I tested a kick drum track and it seems that the clipping is worse on tracks with a greater average loudness but not as strong of peaks. Check it out.
The kick drum track I imported has a peak of 0db (after normalization.) The average volume is about -13 db.
A professional piano track I imported has a peak of about -2 on the left channel and -1 on the right. However its average volume is about -10 db. Here’s what is peculiar:
So when I filter the kick drum track with StudioEQ (don’t have anything as fancy as FabFilter), the distortion is inaudible when I cut 40-100Hz.
On the other hand, the piano track distortion does not disappear filtering any certain frequency range. It basically needs a low pass filter on the whole spectrum, but nothing else will really treat it. If you had to choose, between 200-1000Hz is the best cut.
Please let me know if there is something I can do better. I don’t know if I’ve done well on this test!