to simplify the process and provide you only the vital controls related to limiters. Instead, it offers saturation. 

So, I prefer using this plugin either when soft limiting is adequate or when I want a saturated sound.

Initial Audio Initial Clipper - Best FREE Clipper Plugins | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Limiter
    The user interface shows the input audio signal graph, and you can use it to dial in the parameters accurately. First, you’ll find an input gain. Second, the threshold knob controls the level at which the limiter starts processing. This parameter is also reflected on the input graph.
    You’ll find a built-in LUFS meter at the bottom right of the user interface. You can use this meter to see how loud your audio is without switching over to an analyzer plugin. Also, you can drag the bottom right corner of the interface to resize the GUI.
  • Saturation
    There are two saturation knobs on the interface. One is labeled Positive, whereas the other is Negative. The Positive saturation adds extra harmonic saturation, often found in analog hardware gear like tape, tube amps, etc. Conversely, the Negative saturation adds inharmonic saturation. A mix of these two could provide novel results.
Initial Clipper By Initial Audio Review And Demo (The Best FREE Soft Clipper???)

Compatibility:

Initial Clipper is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2 and AU formats.

Summary:

I’ve yet to see another developer providing two types of saturation in a limiter plugin. Furthermore, this limiter feels designed to help producers get results quicker. So, while Initial Clipper may not be the most transparent and flexible limiter around, it’s undoubtedly an excellent choice for people who want something straightforward and time-saving.

Likewise, the saturation stages make the plugin ideal for clipping drums and other instruments in a mix. Doing so will let you get louder masters without excessive pumping and annoying artifacts.

2. Venn Audio Free Clip 

More Info & Download

Free Clip is a convenient soft clipper that allows a wide variety of clip shapes.

This plugin is an excellent tool for adding some saturation or volume to your tracks without overshooting peaks. You could use it on drums to lower their peaks while adding richness or even for mastering as a limiter.

All you must do is select a clip shape and pull down the ceiling. In addition, there are input and output gain controls as well.

Venn Audio Free Clip Review - Top 4 Free Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Variable Soft Clip
    The dial at the center of the interface controls the type of your clip wave. When dialed fully to the left, it does hard clipping, and turning it to the right makes the clip shape softer and softer. The shape is also indicated by the graph on the background of the interface.
  • Oversampling
    This plugin features a maximum of 32x oversampling to remove any high-frequency aliasing. However, it introduces some peaks over the ceiling level. You can counter this issue by enabling “Post-Oversampling Clip” below the Oversampling knob.
  • Visualization
    The bottom of the interface shows a visualization of your input audio and clipping. So, for example, if you see a squashed-out waveform while you’re mastering, it’s probably best to lower the input gain somewhat.
Free Clip - new free intuitive soft clipper sneak peek

Compatibility:

Free Clip is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10 or higher, both 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2 and AU formats.

Summary:

For a free plugin, the features it offers are pretty impressive, and so is the sound. The user interface may be a little unpolished, but it gets the job done excellently. The extensive oversampling feature ensures that you can use this plugin even for mastering or bus mixing.

3. J1000 CL36 

More Info & Download

The CL36 is a significantly feature-rich clipper that deserves a try.

This multi-band clipper separates the audio into three frequency ranges: low (LF), mid (MF), and high (HF). The interface contains identical controls for each range and some master controls.

The X-Over knob controls the crossover frequency for all three bands at the same time.

This parameter might take a little getting used to. It calculates the LF-MF crossover by dividing the parameter value by 4, whereas it multiplies the value by 4 for MF-HF. So, the default position .75 kHz gives out an LF-MF crossover of 750/4=188 Hz and an MF-HF crossover of 750x4=3 kHz. Why this strange behavior, you ask?

Our best guess is that it serves to keep the audio artifact-free because the values fit the filtering algorithm.

J1000 CL36 Review - Top 4 Free Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Mid/Side Processing
    CL36 features an M+S button that activates the processing independently in the mid and side signals. This feature doesn’t allow you to adjust the clipper in each part, but it functions independently with the same controls. Note that this feature might turn the volume up slightly.
  • Asymmetric Distortion
    The Bias knob lets you emphasize the clipping in the positive or the negative side of the signal, creating an asymmetric effect for creative uses. Asymmetric distortion alters the tone of your sound, so try using it on instruments like bass, lead synths, and guitars.
  • Modulation
    Another feature worth mentioning is the Mod button, which activates modulation in the clipper. Vintage tube amps, guitar amps, and other hardware units have transformers inside them. And they change tonality constantly due to power fluctuations. To emulate this, the Mod button introduces a subtle random LFO signal.
CL36 (drums) by J1000

Compatibility:

CL36 is available for Windows 7 or higher, 32-bit only. It comes in VST 2 format.

Summary:

Despite being a multi-band, its strange crossover selection makes it somewhat inconvenient and limited to use. However, the good news is that you can use it to apply saturation on the entire spectrum. It’s considerable for its unique modulation and bias features.

4. GVST GClip 

More Info & Download

GVST is known for its free effects plugins like GSnap, and GClip is one of the effects available.

If you aren’t familiar with clippers yet, this free plugin is a great place to start. The interface contains an input gain, a clipping threshold, and a soft-knee adjustment knob. If you use this clipper as a mastering limiter, try setting the Clip knob to 99% (100% is 0 dB, which causes digital clipping).

GVST GClip Review - Top 4 Free Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Stereo Visualization
    The plugin features a separate visualizer for each stereo channel – the top one is the left channel, whereas the bottom one is the right channel. You can also adjust the vertical zoom level of each using the slider displaying 1.00x in the screenshot.
  • 2x Oversampling
    GCLip has a 2x oversampling switch at the top of its interface. While it works just fine for general use cases, you might want to avoid using this plugin if your audio contains a lot of high frequencies (above 12 kHz).
  • Softness Adjustment
    The plugin has a Softness knob, which controls how soft or hard your clipper is. For example, when mastering, you will generally want to use a value less than 10%, if even that, to keep the clipper sharp and instantaneous.
Best FREE Plugin To Make Kicks Hit HARD

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit, macOS 10 or higher 64-bit, and Linux (Debian) 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2 and AU formats.

Summary:

GClip is a basic clipper plugin that lets you explore what you could do with such plugins quickly. You could use it on bass, vocals, drums, etc., to make the sound richer and fatter. However, keep a sharp ear when using it for mastering, as the oversampling isn’t quite enough to catch all alias issues.

5. de la mancha ClipStar

More Info & Download

Unlike other clippers, this one attempts to remain subtle at its approach, making it a good choice for mastering.

ClipStar uses a soft clipper primarily for its limiting/clipping. However, it also features a Hard Limit toggle switch to catch any transients that slip past the soft clipper. This Hard Limit is positioned after the output gain as well, so you could use two limiters together to get louder masters.

de la mancha ClipStar Review - Top 4 Free Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Low-Frequency Bypass
    Using the Lo Freq knob, you can set the frequency for the high-pass filter that bypasses the clipper. Generally, it is the lower frequencies that create distortion. So, if you use a high-pass filter in the signal detector, you will get a much more predictable saturation.
  • Vintage Style
    The sound of this clipper is notably inspired by vintage hardware units, and not only that, but the metering is also reminiscent of the past. It features a needle meter that can display input, output, and gain reduction. The screw just below the meter adjusts the peak hold time.
Clipstar (drums) by de la Mancha

Compatibility:

ClipStar is available for Windows 7 or higher, 32-bit only. It comes in VST 2 format.

Summary:

This plugin’s sound is pleasing for subtle saturation as well as heavy. However, the lack of oversampling makes it unsuitable for extreme levels of clipping and distortion, especially at the high frequencies. So, you’ll probably want to use this as a subtle limiter instead of as a distortion plugin.

Bonus Plugin

Nembrini Lofi Vintage Clipper 

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

With two styles of signal processing, LoFi Vintage Clipper makes interesting sounds with almost no effort.

This plugin focuses on becoming more of a saturator than a clipper, but its classic sound makes it a deserving contender in our list. As the name suggests, it’s often used as a LoFi effect to emulate analog grittiness and saturation in busses as well as full mixes.

Nembrini Lofi Vintage Clipper Review - Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Distortion
    The first knob it has is the Distortion knob, which adds a soft clip designed to limit the transients using an emulated analog signal path. It helps increase the richness and thickness of your audio. When overdone, it sounds satisfyingly heavy, befitting growling bass, lead synths, guitars, etc.
  • Saturation
    The Saturation knob, however, behaves like vintage analog tape machines or mixing consoles. It is excellent for adding warmth to your mix. Give it a try on vocals and other mid-range instruments to give them character and some heat.
Nembrini Audio LoFi Vintage Clipper plugin demo

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

If you prefer a simpler plugin, then this is a viable candidate. It features two kinds of signal processing, and mixing the two gives you interesting sounds balancing dynamism with saturation. Also, its emulated analog sound could be a key for evoking nostalgia.

Verdict

In general, almost all clippers do the same thing. The difference lies in idiosyncracies and the level of flexibility they offer. For example, StandardCLIP and V-Clip offer the most level of flexibility. However, KClip 3 has a multi-band feature, which is rare for clipping plugins.

Similarly, if you prefer straightforward plugins that deliver quick results, we can’t recommend Newfangled Audio Saturate enough. And if you are looking to add a clipper to your mastering chain as a limiter, Boz Digital Big Clipper and IK Multimedia Classic Clipper are unbeatable.

For getting started, we also suggest dabbling with a free plugin like Venn Audio Free Clip, which is immensely versatile and impressive. It also features up to 32x oversampling, which is a feature generally only found in paid plugins.

Anyway, when it comes to plugins like clippers, our choices should always be based more on personal preference than people’s opinions. However, we hope our general classifications help you find your clipper of choice quicker.

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20 Best Plugins For Rock Musicians 2022 (+ 6 FREE Plugins)

Top 14 Trance Plugins (Uplifting, Tech, Progressive, Vocal, Dream, Hard)

Top 10 GOA & PsyTrance Plugins 2022 (Best Psychedelic Trance Tools)

Top 7 Plugins For Dubstep 2022 (With 10 Best FREE Effects & Synths)

 

Top 20 Synthwave Plugins 2022 (+ 11 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 15 Plugins 2022 For Techno, House, Electro, Tech House, UK Garage

Top 6 Plugins For Latin Music 2022 (And 4 FREE Tools)

Top 12 Plugins For Hip-Hop 2022 (+ Best Kontakt Libraries)

Top 7 Plugins For Game & Film Scoring 2022 (+ 6 Best Kontakt Libraries)

Top 10 R&B And Pop Music Plugins & KONTAKT Libraries 2022

30 Best Free Plugins For DnB, EDM, IDM & Experimental Music 2022

 

EQ Plugins

Top 12 Free EQ Plugins 2022 For Precise Mixing & Mastering

Top 9 Mid/Side EQ Plugins 2022 For Mixing & Mastering (+ 2 Free Tools)

Top 7 Graphic EQ Plugins 2022 (With 3 Best Free EQs)

Top 7 EQ Plugins For Mastering In 2022 | And Best FREE Mastering EQs

Top 6 Passive EQ Plugins 2022 (Klevgrand, SPL, UAD, Waves, IK Multimedia)

Top 11 Plugins For Making Metal 2022 (Best Guitars, Drums & Effects)

 

Compressor Plugins

Top 11 Free Compressor Plugins 2022 (VCA, Vari-Mu, FET, Digital)

Top 7 Multiband Compressor Plugins 2022 (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 5 Diode-Bridge Compressor Plugins 2022

Top 6 Mastering Chain Plugins: Complete VST Solutions 2022

Top 10 FET Compressor Plugins 2022

The 7 Best VCA Compressor Plugins 2022 (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 11 Mastering Compressor Plugins 2022 (And 2 FREE Plugins)

Top 10 Opto Compressor Plugins 2022 For Transparent Sound

The 7 Best Vari-Mu Compressor Plugins 2022 (And 2 Best FREE Tools)

 

Reverb & Delay Plugins:

Top 12 Reverb Plugins (And 5 FREE Reverb Plugins)

The 6 Best Spring Reverb VST Plugins 2022 | AudioThing, GSi, u-he, Eventide

Top 12 Delay Plugins For Music Production In 2022 (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 10 FREE Delay Plugins 2022 (VST, AU, AAX)

The 10 Best Convolution Reverb Plugins 2022

 

Metering:

Top 5 Audio Metering Plugins 2022 (LUFS, RMS, LRA, True Peak)

Top 6 Spectrum Analyzer Plugins Of 2022 – Spectral Analysis Tools

Top 6 Oscilloscope Plugins 2022 To See The Waveforms

Top 5 Key Detection Plugins & Software 2022 (+ Best FREE App)

 

Amps & Preamps:

Top 10 Guitar Amp Plugins 2022 (And 5 Best FREE Simulators)

Top 10 Bass Amp Plugins 2022 (And 5 Best Free Simulators)

Top 9 Preamp Plugins 2022 (For Vocals, Guitars & More!) + Free Preamps

 

Kontakt Libraries

20 Best Kontakt Libraries For All Categories 2022 (Synths, Drums, Vocals)

Top 7 Drum Libraries For KONTAKT 2022 (And 4 Freebies)

Top 7 Trap Music Kontakt Libraries 2022 (And Best Lo-Fi Kontakt Library)

Top 7 Metal & Rock Kontakt Libraries 2022 (Best Guitars & Drums)

Top 10 Guitar Libraries For Kontakt 2022 (Acoustic, Electric, Bass & Freebies)

 

Top 7 Trailer Scoring Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 2022

20 Best Free KONTAKT Libraries 2022 For Various Instruments

Top 9 Piano Kontakt Sample Libraries 2022 (And 5 Best Free Pianos)

Top 10 Percussion KONTAKT Libraries 2022 (And 3 Freebies)

Top 7 Kontakt Libraries For Horror & Thriller Scoring 2022 (No VSTs)

 

Audio Restoration, Calibration & Utility:

Top 6 Noise Reduction Plugins 2022 (And 3 Best Free Tools)

6 Best Audio Restoration Plugins & Software 2022

Top 7 Phase Alignment Plugins 2022 To Fix Your Bass & Drums

Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins 2022

 

Instrument Plugins: 

Top 6 Vocoder Plugins 2022 (Effects & Synths + FREE Vocoder)

Top 12 Randomizer Plugins 2022 Including FREE Plugins

Top 6 Kick Drum Plugins 2022 (Best Kick Designer Tools)

Top 12 Woodwind Plugins 2022 (And KONTAKT Libraries)

Top 10 Double Bass Plugins 2022 (Best Upright Basses)

Top 5 Strings VST Plugins 2022 (AND 4 Best Free Instruments)

 

Top 6 Sampler Plugins 2022 (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Classical Guitar Plugins & Kontakt Libraries (And FREE Guitars)

Top 7 Wavetable Synth Plugins 2022

Top 12 Sub Plugins 2022 (Best 808 & Bass Tools For Massive Low End)

Top 10 Plugins On PluginBoutique 2022 (And 7 Best Free Plugins)

Top 11 Plugins On Plugin Alliance 2022

Top 7 Acoustic Guitar Plugins 2022 (And 4 Best Kontakt Libraries)

 

9 Best Bass Guitar Plugins 2022 (And 2 Best Freebies)

Top 6 Electric Guitar Plugins 2022 (Best PAID & FREE Picks)

Top 10 Arpeggiator VST Plugins 2022 (Best Synths, MIDI Effects & Tools)

Top 10 Modular Synth Plugins 2022 (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Choir Plugins & Sample Libraries 2022 (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

11 Best Percussion & Drum VST Plugins In 2022 (And FREE Plugins)

 

Top 8 Piano Plugins 2022 (Best Sounding Pianos & 5 FREE Piano Plugins)

Top 6 Organ Plugins Ever Made 2022 (And 3 Best Free Organs)

Top 14 VST Plugins For Beginners 2022 (And 9 FREE Plugins)

Top 9 Drum Machine Plugins 2022 (And Groovebox Plugins)

4 Best Banjo Plugins 2022 (Best Banjo Instruments)

 

The 5 Best Ukulele Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 2022

Top 13 Synth Plugins 2022 (And 5 Best FREE Synths Plugins)

Top 13 Sequencer Plugins 2022 (Synth, MIDI & Step Sequencers)

The 10 Best Multi-Effect Plugins 2022 (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 12 Plugin Bundles For Musicians 2022 (Synths, Mixing & Mastering)

 

 

Processing & Sound Design:

8 Best Lo-Fi Plugins 2022 (PAID & FREE)

Top 11 Plugins For Mixing Vocals 2022 (For Home Studio)

Top 12 Saturation Plugins In 2022 (Best Mixing & Mastering Tools)

Top 6 Pitch Shifter Plugins 2022 (And 3 Best FREE Pitch Shifters)

Top 6 Chorus VST Plugins 2022 For Musicians (And 3 FREE Plugins)

 

Top 6 Limiter Plugins 2022 For Precise Mastering & Mixing

The 8 Best Filter Plugins 2022 For Precise Cuts & Boosts (+ 5 Free Filters)

6 Best Autotune Plugins 2022 To Improve & Enhance Your Vocals

Top 10 Transient Shaper Plugins 2022 (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 7 Enhancer Plugins 2022 (For Bass, Drums, Vocals & Harmonics)

 

Top 6 Flanger Plugins 2022 (And 5 Best FREE Flanger Emulators)

Top 7 Phaser Plugins 2022 (And 3 Best FREE Phasers)

Top 10 Plugins For Mixing Drums 2022 (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 7 Bitcrusher Plugins 2022 (And 4 Best FREE Bitcrushers + 3 Bonuses)

Top 6 Plugins For Voice-Over & Dialogue Cleaning 2022 (Post Production)

Top 10 Stereo Imaging Plugins 2022 (Best Old & Modern Picks)

 

Top 5 Multiband Limiter Plugins 2022

Top 7 De-Esser Plugins In 2022 For Better Vocals (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Chord Generator Plugins 2022 That Inspire Melodies (+ FREE Tools)

7 Best Exciter Plugins 2022 For Mixing & Mastering

Top 7 Channel Strip Plugins 2022 (And 2 Best Free Plugins)

 

Top 11 Distortion Plugins 2022 (And 4 Top Free Plugins)

Top 5 Comb Filter & Resonator Plugins 2022 | Melda, Kilohearts, Tritik

The 7 Best Vibrato VST Plugins of 2022 | Audec, Audiority, Melda

The 7 Best Tremolo Plugins 2022 | Eventide, Melda, SoundToys, Kuassa…

The 7 Best Harmonizer Plugins 2022 | Eventide, Melda, Aegean Music

7 Best Sidechain Plugins 2022 (VST, AU, AAX) | Xfer, Cableguys..

 

Top 10 Noise Gate Plugins 2022 (And 6 FREE Free Gate Tools)

The 6 Best Ring Modulator VST Plugins in 2022 | KiloHearts, Melda

7 Best Autopan VST Plugins 2022 | CableGuys, Melda, Waves, Soundtoys

The 6 Best Frequency Shifter VST Plugins Of 2022

Top 11 Granulizer Plugins 2022 For Future Sound Design

29 Best Sound Design VST Plugins In 2022

 

DAW Related:

Best DAWs For Musicians Available in 2022 (With FREE DAWs)

How To Develop DAW Software?

What’s The Most CPU Efficient DAW? – 5 DAWs Compared

How To Make Music Without Using A DAW?

Pro Tools Guide: How To Use AutoTune & Pitch Correction?

Ableton Review: Is It Worth The Money? (Cons & Pros)

Logic Pro X Review: Is It Worth It? (Cons & Pros)

How To Use Auto-tune & Pitch Correction In Cubase?

How To Fix Ableton Crackling, Crashing & Freezing? Step By Step

 

Plugin Related:

What Are Audio Plugins? Different Types of Plugins Explained

What Are The Best Tools To Develop VST Plugins & How Are They Made?

Cost of Developing Audio VST Plugin: Several Factors (With Table)

VST, VST, AU and AAX – What’s The Difference? Plugin Formats Explained

Complete Guide To Noise Gate – What It Is, What It Does & How To Use It?

How To Clip My Drums? Here Is How & Audio Teasers (Before/After)

 

Complete Guide To Limiter: How To Use It (+ Best Plugins & Analog Limiters)

Mixing With Reverb: How To Add Life To Your Mixes

Linear Phase vs Minimum Phase EQ – Full Guide

Difference Between LUFS, RMS & True Peak Loudness Meters

How And When To Use Algorithmic And Convolution Reverb In Your Mix?

Difference Between Active EQ, Passive EQ and Dynamic EQ

 

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