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VU meters for Adobe Audition

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Anonymous
September 21, 2004 4:24:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi all,

I wish Audition had a nice set of VU meters like that offered by
vb-audio...one with real VU balistics. I would purchase the one from
vb-audio, but I'm not sure I want to open a Direct-X plug-in every
time I want to VU-meter my work.

For instance, if I'm applying a limiter in the editor window, and
previewing it, I want to meter it as well to see the affects on the
VU.

I may just need to buy it anyway. Open limiter, apply it, meter it,
un-do limiter, re-do limiter with different settings, meter it, etc...
Very inefficient.

Does anyone know of another solution? Non-hardware....

Mike Putrino

More about : meters adobe audition

Anonymous
September 21, 2004 11:20:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Michael Putrino <putrino@juno.com> wrote:
>
>Does anyone know of another solution? Non-hardware....

What's wrong with hardware? Adding decent metering to your monitoring system
is never a bad idea, and not all that expensive.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 21, 2004 11:42:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:

>What's wrong with hardware? Adding decent metering to your monitoring system
>is never a bad idea, and not all that expensive.

Have a favorite digital meter?

Logitek? RTW? Durrough?

--
Len Moskowitz PDAudio, Binaural Mics, Cables, DPA, M-Audio
Core Sound http://www.stealthmicrophones.com
Teaneck, New Jersey USA http://www.core-sound.com
moskowit@core-sound.com Tel: 201-801-0812, FAX: 201-801-0912
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 12:16:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Len Moskowitz <moskowit@panix.com> wrote:
>Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:
>
>>What's wrong with hardware? Adding decent metering to your monitoring system
>>is never a bad idea, and not all that expensive.
>
>Have a favorite digital meter?
>
>Logitek? RTW? Durrough?

I bought an RTW meter, and it was wonderful. And it cost me a lot more than
it should have, and the support from the US importer was basically nonexistent.

But if he wants real VU meters, why bother with digital? A couple nice
Simpson meters on the output of the monitor DAC will do nicely.

The reason that I went with the RTW meters is that they could do VU ballistics,
peak level, and peak hold all simultaneously on the same display, and they had
more segments than anything else out there.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 5:38:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Michael Putrino wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I wish Audition had a nice set of VU meters like that offered by
> vb-audio...one with real VU balistics.

Why on earth would anyone actually *want* VU ballistics ? Possibly the
most meaningless measue of audio level available.

The ballistics simply relate to the inherent limitations of moving coil
meters ! Why be so limited ?

Curious.


Graham
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 3:50:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <4150C99B.95216575@hotmail.com> rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com writes:

> > I wish Audition had a nice set of VU meters like that offered by
> > vb-audio...one with real VU balistics.
>
> Why on earth would anyone actually *want* VU ballistics ? Possibly the
> most meaningless measue of audio level available.

I won't try to make you prove it as some here do, but I'll disagree. I
find that with proper calibration (once), I can get a good sense of
levels (at least of what I record) with a VU meter. Of course you need
to learn how to interpret it and recognize how it responds, but I
don't feel comfortable working without one when I have to set
recording levels. But that's just my subjective opinion.

> The ballistics simply relate to the inherent limitations of moving coil
> meters ! Why be so limited ?

Actually, they build moving coil meters with very specific ballistic
response for VU applications. Anything else isn't a real VU meter and
doesn't work like one. (and, as you suggest, isn't terribly useful for
the tasks we usually use it for)


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 6:15:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 21 Sep 2004 12:24:43 -0700, putrino@juno.com (Michael Putrino)
wrote:

>I wish Audition had a nice set of VU meters like that offered by
>vb-audio...one with real VU balistics.

Why? I thought VU ballistics were an unfortunate limitation, not a
virtue?

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 6:15:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <sku2l0psc1r3f8itm2rc2elsnl26ecv23j@4ax.com>,
Laurence Payne <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>On 21 Sep 2004 12:24:43 -0700, putrino@juno.com (Michael Putrino)
>wrote:
>
>>I wish Audition had a nice set of VU meters like that offered by
>>vb-audio...one with real VU balistics.
>
>Why? I thought VU ballistics were an unfortunate limitation, not a
>virtue?

I kind of like them. VU meters give you a good general indication of
perceived loudness. And, after decades of using them, people get used
to them.

In the modern digital era, they are a lot less useful than peak meters, but
they are still nice to have around. That's why it's so nice to have digital
meters with both peak and average needles.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
September 22, 2004 11:04:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Good point! With an open spec book, how about bargraph meters with a
few different sections - at least (say) a white VU-like baseline, a
similar-but-zero-attack-time orange bar above that, and a red bar
above that which maintained peaks, but gradually faded away (my next
project?)? Maybe add a dimension to show all that against frequency (a
tad more complex to do it right, as opposed to just making it look
pretty)? Ignoring all that (and also the restraints of existing gear),
what kind of presentation would really best suit the application?

On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 01:38:51 +0100, Pooh Bear
<rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>Why on earth would anyone actually *want* VU ballistics ? Possibly the
>most meaningless measue of audio level available.
>
>The ballistics simply relate to the inherent limitations of moving coil
>meters ! Why be so limited ?
>
>Curious.
>
>
>Graham

Tony (remove the "_" to reply by email)
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 11:04:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <qdf2l0133p4ge3vp1bu6gr3nit6h0cj2jp@4ax.com> tony_roe@tpg.com.au writes:

> Good point! With an open spec book, how about bargraph meters with a
> few different sections - at least (say) a white VU-like baseline, a
> similar-but-zero-attack-time orange bar above that, and a red bar
> above that which maintained peaks, but gradually faded away (my next
> project?)? Maybe add a dimension to show all that against frequency (a
> tad more complex to do it right, as opposed to just making it look
> pretty)?

I'd be careful that you aren't making it too busy. Remember that a
meter that we use to mointor and set recording levels isn't something
that we stare at constantly, but need to be able to see out of the
corner of an eye and instantly process what it's telling us.

I'm happy with a standard mechanical VU meter and an LED on the scale
that tells me when I've reached an off-scale peak value that might
concern me (like maybe 2 dB below digital full scale).

My Mackie HDR24/96 has pretty useless LED ladder meters, but the meter
display on the video monitor is much better except that it's too
small. I'd like to see a full screen version of that display, but it's
not to be, at least on that recorder. It has a vertical ladder-like
display for peak level with a vertical solid bar next to it that's a
slower average level (though only a very rough approximation of VU
response). I can get a pretty good sense of loudness by looking at the
difference between the average bar and an eyeball average of the peak
level indicator, and can also see if I'm getting dangerously close to
digital clipping.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
September 24, 2004 3:22:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Laurence Payne" <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:sku2l0psc1r3f8itm2rc2elsnl26ecv23j@4ax.com...
> On 21 Sep 2004 12:24:43 -0700, putrino@juno.com (Michael Putrino)
> wrote:
>
>>I wish Audition had a nice set of VU meters like that offered by
>>vb-audio...one with real VU balistics.
>
> Why? I thought VU ballistics were an unfortunate limitation, not a
> virtue?

Yeah, but they are (or should be ) consistant. Like NS-10s.


geoff
Anonymous
September 24, 2004 4:56:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 23:22:29 +1200, "Geoff Wood"
<geoff@paf.co.nz-nospam> wrote:

>> Why? I thought VU ballistics were an unfortunate limitation, not a
>> virtue?
>
>Yeah, but they are (or should be ) consistant. Like NS-10s.

I can see the point of monitoring on known, bad speakers. But why
meter with bad meters?

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
Anonymous
September 24, 2004 10:34:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Laurence Payne" <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:ljo6l0pd40sa2n726ncp4u4p9rmkdlp59o@4ax.com...
> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 23:22:29 +1200, "Geoff Wood"
> <geoff@paf.co.nz-nospam> wrote:
>
> >> Why? I thought VU ballistics were an unfortunate limitation, not a
> >> virtue?
> >
> >Yeah, but they are (or should be ) consistant. Like NS-10s.
>
> I can see the point of monitoring on known, bad speakers. But why
> meter with bad meters?

They correlate with perceived volume levels somewhat better than most of the
other metering systems out there. Not perfectly, not by a long shot (I just
had to adjust a storyteller who measured 0 VU down 4dB for him to match the
rest of the stuff on the disc, which also measured 0 VU) but better than the
competition. That's sometimes useful, especially in broadcast work done on
the fly, which is one of the places where VU meters have continued to be
popular.

Me, I want both a VU and a full-blown peak meter. If my eyes have to shift
gears, they'll shift gears.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
September 25, 2004 3:27:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:

> In article <4150C99B.95216575@hotmail.com> rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com writes:
>
> > The ballistics simply relate to the inherent limitations of moving coil
> > meters ! Why be so limited ?
>
> Actually, they build moving coil meters with very specific ballistic
> response for VU applications.

Perfectly true. A multimeter moving coild movement by comparison is typically 'overdamped'.

> Anything else isn't a real VU meter and
> doesn't work like one. (and, as you suggest, isn't terribly useful for
> the tasks we usually use it for)

Well, I suspect that real VU movements are as fast responding as a mechanical movement with a
needle can be practically made to be.

I've always still preferred PPM type meters since they let you know how much headroom you
have left.


Graham
Anonymous
September 25, 2004 3:31:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Paul Stamler wrote:

> "Laurence Payne" <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:ljo6l0pd40sa2n726ncp4u4p9rmkdlp59o@4ax.com...
> > On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 23:22:29 +1200, "Geoff Wood"
> > <geoff@paf.co.nz-nospam> wrote:
> >
> > >> Why? I thought VU ballistics were an unfortunate limitation, not a
> > >> virtue?
> > >
> > >Yeah, but they are (or should be ) consistant. Like NS-10s.
> >
> > I can see the point of monitoring on known, bad speakers. But why
> > meter with bad meters?
>
> They correlate with perceived volume levels somewhat better than most of the
> other metering systems out there. Not perfectly, not by a long shot (I just
> had to adjust a storyteller who measured 0 VU down 4dB for him to match the
> rest of the stuff on the disc, which also measured 0 VU) but better than the
> competition. That's sometimes useful, especially in broadcast work done on
> the fly, which is one of the places where VU meters have continued to be
> popular.
>
> Me, I want both a VU and a full-blown peak meter. If my eyes have to shift
> gears, they'll shift gears.

Neve V series have both VU response and peak reading 100 element gas discharge
displays on evey channel.


Graham
Anonymous
September 25, 2004 10:44:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <41549F56.970EA319@hotmail.com> rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com writes:

> Well, I suspect that real VU movements are as fast responding as a mechanical
> movement with a
> needle can be practically made to be.

It's 300 ms to get to 99% of the reading both up and down. That's
pretty fast, and pretty critically damped. Somebody on the Ampex list
whose father used to work for a company that built VU meters said that
the paint on the pointer made a difference that they had to compensate
for.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
September 26, 2004 6:45:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:

> In article <41549F56.970EA319@hotmail.com> rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com writes:
>
> > Well, I suspect that real VU movements are as fast responding as a mechanical
> > movement with a
> > needle can be practically made to be.
>
> It's 300 ms to get to 99% of the reading both up and down. That's
> pretty fast, and pretty critically damped. Somebody on the Ampex list
> whose father used to work for a company that built VU meters said that
> the paint on the pointer made a difference that they had to compensate
> for.

I can believe that. The pointer is a large moving mass. Any variation will count.

Of course, the 'heart shaped' pointer came to be removed on many VUs - understandably since
it represented the largest moment of mass on the needle.

The UK Sifam company even produced 'pure Bell Spec' meters and a low-cost variant that used a
slim needle to comply ( largely ) with the spec. Guess which got used most ?

Real VUs tend to be very expensive.

Ok - VUs are a reasonable measure of loudness - but electronic circuitry needs not to be
clipped to avoid distortion. For that function - PPM type displays are so much better.


Graham
Anonymous
September 26, 2004 5:27:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <41561F55.8B59288A@hotmail.com> rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com writes:

> Ok - VUs are a reasonable measure of loudness - but electronic circuitry needs
> not to be
> clipped to avoid distortion. For that function - PPM type displays are so much
> better.

Adequate headroom is better yet. Which, when it comes to digital
systems, means the operator or the one calibrating the system has to
allow adequate headroom. Sometimes this is relatively easy to do,
other times (like when the A/D converter requires more volts to reach
full scale than the source driving it can put out) it's difficult.

If the monitoring system is calibrated so that 0 VU on normal program
material is "pretty darn loud" (85 dB SPL at the listening position is
one common standard) and the rest of your system has sufficient
headroom to accommodate peaks above that which you're willing to
allow, then the VU meters can be relied on when mixing. Mastering for
the highest possible level is a different story and peak measurements
are important there since you want to be operating with minimum
headroom most of the time.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
September 27, 2004 9:28:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:

> In article <41561F55.8B59288A@hotmail.com> rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com writes:
>
> > Ok - VUs are a reasonable measure of loudness - but electronic circuitry needs
> > not to be
> > clipped to avoid distortion. For that function - PPM type displays are so much
> > better.
>
> Adequate headroom is better yet. Which, when it comes to digital
> systems, means the operator or the one calibrating the system has to
> allow adequate headroom. Sometimes this is relatively easy to do,
> other times (like when the A/D converter requires more volts to reach
> full scale than the source driving it can put out) it's difficult.

Pretty unusual I'd suggest.

Most pro units seem to have adopted +19dBu ( +15dB ref 0VU on steady state tone ) as digital
fsd. Few pro-audio signal sources will clip prior to this.


> If the monitoring system is calibrated so that 0 VU on normal program
> material is "pretty darn loud" (85 dB SPL at the listening position is
> one common standard) and the rest of your system has sufficient
> headroom to accommodate peaks above that which you're willing to
> allow, then the VU meters can be relied on when mixing.

I really still can't see how that's actually a good recomendation for VU ballistics though. I
was always taught that VUs under-read badly the peak signal value especially on instruments
like piano and percussion.

> Mastering for
> the highest possible level is a different story and peak measurements
> are important there since you want to be operating with minimum
> headroom most of the time.

I don't really see why 'mastering' alone should benefit from using as much converter accuracy
as possible. Throwing away the top bits always decreases signal integrity.


Graham
Anonymous
September 27, 2004 2:27:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <415796FD.8737C052@hotmail.com> rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com writes:

> > other times (like when the A/D converter requires more volts to reach
> > full scale than the source driving it can put out) it's difficult.
>
> Pretty unusual I'd suggest.

Depends on how often you update your entire system.

> Most pro units seem to have adopted +19dBu ( +15dB ref 0VU on steady state tone
> ) as digital
> fsd. Few pro-audio signal sources will clip prior to this.

If only this were true. I have never seen anything like a standard,
even a de facto standard, relating digital full scale with input or
output voltage. My Mackie HDR24/96 needs +23 dBu to reach full scale.
While most of the "top shelf" preamps are OK with that, the person who
uses a Behringer mixer and feeds the recorder from an insert send will
never see full scale, but will likely record some distortion trying.

I calibrate (using the input gain control) my DAT and CD recorder so
that 0 VU on my console corresponds to -20 dBu. I rarely hit full
scale with this setup, but I'm comfortable with that.

> I really still can't see how that's actually a good recomendation for VU
> ballistics though. I
> was always taught that VUs under-read badly the peak signal value especially on
> instruments
> like piano and percussion.

You don't have to be taught that, it's obvious. But since they used
PPMs where you learned recording and they used VUs where I learned
audio, we learned to read the meters differently. I've never
considered meters to be the "how to do it" but only as a guide to
where you are. I don't watch meters when I'm recording, I use them as
a guide to set system gain and then listen. If the percussion is too
loud in my monitor mix (and I don't have the channel gain set
unusually high) then chances are the record level IS too high. If the
VU meter never goes above -10 but the mix still sounds right, what's
the problem?

> I don't really see why 'mastering' alone should benefit from using as much
> converter accuracy
> as possible. Throwing away the top bits always decreases signal integrity.

Sure, maybe throwing away the top 8 bits does, but you don't do that.
Or if you do, you recalibrate your meters, or your ears.

There's a practical difference between leaving one or two bits for
safety and always recording too low. If you depend on the meters all
the time, you haven't learned how to record. If you check the meters
to see that you're in the ballpark and move on, then you'll be working
efficiently.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 9:09:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <4150C99B.95216575@hotmail.com>,
Pooh Bear <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Why on earth would anyone actually *want* VU ballistics ? Possibly the
> most meaningless measue of audio level available.
>
> The ballistics simply relate to the inherent limitations of moving coil
> meters ! Why be so limited ?

It's an experience thing. I grew up looking at mixes through VU meters
and my head is calibrated to them. It has little to do with getting
proper levels to tape or anything like that (true peak reading meters
are much better IMHO) but it's about evaluating loudness and mix element
balance for me. I think every proper monitor controller should have
some VU meters on it with zero VU calibrated to something meaningful.

Regards,

Monte McGuire
monte.mcguire@verizon.net
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 10:38:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Free PSP Vintage Meter from www.pspaudioware.com should do the trick.

--
Doug Osborne

my day job: http://www.martinsound.com/

"Monte McGuire" <monte.mcguire@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:monte.mcguire-4FB1C0.01094001102004@news.verizon.net...
> In article <4150C99B.95216575@hotmail.com>,
> Pooh Bear <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Why on earth would anyone actually *want* VU ballistics ? Possibly the
>> most meaningless measue of audio level available.
>>
>> The ballistics simply relate to the inherent limitations of moving coil
>> meters ! Why be so limited ?
>
> It's an experience thing. I grew up looking at mixes through VU meters
> and my head is calibrated to them. It has little to do with getting
> proper levels to tape or anything like that (true peak reading meters
> are much better IMHO) but it's about evaluating loudness and mix element
> balance for me. I think every proper monitor controller should have
> some VU meters on it with zero VU calibrated to something meaningful.
>
> Regards,
>
> Monte McGuire
> monte.mcguire@verizon.net
Anonymous
October 3, 2004 5:01:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Michael Putrino wrote:

> Hi all,

> I wish Audition had a nice set of VU meters like that offered by
> vb-audio...one with real VU balistics. I would purchase the one from
> vb-audio, but I'm not sure I want to open a Direct-X plug-in every
> time I want to VU-meter my work.

Why do you want metering that displays the signal +6/-20 dB? - that is
about as good as VU meters are! - they can be useful, but only if you
know how they will mis-display what type of signal.

> For instance, if I'm applying a limiter in the editor window, and
> previewing it, I want to meter it as well to see the affects on the
> VU.

As I read you what you really seem to require is a gain reduction
indication?

> I may just need to buy it anyway. Open limiter, apply it, meter it,
> un-do limiter, re-do limiter with different settings, meter it, etc...
> Very inefficient.

> Does anyone know of another solution? Non-hardware....

Listening for whether the sound of the limiting is appropiate or not?

> Mike Putrino

--
*******************************************
* My site is at: http://www.muyiovatki.dk *
*******************************************
!