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  1. #1
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    tips on using meters

    may I have some tips on using the meters like the VU and the root mean square meter or anything that you use as a visual aid when mixing...

    I know this question is very genre dependent. What are your visual aids? are you using the k system like bob? Do you aim for a level on the RMS when compressing the stereo buss ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member logic's Avatar
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    to tell you the truth i dont take meters that seriously.
    i have a referince of how loud the song should sound and i compare my song to other reference songs in the end at the same volume.
    from my point of view is more important how much/many harmonics do you have.
    and one secret trick that i have is i listen to the song/instrument on very low volume and if it sounds good there when i turn up the volume its ok almost every time.

    if you manage to make a good mix than you can model it to sound in different shapes and give it the character you want (fat & warm/for radio/old/whatever..)
    i general i look at the RMS

  3. #3
    ARTiST-MATRiX
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    I use visual metering all the time, more or less often. Will say, when I start a new project, I load my template with the basic FX already loaded with basic values on the parameters and there, I load also a metering plugin at the last master out insert slot. Ok today I use more the ears and the knowledge / experience I have, but at night on the cans, I use it frequently, not only for the volume, also for EQing e.g. the subbass which is not really audible on the cans. The ear gets also tired at the higher domain and so, for me its a pretty good reference, where the instruments are and how balanced is it over all. This plug has also a stereo field metering with phase etc.
    RMS is not that important for me, it depends on the sound / genre, but it shouldn't be to high I think.

    Here is a pic of the multimeter i use:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by ARTiST-MATRiX; 05-11-2014 at 11:50 AM. Reason: add, typo

  4. #4
    Senior Member Audi01's Avatar
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    VU = headroom imo

    One thing I have learnt with mastering is that the final (sans master bus processing) output is best set to approx. -6.0dB.

  5. #5
    Senior Member moose's Avatar
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    I come from cassette tape's recorders where basically the VU meter was helpful in avoiding peaks overloads.
    Today I still use the same method.
    I don't go by RMS at all because I compress as little as I can or none at all.

    The VU meters help me to keep a near -5db on each and every output. At the end of a channel's chain, on a Buss input and output and on the mixing Master Buss input and output too.

    When I master the VU meter will read -0.3db for CD making and -3db for uploading on Soundcloud, since I found out that a -3db upload on SC will result in a better playback (I upload Wav files, by-the-way).
    Last edited by moose; 07-05-2014 at 03:16 AM.

  6. #6
    ARTiST-MATRiX
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose View Post
    I come from cassette tape's recorders where basically the VU meter was helpful in avoiding peaks overloads.
    Back in the early 90ies, I used this peak overload of my HiFi stereo tape, to make some gabber style hardcore techno. I've made a basic arrangement, with the record monitor output of the tape back into a second channel on the mixer ,so I get at last a feedback when I started the recording on the tape, playing some sounds on the keys, with moving the record in level knobs of the tape, over dubbed with the original master out channel of the daw and the synths. That was a really interesting and noisy live experience with that gear
    Last edited by ARTiST-MATRiX; 07-05-2014 at 06:46 AM.

  7. #7
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    If the little red (speaker protection) limiter light comes on and stays on....

    ...then I'm too loud.

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