Old 09-18-2020, 04:10 PM   #1
Codeseven
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Default How to set Gain/Volume into Plugin(s)

Simple question but Iíve got myself confused enough not to know an answer.

I just want to start my plugin stack at -18dbfs RMS (as that seems to be a general consensus range to run into plugins), specifically Slate Trigger 2. I have a Klanghelm VUMT meter but despite looking at the manual I donít know how to use it.

Iím recording drums and most concerned about the snare and kick. The snare seems it would be particularly difficult to get an accurate RMS reading on because of the varying quiet ghost notes compared to the smack of a rim shot. How can the VUMT meter show me the averages?

I would really appreciate someone explaining how to use the VUMT meter, the videos Iíve come across all talk about itís features and not so much about how to read it.

My interface gain is set so the meters in Reaper peak at about -6.

Signal path- Mics->Presonus Quantum->Reaper 6.


Thanks
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:37 PM   #2
ashcat_lt
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Just record it loud enough so it doesn't have too much noise but low enough that it doesn't clip. Adjust the sensitivity knob in the Slate thing so that it triggers the way you want.

For other plugins, if input volume matters, they usually have knobs for that too, and you adjust that until it sounds good.

Ignore anybody who tells you different because they're just parroting half-understood information about general rules of thumb that never actually applied to much of anything.
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Old 09-18-2020, 05:25 PM   #3
Codeseven
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Thanks ashcat.

Iíve been driving myself crazy wanting to get the signal into Trigger correctly. I keep reading itís critical for plugins emulating analog gear like drums to receive the right gain in order to operate correctly. Lots of opinions out there. Figured I better buy a good VU meter plugin or Iíll risk screwing it up
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:54 AM   #4
Codeseven
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Well, I figure since I bought the VUMT I should at least know how to read it

I was thinking, something that would really help is if I could send a known value signal thru Reaper it would give me a great visual of how that known value looks on the different meters at different settings.

Is that something that a tone generator (or other plugin) can be used for? How would I go about doing that?
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Old 09-19-2020, 01:40 PM   #5
ashcat_lt
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You might be better off using something like pink noise. Insert plugin before meter in the FX of any track. Learn what you can.

The thing is though that RMS is an average over time, and a snare doesnít generally last very long. Itíll be REALLY LOUD for few ms, then decay quickly and then thereís a bunch of silence til the next hit. Average that over (standard VU time) 300ms, and it comes out pretty low. Try to turn it up to average -18dbFS, and itíll very likely clip.
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Old 09-19-2020, 03:14 PM   #6
Codeseven
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Thanks ash, Iíll check that out.

I used the JS: Tone Generator, placed it first in line and set it to -18.0, then went thru the various available VUMT screens to see what -18 looked like and how changing the Trim Levels and Types affected things, pretty interesting and really helped me to visualize it.

Is Ďpink noiseí much different than using the Tone Generator tone? Or better suited for what Iím trying to accomplish? Thanks
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Old 09-19-2020, 04:16 PM   #7
ashcat_lt
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The RMS of a sine wave is usually something like 3db less than it's peak (actually depends on the relationship betwen its frequency and the RMS window, but...), and the JS tone generator's volume slider sets the peak output. Course, some meters compensate for that one or another.

Pink noise is more like actual music and if you set the peak output to 0 (it will only kind of randomly hit that every once in a while), the RMS will be somewhere around -13, which is just about right for a final mastered mix of not-super-smashed song.
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Old 09-19-2020, 04:23 PM   #8
Codeseven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
The RMS of a sine wave is usually something like 3db less than it's peak (actually depends on the relationship betwen its frequency and the RMS window, but...), and the JS tone generator's volume slider sets the peak output. Course, some meters compensate for that one or another.

Pink noise is more like actual music and if you set the peak output to 0 (it will only kind of randomly hit that every once in a while), the RMS will be somewhere around -13, which is just about right for a final mastered mix of not-super-smashed song.

Thanks!
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Old 09-19-2020, 06:37 PM   #9
Codeseven
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I ran a -18.0 tone from the JS Generator into VUMT in Standard VU mode, Type-RMS, Trim Level- 0.0, and noted the needle staying on -18. I also ticked Hold and Value. I went into Settings and brought the Hold time down to 2.0.

I then recorded a snare track including light ghost notes and heavy hits and adjusted the interfaces gain control before each recording till when played I could note the ghost notes towards the bottom of the VU scale and the heavy hits into the red, but the orange Hold needle stays hovering over -18. I’m assuming this means the orange Hold needle is indicating the RMS average (I could be wrong on that!). The bottom left Value stays around -18.

I then fed this signal into Trigger 2.

The Trigger 2 manual calls to ‘Set the input volume first, and raise the level until most hits are peaking near the top of the display. This will ensure maximum range for dynamic velocity triggering of our samples.’ One thing I noticed is that with this signal the hits are peaking perfectly near the top of the Trigger display. (the Input Volume is set at 0.0). So it would seem the -18.0 average signal strength is correct.

Does that sound right?
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:56 AM   #10
Codeseven
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Anyone familiar with or use this meter?
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