In this digital age, metering options have become more complex and modern. However, some of these modernistic meters might appear as over-the-top and silly. To avoid such problems with your VU meter, below are some points that might help you with choosing the right type. Read on to discover more.
What is this actually?
Before going any further, you must know the basics first. VU stands for volume unit. However, this is not the same as a gain reduction meter which may appear as similar but seen in compressors. Furthermore, these are very different from peak meters such as those found in digital audio workstation (DAW) mixers.
Its main purpose is to visualize the average volume or loudness of analog signals. Hence, this is great for measuring the intensity and power of music. In mixing, on the other hand, the VU meter displays the actual mixing level. Click here 3D HD Gear
Why should you need this in mixing music?
Technically, this equipment provides a healthy border when you are mixing music. Professional mixers will understand that when mixing the volume should not go beyond the zero mark. Moreover, the limits would typically be around 2 to 3 VUs. Anything beyond that may make the sound mixing suffer.
Hence, using this metering option is essential as it helps you with becoming consistent with the sound levels and loudness of the music you are producing. This is achieved by calibrating the audio VU meter to get the desired results.
How do calibrate correctly?
In order to do this, make sure that you have decided on what the nominal operating level is going to be. This must be equivalent to 0 volume units on the meter.
For an insight, a healthy level of signal should be just around -20dB on an average. This can, of course, peak above the aforementioned mark. However, just to be safe, you have to keep these from peaking above -6dB.
When calibrating for the stereo mix bus, imaging sending a pure sine wave that is gain-staged to -20dB on the external VU meter you have. Make sure that the needle should remain stationary at 0 volume units.
When this is calibrated in a low level of just around -20dB or -18dB, this allows the system to produce a sound with little to no digital distortions. In addition, make sure that you also adjust the individual faders so that the meter’s needle would not be dancing around the zero mark.
This electrical component may have a slow response time. However, this is great for sustained sounds. Sub bass, for example, are hard to hear because of a variety of reasons including bad acoustics and small speakers. However, with a good VU meter, you can tell that there is something wrong with the sound mixing because the needle is pinned to the right.
Hence, this equipment is a great help for those into live performance and sound mixing business. Furthermore, this can also be used along with peak meters to achieve a better sound mix and gain-stage.
In spite of its analog origin, this still has a great purpose in today’s digital era. To find out more about this fascinating tool, check out pro audio and visual equipment stores such as 3DHD Gear or visit them through this link: https://3dhdgear.com/collections/audio-vu-meters.