Should you already order a digital VU meter, since you’ve been pining for it for months now?
Digital VU meters are great tools for those who are into live performance sound mixing. You can utilise them together with peak meters to achieve a better audio mix and gain stage.
But recently, volume indication devices have become more contemporary. And like a ripple effect, inevitably, VU meters have also become even more intricate to the point of almost being outrageous. Should you invest in one today?
To prevent such issues or regrets, read the following to make an informed buying decision.
What is a digital VU meter, actually?
Before you splurge on an audio VU meter of your choice, you need to understand the fundamentals, initially. VU stands for volume unit. However, this is not the same as a gain reduction meter, which might appear as similar but is seen in compressors. In addition, these are very distinct from peak meters, such as those located in Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) mixers.
Its primary function is to picture the average volume of analogue signals. Therefore, this is wonderful for measuring the intensity as well as the power of songs. In blending, on the other hand, the VU meter shows the actual mixing level.
Why should you order a digital VU meter for blending tracks?
Technically, a VU meter offers a healthy border when you are mixing music. Expert mixers will certainly recognize that the blending of volume should not exceed the zero mark. Furthermore, the limitations would usually be around 2 to 3 VUs. Anything beyond that might damage the audio mixing experience.
Therefore, if you order a digital VU meter, it will help you balance the audio levels and loudness of the songs you are creating. You can achieve this by calibrating the audio VU meter to obtain the desired results.
How do you calibrate properly?
In order to do this, pick your preferred minimum operating level. This need to be equivalent to 0 volume units on the meter.
For an insight, a healthy level of the signal should be just around -20 dB as standard. This can certainly peak above the aforementioned mark. However, to be simply secure, you have to keep it from peaking above -6 dB.
When calibrating for the stereo mix bus, send a pure sine wave that is gain staged to -20 dB on the exterior VU meter you have. See to it that the needle must stay fixed at 0.
When this is calibrated in a low degree of simply around -20 dB or -18 dB, the system can generate audio with little to no digital distortions. On top of that, it’s important to readjust the individual faders, so that the meter’s needle would not be dancing around the zero marks. You can know more here.
This electronic component might have a sluggish action time; however, this is fantastic for sustained audios. Sometimes, some types of sound are hard to listen to because of a variety of factors, from poor acoustics to tiny audio speakers. Nevertheless, with an excellent VU meter, you can detect an issue with the sound blending.
Even with its analogue history, a VU meter still plays an important role in today’s digital period.
Take a look at the leading AV equipment supplier 3DHD Gear’s VU meters here: http://3dhdgear.com/collections/audio-vu-meters.