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Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

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Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:26 am

To get a simple, 2chan, program meter that is standalone, not a plugin, and "always on top".

Free or cheap please.

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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:36 am

By 'always on top' I presume you are talking about something to run on your computer?

If so, you're pretty much stuck either to using a plug-in in your DAW, or a meter system which is fully integrated with your sound card -- such as the superb Digicheck system supplied with RME's interfaces.

I think the basic challenge for stand alone software meters is that the computer OS doesn't make it easy to break into the data stream from audio program to sound interface...

If you're looking for a good software meter with lots of versatility I can strongly recommend the PPMulator from Z-plane -- it's a VST plugin -- but I use it all the time.

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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby BJG145 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:41 am

Something like this...? Haven't tried it...

http://windowsvumeter.sourceforge.net/

Re: always on top, you might be able to find a utility that will set this for any app, eg:

http://www.labnol.org/software/tutorials/keep-window-always-on-top/5213/
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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:40 am

Thanks Hugh.
Yes "always on top" because otherwise we could use the 2496 meters but, as I am sure you know they disappear as soon as you start a DAW or indeed do much of anything else!

Can't be a plug in since that needs a suitable host and the prime reason for the meters is so that son can keep track of levels when using video programs. FCS you can get a prog' to keep track of CPU usage, download bandwidth etc or probably the movements of the stock markets in all major cities! Why nothing I can keep on the d'top monitoring my cards output? (there is of course a hardware solution)

Thanks BJG. I installed the VU meter. There was a problem and although I have the shortcut it won't open and Msoft tell me there is a problem and want to send a report. I shall try that other program, it might keep the M-A software in place!

BTW I have found quite a few meters that will read the INPUT but none the output. The annoying thing is that I had such a program 18months ago and used it at work but I cannot rememeber its name! It wasn't a "music" app' but a measurement tool.

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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby BJG145 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:11 pm

If you have a metering app and just need to keep that on top, you should be able to find something that works...looks like there are various alternatives out there.

http://www.snapfiles.com/get/deskpins.html
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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby desmond » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:17 pm

ef37a wrote:Yes "always on top" because otherwise we could use the 2496 meters but, as I am sure you know they disappear as soon as you start a DAW or indeed do much of anything else!

You know, maybe we should have a thread on useful Mac utilities, because there are a few I can't live without, and I think many people are blind to how cool some of them are for day to day use. The best of these I get more excited about than major features in big applications, because they affect *everything* I do day to day.

One of them in WindowShadeX, the prime feature is to let you collapse windows to just their title bar - and the second is to make any window on the fly be able to float on top. So *any* window of any app I want to float on top, a quick double press of the control key and that window stays on top.

Failing that, you could always get a second (or third!) monitor and stick the metering app on that - even adjusting the screen res to make it fill the screen if you wish.
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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:48 pm

"Failing that, you could always get a second (or third!) monitor and stick the metering app on that - even adjusting the screen res to make it fill the screen if you wish."

"Out of the mouths...."! In fact the pc in question is S/PIF'ed to another and the screen sits alongside so in extremis we can run Samplitude with its mixer up! But tres expensive to tie up a whole computer for the want of a wee prog! (ah! point, If progs won't see the card output, might they see the S/PDIF signal?)

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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby uphillbothways » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:35 pm

desmond wrote:Failing that, you could always get a second (or third!) monitor and stick the metering app on that - even adjusting the screen res to make it fill the screen if you wish.

The new breed of USB mini-monitors are fantastically useful devices for jobs like this. I have several touch-screen models which, in conjunction with Reaper's customisation features, provide an incredible amount of utility for the price. I just keep finding studio problems that are most easily solved with the addition of another USB monitor. They're ideally suited to displaying a big timecode clock or a vectorscope, but also work very well as a transport control or for software instruments.
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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby ef37a » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:23 am

uphillbothways wrote:
desmond wrote:Failing that, you could always get a second (or third!) monitor and stick the metering app on that - even adjusting the screen res to make it fill the screen if you wish.

The new breed of USB mini-monitors are fantastically useful devices for jobs like this. I have several touch-screen models which, in conjunction with Reaper's customisation features, provide an incredible amount of utility for the price. I just keep finding studio problems that are most easily solved with the addition of another USB monitor. They're ideally suited to displaying a big timecode clock or a vectorscope, but also work very well as a transport control or for software instruments.

Yea, verily but that still means I have to run a host for the VST prog in the backgound and video takes enough grunt as it is. My W7/64 pc is pretty good but it is no Deep Thought!

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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby BJG145 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:22 am

uphillbothways wrote:The new breed of USB mini-monitors are fantastically useful devices for jobs like this.
Wow, that's cool. Never heard of those.
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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:35 am

I wonder if you should be looking along the lines of Total Audio Recorder or some other program that intercepts the stream from the output of the program you are using and sends it to both your soundcard and your metering program. Sometimes this functionality is built in to the soundcard drivers but usually you have to use a separate utility.

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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:47 pm

I use this:

http://robotplanet.dk/knef/vumeter/

should tick most of your boxes.
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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby ef37a » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:23 pm

Thanks Pete.
I just could not get that to work! I could not even find how to select input sources.

I have since found..www.vuplayer.com a Mr James Chapman and that works ok. It is fine in XP and one can set 0vu ref 0dBFS over a wide range.
In W7 not so it seems, no scale selector but a -3dBFS tone reads a smell over 0vu so I think that will suffice for my sons' purposes.

I would have prefered a bargraph but any port!
Cheers all.
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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:36 am

http://robotplanet.dk/knef/vumeter/vumeter_help.phtml

The's no selection process inside of the software that I'm aware of, in my case at least I just open it and it works off the master out.

Obviously if it doesn't for you, then that's a problem and one unlikely to be fixed as it's been a dead project for a long, long time. At least you've found a workable solution for the time being
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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby ef37a » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:43 am

Pete Kaine wrote:http://robotplanet.dk/knef/vumeter/vumeter_help.phtml

The's no selection process inside of the software that I'm aware of, in my case at least I just open it and it works off the master out.

Obviously if it doesn't for you, then that's a problem and one unlikely to be fixed as it's been a dead project for a long, long time. At least you've found a workable solution for the time being

You will have to explain that to this PC numpty Pete! The vu meter I have found can be switched to card output, card input or S/PDIF input, functions that I would have thought essential?

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Re: Audio Meter. How hard can it be?

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:04 pm

ef37a wrote:
You will have to explain that to this PC numpty Pete! The vu meter I have found can be switched to card output, card input or S/PDIF input, functions that I would have thought essential?

Really nowt to explain futher than the link which offers some troubleshooting help. From my own experience it just monitored whatever happens to be playing on my system output which is all I needed from it really. If a signal is coming in then the vast majority of the time your monitoring it as well so I suppose I've just never come across a situation where I would need to change it.
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