The Truth about Symphony

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There are two main types of meters in audio, peak and rms (root mean square or average). Each of these have their own benefits, but on the simplest level they are used to show the user the level of audio signals as they flow through certain parts of a console, recorder or system.

Peak Meter
A peak meter shows the peak of an audio signals waveform. If there is a large spike the meter will max out and if the signal gets soft the meter gets low as well. Peak meters are very useful for helping users to avoid distortion caused form clips or overages of the peak signal. Peak meters are very common in DAWs in mixers, on plug-ins and on audio interfaces. Peak meters in analog mixers are usually done with LEDs in order to accurately reflect the quick changes in analog levels unlike the slower response of VU meters.

RMS or Average Meter
VU meters are the most commonly found average meters. Instead of displaying every peak and soft portion of an ausio signal, VU meters show the average


signal with a relatively slow speed of 300 milliseconds (3/10s of a second). This may not seem useful for avoiding clipping, but it has benefits that 'hit close to home'. Our human ears hear in averages, not peaks, with a similar response time to VU meters. This all ties in with perceived loudness and the miracle of compression. As the average level of a signal increases, our ears perceive the sound to be louder even if the signal's peak does not change. VU meters help us to see what our ears are hearing. RMS and average meters are not only found in VU meters. They are often seen along side peak meters on analyzers and mastering plug-ins the software world.

Trust Your Meters
Both peak and average meters can be powerful tools when working with audio. Trust your meters to show you what is exactly happening in specific sections of your signal path, but don't forget to trust your ears as well.


Setup Guide - Here we look at all of the items for a basic setup.
Acoustics - Look here to demistify the black magic of acoustics.
Recording - Learn tracking and recording tips.
Mixing - Find new mixing techniques with audio examples and video.
Mastering - Look into the mysterious art of mastering.
Producing - Find out why producing is such an important aspect.
Glossary - Learn the definitions to all of those technical terms.
Music Videos - See tips on how to make your project into a music video.


Sound Waves:

Sound Waves are vibrations that travel through the air. While they travel in the electronic and digital worlds they are commonly shown on a two-dimensional the whole article here.


How To Build An Equipment Rack

These specifications, with the exception of the width of the rack, are adjustable. They should be made to the dimensions that best suit your needs. This rack was designed for use in a home studio next to a standard work desk. Any design should also be contingent on the rack rails purchased. Look through the following steps to build your own rack...Read more here.

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