Here is my recording of New Year’s 2012. Recording time was from 11:53 PM, 2011 to about 12:21 AM, 2012. This was made using the same equipment as in “Springtime Ambience 2010 (updated)” and “Ambience Recording.” I used a free VST plugin called “Broadcast” which seems to work very well at preventing digital clipping. However, there is quite a bit of white noise due to the inexpensive electret condenser microphones, and the large amount of gain in the VST processing. I can assure you there is no digital clipping distortion on the recording.
Waveform for sound at approximately -24:44 on the counter (click picture for high resolution view)
This view of the initial attack of a loud explosion shows some flattening of the waveform. The sound doesn’t seem to have audible clipping distortion, but I think it is actually analog clipping occurring in the microphone preamplifier. This kind of distortion is generally considered less objectionable. I think when listening carefully, some of this effect can be heard as a slightly higher pitched “crack” at the beginning of some of the explosions. As I said before there is no digital distortion and the peak level throughout is no higher than -.37 db.
I almost forgot… Happy New Year!