Metering is something we all have to do but there's actually much more to it than simply checking that a level isn't spending too long in the red. There are many types of metering and increasingly our DAWs are able to display more and more of them - so where to begin? In this short video from the course Audio Concepts 203: Advanced Metering, mixing expert Joe Albano shows you the difference between peak and average metering - two of the more common types.
Peak is the loudest part of an audio waveform and Average is the "rest" of it - the period of sustain after the peak. We percieve volume based on the average value, since transient peaks are too short to be factored in by our ears and brains. Peak meters are used for general recording since they are able to warn of potential clipping of levels. But these don't reflect how loud a signal sounds over time - its average level. For this you need something like a traditional VU meter. Joe explains these differences in detail in the video above and in the full course, goes into great detail about all aspects of metering!
Audio meters are much more than the basic level meter that bounces along to the music in your DAW. From wave shape to frequency balance, audio meters offer all kinds of useful information about audio signals. There’s a lot of technicality involved in learning them, but luckily Joe Albano is here to explain it all!
The course starts with some background on level measurement concepts, and an in-depth look at all types of level metering and the different scales and ballistics available. Joe reveals the various standards and recommendations used in the industry, and explains how they can help you get optimal and consistent audio levels in your recordings. You learn everything about oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers and vectorscopes, and how they can help you fix problems like phase, frequency, and stereo imbalances. You'll also get a deep understanding of advanced displays, such as the 2D and 3D spectrogram available in iZotope RX, and you'll discover their practical and creative applications.
So watch this 20-tutorial course by Joe Albano, and learn the science of audio metering with audio expert Joe Albano!