How much headroom adjustment is too much?

I created a convolution filter and put it in place several evenings ago. The filter is not really boosting anything (I think), it is not doing much other than attenuating some upper midrange frequencies.

Some time later I noticed some clipping in the right speaker on one specific song. This after I listened to a fair amount of music without noticing anything audibly wrong.

I engaged headroom management on the default -3 setting and was still getting clipping. Increased the reduction until the clipping indicator did not flash and that brought me to -8. I did not know the clipping indicator existed prior to this, and didn’t try with/without convolution to see if it was clipping without… Embarrassingly, the track happened during a rabbit hole I was following and I don’t remember the artist or the track.

That’s a lot of words to get to my questions:

Does the need for a -8 HM setting indicate an issue that I should address? Or is within the “reasonable” range of adjustment.

Does anyone have an example of a track that clips easily that I could check with/without my filter and determine how much my filter is contributing?


Artist: The Nude Party
Album: Rides On
Track: Word Gets Around

I discovered the History feature and this is the track on which I noticed it. With no sample rate conversion and all filters bypassed and headroom enabled and set to zero, this does not clip. If I enable my convolution filter it requires the (seemingly) aggressive headroom adjustment. Does this indicate I’ve botched my filter and need to do something differently?


I’ve done convolution filters for all the freq where the headroom was set to -7. Watched the clipping for some time an all looked ok. Mainly classical music but after some days wanted to listen to a trap/hiphop album and sounded wrong. When enabled the clipping indicator again it was going red like crazy so I ended up to -9 headroom. I have exactly your question, it is something wrong with my filter that it needs -9 headroom. Sound-wise it was ok (the LA4 volume indicator still never went above 0.0 with my NAD C 298). I no longer use those filters, I need to redo measurements as I added a Zen stream and HQP. For the moment I have a txt file from REW in HQP just for the lower freq.

As I share the same question I’m waiting for others to post a more knowledgeable response.

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