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Old 10th January 2017
  #2
So much confusion....can't say I blame you, but it's certainly not bollocks!

VU is NOT RMS - similar, but not the same.

0dBVU is NOT -18dBFS. That's one possible lineup, but not the only one. -20, -16, -14, -12 all common.

Don't stress it too much. Use peak meters, not RMS for now. Aim for steady signals (eg synth pads, driven guitars, and so on) to hover around the -18dBFS mark. Peaks can go a lot higher, but it's worth leaving 6-10dB of headroom.

Now - you won't ever peak if you're leaving that headroom, and when you come to mix you should find faders don't have to be cranked right down. If you track steady signals a bit hot - don't worry! Just clip gain down your audio regions so you're hitting your plugins at a reasonable level.

Above all listen.