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VU Meter and Peak Program Meter—Peaceful Coexistence

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Much has been written of late, too much, I fear, about the virtues and shortcomings of both the Standard Volume Indicator (vu meter for short), and the Peak Program Meter (PPM). All that aside, the world faces the reality of both instruments and needs to understand their use, meaning, and relationship to each other. There never was any problem with this as long as each country stayed with its traditional instrument. Part of the reason lies in the introduction of PPM's by U.S. manufacturers on consoles, tape machines, or the meters themselves, while several European manufacturers in traditionally PPM oriented countries, have put vu meters on their tape recorders. The result is that many studios now have a mixture of vu and PPM meters alongside one another. This paper is intended to clarify the alignment and operation of studio equipment using either or both of these meters.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society