Shows statistics of wave files in order to detect clipping and compression.

This tool helps to recognize badly mastered music as it is quite common for today's CDs unfortunately.

Key words are: clipping, dynamic range compression, clippressed, loudness war/race, limiting, hot mastering, brick wall limiter, dynamics.

Common audio and video formats are supported.


Analysis of a CD

Complete analysis of a piece

This song was hard limited and nevertheless normalized to ca. -3 dB for the CD, therefore the pumped up loudness was reduced again to some extent, but at lower sound quality.
Possibly this was to bring the loudness in line with other songs retroactively.
Simpler clipping detectors don't recognize any clipping in those cases!

On the same CD you can find an example for good mastering.

What are the criteria for good mastering?

A natural, dynamic sound without any rasping, at rather low overall volume!
  • The RMS value calculated by ClippingAnalyzer should be lower than -15 dB, it must not be higher (i.e. louder) than -10 dB.
  • Clipping should be absent or very sporadic.
  • The waveform should look sparse on top and bottom, similar to wild bushes, not like a sharpely cut hedge.
  • The histogram should fall of smoothly to 0 dB from the mid to the edges, similar to a bell curve.
  • The line shown in the distribution analysis should stay in the green range and be rather straight according to the yellow line.
  • NEW! The Compression indicator should be below 15%.

Listen to a piece


How to test a record


Microsoft Excel (97 or later) is needed.

To support all common media file formats (other than standard WAV), FFmpeg is used.

To directly rip a CD Exact Audio Copy has to be installed.

To listen a file, VLC media player is used if it is installed. Otherwise a Windows Media Player component is used
With Windows Vista/7 and above it is recommended to install VLC media player.
Otherwise please use the file ClippingAnalyzer_VistaWMP.xls.
You are prompted to grant permission for ActiveX Controls when you open this document.
Oddly, the used preinstalled Microsoft component is affected as well.

Rip and analyze a CD

ClippingAnalyzer extracts the tracks of the inserted CD to WAV files and analyzes them (batch mode).

The files are saved temporarily in the subfolder TmpEAC.
Optionally the tracks are saved as "MP3" in the compression format set in EAC, in addition to the WAV files.

Analyse files

You can analyze either a single file or several files together (batch mode).

Lossless formats are preferred (like WAV, FLAC, APE). Lossy formats (like MP3) are supported as well, but clippings can't be precisely detected.
If you'd don't see the file in the open file dialog, choose "All Files".

When multiple files are analyzed, the result is shown as a list in the sheet BatchClipResult.
Double click on a filename to get a complete analysis including all graphs.

The result can be exported as PNG (picture).

It is possible to use the command line, even in batch mode.

Listen to affected parts

Using the integrated player, you can listen directly to the parts where heavy clipping was found.
Multiple short and consecutive clippings are more disturbing for the ears than sporadic long clippings.

Save and combine results

You can simply save the Excel workbook with a new name.

The additional tool CollectResults.xls merges the results of several workbooks and offers further analysis.

New from version 2.6

Histogram and distribution analysis now show peak normalized values.
This ensures that the results can be compared even if the peak level was reduced during final mastering as shown in the above example.

Download Version 2.12



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