Metering and Time Display in Sound Forge 9

Post » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:24 pm

When recording, I'd like to be able to see the big time display window and the big meters with the phase meter, but both only appear to be active during playback. Is there a button or option setting that I'm missing, that will make them work when recording, or do have to live with what I get with the Recording or Remote window?

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Jeremy Kenney
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Post » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:18 pm

They should be available during record. In the "Record" mode, right-click in the bottom area of the Record window and select, "Show peak meter" (or RMS meter) The phase scope and others should be listed there also.
To make them larger, right click the meter and select "Layout"> "Stretch to fit".
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Connor Wing
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Post » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:21 am

I have the meters and time display on the screen when I'm in the Record mode, and I have horizontal meters in the Record window. I see nothing at the bottom of the screen other than the word length, sample rate, Stereo (or Mono) and available disk space. When right-clicking in the blank area on the bottom, nothing happens.

I do have the large meters and time display windows open when recording, and I have horizontal meters in the "Record" window which move when the "Monitor" box is checked (as I expect). The time display window reads where the play cursor is, not the recording time. And the "big" meters with the phase display only work on playback, not while recording.

This is either a dumb question or it can't be done. I've been through all the obvious stuff.

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Donatus Uwasomba
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Post » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:52 pm

As RR said, you can select whatever metering you want (by right-clicking in the 'Record' window) the functions of all the 'big' meters that you can see in the main window, including peak (the default) , VU/PPM, phase, and mono-compatibility. They then show in the record window horiztonally, only. If you can't get it, put your curor just below the default PPM meter and right-click there.

They will not show on the big main window meters, which are 'playback'. Do you want to see the meters working in two places at once , or have something against horizontal metering ;-?)

It's nice that one can do it, but I really don't see the point of seeing anything but PPM, given that "what you record is what you record". Apart from general interest I suppose....

Hope this helps

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Tessa Mullins
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Post » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:31 pm

OK, I got it. I was looking for a button or check box in the meter area, and didn't try just right-clicking in the open space. That got me the X-Y Lissajous pattern that I wanted to be able to see. The Recording window can't be re-sized, however, so the size is limited to what can fit in that window.

I'd prefer vertical meters since that's the way I'm used to looking at meters that aren't mechanical, but the horizontal meters will do. Turns out that i had the layout that gave me the meters that were easiest to read (long and skinny), I just wish they could be larger, but I suppose I'll have to live with it.

It just seems odd to me that there's already a perfectly good meter on the screen and it doesn't do anything when recording. I don't need meters in two places. I'd rather have them in just one, but 50 years of working with audio recording has just kind of accustomed me to looking at a single meter that functions for both recording and playback. I don't like having two sets of transport controls either, one that only works for recording and the other that only works for playback except for the Record button that doesn't start recording, but just opens the Recording window.

I actually like watching a traditional VU meter when recording digital, but unless there's something else I haven't found, the VU calibration is fixed so that 0 VU corresponds to about -8 dBFS and I like 0 VU to correspond to -16 to -20 dBFS. And the VU meter in Sound Forge looks like its dynamic response is the same as the peak meter, not anything like a real VU meter, so it's just like looking at a peak meter with the numbers in the wrong place. The advantage of displaying the VU meters along with the peak meters is that there's a layout combination that gives a larger phase scope.

Just another Sound Forge quirk, I guess. I can live with it. I guess nobody responsible for the user interface has ever used a tape recorder. ;)

Any way of getting a bigger display of recording time than the small text below the Record transport controls? I sometimes like to make notes (on real paper) as to what happens at a particular time and a larger time display would be easier to see. I know I could just drop a marker and make a note as to what's at that marker number, but I'm just an old fart who prefers to work the way I'm comfortable instead of learning a new way to work with every program.
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Post » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:16 pm

Recording to digital the only import thig is the peak meter. If you are setting a recording level by the VU meter unless ultra-conservative you risk clipped peaks as VU is an averaging thing. There are various options for all meters in the same R-click dialogue, though not the VU 'law' (if indeed it is dfferent to standard) .

Yes I've often wondered what the logic is in not using the same meters as for playback, and prefer the vertical format. .

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Matthew Warren
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Post » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:27 pm

Mike, In the "Record> Layout" menu you can select Vertical or Horizontal.
No, you cannot change the size of the Rec. window.
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kitten maciver
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Post » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:21 pm

"Recording to digital the only import thig is the peak meter. If you are setting a recording level by the VU meter unless ultra-conservative you risk clipped peaks as VU is an averaging thing. There are various options for all meters in the same R-click dialogue, though not the VU 'law' (if indeed it is dfferent to standard) ."

A peak meter tells you how close to being in trouble you are. A "loudness" meter tells you more if you know how to interpret it (which I do). Leaving 16-20 dB of headroom between 0VU and 0dBFS depending on the dynamic range and crest factor of what you're recording has served me well for 20 years of digital recording. The Sound Forge VU meter (at least in the Recording window - I haven't looked at the playback meter) is fixed at about 0VU=-8dBFS, which is OK if you're recording something that's already pretty thoroughly compressed (or well rehearsed) but not enough headroom for a "live" recording, which is what I do a lot of.

But then this isn't Burger King and apparently I can't have it MY way. ;)

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Haley Merkley
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Post » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:37 pm

Lots of good VU scale meters out there, if you search this forum you'll find some links. There is a really nice collection at but if I recall they work on the Windows legacy drivers.

I appreciate your comfort level with VU meters; it took several years for my brain to make the transition, and I still use them on occasion. However, 0 dbfs is a more appropriate reference for digital recording given the hard ceiling --- I'm old enough to remember when audio "compression" meant driving tape at +6 dbvu.
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yessenia hermosillo
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Post » Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:34 pm

Well you CAN have it your way, it seems, at least wrt to meter orientation.

In digital recording there is NO POINT in knowing the VU indications of what you are recording. In fact there was no point in VU (as opposed to PPM) in anologue recording either, unless you are adjusting pre-compression while you record, or trying to take advantage of a properly calibrated tape machine's tape saturation.

The important thing in digital is that you MUST NOT exceed 0dB. That is the ONLY important thing. That way you record exactly the input signal. To record to a VU value is pointless and dangerous, risking 'overs' on a potential unrepeatable take. This is no different in DAW, digital editor, or Mackie Hard Disk Recorder - no 'VU' meters there at all, eh ;-) !

If you feel the need, you can get all close and friendly with it AFTER is has been recorded, which is the only time you are goingt o be able to do anything about it anyway ! Either you are happy with the dynamics of what you recorded, evaluating by ear or VU, or you process what you've recorded to achieve those average dynamics.

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vicki kitterman
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Post » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:52 pm

I concur with Geoff, In the digital recoding realm, the RMS-VU meters are secondary for acquisition, as they do not indicate "overs". (clip)... But I do go back a long way, cut my teeth on a Teac 4-Ttk . about a hundred years ago??
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Love iz not
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