What is Clipping?

Clipping meaning in Digital terms is The abrupt truncation of a signal when the signal exceeds a system’s ability to differentiate signal values above or below a particular level. In the case of images, the result is that there is no differentiation of light tones when the clipping is at the high end of signal amplitude, and no differentiation of dark tones when clipping occurs at the low end of signal amplitude. For digital audio, clipping occurs when the signal is restricted by the selected bit depth (which represents amplitude). In a system using 16-bit signed integers, 32767 is the largest positive value that can be represented. If input levels are set so that excursions above that are permitted, then clipping will result and some information will be lost.


reference: Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative – Glossary