We talk you through the various metering options available in Studio One.
After our ears, meters are probably the most important tool in the sound engineer’s toolbox (that and a good flask of tea). The meters in the Studio One Console are nicely designed, ever present and very useful. Sometimes we glance at them briefly but with a bit more focus we can use them to improve our mixing game.
If you open the Console you’ll find the faders tend to be quite small and humble, but you don’t have to put up with that. As you pull out the top of the Console, the inserts space stretches to accommodate the new space. But if you click that line above the fader section and beneath the sends, you’ll find that you can stretch those faders nice and tall to give you a more satisfying view. The taller the faders, the higher the resolution you have to visually monitor the meters and control your levels.
The fader section consists of the fader with the metering to the left. You’d expect there to be a peak light, which lights red to congratulate you for reaching the top, directly above the meter. However, there’s no peak light on playback channels in Studio One even though it looks like there are; only the input channels and main outputs have peak indicators.
Above the Mute and Solo buttons, and to the left of the pan value, is a number that shows the current position of the fader. You can enter a value and the fader will jump to it if you have some precise settings in mind. There are a number of metering options available in the Console. Right‑click on the actual meter to display the menu. There are two different metering mode menus depending on what you are right‑clicking. For the regular Console channels the options will be Peak, Peak/RMS, Peak Hold, Hold Length (peaks are being held and then fall with a degrade speed defined here), and Pre‑fader Metering. Output channels also include the K Metering System, which I’ll get onto in a moment.
Peak meters continuously measure the audio level at a very fast resolution and translate the highest value at that moment to the meters. The Peak/RMS option combines the peak meter with RMS levels. The two slowly moving white lines show the RMS or ‘Root Mean Squared’ value, which is a kind of average loudness of the total waveform, which...