You are here

Large PPM plug-in?

For current or would-be users of Apple Mac computers, with answers to many FAQs.

Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Arpangel » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:03 am

I need to see levels on my Mac, recording in the same room, anyone know of a good BIG PPM plug-in? I'm using Reaper, I found one for Protools, but nothing else.
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2033
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby desmond » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:45 am

This one?

https://www.tb-software.com/TBProAudio/mvmeter2.html

Free, VST, AU formats etc etc
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8992
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Kwackman » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:08 am

User avatar
Kwackman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1418
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Belfast
Cubase, guitars.

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Wonks » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:12 am

I know Zukan uses and recommends the resizeable Klanghelm VU meter. https://klanghelm.com/contents/products/VUMT/VUMT.php
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10140
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:57 pm

Wonks wrote:I know Zukan uses and recommends the resizeable Klanghelm VU meter. https://klanghelm.com/contents/products/VUMT/VUMT.php

Yep, I use the Klanghelm VU meter too - works beautifully, and has plenty of options for those who need to tweak their metering for specific purposes or plug-in gain staging.

Image


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14602
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Wonks » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:00 pm

Note that it does have a PPM mode as well as the VU in the title.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10140
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:19 pm

Yep, it offers three metering modes - VU, RMS and PPM DIN (Type I)

I've now been using it for 7 years, ever since I reviewed it in an ancient PC Notes column:

"Wwhat I love about VUMT is its smooth and accurate needle animation, its additional 'hold needle' displaying the current maximum VU reading, and its amber/red clip LED that illuminates at a definable user level and clip point, so you can simultaneously keep an eye on peak levels. The extremely handy +/-20dB gain trim is also perfect for your gain-staging experiments: just insert one instance of VUMT before and after your plug-in, with complementary trim settings (such as -10dB and +10dB, respectively) and you can quickly alter its 'drive' level for more or less warmth."

https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/2012-pc-users


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14602
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:50 pm

Arpangel wrote:I need to see levels on my Mac, recording in the same room, anyone know of a good BIG PPM plug-in? I'm using Reaper, I found one for Protools, but nothing else.

There have been a lot of useful suggestions already... but I'm just wondering if this is really necessary? It seems to me that there is so much headroom available today that careful second-by-second checking the meter is largely a thing of the past.

I can honestly say I never look at the meters when I'm recording myself. I record a short rehearsal, check the levels, tweak the preamp gain as necessary to provide around 12dB (or more) of headroom, and then record the takes. With that much headroom there is never any risk of overload, so there's no point worrying about it and no effort wasted looking at meters. Instead, I can concentrate entirely on performance.

Just a thought....

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25032
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:24 pm

In Reaper's mixer you can stretch the meter up to nearly the full height of the screen if you want. If you use the standard theme just drag the handle above the routing section up to expand the meter.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8580
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Arpangel » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:51 pm

James Perrett wrote:In Reaper's mixer you can stretch the meter up to nearly the full height of the screen if you want. If you use the standard theme just drag the handle above the routing section up to expand the meter.

Thanks James, it's terrible, I haven't recorded anything for ages, and I'm actually forgetting stuff.
I recorded a session at our place about a month ago, set the levels at -12db, and all hell let loose, the result was a take that was unusable, squared out, I hate percussion instruments, for recording purposes anyway, and it was......an excellent track, but totally unusable, I just want an engineer, I don't want to be one!
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2033
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Arpangel » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:54 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
Wonks wrote:I know Zukan uses and recommends the resizeable Klanghelm VU meter. https://klanghelm.com/contents/products/VUMT/VUMT.php

Yep, I use the Klanghelm VU meter too - works beautifully, and has plenty of options for those who need to tweak their metering for specific purposes or plug-in gain staging.

Image


Martin

Thanks Martin....

;)
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2033
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:24 pm

Arpangel wrote:I recorded a session at our place about a month ago, set the levels at -12db, and all hell let loose, the result was a take that was unusable, squared...

Take it as a learning experience and set it to -20 next time, or even -30... It might take a little trial and error, but you will soon find a settimg that works reliably, and then you wont have to worry about it. Having a big meter won't stop it overloading, it'll just tell you it has overloaded before the end of the take, but it will also serve as a distraction from your musical performance. Generous headroom is your friend in situations like this.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25032
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:23 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Generous headroom is your friend

I love that maxim Hugh! :clap:


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14602
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:32 pm

If you do have a meter in sight, I'd strongly recommend using either a virtual analogue meter (like a VU or PPM) -- because they should be set with lots of (invisible) headroom -- or a bar-graph meter configured with a Katz-meter style display that differentiates between the safe, normal, and headroom regions.

Image

However, the Katz meter only allows a 4dB 'hot zone' which is a bit mean. The UK and US broadcast standard has always permitted peaks to be up to 8dB (9dB in Europe) above the reference level. So I set all my configurable meters to be green below -20dBFS, yellow from -20dBFS to -12 or -10dBFS, and red above that.

So healthy recordings will be mostly solid green with reasonably constant intrusions into the yellow, and I'll be getting uncomfortable if I see occasional kicks into the red. If the red region is busy the gain structure is definitely wrong!

With that kind of colour scheme you can see if everything is healthy or not from miles away without having to read the detail of the level markings.

Sadly, most default digital meters are set up with the red bit right at the top, so you get no useful warning of impending doom at all, and precious little guidance as to the optimum average level or how far you're eating into the headroom margin. Bloomin' useless!
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25032
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Kwackman » Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:23 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Sadly, most default digital meters are set up with the red bit right at the top, so you get no useful warning of impending doom at all, and precious little guidance as to the optimum average level or how far you're eating into the headroom margin. Bloomin' useless!

Cubase can take a bow on this one.
You can set up their meters so the "LED" bars change colour at user defined levels.
It's possible to set it so that the meters show red when -12dBFS is exceeded, orange when -18dBFS is exceeded etc.

This may also be possible on other inferior DAWs... ;)
User avatar
Kwackman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1418
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Belfast
Cubase, guitars.

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:13 pm

Yes, I was aware of the Cubase customisable meter. SADiE allows it too. And my Nagra VI recorder. I haven't found the option in Reaper... Adobe Audition transitions to yellow at -18dBFS, and red at -6dBFS -- the latter being unhelpfully high. There is a gradient mode too, but that's no better.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25032
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:47 pm

I'm flying blind, a bit, I just need a reference level somewhere along the line.
I'm using one of Mike Skeets mic preamps, it has no meters, I'm recording into Reaper, through my Motu, I guess I could use the meters on the Motu, but those are really tiny, and very dim. There is a a Tape Talk "The Box" on top of my preamp, but it's not really a level meter, great for phase and stereo field, but too vague for level. Like a lot of DAW's, I can't adjust the level going onto the actual track, it has to be done on an external device.
I must admit, this engineering and playing lark is a real pain, especially with mic's, it takes us more time to set up than we have to play

:(
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2033
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby OlinOvid » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:56 pm

Hi...What are the ballistics of PPM/BBC and PPM/EBU? 10ms rise/2,8s fall to -24dB?
And why is it that the reference is 7? Unless -18dBFS = 4 (BBC) and/or TEST (EBU). Then that's still a 18dB jump from 4 to 7 (3dB) - something can't be right.
What is the measurement window for the RMS meter? 300ms? 400ms (ITU-R MLk)? 600ms?
And why do you write "standard K-Meter modes, based on ITU 1770" - then it's basically a "K-weighted meter" (aka ITU-R BS.1770-0 or even 1), and not a default RMS realtime meter. Meaning, we have the same +3dB compensation/offset topic we had with dpMeter, no?
OlinOvid
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:29 pm

Re: Large PPM plug-in?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:22 pm

OlinOvid wrote:Hi...What are the ballistics of PPM/BBC and PPM/EBU?

They are the same; only the scale is different. The specs are defined in IEC60268-10 iia (BBC) and iib (EBU).

10ms rise/2,8s fall to -24dB?

Integration time was 10ms. I think it was increased to 4ms in later versions of the spec. Off the top of my head the fall time is 20dB in 1.5 seconds.

And why is it that the reference is 7?

It isn't. The reference level on the BBC PPM is '4' which equates to 0dBu. On the EBU-scaled version, it's 0dBu/Test -- but both are at the point where the pointer is vertical.

Unless -18dBFS = 4 (BBC) and/or TEST (EBU). Then that's still a 18dB jump from 4 to 7 (3dB) - something can't be right.

Something isn't right... and I'm afraid it's your understanding... :-)

There's 4dB between each of the marks on a BBC PPM, so the level difference between PPM4 and PPM7 is 12dB. Like all analogue meters, there is headroom above the top of the display scale and the system's clipping level.

Normal programme peaks should be no higher than PPM6 (which is +8dBu on a steady tone), and PPM7 is achieved with a steady tone at +12dBu. But these readings are 'slugged' by the 10ms integration time, which means that brief signal transients will actually reach higher levels than the meter suggests, typically by about 4dB.

For that reason, the EBU decided that when digitising analogue signals controlled with a PPM, the alignment levels should be PPM4 = -18dBFS. So, although the mix should be restrained to PPM6 (allowing digital peaks to about -6dBFS) an occasional slip that displays as PPM7 (+12dBu) will actually have transients 4dB higher, and thus reach -2dBFS... which is as close to clipping as anyone would ever want to get! ;-)

Image

What is the measurement window for the RMS meter? 300ms? 400ms (ITU-R MLk)? 600ms?

I'm not sure that RMS meters have a defined integration time. VU meters are 300ms, but I've seen RMS meters with integration times of 300ms to 1 second...

And why do you write "standard K-Meter modes, based on ITU 1770"

The K-meter -- as in Bob Katz' metering system -- has nothing whatever to do with ITU-R BS.1770. It is a simple RMS-based meter with an adjustable headroom margin, but a standard reference level which is aligned to a specific acoustic reference SPL. It is intended to aid mixing and mastering of material with different, genre-based, amounts of dynamic compression.

The K relates to its inventor, Bob Katz, and not the K-weighting EQ which forms a critical part of the ITU-R BS.1770 loudness metering standard.

...then it's basically a "K-weighted meter" (aka ITU-R BS.1770-0 or even 1), and not a default RMS realtime meter. Meaning, we have the same +3dB compensation/offset topic we had with dpMeter, no?
[/quote]

Sorry... I think my babel fish has gone to sleep... ;-)
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25032
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users