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VU Meters

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by tomed101, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. tomed101

    tomed101 Active Member

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    I am after some VU meters. Just something that I can patch in-line with the main outputs of the console. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but I havn't been able to find anything much on the net. If there are any circuit diagrams that are relatively simple I can make it myself.

    Oh and by the way, apologies if this has been discussed in another thread, but the search doesn't search for short words, so I am unable to search for "VU"
     
  2. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    intresting idea i personally haven't seen anything that doesn't connect directly to a individual desk
    but we shall see what the community puts forth
     
  3. cutlunch

    cutlunch Active Member

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  4. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Are you specifically looking for a VU meter? There are various types of meters. A VU or Volume Unit meter indicates RMS levels but is blind to peaks and transients. A PPM or Peak Program Meter is the inverse, it indicates peaks rather than RMS levels. A VU meter is good for monitoring loudness while a PPM meter is good for looking at peak levels and detecting clipping. Some meters can show both, thus also indicating the Crest Factor that is the difference between the two. So the first step is to verify which type of meter you actually want.

    There are numerous manufacturers for meter panels. Some common ones include Dorrough (http://www.dorrough.com/dorrough/products/Analog_Audio_M/analog_audio_meters.html), Wohler (http://www.wohler.com/Search.aspx?Category=Audio&SubCategory=Analog), Atlas Sound (http://www.atlassound.com/products/partNumber.cfm?pn=MVXA-2008), and Logitek (http://www.logitekaudio.com/products.html). Some of these panels include audible monitoring as well as metering. There are also many electronic kits or just the emeters themselves, for example http://www.sifammeters.com/, available if you want to build your own meter panel.
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I want a rack of those analog meters just to have around.... odds are I would just hook my ipod up to it and watch them ping.... mmm... retro. Either that or I want an analog meter bridge for a DM1000
     
  6. tomed101

    tomed101 Active Member

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    I like the look of the Ultra VU from Logitek, but odds are its into the thousands of dollars range. I have emailed about pricing but I suspect they will be out of my price range. I'll keep a look out on the second hand market which should be cheaper.
     
  7. silvrwolf

    silvrwolf Member

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    Try This

    8 channels of VU Meters in 1RU. $199.99

    ENJOY
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2007
  8. BNBSound

    BNBSound Active Member

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    I would think that the absolute shortest route to monitoring some signal would be to dredge ebay and find a two channel compressor like the Alesis 3630 or a Behringer AutoCom or Composer. The Alesis model can still be easily had for $99 at all the chain stores.

    A pair of Y cables would allow you to insert them on the L/R and run them bypassed to simply monitor the levels. Or, I'm thinking you may have a mixer that is small enough or old enough that it doesn't give you much metering, so you would want to patch directly through in that case.

    I'd advise you to go off the shelf. While building a metering project may be fairly straight forward... really, what's your time worth. And is it worth your time to repair a mixer if something happens to go wrong inside that Radio Shack experiment box and you fizzle your mix?

    One further note, I'm starting to see Behringer DEQ2496 digital EQs turn up half dead on ebay. I had one go south on me a couple years ago and kept it around for a similar use. I would patch it in on the control room outs of my console, that way whatever I solo-ed would turn up on the display and the L/R mix would be there otherwise. It's got three flavors of level metering: Analog style VU, Peak/RMS, and SPL if you have a calibrated mic (it's actually only a dB or two off if you use an SM-57 and calibrate the input properly). Another truly useful feature is the RTA. You can watch the main mix or an aux buss and see exactly what frequency is feeding back. It's also useful during sound checks to get a quick visual of a signal that doesn't seem to want to get EQ'd to your satisfaction.
     
  9. tomed101

    tomed101 Active Member

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    I am trying to find some better quality VU's than what are usually found on a compressor or other similar equipment (more than about three bars on the meter) I like the look of the ones posted by silvrwolf and that site had other intersting metres there as well.
     
  10. BNBSound

    BNBSound Active Member

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    I think the Alesis has about a 12 segment. (You'd think I would know after 10 years, heh.) Yeah, just checked the site, 12 segments. If you're seriously considering buying some of the stuff that's linked to, you should grab a DEQ2496 and have a multi-function tool in your rack, instead of a really expensive meter eating up 1 or 2 RU of your real estate. Here's a shot of the metering on that box.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. tomed101

    tomed101 Active Member

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    Hmmm looks interesting, I think I will have to look into acquiring one of them by legal means or otherwise...
     
  12. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Just be sure that when using meters internal to devices that you are able to meter the actual levels hitting the device inputs without the device itself having any effect. Some devices may be metering after their own input stage rather than prior to it, therefore not accurately reflecting the input signal levels.
     

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