Initial Clipper Is A FREE Soft Clipper Plugin By Initial Audio


Initial Audio releases Initial Clipper, a freeware soft clipper effect in VST and AU plugin formats for digital audio workstations on Windows and macOS.

Initial Clipper is a soft clipper plugin with a few extra bells and whistles. Namely, it features a real-time peak display, a LUFS meter, and additional saturation controls.

Let’s start with the saturation controls. Initial Clipper sports two separate saturation knobs (Positive and Negative), which apply harmonic and non-harmonic distortion, respectively. Thanks to these controls, you can add extra harmonics to your signal on top of those already generated by soft clipping.

The only other two control parameters are the Input Gain and Threshold knobs. These control the soft clipper circuit. Input Gain boosts the signal volume on the input, and Threshold sets the level at which the clipping occurs.

The real-time peak display at the top of the interface shows the input signal’s peak volume. It’s a convenient way to visualize how much clipping is applied to the signal.

Lastly, the LUFS meter on the output helps monitor the signal loudness. That’s a handy feature if you’re using the plugin on the master channel. I often place a clipper before the limiter to give the signal a subtle loudness boost.

The GUI looks nice and clean, with a dark color scheme that’s easy on the eyes. More importantly, it’s resizable by clicking and dragging the bottom-right corner.

So there you go; Initial Clipper is a soft clipper with several extra features, all of which are pretty useful. The saturation controls are my favorite, and I think I’ll keep Initial Clipper in my sound design arsenal.

Here’s more info from the product page:

“Initial Clipper is a free soft clipper plugin that prevents your audio signal from going above zero decibels. It does this by smoothing the peaks with soft clipping starting from the threshold. The faster and higher the peaks, the more you need to bring down the threshold to get a pleasing sound.”

Initial Clipper is free to download from Initial Audio’s website. A valid email address is required to complete the checkout process. You’ll find the download on the My Account page.

If you’re looking for more ways to distort your audio, check out our free BPB Dirty Filter and BPB Saturator plugins.

Download: Initial Clipper (12.9 MB download size, ZIP archive, 64-bit VST2/VST3/AU plugin formats for Windows & macOS)

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About Author

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


  1. the gui probably takes up 90% of the cpu usage. would rather just put a soft clipper and then look at it through a multimeter

  2. This looks awesome. I have a couple Initial Audio plugins and like them quite a bit so I’m looking forward to trying this free one out. Thanks I.A. and BPB.

  3. Hey Initial Audio,

    your installer wants to install into some default directory instead of asking the user to point to the right folder (which is best practice). Initial Clipper looks nice at first glance, but I reckon there is no oversampling implemented? If any sort of processor needs oversampling I will definitely say it’s clippers!

    Thanks for the freebie nevertheless

  4. Alternatively ClipOnly2 which approaches clipping differently. Rather than something like a waveshaper that curves toward the flat top of the clipper’s threshold, ClipOnly2 instead does a hard clip but it interpolates any clipped sample with the last unclipped sample, removing hard edges in the waveform while also not affecting anything under the clipping threshold, without the gibbs effect present in typical barebones hard clippers.. And it doesn’t have a big fancy UI full of meters most of us already have in our mixer.

    It doesn’t have asymmetrical saturation added to the plugin as well like Initial Clipper but I think most people like having different effects separated for more control over the signal flow anyway.

  5. Thanks again Tomislav, BPB & IA 👍
    This is very handy with the GUI & the soft clipping sounds nice & transparent too 😊

  6. Michal Ochedowski


    If anyone is interested, Initial Clipper has been updated. It also now includes VST2 version. I finally got around to testing it and the results are surprisingly good. Even when pushed with Input Gain and with Threshold set low, this plugin doesn’t seem to add unpleasant artifacts. LUFS meter is also very handy. I found it to be accurate. In comparison with other free plugin which I use all the time, there was only 0.2 LU of difference between them. No idea which plugin was closer to the true reading, because with such small fluctuations it doesn’t matter. Very nice.

    • Michal Ochedowski


      I forgot to mention clean looking resizable GUI. It really is pleasant to work with. Saturation divided to Positive and Negative portion of the signal sounds great. To sum it up Initial Clipper can control peaks while remaining clean. If someone wants to beef up the sound a little or a lot, those 2 handy knobs are there.

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