Ogg: Lossy compression - a weapon against hard clipping? 2020-07-19 15:52:54 Hi all, I've recently bought an album (Scarab - Martyrs of the Storm) and noticed extreme clipping in the mastered audio. This is nothing particularly new - especially rock songs suffer from loud, compressed mastering a lot ("Death Magnetic"), but this was the worst case I've heard, yet. To my knowledge, there is no real way to fix this type of distortion, since it isn't caused by my software or audio equipment, but written into the actual audio data. I got very upset, because I like the music a lot, but the constant scratching quite ruined the experience and my in-ear headphones made the clipping sound even worse, almost unlistenable. Then I remembered that I once heard a song on Youtube that I know had clipping at one point and was surprised that I almost couldn't hear it online, I assumed because of the lossy compression at 480p. Unfortunately, I can't remember which exact song that was. I thought it was at least a bit logical to just try it out and sure enough: As I re-encoded the album in Ogg Vorbis -q 4, the clipping got much less pronounced. There is a noticeable degradation in quality as well, especially in the high-end, but the music is at least listenable, especially on my headphones, which I took as the determining factor for me. I've also tried encoding the album as MP3s, but with lower bitrates, the sound just got progessively worse without actually diminishing the clipping and just introducing more audible artifacts. Currently, I'm trying different quality levels to find out where the sweet spot between the subjectively unlistenable FLACs and Vorbis is. I wonder if this could be related to the lowpass that Vorbis introduces at -q 6, which also already seems to reduce the scratching a bit, compared to the lossless versions. I've also dug out some other albums that have always annoyed me because of their clipping sound (Arch Enemy - Stigmata & Nile - In Their Darkened Shrines) and am testing different quality levels, but I'm still unsure what actually works and where my ears might just trick me. Has anybody else tried using lossy compression in this way before? I haven't tried out Opus yet, because I've never used it, but I also want to look into it. Could that work even better? Also, this is a very subjective list, of course. Is someone in a similar situation and would be willing to do some tests with their selection of songs or post them for me to try? I'd be interested in the results.