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Are you an audio engineer? Or a musician or a singer? Surely you will have a greater grasp of sounds and how they are measured. An important part of music or any audio in general, is their loudness. If an audio is too loud, it begins to distort and crackle, which compromises on the clarity of the work. If it is too low, then the audio becomes inaudible. This change in the noise levels, is adjusted using dynamic range compression, a very important part of audio production.
As you may know, not every audio has the same dynamic range. This is why you need a DR Meter in the first place. Even the same audio such as a song, will have different values in different formats. This happens because of the compression technology used to encode the song, like MP3 or FLAC or AAC, etc.
If you wish to measure the dynamic range compression in your audio, there is only way to do it. Say hi to MAAT DRMeter. This plugin is based on the renown TT DR Meter, which has been used in many chart topping albums and songs, by top artists.
The program installs three plugins: VST2 (DLL), VST3 and AAX, an dalso works with AU. The plugins are available in 32-bit and 64-bit formats. You can optionally choose to disable OpenGL during the installation, if you want to. This feature is available so that DRMeter can make use of hardware graphics acceleration.
Since DRMeter is a plugin, you need to use it with a DAW (digital audio workstation). The program supports the following hosts: Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic, Nuendo, Pro Tools, Sequoia, Studio One, Wavelab.
MAAT DRMeter will be available to use with your DAW, once it has been installed, and you point the installation directory of the plugin in the editor. We tested the plugin with Ableton, and it works great. That doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot use it with other DAWS or music players. As long as your music software supports VST plugins, you can use MAAT DRMeter with it.
For example, Foobar2000, the popular free music player does support VST (through some 3rd p[arty components) and we got DRMeter working with it too. Isn’t that cool?
MAAT DRMeter is easy to use and has a simple user interface. Since it is a DSP, you may want to select the option in your music software to view the meter. There are three meters represented by graphical lines, in the GUI of DRMeter. And each of these have a numerical measurement for the dynamic range values. On the top of the DRMeter window, there are three numerical fields for the peak, dynamic range, peak. These represent the ranges for each channel, and show you the noise level of the audio in terms of decibels, aka dB.
The measurements in these meters happen in real-time, i.e., as a sound is played through the output on your computer. On the top of the DRMeter window, there are three numerical fields for the peak, dynamic range, peak. These Sample Peak Program (SPPM) meters, show you the digital peak sample values of the audio.
There are two more digital meters on the bottom of the window, which measure the RMS (Root Mean Square), for the left and right audio channels. Using the combination of the bars and the digital meters, you will able to pin point the dynamic range of a specific audio, to a specific time, and see when it reaches maximum loudness, etc.
The sample peak fields will change to red, when the dBFS is close to zero, and anything over this will be displayed as OVER. This is based on the DR integer value system from DR4 to DR14. Every music genre has its own dynamic range, and this software will help you get an approximate DR value to find the loudest spot in your audio.
You can use the reset button below the left RMS indicator, to reset the meter. This helps in analyzing the parts of the audio, which you haven’t measured for dynamic range yet. The Link button, which is on the bottom right corner of the DRMeter interface, links the dynamic range of the left and right channels, and displays the average DR as a single value, on the top of the window. This can be toggled anytime you want to, and it will not affect the meter’s count (unlike the reset button).
In the top right corner of the window, is an option called “Presets Pane”. Enabling the checkbox next to it, will add a new pane to the right of the MAAT DRMeter, this pane is locked to the meter window and can be moved together. To disable the pane, simply uncheck the option.
The purpose of the Presets Pane is to manage preset customizations which you can create. To add a new prese hit the add button, which will enable you to give it a name. The presets which you create will be saved in the same folder where the plugin is located on your computer. You can open the folder in which the settings are stored, by clicking on the text link on the bottom of the presets pane.
DRMeter can also be used with MAAT’s DRMOffline software, which is intended for measuring the dynamic range of an entire file. The only difference between the two is that the DRMeter does not provide the actual DR values, which DRMOffline can do. So, for getting the approximate value of the audio, DRMeter is the champ to rely on.
The simplicity with which one can view the Dynamic Range, Peak, and RMS values of any audio, makes MAAT DRMeter is a must have for studio professionals and artists alike. It is an excellent companion tool which can help you in mixing and mastering audio.
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