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Calibrating VU meters from DAW
Old 15th December 2010
Lives for gear
Calibrating VU meters from DAW

Running PT9. What is the best way to calibrate my meters (Coleman MB2 if that matters)?
- Level from Signal Generator to = 0 on the VU?
- RMS or Peak
- Which signal setting?

Thanks for any help!
Old 15th December 2010
Deleted #157546
I think minus 18 in PT is 0VU. I'm not 100 percent sure though.
Old 15th December 2010
Gear Maniac
Hello from down the street in Austin tejas...

There is no single standard for converting between digital and analog levels so I'm sure someone may offer a different suggestion. That said, there's a reasonable convergence on the issue. This is from Skip's monster thread on the subject of ITB mixing:

"The first thing we must ask is simply what is 0VU. What does it mean to us. Lets use an SSL G+ as our point of reference mainly because I work on those every day. If we put a signal into the line input of the SSL so the channel meter reads 0vu, that also, is referenced as +4 or 1.23 volts. A kick ass SSL will go out to about +24DB, so we have approximately 20 DB of headroom above the 0 VU point on the meter before the signal goes to crap."

So there you go - Run a 1kHz sine wave out of the DAW at -20dBFS and calibrate to that. Mix on that and see how it feels. Too much headroom for you in practice? The European and UK calibration for post & film is −18 dBFS = 0 VU so you could try that as well.
Old 16th December 2010
Lives for gear
So set the signal generator to push a sine wave at -20 rms?
Old 16th December 2010
Lives for gear

First thing to do is to work out what your converters are calibrated at...Send a 1khz sine wave from a signal generator in the software to your outputs. Connect a cable those outputs one by one and measure across pin 2 and 3 (or tip and ring of a trs) with a voltmeter. OdBVU should be 1.228 volts.You might find that the converters vary by 0.1 or something, channel to channel. If you can adjust the calibration then you could match them all perfectly. At any rate, you'll find that they're all exactly, or almost either -20dBfs or 18dBfs...something like that. Lynx Auroras are 16, as are some Crangesong. Digi 192s and HDIOs are adjustable but come factory set to -18. Omnis are -20. etc. It doesn't matter so much what the exact calibration is, but you should really be aware of it in day to day use. If the converter is adjustable you can alter the calibration to suit a certain way of if you have a Lynx that's fixed and a digi192 that can be trimmed, you might choose to calibrate the 192 to match the lynx. Anyway....

Once you know what tone level will give you 1.228v in analogue, you just connect that to your VU's and calibrate those accordingly.

It's really worth going through every bit of gear in your studio and understanding how it operates in terms of gain structure. If you're gaining or losing level it's fine, as long as you know about it.

Old 16th December 2010
Lives for gear
I'm sure this is a dumb question but am I setting the multimeter for ac or dc voltage?
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