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How do you take levels on a VU metre?

By Ashley Cowan
Posted 6 February 2015, 6.41am est
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Hello guys this is my first post.
One of my friends asked me how do you take levels on a radio desk that has VU metres? I must admit I do not know! I know for PPM's it's between 4 and 5 for music and between 5 and 6 for voice but how would you do this (can you even?) on a desk with VU metres. Non teccy speak would be great too!
Thanks!
Ashley!

Comments

2 years, 9 months ago

Short (and not very useful) answer -- with great difficulty. Hateful things.

Longer (and more useful) answer -- 0VU is generally the reference level and is generally (but not always) calibrated to be equivalent to (BBC) PPM5 (+4dBu).

However, the ballistics of a (proper) VU meter are different to a PPM and are more suited to measure average loudness rather than peak level. So 0VU may well sound louder to the ear than PPM5.

There are 4dBs between PPM markings, so if you peak compressed music around 4dB lower than speech you should be OK. As I say, the ballistics are different on a VU meter, so it's not quite a simple as that, but it's a decent starting point.

2 years, 9 months ago

Thanks Simon! I appreciate that good audio sire!

2 years, 9 months ago

VU meter standing for"Virtually Useless" - although my experience is that most meters on desks are of the UI variety - "Usually Ignored". Afterall, "The processing takes care of the levels doesn't it?" :-0

2 years, 9 months ago

VU meter standing for"Virtually Useless" - although my experience is that most meters on desks are of the UI variety - "Usually Ignored". Afterall, "The processing takes care of the levels doesn't it?" :-0

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