The point at which a signal begins to distort. Clipping occurs in analog and digital audio circuits when the incoming signal exceeds what a particular device can accommodate. Visually, it results in the flattening of the signal peaks, as if the waveform had been "clipped" off. In certain analog circuits light clipping can have a positive effect, producing a pleasing distortion. In digital circuits the general rule is that clipping is to be avoided at all costs, since it produces a nasty and harsh sound.