Old 06-16-2020, 10:33 PM   #1
Roger Mallison
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Default The VU Meter "A Suggestion"

Can I may a suggestion about the VU Meter, I have used Broadcast Desk's in the 1970.s in Radio Stations where they were used extensively, Ballistics of the meter don't seem to have the enough adjustment to get them looking right, I spent time looking for a National Semi Conductor Data Manual where the spec's and circuit is available haven't found it yet. The response time can be adjusted to 300 milliseconds, Adjustment for the release comes in whole numbers and doesn't give it in milliseconds. From what I've found on the internet the attack should be 300 milliseconds and release the same 300 milliseconds. what would be better is a calibration control so you can adjust it from 18 db of headroom to a level where it matches a reference track that you calibrate to for Mastering a track to level on the known reference track ie: Adele I miss You is -0.1 DB below FSD and just about hits Zero VU ON THE REAPER METER. Just to loud from IAN SHERHERD'S POINT OF VIEW DAW's have peak meters which is no good to determine the average level of a track so that's why they started using the VU plugins. Check out the VU's at Waves and Mymeter2 "freeware" the ballistics are better and it's adjustable. Unless you use computer code and that's what's needed here to make the necessary adjustments to the Reaper VU. I have both the Waves and Mymeter2 plugin. the reference adjustment would be good if it came in half DB increments for a finer adjustments for matching tracks in mastering, check-out the Home Mastering Show with Ian Shepherd

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Old 06-16-2020, 10:55 PM   #2
ramses
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Get a decent LUFS plugin. It will solve your problems. There are tons of decent VU/LUFS/RMS metering plugins out there, even free ones. I believe there's even a LUFS script somewhere in the forums that will render, check lufs, re-render and so on, until the desired lufs is achieved. Brilliant. I just use lufs live to get in the ballpark most of the time though, mostly for referencing, but also to train myself to work more at consistent levels.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LKFS
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Old 06-17-2020, 12:38 AM   #3
ramses
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Also, there's an action in Reaper (or it's in the SWS library maybe) that will normalize audio to -23 LUFS. You can use that to get your reference tracks in check, and just adjust manually up or down +-X dB to get to the -dB LUFS you want as your reference point. Good luck.
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Old 06-17-2020, 02:21 AM   #4
valy
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What's weird to me is that the ballistics on the VUMT meter and the Waves VU meter are completely different even when both are set to 300 ms / 300 ms.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:02 PM   #5
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VU meters were a compromise with limitations due to it's mechanical design. It was designed to give an indication of loudness while being fast enough to also give some indication of the peaks. From what I remember, there was an "overshoot" so they could show higher than reality under some conditions. It was good for analog recording, and most important it was a standard.


With digital recording, peaks are the most important thing because you need to avoid clipping. Otherwise digital levels are not that critical and meters really aren't that important unless you are working with live audio.


If you are working live, it's probably best to have peak and LUFS meters (or SPL meters).


If you are recording/mixing you can use a loudness analyzer which gives you a more accurate & reliable result compared to watching a meter.


Quote:
What's weird to me is that the ballistics on the VUMT meter and the Waves VU meter are completely different even when both are set to 300 ms / 300 ms.
I don't know anything about the VUMT meter but it should be easy to digitally simulate the inertia and other characteristics of a real VU meter (if you wanted to).
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valy View Post
What's weird to me is that the ballistics on the VUMT meter and the Waves VU meter are completely different even when both are set to 300 ms / 300 ms.

Hmm, could you please prove this?


VUMT/mvMeter2/Waves VU show the same ballistics.
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Old 06-17-2020, 11:53 PM   #7
ramses
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVDdoug View Post
With digital recording, peaks are the most important thing because you need to avoid clipping. Otherwise digital levels are not that critical and meters really aren't that important unless you are working with live audio.
Well. This is debatable. Many plugins are optimized for certain input levels. It's fairly common. Also, if you work in any kind of hybrid analog/digital environment you have to be conscious about levels. I would also argue that keeping your levels under control for monitoring will always be important, and of course this is easier if you have your metering in order. YMMV.
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Old 06-18-2020, 03:59 AM   #8
valy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBProAudio View Post
Hmm, could you please prove this?


VUMT/mvMeter2/Waves VU show the same ballistics.
It's been a while since I tested them side by side. Now that I do it again, the ballistics look the same...maybe what I was remembering was the jerky-looking movement of the VUMT needle. It's not smooth like the Waves meter, almost as if it's running at a lot lower frames per second. Not sure how much of that will come across in this video, but it's quite noticeable in actual usage.

Still, I use VUMT because it has other features like gain-staging.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1C4T...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 07-03-2020, 07:51 AM   #9
Roger Mallison
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Default Recored a Sine Wave @+0.1dB

I discovered that it needs a Sine Wave @ +0.1dB "recorded in Adobe Audition
because I know how to do it in this DAW" to get the meter to read zero the digital
read out says it's +0.17dB IT NEEDS AN ADJUSTMENT SO IT CAN BE CALIBRATED. I CAN'T
READ THE CODE TO FIND OUT WHAT IT'S DOING, can some one read the code ? WHAT
COMPUTER LANGUAGE IS IT WRITTEN IN. Since this was written I found a song that is
loud enough to drive the meter to zero Adele's Hello from Adele 25 has flat top
audio from 2 minutes thirty eight seconds my LUFS METER SAYS THE TRUE PEAK IS
0.1dB I can see what's it's doing now it has the Ballistics of a PPM Meter or very
close it's just to fast the R C VALUES TIME CONSTANTS OF THE AMPLIFER SHOULD BE
PART OF THE CODE and the Meter movement may not have the right dampening also.

Last edited by Roger Mallison; 07-03-2020 at 08:25 AM. Reason: Updated with more information
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