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Old 19th January 2005, 07:13 PM   #1
Deltat is offline Deltat  United States
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Default VU Meter

Im looking to add a VU meter to this project im working on. Its a simple audio demonstration project my professor wants to use to demonstrate some of the things we do in our major. It will run off of 2 batteries with a switching regulator to output +12V. It will then go through one of 3 filters LP, BP or HP, then a 10W amplifier. The only thing im confused on is how to add a VU meter to this project. Suggestions?

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Old 19th January 2005, 08:12 PM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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IIRC, National Semiconductor makes some dedicated VU meter chips with LED output. Check their site.
"You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is."
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Old 19th January 2005, 08:34 PM   #3
Mr Evil is offline Mr Evil  United Kingdom
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I documented a VU meter I made on my site.
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Old 19th January 2005, 08:51 PM   #4
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Are you looking for a meter to make actual measurements with?

Volume Units are tightly designed for both attack and decay response of the display. Originally a Western Electric galvanometer mechanism and later as displayed in LED lights.

"0 Vu" also is also defined by specific reference levels (-10, +4 and +8 dB). Each has a definition or how the meter is bridged across an audio load to make its appropriate measurement.

A reference power level shown on a VU METER. Although 0 VU is shown on a VU meter as the point of 100% MODULATION, it is not identical to the reference called zero level, which in fact refers to -4 dB or -4 VU on the meter.

Zero level is the reference level obtained with a 1000 Hz signal and 1 milliwatt of power in a line or circuit of 600 ohms resistance (a 600-ohm line). The corresponding voltage level is 0.773 volts. This level is sometimes called 0 dbm. Other levels may be described in reference to it; for instance, 0 VU is +4 dbm and represents a voltage level of 1.228 volts.


other good articles on proper Vu metering techniques can be found at:


(I once got a trouble ticket saying that the "View Meter" was boken on the audio mixer)
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Old 19th January 2005, 08:52 PM   #5
Keld is offline Keld  Sweden
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some ideas:
"What is done by what is called myself is, I feel, done by something greater than myself in me."
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Old 19th January 2005, 08:59 PM   #6
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Post #5
The ESP articles are also very good.

The Sifam AL29B was an excellent and affordable meter movement supplied with a very readable scale (around $30). I think that Selco electronics stooped importing them to the US around a year ago and don’t know if any one else has picked up the product line.
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