Strange or Not...0 dbVu -7.5 dbfs

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by lawless, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. lawless

    lawless Guest

    Hello everyone,

    I am recording in Cubase SX 3 and have read many threads about

    propper levels going in...ultimately aiming for 0 dbVU. Now, it is my

    understanding that 0 dbVU is roughly -18 to -20 dbfs so today when I was

    bouncing a synth part (vst) I set the level out of the synth to about zero

    dbVu (my VU meter is the PSP Vintage Meter) but Cubase showed the

    signal at -7.5 dbfs....Are the Cubase meters inaccurate or is my VU

    inaccurate or what? :-?

  2. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    First of all, 0dBV is meaningless by itself. Is 0 +4 or what?

    0dBV CAN BE -12, -16, -18, -20, etc. It is whatever you calibrate your converters to represent 0dBV.

    Meters need a reference. What scale is that meter?
  3. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Apples and oranges. dBFS is PPM that means peak, VU means Volume Units, that means relative loudness.

    The PSP Vintage meter does not work well!!! You really should get analog/mechanical VU meters, as digital cant measure VU well.
  4. lawless

    lawless Guest

    Okay, I checked the back of the vu and it is calibrated to -12 dbfs.

    The meter reads 0 dbvu (synth signal) but the audio track (cubase) reads - 7.5dbfs

    Shouldn't the cubase channel read -12 dbfs?
  5. lawless

    lawless Guest

  6. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    That means nothing. 0dBV can also be calibrated to be +4, +8, -10 in analog world.

    Does your keyboard have +4 balanced outs? If not, then you have -10 outputs. The pad on the soundcard could be the reason that you are not seeing -12dbbfs
  7. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    My understand is the VU is an average power level.

    0 vu is when a 1kHz sinewave creates 1mW across a 600-ohm resistance.

    check out what Bob Katz has to say:
    (Dead Link Removed)

    Food for thought, different software different levels?
  8. UGRR

    UGRR Guest

    I am assuming your using a a VST instrument inside cubase and converting it to audio within cubase itself.

    Your best bet would be to post this at the cubase forums, since this is an internal conversion and does not rely on any external a/d at all.

    If I were you, I would just find the level you want to hit the DdFS scale at and call it good.

    I like -18 myself.
  9. lawless

    lawless Guest

    Thanks for the Bob Kats link ... UGRR you are correct and -18dbfs is what Im going to bounce with. So...basically, you want to leave plenty of headroom for plugins and the eventual summing of all tracks to 2 track and if you are recording into the box passing through adc...then -18dbfs is good so as to not overdrive or pinch the signal. It seems most ADCs were made to work optimally at around -18 to -20 dbfs. Again, thanks for helping/be patient with a noob. Now, time to start recording.


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