Initial Clipper from Initial Audio is a free VST/AU effect plugin that will prevent your audio signal from going above zero decibels.

Audio clipping happens when an audio signal exceeds zero decibles, often resulting in distortion. Using a soft clipper is one of the easiest ways to smooth the peaks.

Initial Audio’s Initial Clipper plugin features four dials: Input Gain, Threshold, Saturation Positive and Saturation Negative, along with a handy real-time peak display showing the input signal’s peak volume, allowing you to easily visualize how much clipping is applied. Simply set the threshold and once the audio reaches that level, soft clipping will be applied. The faster and higher the peaks, the more you need to bring down the threshold to get a pleasing sound.

The positive and negative saturation parameters allow you to add extra harmonic and non-harmonic saturation, resulting in extra fatness and warmth to the overall mix. Note, the saturation is applied to the whole audio signal and not just the peaks, so will decrease dynamic range.

Finally, a LUFS Meter will show you how loud your mix is, which is especially helpful when the plugin is applied to the master channel. All of these features are packed in a clean, resizable GUI with a dark colour scheme.

Initial Clipper is available to download for free today as a VST2/VST3 for 64-bit Windows, or AU/VST2/VST3 for macOS computers (with compatibility for Big Sur and Apple silicon). The download is 30MB and Initial Audio promise a lifetime of free updates. Head here, click ADD TO CART, then register for an account. You’ll find the plugin under “My Account” – “My downloads”.