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Shaping Sound in the Studio and Beyond: Audio Aesthetics and Technology by Gary Gottlieb

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V.U. Meters

Since tape will only function properly within a limited energy range, and our equipment will only tolerate a certain amount of voltage, it becomes necessary to monitor the amounts of energy we are routing and recording.

To do this, specially calibrated voltmeters are inserted in the signal flow within the recorder and the console (see Figure 3.23).

Figure 3.23. V.U. meters: Top-left, low level; top-right and bottom-left, good operating level; bottom-right, too much level. It is important to aim for the proper level to avoid distortion or clipping on one hand and to ensure maximum signal-to-noise ratio on the other. Photo by Gary Gottlieb.

The engineer uses these meters to ensure that the electricity in the ...

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