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Sound Level Monitor

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Sound Level Monitor

Postby dadking » Fri May 25, 2012 11:32 pm

I am looking for some sort of level meter that i can leave on while monitoring mixing so that i dont start using the volume control to compensate for tired ears and bad mixes. I know i can get sound level meters but something that would connect inline with my monitors would be nice.
does such a thing exist or is there a suitable circuit diagram available. Usual criteria its got to be cheap.
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Re: Sound Level Monitor

Postby chris... » Sat May 26, 2012 2:58 am

You want a sound level meter. What's not to like ?

Something inline with your monitors might (if it exists at all) have a detrimental effect on sound quality.

Maybe there's some metering software (plugin) you can insert across your DAW's master bus, which will show what's wanted, assuming you don't change the monitor level control.
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Re: Sound Level Monitor

Postby ef37a » Sat May 26, 2012 4:24 am

This,
http://cpc.farnell.com/unbranded/st-85a/sound-level-meter-mini-a-type/dp/IN05467
Is surely cheap enough that you could permanently attach it to the wall between your monitors?
Fit a Lithium PP3 and it will last 12 months easy I would think or, get a cheap SM 9V supply and bosh it into the battery connector?

You cannot just monitor the level on the monitor feed since this would assume that the level pots on the speakers are never touched. In any case, it is the sound PRESSURE level you need to measure, the input volts is not quite the same thing....Flip! You would need an SPL meter to calibrate the system anyway!

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Re: Sound Level Monitor

Postby dadking » Sat May 26, 2012 10:20 am

I have seen these meters many moons ago but they where expensive and apart from sound pressure levels also phase and a few other measurements, I think SoS did a review of one a few years back.
Speaker levels are never touched but the main fader is always up and down, tending to ride up late into a session. A sound pressuremeter seems to be the answer, and whats 12 quid nowadays.
Thanks for the info
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Re: Sound Level Monitor

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Sun May 27, 2012 11:41 am

Connecting in line won't work because you will need to measure sound pressure level at the mix position. That is a function of your speakers, amp setting and room acoustics. Do you have an iPhone? These guys make a free SPL meter that is good (has built in compensation for the bass roll off in the iPhone):
http://www.studiosixdigital.com/products_2.html

And check out Bob Katz's "K system";
http://www.digido.com/level-practices-part-2-includes-the-k-system.html
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Re: Sound Level Monitor

Postby ef37a » Sun May 27, 2012 12:32 pm

Thomas,
Since I think the OP just want to have a reference to keep to regardless of his demure, even a VU meter across the monitor feed lines would be better than nothing assuming the speaker pots are not touched.

I also think you would have to make some serious changes to a rooms acoustics to have much effect upon the integrated SPL reading?

The advantage of that cheap meter as I see it is that it can be "No Nailed" in place and will forever give the sound level at that spot.

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Re: Sound Level Monitor

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun May 27, 2012 2:19 pm

dadking wrote:I am looking for some sort of level meter that i can leave on while monitoring mixing so that i dont start using the volume control to compensate for tired ears and bad mixes.


You've already got adequate meters in your daw, and a meter wont stop you reaching for the volume knob. Only self discipline can do that.

I would suggest adopting the Bob Katz k-meter approach to combine a fixed calibrated monitoring SPL with a set headroom margin on the peak meters. You'll find practical info on Bob's website and here:

http://www.aes.org/technical/documentDownloads.cfm?docID=65

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