Chapter | twelve


The Standard Volume Indicator (VU Meter)



Basic Specifications



The Confusion

The SVI and Peaks

The “Modern” VU Meter

Calibration Using the VU Meter



The Standard Volume Indicator (SVI) (also commonly known as a VU meter) was originally developed by the Bell System around 1940. It was standardized in 1942 (American Standards Association (ASA), C16.5-1942: American Recommended Practice for Volume Measurements of Electrical Speech and Program Waves), and has ever since been the most used – and perhaps most misused and misunderstood – analog level meter in audio. The latest reaffirmation of the standard was issued by the IEC in 1990. The ANSI standard was withdrawn in 1999.

Get Audio Metering, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.