TP-028, Nat Adderley's Work Song is now available

Author Topic: VU LEVELS  (Read 27805 times)

mep

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VU LEVELS
« on: September 21, 2009, 11:45:13 am »
I am curious as to the levels other people are seeing on the Waltz for Debby tapes.  With the output level controls set on my Otari MX-55 approximately to the 1:00 position, my corresponding VU meter output levels are fairly low.  The tapes sound great-so I am not complaining.  I am just wondering if people are seeing low output on their VU meters and if not, how loud do you have your output level control set?  Thanks.

Mark

Offline Tim

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2009, 03:21:10 pm »
I'm curious as well (as to the operating level of TP tapes)

You need to put any output level control on your deck to the calibrate position.  Often it's 3 o'clock and there is a mark at that spot.

Also, you need to know what flux level 0VU was set to on your deck.  There is no rigid standard, BTW.

There are 4 operating levels used for VU meters:

standard=185nWb/m
+3        =250nWb/m
+6        =355nWb/m
+9        =500nWb/m

Two examples:   0VU on your deck is set for 250 nW/meter

If, on this deck, TP tapes max out at zero VU, then TP uses a +3 operating level.  If meters max out at +3VU, then the tape has a +6 operating level.

                        0VU on your deck is set for 355nWb/m

If, on this deck, TP tapes max out at -6 VU, then TP uses a standard operating level

Tim
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 01:05:10 am by Tim »
Tim Leinbaugh
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mep

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2009, 05:49:15 pm »
I was told by the TP to set the level to 250nw and I did.

Offline Tim

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 07:34:09 pm »
Your output level control needs to be set to it's CAL position (whatever that is).

If it's 3 o'clock, then it needed to be exactly set there when you set your meter calibration to zero (when playing back your 250 nWb/m test tape).

It also needs to be set there when playing back the TP tapes if you wish to determine what recording/operating level they used.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 01:01:36 am by Tim »
Tim Leinbaugh
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mep

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2009, 05:58:44 am »
Tim-my basic question has gone unanswered.  My question is, what levels are other people seeing when they play back Waltz for Debby?  The levels seem very low to me and I wanted to know if other people are experiencing the same thing or not.  I played the Robert Cray tape last night and the levels are much hotter on that tape.  And again, I think Waltz for Debbie sounds great.

Offline steveidosound

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2009, 09:42:40 am »
Tim-my basic question has gone unanswered.  My question is, what levels are other people seeing when they play back Waltz for Debby?  The levels seem very low to me and I wanted to know if other people are experiencing the same thing or not.  I played the Robert Cray tape last night and the levels are much hotter on that tape.  And again, I think Waltz for Debbie sounds great.

Sorry to be another "non-answer" to your specific question, but it is important to remember that VU meters, especially analog ones are far closer to average than peak reading devices. So if the average level is lower, on a tape with more dynamic range in the program (peak vs. average level) the meters would read lower on average than on something with less dynamic range where the average is up closer to the peak level.  I would guess that the good folks at the Tape Project master to the highest level possible without distortion or messing with the relative levels of the source master (compression).
Steve Williams

you don't want to know what equipment I listen to...

Offline Tim

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2009, 10:14:58 am »
My answer was that a possible reason for your abnormally low meter readings was because your output control was not at it's proper "calibrate" position.  Your meters will only read correctly at that one specific knob setting.

I have a TP tape (not Waltz for Debby) and it's max VU indication was "0" VU on a deck set up for +6 operating level (0VU=355 nWb/m)
Tim Leinbaugh
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with RTR specialty.

mep

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2009, 10:32:18 am »
Geez, a simple question and still no answer.  There is no "calibrate" postion on my level cotrols.  I normally keep them in same position.

Offline astrotoy

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2009, 10:39:55 am »
Mark, I'm no expert in this area, but here is a suggestion. Play your TP calibration tape on your machine. What is the VU meter reading?  Then you can see the relative reading of your Waltz for Debby. The other experts - like Time and Steve can let you know whether your Waltz is low compared with theirs.  I don't have a comparison on my Technics, since the Bottlehead mods disable the VU meters.  My Otari has a calibration position as Tim mentioned.   Larry
Larry Toy CharterMember-BHReproTechnics1506/Akai747dbx/OtariMX5050B3-ClassicalVinylFreak-15Krecs-VPIHRXRimDrv-LyraSkala-HelikonMono-HerronVTSP3A/BHPhonoPre-PacificMicrosonics Model2 - Pyramix&MykerinosCard-OppoNE-Proceed AVP2+6/CVP2-CJ MET1-Cary 2A3SE-AvantgardeDuos-3Solos-VelodyneDD18Sub

Offline steveidosound

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2009, 12:21:49 pm »
Geez, a simple question and still no answer.  There is no "calibrate" postion on my level cotrols.  I normally keep them in same position.
Don't you have a small switch by your output level knob that says "SRL" (standard reference level) that turns on an LED marked the same?
That is what  my 4 ch. MX5050 has. When this is on the output level is fixed and the control is bypassed.
Time for the real experts to step in. I don't have a way of giving you relative meter levels on TP tapes either.
Steve Williams

you don't want to know what equipment I listen to...

Offline jcmusic

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2009, 01:13:07 pm »
Tim-my basic question has gone unanswered.  My question is, what levels are other people seeing when they play back Waltz for Debby?  The levels seem very low to me and I wanted to know if other people are experiencing the same thing or not.  I played the Robert Cray tape last night and the levels are much hotter on that tape.  And again, I think Waltz for Debbie sounds great.

Mep I can answer this for you, I have expirenced the same thing. TP tape #1 J.N. is low, #2 D.A. is louder, the R.C. tape is louder than B.E.

Jay
Redpoint Model D TT/Soundsmith Sotto Voce Cartridge Otari MX 5050 BII/BH Tube Repro deHavilland Model 222
 Ah Njoe Tjoeb 4000, Rogue Magnum 99, Korneff 45 SET Amp, Klipsch K-Horns Bass Bins/2" Tractrix Horns 2" BMS Drivers, Vintage Tubes.

mep

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2009, 02:21:27 pm »
Jay,
Thanks so much.  Your answer is what I was looking for.  I forgot that lots of TP subscribers have the Technics with the VU meters disabled.  I like having the meters as it gives me an idea of how much dynamic range has been recorded (or is available to be recorded).

Mark

Offline jcmusic

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2009, 06:16:46 pm »
Mark,
No problem my friend!!!

Jay
Redpoint Model D TT/Soundsmith Sotto Voce Cartridge Otari MX 5050 BII/BH Tube Repro deHavilland Model 222
 Ah Njoe Tjoeb 4000, Rogue Magnum 99, Korneff 45 SET Amp, Klipsch K-Horns Bass Bins/2" Tractrix Horns 2" BMS Drivers, Vintage Tubes.

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2009, 10:47:57 pm »
Mark, I'm no expert in this area, but here is a suggestion. Play your TP calibration tape on your machine. What is the VU meter reading?  Then you can see the relative reading of your Waltz for Debby.

Larry,

You're on the right track. If Mark or anyone else is interested in monitoring the recorded levels, the first thing to check would be that the 1K tone reads zero on the VU meter. Then without changing any settings on the deck, play the music and watch the meters.

We set the recorded levels where we think it's appropriate for each recording. It will vary, since recordings vary. It has been a while since I specifically checked the levels on Waltz for Debby. Usually when I play that tape my eyes close and the smile overtakes me within the first minute or so, and I don't come out of it until the side ends.
Paul Stubblebine
Managing Director, The TapeProject

Offline jcmusic

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Re: VU LEVELS
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2009, 07:33:34 am »
Mark, I'm no expert in this area, but here is a suggestion. Play your TP calibration tape on your machine. What is the VU meter reading?  Then you can see the relative reading of your Waltz for Debby.

Larry,

You're on the right track. If Mark or anyone else is interested in monitoring the recorded levels, the first thing to check would be that the 1K tone reads zero on the VU meter. Then without changing any settings on the deck, play the music and watch the meters.

We set the recorded levels where we think it's appropriate for each recording. It will vary, since recordings vary. It has been a while since I specifically checked the levels on Waltz for Debby. Usually when I play that tape my eyes close and the smile overtakes me within the first minute or so, and I don't come out of it until the side ends.
Paul,
Do not misunderstand me!!! I am just saying that some of the tapes are recorded higher than others!!!, that's all.

Jay
Redpoint Model D TT/Soundsmith Sotto Voce Cartridge Otari MX 5050 BII/BH Tube Repro deHavilland Model 222
 Ah Njoe Tjoeb 4000, Rogue Magnum 99, Korneff 45 SET Amp, Klipsch K-Horns Bass Bins/2" Tractrix Horns 2" BMS Drivers, Vintage Tubes.