Clipmax – Free Clipper VST/AU Plugin Released By Chokehold


Chokehold has announced the release of Clipmax, a freeware clipper effect in VST/AU plugin formats for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows and Mac OS based digital audio workstations.

The plugin is fairly basic feature-wise and therefore very easy to use. The Pre Gain and Post Gain knobs are there to boost or tame the volume on the input and the output, whereas the Ceiling knob sets the clipper threshold (it can be pushed all the way down to -24 dB). With these three controls, Clipmax can easily go all the way from very subtle clipping of the peaks (which often does a great job at putting drums and other transient rich audio material under control) to crazy hard clipping distortion.

The plugin also features an auto gain switch (labeled as AGC on the interface) and a dedicated bypass control. The auto gain feature works surprisingly well, managing to preserve the same perceived loudness levels even at extreme clip settings (turn on the AGC feature and gradually lower the ceiling control to hear this effect in action). It is extremely useful for speeding up your mixing workflow, particularly if you want to drop Clipmax on a channel and tame the dynamics a bit without having to re-tweak the volume levels manually.

This is Chokehold’s first C++ plugin and it goes to show that we can expect some great things from this talented developer in the future. The plugin does its job very well, it’s stable and bug free, well designed, fully skinnable and easy on the CPU. Most importantly, Clipmax can be used on both Windows and Mac OS (on 32-bit and 64-bit platforms) which is not something that most freeware clippers out there have to offer (for example, my favorite free clipper GClip isn’t compatible with Mac OS).

What I’d love to see in a (potential) future Clipmax update is a soft knee control. The addition of that control would probably make Clipmax my go-to clipper effect, because I really like its design and the fact that it’s so easy to use. A soft/hard knee control would make it possible to achieve more pleasant sounding clipping effects, which is something that I like to use in sound design or even as a simple (and often very CPU friendly) saturation/distortion technique in mixing.

Chokehold has previously released several interesting sample based virtual instruments. A freeware kick drum instrument called Dark VX Kick Drum was released last week, following a similar snare drum instrument called Black Noh Snare.


Clipmax is available for free download via Chokehold’s website (5.20 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin format for Windows & Mac OS).

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Tomislav is a music producer and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief at Bedroom Producers Blog.


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