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Home | Products | MAX | VuMAX | Overview

Make Surround Level Decisions With Confidence VuMAX 
Surround Vu Meters
Learn the benefits and features from the text version below or download a PDF identical to our glossy printed version with additional graphics and block diagram.
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VuMAX provides precision VU metering that, when combined with MultiMAX EX, ForMAX, and RecordistMAX, further enhances any studio to add extensive metering, monitoring, and film-style mixing functionality in the complete range of mono, stereo, and multichannel production formats.

VuMAX houses 8 precision VU meters, lights and buffering circuitry, and requires 4U of rack space. It is an integral part of our monitoring component family and may be easily connected - singly or in multiples - to MultiMAX EX, ForMAX, and RecordistMAX to provide visual indication of the selected monitor source levels, as follows:

- MultiMAX EX's 8 meter outputs automatically follow the Monitor Source selection, allowing the engineer to check the mix of the selected Wide Inputs and the results of downmixing, recorder returns, encoder outputs (including Lt Rt) and the mixing console or DAW.

- ForMAX provides 24 meter outputs that follow the PEC/Direct (recorder/mix) switch selection of the 2 groups of 24 inputs to the unit's reassign matrix.

- RecordistMAX offers 8 meter feeds, each denoting a summed signal from any combination of the like-numbered inputs from the recorders (for example, meter #1 may be fed by any combination of track #1 outputs from the connected recorders).

MultiMAX EX, ForMAX, and RecordistMAX add extensive monitoring capabilities to your facility. Whether you are simply looking to augment the stereo monitor section of your mixing console or workstation so that you can do surround sound projects in your studio, or wish to upgrade to sophisticated film-style mixing functionality in the control room and the machine room, Martinsound's MAX family of monitoring components can handle it all.

But visual monitoring can be equally as important as audio monitoring. MultiMAX EX, ForMAX, and RecordistMAX are all designed with user-friendly interfaces, utilizing graphic LCD or LED displays. They are not only intuitive in operation but also provide users with a visual indication of their signal path setups and status at a glance. Adding VuMAX to these systems adds another level of sophistication.

Many engineers prefer VU meters, which have been the metering standard for decades, and they know intuitively how to work with them. VU meters represent an average value of sound signals in decibels and are not designed to measure peaks or to indicate noise, instead measuring the mean average or RMS voltage of the signal. RMS or root mean square is an accurate method for reading the true power of a signal.

Consequently, mixing intermittent signals such as dialog becomes an acquired skill. But what VU meters do very well is provide an indication of apparent loudness and monitor mixed program material. With the boom in surround sound production has come a number of recommendations and standards from professional organizations regarding monitor reference levels in the studio for specific applications. In film mixing, for example, it is recommended that program material should be monitored at the exact same level at which it will be reproduced. Without good meters it can be very difficult to calibrate and align the studio equipment and set an accurate, repeatable reference level for recording and monitoring.

But good VU meter displays can be hard to find. Mechanical meters take up a lot of space. As mixing consoles and recorders have steadily increased in input capacity and shrunk in overall size many manufacturers have chosen to fit bargraph meters instead of VU meters. If VU meters are fitted in addition to bargraphs they can often be tiny or limited to a stereo pair. Some systems, such as digital audio workstations and some computer-controlled mixing consoles, offer only on-screen graphic representations of meters, which may not always be immediately viewable. As a result, some facilities have had to settle for building their own meter displays, a time-consuming and labor-intensive task.

The topic of listening levels as they relate to multichannel monitoring is also examined in our free Report, A VU To Downmixing. Request your free copy.

MAX Cables are professional molded Tascam format analog interface cables make installation of MAX products a snap.

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