Computers & Electronics

Mixing 101: How VU meters give accuracy in gauging audio signals

Relying too much on your digital audio workstation (DAW) in gauging audio signal intensity? You should seriously start knowing how a collection of VU meters or volume unit meters can do for you.

No, it’s not about abandoning your trusty DAW peak meter, but it’s about getting a big help to hit that sweet spot. VU meters can provide better accuracy because they’re basically using another scale to complement your decibels relative to full scale (dBFS).

Image result for a collection of vu meters

And, that’s what you need to know about.

How a collection of VU meters provide better accuracy in mixing

To begin with, know that VU meters are analog devices that help with gauging the average audio intensity, with the help of dBVU or dB volume unit. On the other hand, the peak meter in your DAW uses dBFS which measures peak audio intensity.

The dBFS merely guides you to avoid clipping by keeping the peak below 0 decibels (dB). However, a collection of VU meters could let you calibrate the dBVU on a certain dBFS reference point, so you can keep the average on 0 VU.

And, this is the purpose of using volume meters.

Calibrating VU meters and understanding their function

When you buy from a reliable source like 3DHDGear, you can see that their VU meters will let you calibrate the 0 VU on dBFS reference. For example, you can set the 0 VU on -18 dB of the dBFS scale, so the VU meter needle would hover on such point upon detecting -18 dB of average audio intensity.

This is also the reason why you should never settle for pre-calibrated VU meters that won’t allow you to make adjustments.

How to use such function of VU meters in mixing

If you want to mix rhythm and bass guitars for an acoustic track, for example, a collection of VU meters will tell you the average intensity of both audio signals.

Say, you have calibrated your VU meters to -18 dB and want to gauge the audio intensity of your rhythm guitar first, the VU meter needle will hover around 0 VU when your audio has an average of -18 dB. If it hovers far above or far below 0 VU, you can increase or decrease the volume intensity easily.

You can do the same with your bass guitar, which is quite tricky since it produces low sound frequencies you might not hear very well. However, with VU meters as your visual guide, you can surely do the job efficiently.

After you have adjusted the audio intensity of both guitar tracks to hit the sweet 0 VU point, you can conveniently mix them without any problem. Just remember to keep an eye on your DAW peak meter too, so you can avoid clipping or distorting all parts of the tracks.

You see? Even an old school analog device could help you a lot in having excellent accuracy. Just visit to know more about it, so you can optimize its use for your mixes.

Remember to buy from reliable shops, like 3DHDGear, so you can have the best VU meters to use.

My VU meters have been helping me to produce fantastic mixes, and I bought it here in 3DHDGear. They can surely help you as well.