Before going to detail study about VU meter, you should know what does VU stand for? Vu stands for volume unit. The VU meter is an analog tool that designed for the analog world. The VU meter will not show the headroom margin.
What does VU mean?
Vu means displaying the signal level of the audio equipment. Vu meter and gain reduction meter looks similar to each other. But VU meter is not a gain reduction meter. A Vu meter is originally designed to view the average volume of a single in audio equipment. Vu meter will not respond well to transients as they are very slow.
Is VU meter necessary for music?
Vu meter is necessary for music because it shows the energy and intensity of the music. Vu meter show the actual level of the mix in the music. The VU meter will not affect the mix of the music in any way. If you too much then the mix in the music may get suffer.
If the VU meter is calibrated then the result of the music will achieve the loudness that is desired. To calibrate the VU meter first decide the operating level, which is equal to 0vu on the meter. Using a peak meter along with the VU meter gives the best result in the music.
How to read a VU meter
To read a VU meter first you should understand the concept, which gives a better result in the music mix. There must be a purpose for fancy meters in the mix window. Many DAWs and Plugins built to emulate analog gear; the sweet spot is smart to shoot to get the best sound as possible. The VU meter indicates the signal level around the nominal operating level of the music.
Purpose of using VU meter
Vu meter designed in order to have a dynamic characteristic. The VU meter tells you that what the rise and fall times of the meter should be. These times are very essential to get a meter that properly reflects the music loudness rather than the bouncing up and down to the music.
Vu meter shows the accurate level of the music and also shows the limitations if any. Vu meter has a better indicator that shows the limits and can work under the specified limits or work accordingly. The best place to connect the VU meter is on a monitor controller.