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Old 15th July 2007
Originally Posted by Dave Peck View Post
In Sonar, you can set the meters to show peak, RMS, or peak+RMS.


You can also set the meter rise and fall times, peak hold times (on the Options / Audio Metering Options dialog), as well as various scaling options, as well as segmented vs continuous metering. But no VU weighting, per se. Still, I find the RMS+Peak pretty useful, I have to say.

Coming up in the era of mechanical meters, when instantaneous, fully responsive metering was impossible and peaks had to be specially handled in order not to overload meters, I understand the thinking that went into VU meters and the smaller delays/loading that went into PPMs. (Bell developed VUs for standardizing levels in the telephone system. The BBC developed peak programme metering for radio work. Both were in the mid-late 30s. Even the PPM of the day had about a 10 ms response time, in order to protect the meter.)

When true peak metering with virtually instantaneous response times became widely available, I saw the immediate beauty of it. Others had problems adjusting... since tape saturation was considered desirable by the time I was working in studios, the "superiority" of the intentionally sluggish response times of VU loaded metering was already becoming a widely accepted notion. Peak metering "confused" fader pushers used to VU response curves with their sluggish response to transients.

But, of course, while quick transients were "absorbed" in tape saturation, digital is far less forgiving. For THAT reason, I think soft and hardware manufacturers assume that we recordists would prefer to know just what's going on with our transient levels -- since they can and will crash out a digital system.

You know, if you like flynig blind, that's cool. I don't. Give me peak metering.