A while ago James commented on the podcast and asked for a segment explaining some of the metering tools we have available in DAWs. If you follow the podcast you may have already heard this info.
Before we get into the DAW let’s briefly go over the way analog equipment is calibrated.
Mic preamps, converters, hardware effect processors are all designed to work optimally at 0 VU. They can usually handle more than that before distorting, but 0 VU is where the signal to noise is best. VU stands for Volume Unit and is the oldest analog metering system. VU meters are relatively slow moving with at 300ms response time. This slow response of a VU meter better represents an averaged volume level close to how our hears work. 0VU is equal to +4dBu or professional line level. [read]