Pixel-hunting. That’s how I would describe my work during the last few days 😀
Anyway, I’m pleased to announce release of another freebie — a totally no frills mono/stereo/mid-side VU meter VST plug-in that can save you from headaches and potential VU metering analysis paralysis.
There is really not much to write about this plug-in. It’s a very pleasant byproduct of development of SN01-G compressor and it’s as simple and compact as it gets.
This plug-in obviously does not come in GUI-less version, as that would pretty much defy its purpose, but is nonetheless available in both 32-bit and 64-bit variants (currently Win only, though).
It’s main feature is lack of features — to sum it up:
- it takes very little space while preserving comfortable readability–most VU meters I’ve tried fit one meter where SN02-G fits two (ok, it’s more like 66-75% of SN02-G), while the size of gauges is still roughly comparable
- SN02-G has all controls directly on the front panel
- it has only four fixed nominal reference levels for 0dBvu (-12, -14, -18, and -20 dBFS) — go, figure
- it’s a two-in-one package — you can put it on mono or stereo track (or switch the mode of the track) and it will/should behave accordingly (see manual for details)
- when inserted on a stereo track you can select the display of summed mono on both meters, LR, or M/S respectively
- it has a switchable max. value needle with hold duration of 1 second
- sample peak leds with hold duration of 300 ms
- scribble strip (can be “peeled off” by deleting all text)
- switching between normal GUI and a larger version (1.45x)
Here I have to add a short note about ballistics, adherence to specification, etc.
SN02-G is as straightforward as it gets, so to keep it real-time efficient as much as possible, I simplified the implementation a little bit (original paper uses 8x oversampling O_o). This, however, introduces a deviation from specification of frequency response at 12kHz by 0.5dB. In other words, if you put a steady sine wave at 12kHz through the SN02-G you will see an oscillation of +/-1dB whereas the standard apparently allows only for 0.5dB.
Btw., I was able to observe this behavior in majority of available VU meters (free and commercial alike), thus I don’t fret about it, as it seems to be a sort of “standard” of its own 😀 . If you are interested in more details about the specification compliance of SN02-G, please refer to the manual, chapter “Known Limitations”.
All in all, if you look for a software equivalent of a VU meter that you can throw in the signal chain and it will do what it should, i.e. measure and display (an approximation of) dBvu, without you contemplating whether you should use trim or an EQ here or there, SN02-G fits the bill perfectly.