Hard Clipping produces a lot of high order harmonic and inter-modulation distortion, well at least it does at the wrong settings! This will sound unmusical, harsh, edgy and aggressive.
Take a look at the harmonic generation of FF Pro-L with a 1 KHz sine wave only being clipped by 1 dB with no Oversampling or Lookahead
Yes, it will sound as bad as it looks. You wouldn’t want to take this home to meet the parents!
Now take a look at Pro-L with the same source but with 4X Oversampling and 1 MS Lookahead
That is much better, but can we get it even cleaner?
Same setting as above but with 5 MS of Lookahead!
Perfection my friend!
You might say, yes but Paul, larger Lookahead values will soften my transients and I don’t want that! This is certainly the case when limiting but when hard clipping you are only attenuating the spikiest of peaks, so higher lookahead will not soften desired transients, as the source remains completely linear under the threshold.
So to answer your question, a subtle amount of hard clipping before limiting can be desirable if you focus the threshold so you are only processing undesirable spiky transients and let your limiter with its gentler settings raise overall level.