Top Metering VST Plugins
Top Metering VST Plugins

Top 10+ Metering VST Plugins 2022

We have created for you a rating of the Best 10 Metering VST Plugins as the most downloaded and according to the excellent reviews of musicians

VST list navigation:

  1. LEVELS
  2. Loudness Penalty
  3. BUTE Loudness Analyser 2
  4. DRMeter MkII
  5. K-Meter
  6. DROffline
  7. DROffline MkII
  8. Perception AB
  9. DRMeter MkII Upgrade from DRMeter
  10. BUTE Loudness Analyser 2 (Surround)

1. LEVELS

by: Mastering The Mix

 
LEVELS
 

Identify Technical Issues in Your Mix

What Is LEVELS?

Ever felt that your music could have sounded better? There are so many technical details to focus on when mixing and mastering that mistakes are common. LEVELS has presets for CD, Club, Streaming, Youtube and more to help you make sure your music sounds great wherever its heard.

Peak

  • True peak meter (16 X oversampling ) to make sure your masters don’t clip.
  • Standard peak meter. Keep it below -6dB for a perfect final mix

LUFS

  • EBU R128 compliant integrated and short term LUFS meters. The most accurate way to analyse perceived loudness.

Stereo Field

  • Vectorscope to visualise stereo width.
  • Correlation meter to monitor phase issues.
  • Left/Right meter to assess the balance of your mix.
  • Low Pass button solos your low frequencies below 300hz so you can see their stereo width.

Dynamic Range

  • Instantly see if your music is overcompressed
  • Oscilloscope glows green if your music is dynamic.
  • ‘DR’ Dynamic Range display based on reliable Short Term LUFS to peak ratio.

Loudness Range

  • EBU R128 compliant loudness range meter to monitor the difference in loudness between the various sections in your track.

Bass Space

  • Identifies if any channels are outputting unwanted low frequencies.
  • Helps you clean up your low end giving your track punch and clarity.
  • Level meters for 40Hz, 80Hz, 120Hz, 160Hz.

Features

  • Design – Retina ready. Slick and responsive user interface.
  • Simplicity – The intuitive visuals in each section let you quickly diagnose and fix any issues.
  • Time-Saving – LEVELS only draws your attention to issues.
  • Performance – Very low CPU. An advantage when your session has many plugins.
  • Price – Affordable for producers at all stages of their musical careers.
  • Customisation – Adjustable settings to suit your needs.
  • Convenience – 7 indispensable mixing and metering tools in one plugin.
  • Learn – If you get stuck, click the (?) to learn how to fix your issue.

System Requirements

Mac:

  • Mac OS X 10.8 or higher
  • AU, VST 2/3 or AAX host (64-bit only)
  • macOS 11 Big Sur + Apple M1 Silicon supported (Intel-only)

Windows:

  • Windows 7, 8 or 10
  • VST 2/3 or AAX host (64-bit only)

Available in VST, VST3, Audio Units and AAX formats (64-bit only).


2. Loudness Penalty

by: MeterPlugs

 
Loudness Penalty
 

Will your music be turned down by online streaming services?

Confidently assess how your music will play back online.

With Loudness Penalty, you can…

  • Optimize your music’s online loudness: Share your music knowing it will hold up online.
  • Preview how your music will sound online: No need to leave your DAW.
  • Pinpoint loudness pain-points: Find exactly which parts of a song trigger the biggest penalty.
  • Discover when it’s possible to turn your music up: without incurring a penalty.
  • Reassure clients: Show them how streaming services affect loudness.
  • Avoid loudness indecision: No more trial and error, no more guessing.

Avoid the Loudness Penalty – Don’t be turned down by online streaming services

Online streaming services turn down loud music to ensure a more consistent listening experience. The Loudness Penalty plugin tells you how much your music will be turned down by YouTube, Spotify, TIDAL, Pandora and Apple’s Sound Check. Now you can have immediate access to this information right in your DAW. Spot the moments that trigger the biggest penalty, and tweak your settings to avoid them, while retaining impactful, punchy playback.

Why Do You Call It a Penalty?

Because it is! We deliberately chose the name “Loudness Penalty” to be a little provocative, but it is accurate. The louder your music is, the more it will be turned down by online streaming services, to avoid “blasting” listeners with unexpected changes in loudness. You may think that your music sounds fine, even when it has been turned down, but with Loudness Penalty you can be sure. Preview your music live, and test whether you want to take advantage of the opportunity for more dynamics.

No More LUFS Estimates

Objective, accurate feedback.

Have you ever been told to upload your music at -14 LUFS, or some other estimated value? Don’t – it doesn’t work! Only one streaming service currently uses LUFS to make its loudness decisions, and while LUFS estimates can tell you the overall reference loudness for a particular service, individual songs can be quieter by as much as 3 dB, in our experience. Loudness Penalty gives you far more accurate feedback, typically within half a dB of the real-world values. No more guessing, no more trial and error. With Loudness Penalty, you can optimize and upload your music knowing it will stand head and shoulders against the competition.

Features

  • Realtime Loudness Penalty scores
  • Supports the five most popular streaming services
  • Discover when you can turn your music up, without a penalty
  • Preview how your music will sound online
  • Faster than real-time processing with Pro Tools’ Audio Suite

System Requirements

  • macOS 10.7 or later (64-bit only) (Intel & M1 Apple Silicon supported)
  • Windows XP SP3 or later (32 / 64-bit)

Formats 

  • Audio Unit, VST 2.4 and AAX

3. BUTE Loudness Analyser 2

by: Signum Audio

 
BUTE Loudness Analyser 2
 

Smart loudness metering plugin at the heart of BUTE Loudness Suite 2

Loudness standards are usually part of a delivery specification and since this is the last step in post-production it’s a time-critical issue for most projects. Signum Audio tools help to meet specifications with ease. Even if you don’t need to hit specific specifications you might still want to loudness master for your target platform (e.g. Spotify, or youtube), Signum Audio’s tools help with that as well. The BUTE Loudness Analyser 2 is the backbone of Signum Audio’s range of loudness solutions, and an essential tool for those working in post-production for broadcast, music, gaming, podcasts, film, sound design and radio imaging. It offers high-end quality at great value.

Bute-ifully crafted for an improved workflow

The BUTE Loudness Analyser 2 has been beautifully designed to deliver unparalleled levels of insight into your audio files with accurate and customisable readings. Advanced features like automatic re-metering, customisable warnings, an interactive navigation overview and window, and reloadable session data. These workflow-driven features make it particularly useful for long-form content.

Master Smarter

With the high precision metering algorithms, you can rest assured that your audio will meet your clients delivery specifications and sound as it should. With its range of useful workflow features, configurable meter readings for short-term and momentary loudness, true peak and traditional RMS, and the latest broadcasting and streaming standards included as presets, Signum Audio’s loudness meter makes your mixing and mastering journey much simpler.

Applications

Mixing & Mastering

  • Produce consistent masters
  • Avoid ‘level shifting’ and clipping downstream
  • Ensure accurate representation of your audio/music
  • Measure and refine dynamic content

Post-Production & Broadcasting

  • Hit target levels easily with a wide range of implemented presets
  • Ensure and prove compliance with regulation
  • Balance dialogue, music and effects
  • Manage live broadcasting & streaming levels accurately and efficiently
  • Optimise dynamics for streaming content

Gaming Audio

  • Balance sound effects and dialogue
  • ASWG 5.1 and 7.1 Surround Sound support (Surround version)

Features

  • A smart loudness metering tool focused on pro-audio workflows
  • Smart history overview for completely interactive browsing of up to 10-hours of loudness data at a glance
  • Custom alert system flags up areas that need attention with severe (red) or warning (yellow) pointer on the history overview. User settings can be defined in the settings panel.
  • Smart auto re-metering feature which syncs on load-up, and auto-detects and reflects any adjustments you make in the DAW on the graphical display
  • Powerful compact read-out view which is completely resizable vertically and horizontally to optimise screen space while keeping readings visible
  • Display settings to switch between True Peak/Metering, Relative/Absolute scale, or Max/Live modes
  • Highly responsive and informative graphical interface 
  • Industry-standard (IEC 60268-18) meter bar fallback for natural, analogue feel
  • Auto-detects DAW channel configuration with dropdown menu to select mono, stereo or surround configurations (Surround version)
  • Wide array of built-in presets for the very latest loudness standards and recommendations
  • Highest quality linear phase upsampling
  • Clean and comprehensive read-outs for short-term & momentary loudness, True Peak, and traditional RMS
  • Reloadable session data
  • Save, Load and Export metering data
  • Available in Stereo or Surround version. The Surround version expands support for multi-channel configurations up to Atmos 7.1.2
  • Free future updates 

BUTE is fully compliant with up-to-date presets for the following loudness specifications:

  • ITU-R BS. 1770, EBU R128, ATSC A/85OP-59, ARIB TR-B32, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Check, Hulu, Netflix, TIDAL, Sony Gaming (ASWG), AES Streaming Recommendation, US Public Radio (PRSS), TIDAL and Pandora. You also have the ability to save multiple user-defined presets.

System Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.9 Lion or higher / Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only)
  • VST / VST3 / AU / AAX (including AudioSuite)

Note: The AAX version requires Pro Tools 12.6 or higher.


4. DRMeter MkII

by: MAAT

 
DRMeter MkII
 

DRMeter MkII

The One Meter For All Of Us

DRMeter MkII :: Cross-platform Plugin

The only comprehensive Loudness metering solution, from the guys who helped pave the way for Loudness normalization.

One Meter For All

DRMeter MkII is the first loudness meter designed for general use and specifically for music production. It’s the only loudness meter that displays channel-specific trends and events by augmenting the mandated mono measurement with classic L/R metering. DRMeter MkII is also the first plug–in to offer official DR dynamic range measurement!

With this product, MAAT premiers the Dynamic Deviation™ function, an intuitive presentation of current dynamic density compared to Target Loudness. DRM2 is also the first loudness meter to display both Relative and Absolute scales simultaneously.

Need More?

Current Loudness meters were designed to strictly conform to the R128 and A/85 Loudness measurements standards. While DRMeter MkII conforms 100% to all international standards, with higher accuracy than many competing products, we wanted more and we think you will too. Conceived by MAAT’s own Friedemann Tischmeyer, a member of the EBU’s ploud group that created R128, DRMeter MkII addresses the needs of modern audio pros, who jump from commercial work and CD prep and mastering to an industrial promo soundtrack or VO for a DOOH client.

Relax. Whatever job walks in the door, you know your measurement needs are met. Rest easy knowing no matter what genre or flavour of content you produce, DRMeter MkII will guide you toward the best possible master for your specific delivery platform or medium. DRMeter MkII, the Loudness Meter for all of us.

Unobtrusive Power

Hiding behind DRMeter MkII’s seemingly simple UI is a powerful premise. Eye candy is great for newbies, but can really get you down on a daily basis. DRMeter MkII packs every metric you may need into one resizable window that’s easy on the eyes. Not only does the UI “get out of the way,” so you can be more productive, but MAAT have also incorporated industry-first features that inform you of possible pitfalls without slapping you in the face.

Subtle Functionality

DRMeter MkII combines all mandated Loudness metrics with several new twists. We’ve added discrete left/right measurements so you can ID channel-specific trouble spots and track trends. We also measure all the time for all metrics, in the background, so you can jump from one measurement method to another and back, checking up on specific concerns without losing the overall picture. We’ve even added little details that make your day better, like digital black indicators; Play, Pause and automatic controls for integrated measurement; an R128 Gate Disable for downward compatibility; and a True Peak disable option for you broadcast folks that need SPPM as well. Did we mention user presets so you can blip between client or program-specific settings in an instant?

Better By Design

We’ve included a round trip AAC codec, the same one iTunes uses, into our measurement and monitoring options so your MfiT work will be spot on every time, while Dynamic Deviation allows you to navigate within the “gravitation field” between peak and loudness normalization. By setting your personal Target Loudness level and a True Peak Threshold, you get instant feedback on positive or negative differences relative to your defined “Dynamic Margin.”

Dynamic Margin equals Target Loudness minus TP Threshold and, BTW, the use of “deviation” is significant. Positive values indicate more dynamic content than your Dynamic Margin, while negative values indicate less dynamic content.

Features:

DRM2 combines mandated R128 and A/85 loudness measurements with an improved version of our DR dynamic range metering standard. DRM2 includes several industry firsts, all designed to help you be more productive.

Industry Firsts

  • The first loudness meter designed for general use and specifically for music production
  • The only loudness meter displaying channel-specific trends and events with classic L/R metering
  • DRMeter MkII is also the first plugin to offer official DRi dynamic range, just like our DROffline batch utility
  • Dynamic Deviation, an intuitive presentation of your current dynamic density compared to Target Loudness
  • DRM2 is also the first loudness meter with DualVu™. Displaying both Relative and Absolute scales simultaneously makes loudness metering more intuitive and easier to understand.

Measurement

  • D-MODE: DR – MAAT’s renowned DR dynamic range standard; PSR – Peak–to–Short–term Ratio; LRA – Loudness Range
  • L-MODE: RMS, Momentary Loudness, Short–term Loudness
  • Integrated: DRi, LUi (Program Loudness)

Additional Functions

With all the features and functionality of our original DRMeter, the thoroughly comprehensive DRMeter MkII makes Target Loudness tangible and easy to understand, while the round trip MFiT feature eases seamless leveling for iTunes delivery. In keeping with our emphasis on quality, DRMs increases your awareness of the limitations and requirements for other streaming and OTT music distribution channels. Plus, you get:

  • MFiT mode — measures and monitors signal through round trip iTunes AACplus codec
  • DRMeter MkII is highly configurable: set it up the way you need
  • Measurements always running; easy to switch standards on the fly
  • Adjustable, user-defined target loudness
  • Adjustable, user-defined maximum True Peak Threshold
  • Dynamic Deviation — difference in LU needed to match user-defined target loudness
  • LUFS/LU mode, LU mode with +9 and +18
  • LINK mode; links left and right channel Dynamic Display together to show an average of L+R
  • Play and Pause control for integrated measurement
  • 3 automatic modes for integrated measurement; AUTO ON, AUTO RESET OFF, AUTO OFF
  • Gate On/Off for downward compatibility
  • Gate indicator; indicates when the R/128 / A/85 Gate is active for LU integrated measurements
  • Global Reset Button
  • -∞ (㏈FS) input indicators
  • Adjustable colour thresholds for peak and loudness bar graphs
  • Factory & user presets
  • optional -30 dB zoom scale
  • 5 different UI sizes for any display size
  • TP disable option (= SPPM)

Essentials

DRMeter MkII lets you manage your Target Loudness and levelling demands for Spotify, YouTube, iTunes and TIDAL with ease!

  • Meter & monitor through MfiT up to 96k
  • All standard formats: AU, VST & AAX Mac/Win
  • Operates at all standard sample rates, from 44.1 to 384 kHz
  • Compatible with standard OSs; macOS, Windows
  • Low fatigue visual design
  • Compact layout in 5 sizes for every screen resolution

Loudness Metering Evolved

Since the invention of the initial TT Dynamic Range meter, things have improved in the global audio metering marketplace. We now have world standards for True Peak, Loudness and Dynamic metrics, defined in ITU BS 1770 and applied in practice thanks to the European Broadcasting Union’s R128 and the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s A/85 standards. Though designed for broadcast audio, this has had a huge impact on the whole world of production and distribution, not only broadcasting. Amazingly, we have reliable, predictable and globally interoperable algorithms and parameters, bringing “Loudness Normalization” into even the world of global music distribution.

Who Needs DR Metering?

We had to ask ourselves, “Does the world really need the DRMeter anymore?” The clear answer is, “Fer sure, dude!” Why? Because LRA or Loudness Range, as specified in BS.1770-4, aims to reflect the dynamics of broadband material being distributed by television broadcasters. The LRA algorithm excludes the top 5% of the dynamic band, which is uninteresting for broadcasters working with generous headroom. However, that same top 5% of the whole dynamic range capacity of a system, is essential for music as its content happens almost exclusively in this upper 5% region. DR is the only algorithm for measuring the dynamic integrity of music releases.

Metering For Normalization Targets

Spotify, YouTube and many other streaming music platforms are working with Program Loudness, along with TV broadcasters worldwide plus an increasing number of OTT (“Over–The–Top” streaming providers like Netflix and HBO Go) and even traditional radio broadcasters. iTunes Music and iTunes Match uses a proprietary algorithm that is pretty close to Integrated Loudness mentioned above. We really don’t need another player in the field of loudness normalization, but we do need a universal yardstick for dynamic density; the DR Dynamic Range algorithm.

DR is a tool not only for pro audio peeps but your audience as well, especially audiophiles since DR is used by music enthusiasts to judge and compare the provenance of music releases. Our DR database records the values of tens of thousands of songs and albums, so the public can compare different releases and remastered versions.

What About PLR?

Lately, there are plenty of meters showing PLR or Peak–to–Loudness Ratio, the difference between Peak and Loudness values. Wouldn’t this be a good alternative? Nope, because PLR has been defined by broadcasters to reflects the True Peak–to–integrated Loudness Ratio. This makes sense for broadcasters dealing with a minimum True Peak headroom of 1 dB (R128) or 2 dB (A/85). That said, using PLR for music makes no sense because many masters show True Peak overs of up to +3 dB, and information above 0 dBFS encodes latent distortion but not dynamics or loudness. A better alternative would be PSR or Sample Peak (SPPM)–to–Short–term Loudness Ratio. PSR has been defined in the AES Convention e-Brief 373. In order to deliver a complete metering solution, we have integrated the PSR algorithm into DRMeter MkII so that you can compare PSR with DR. The major shortcoming of PSR is the inability to consider macro-dynamics due to the absence of gating and the like, which leads to a higher misrepresentation of dynamic density. So, songs with high macrodynamic would be far louder. Also, interpretation of values is impossible unless you know the inherent macro-dynamics. As an example: Say you have a song with an acoustic guitar intro and a very dynamic interlude but a chorus crushed into “toothpaste,” the PSR would give us a moderately high value due to the dynamic intro and interlude. This is solved with DRM2, as you can actually measure the lack of dynamic range while you hear it.

The Measurements

1) The DR bar graph of DRMeter MkII is the same as the original TT DR Meter plugin and MAAT’s DRMeter. If you want to get a quick sense of the final integrated DR (DRi), you have now two options: Go to the loudest sustained part of a song, often the chorus, and read the numeric value above the bar graph. It will be quite close to an integrated DR measurement, which you’d get from our DROffline batch utility. The new option is to use DRM2’s exclusive DRi function. Run the chorus of your song to get a quick estimate of the official DRi. When you’re done with a track, run the whole song and stop playback. The official integer DRi value will be displayed at the bottom of the DR bar graph. This inclusion of DROffline’s functionality will make your workday go faster!

2) The emerging PSR measurement method displays the current Peak–to–Short–term Loudness Ratio for those who want to have a comparison or reference. For the sake of harmonization with existing standards, it makes sense to use Short–term for loudness measurement, and SPPM (Sample Peak Program Metering) for the PSR peak measurement. Be careful: With no standard, PLR measurements are not harmonized. So, different manufacturer’s meters may show varying results, with each showing its own values for the same audio source. Many use RMS instead of Short–term LU. The difference between PLR and DR is simple: PLR is the difference between peak and average, and is not standardized, while DR is always, repeatably DR. Also, DR ignores low amplitude information, so-called “background loudness,” for the sake of a more predictable measurement result. Plus, the DR algorithm also incorporates additional processing for meaningful measurement of the dynamic integrity and dynamic density of popular music.

3) LRA or Loudness Range was designed to reflect the deviation of loudness events primarily for broadcast applications. Unfortunately, LRA isn’t ideal for evaluating the loudness of pop and other styles of music since most recorded music happens in a range of amplitude which is ignored by the mandated LRA algorithm. So, for universality, we have included LRA for broadcast engineers and those of you who want to be more familiar with metering standards and their applications. The LRA meter allows you to compare results with both DR and PSR.

System Requirements

  • macOS 10.9 – 10.15 (Universal Binary 2) (64-bit only)
  • Windows 7 or newer (32 & 64-bit)
  • OpenGL 3.2 or newer

Supported Platforms:

  • AAX Native (Pro Tools 10.3.10 and newer)
  • AU, VST 2, VST 3
  • Sample rates from 44.1 to 384 kHz

5. K-Meter

by: MeterPlugs

 
K-Meter
 

“I purchased your K-Meter beta, and I love it. I’ve tried every metering plug available, and I love yours the best. Great graphics, readability, ballistics, etc. All so well done. Thanks! – Tom Third (tomthird.com)

“This is the meter to use if you are serious about the K-System. It is accurate, easy to read, and contains tools for calibration. In addition, the interface is neat and collapses well if necessary. – Dr. Heinrich Hohl

“Just shouting out a big THANK YOU!!! for the K-Meter plugin – I have been looking for a dedicated meter to use with Logic without having to instigate 3 or more different plugins to monitor using the K-System. I have adopted the K-System into my mixes or some time now and it vastly improves dynamics and clarity in digital land! I only hope the rest of the industry gets onboard! People would not be arguing ITB vs OTB Mixing if they all used your plugin! – Timothy Kling (namatoke.com)

Is Louder Music Better?

The loudness war says yes. What do you say?

Over the past twenty years, music has been getting louder and louder. New recording equipment and software have made it possible to produce extremely compressed audio. But is this really what listeners want? K-Meter offers an alternative by encouraging greater use of dynamic range. If you want your tunes to sound more open, nuanced and natural, this fully-compliant K-System meter is for you.

K-System Metering

What is it?

It’s a way of metering pioneered by Bob Katz, mastering engineer and grammy award winner. With the K-System, maximizing peak levels is no longer the goal; instead, your focus shifts to loudness metering and dynamic range.

The K-System has three scales: K-12, K-14 and K-20. You choose which scale to use based on genre and delivery format. K-12 is for broadcast and radio. K-14 is for mainstream pop, rock and country. K-20 is for film, classical and high-fidelity recordings. From K-12 to K-20, the scales provide an increasing amount of dynamic range.

Calibration Tools

Use pink noise to calibrate your monitors.

K-Meter helps you calibrate your studio monitors by outputting pink noise through each channel. You can use a 3rd party sound pressure meter to ensure proper levels (see the manual for details). Calibrating your monitors makes mixing/mastering by ear even more effective.

Modern Loudness Metering

Perceived loudness with ITU BS.1770.

K-Meter supports loudness metering using ITU BS.1770 (stereo only). This is quickly becoming the international standard for measuring perceived loudness, which takes into account the ear’s sensitivity to different frequencies. Our users love that this powerful feature allows them to take basic loudness measurements at a fraction of the cost of more expensive loudness meters.

True-Peak Metering

What are inter-sample peaks?

In the K-System, peak metering is no longer the focus; however, it is still important to avoid clipping. K-Meter supports true-peak metering, which upsamples your audio up to four times before detecting peaks. This highly accurate detection discovers clipping that other peak meters miss.

Features

  • Full K-System support
  • ITU BS.1770 stereo loudness metering
  • True-peak metering
  • AES-17 RMS metering
  • Pink noise generation
  • Numeric average and peak displays
  • Clip indicators
  • Peak hold/release
  • Collapsible interface

System Requirements

  • macOS 10.7 or later (64-bit only) (Intel & M1 Apple Silicon supported)
  • Windows XP SP3 or later (32 / 64-bit)
  • AAX, Audio Unit, or VST 2.4 compatible DAW

Compatibility

  • K-Meter comes in three versions on the Mac: an AAX plug-in for Pro Tools (10.3.7+), an Audio Unit and a VST 2.4 plug-in. All plug-ins are 32/64-bit universal binaries.
  • K-Meter is available as a 32/64-bit AAX plug-in for Pro Tools (10.3.7+) and a VST 2.4 plug-in on Windows.

6. DROffline

by: MAAT

 
DROffline
 

DROffline

The value-priced version of MAAT’s official DRi (integrated Dynamic Range) measurement utility.

DROffline :: Software

MAAT’s DROffline is the entry-level batch measurement companion application to our original DRMeter real-time DR estimator plug-in.

Truly the Only Way to Measure DR

MAAT’s DROffline batch measurement app is the only software that generates official DR readings. Offering essential options for musically justified, file-based metering, DROffline includes DR dynamic range, SPPM Peak and RMS amplitude. One file can be evaluated, or an entire directory can be measured in batch mode.

What is DR?

The DR algorithm, akin to PLR (Peak–to–Loudness Ratio) or “crest factor,” specifically measures the dynamic density or lack of dynamics caused by overly aggressive dynamic compression and limiting. Although the companion DRMeter provides an estimate of the “official” DR Value, only the DROffline utility can generate official values, which are cumulative over the entire length of a song. Only DROffline can scrub through an entire song or track, resulting in an official DR number. 

The complete DR metering system, composed of the real-time DRMeter plus the DROffline batch processor, was created by Friedemann Tischmeyer to address the need to generate a repeatable, easy to understand numeric value. Seeing a meaningful and easy to understand indication of dynamic range inspires users to back away from hyper-compression.

Is there a good reason to use DR?

Unlike R128 and BS. 1770 meters, DR measures dynamic range from the perspective of a music engineer’s needs. In contrast, R128 and 1770 are designed to control loudness for commercials, not measure dynamic range for music, especially pop music. DR isn’t designed for broadcast loudness control, its purpose is to gauge the amount of dynamic range reduction or the absence of dynamic range contrast. Designed by a member of the EBU ploud committee, the same body that created R128, DR informs an engineer about how much the mix is being or has been “stepped on,” dynamic range-wise, not about “will it pass through a broadcast chain without loudness reduction?”

Not Only the Doctor has a Companion

The MAAT DROffline release is MAAT’s second step in bringing forward the legacy of the PMF’s legendary TT Dynamic Range metering system, which was certainly the most popular metering plugin of the last decade. DROffline has to be modernized to work with the current version of Windows and macOS operating systems. 

The companion DRMeter is a plug-in that generates approximate DR values when applied to the loudest passages in a track. Due to its real-time operation, it cannot measure official DR values, but it can estimate DR while you work.

Features

  • Official DR, SPPM, RMS
  • File or Batch Processing

System Requirements

  • macOS 10.9 – 10.15 (Universal Binary 2) (64-bit only)
  • Windows 7 and newer (32 & 64-bit)

Supported Formats:

  • 24-bit WAV & AIFF file types.
  • Sample rates from 44.1 to 384 kHz.

Important Note: This product is available in Standalone format only.


7. DROffline MkII

by: MAAT

 
DROffline MkII
 

DROffline MkII File Analyzer

The official DRi (integrated Dynamic Range) and R 128/A85 measurement app, plus a whole lot more!

MAAT’s DROffline MkII is the batch measurement companion application to their official DRMeter MkII real-time DR + R128 measurement plugin.

Measure R128 Loudness, DRi & More

MAAT’s DROffline MkII batch measurement app is the only software that automatically measures all mandated R 128 parameters, along with official DRi and a host of key metrics that your DAW may not display. All this in the background and out of your way. Offering essential options for musically justified, file-based metering, DROffline MkII offers 24 different measurements, including integrated DRi Dynamic Range and PSR, the emerging Sample Peak–to–Short Term Loudness Ratio. One file can be evaluated, or an entire directory can be measured in batch mode, all in the background while you continue to work.
DROffline MkII generates both plain text and tab-delimited text logs, with optional engineer and studio metadata, so you can hand your clients good looking reports that they can use for replication, distribution and as documentation for post, provenance, or chain of evidence.

Attention Pro Tool & Logic users! DROffline MkII offers easy access to all audio statistics and metadata, with an instant drag & drop interface. Speaking of drag & drop, DRO2 works in conjunction with DRMeter MkII to run measurements when you drop an audio file onto a DRM2 instance in your DAW.

What is DR?

The DR algorithm, related to PLR (Peak–to–Loudness Ratio) or “crest factor,” specifically measures the dynamic density or lack of dynamics caused by overly aggressive dynamic compression and limiting. Although the companion DRMeter MkII provides a manual measurement of the “official” integrated DR or DRi, only DROffline and DROffline MkII can generate official values automatically and in the background.

The complete DR metering system, composed of the real-time DRMeter MkII plus the DROffline MkII batch processor, was created by Friedemann Tischmeyer to address the need to generate a repeatable, easy to understand numeric value. Seeing a meaningful and easy to understand indication of dynamic range inspires users to back away from hyper-compression.

Is there a good reason to use DR?

Unlike R128 and BS. 1770 meters, DR measures dynamic range from the perspective of a music engineer’s needs. In contrast, R128 and 1770 are designed to control loudness for commercials, not measure dynamic range for music, especially pop music.

DR isn’t designed for broadcast loudness control, it’s purpose is to gauge the amount of dynamic range reduction or the absence of dynamic range contrast. Designed by a member of the EBU ploud committee, the same body that created R128, DR informs an engineer about how much the mix has been “stepped on,” dynamic range-wise, not about “will it pass through a broadcast chain without loudness reduction?”

Divide & Conquer

Bringing forward the legacy of the PMF’s legendary TT Dynamic Range metering system, DROffline MkII works with all current international Loudness metrics plus emerging measurement techniques that provide more meaningful numbers than R128 methods alone. Granted, R128 or A/85 is essential for all modern pro workflows, but other Loudness meters only provide half the story.

The companion DRMeter MkII is a plug-in that manually generates DRi values when applied to the loudest passages in a track, and is the perfect real-time complement to DROffline MkII for quickly estimating both Loudness and subjective loudness.

Features

Loudness Measurements: Mandated R128 & A/85

  • Maximum True Peak (joint measurement as per ITU)
  • Maximum Momentary (joint measurement as per ITU)
  • Maximum Short–Term (joint measurement as per ITU)
  • Integrated Loudness (joint measurement as per ITU)
  • Loudness Range (joint measurement as per ITU)

File Metadata: Additional Informative Metrics

  • File Name
  • Absolute Path
  • File Format
  • Sample Rate
  • Word Length
  • Bits Used (filled)

Loudness Measurements: Supplemental

  • DRi (joint measurement as per PMF)
  • DRi LEFT
  • DRi RIGHT
  • Maximum True Peak LEFT
  • Maximum True Peak RIGHT
  • Maximum Momentary LEFT
  • Maximum Momentary RIGHT
  • Maximum Short–Term LEFT
  • Maximum Short–Term RIGHT
  • Maximum Sample Peak (SPPM) LEFT
  • Maximum Sample Peak (SPPM) RIGHT
  • Maximum Sample Peak (SPPM joint measurement)
  • Minimum PSR (Sample Peak–to–Short–Term Loudness 
  • joint measurement as per AES)
  • RMS LEFT
  • RMS RIGHT

Miscellaneous: Comprehensive, Modern & Fast

  • Cross-platform
  • Fast local background processing
  • More accurate than many other “measurement” products
  • More secure than cloud services
  • 44.1 to 384 kHz sample rate
  • LPCM (WAV, BWF, AIFF) or Lossless (FLAC, ALAC)

Additional Features:

  • Official DRi, R128, PSR, RMS
  • Channel–specific measurements
  • Full file metadata

System Requirements

  • macOS 10.9 – 10.15 (Universal Binary 2) (64-bit only)
  • Windows 7 and newer (32 & 64-bit)

Supported Formats:

  • LPCM, ALAC, FLAC file formats
  • Sample rates from 44.1 to 384 kHz
  • Word lengths from 16 – 24 bit fixed + 32-bit floating-point

Important Note: This product is available in Standalone format only.


8. Perception AB

by: MeterPlugs

 
Perception AB
 

The ultimate A/B plugin for mixing and mastering.

With Perception AB, you can…

  • Compare before and after with level-matching.
  • Quickly A/B test effects with plugin delay compensation.
  • Bypass your entire mix with a single click.
  • A/B test individual channels in the context of the whole mix.
  • Spot sneaky plugin presets – Hear what your processing really sounds like.
  • Compare with reference tracks at online streaming levels.

Better? Or Just Louder?

How can you be sure?

Loudness changes our perception of music. Louder may seem better at first, but it’s easy to be fooled. When mixing and mastering, you must constantly ask yourself, “Is this really better? Or just louder?” The way to make reliable, real-world judgements is to listen with matched loudness. This has always been a key skill for mixing and mastering engineers, which can take years to learn. Until now…

Loudness Deception

Make informed decisions about your music.

Perception AB instantly and automatically matches the level of the music you’re listening to, allowing you to hear past the “loudness deception” and make clear, real-world decisions about the best possible sound for your music, quickly and easily. You can bypass entire processing chains to make before and after comparisons of EQ settings, compression and more while mixing or mastering. You can even bypass external analog gear!

Level-Matched A/B Testing

How does it work?

Simple. First, insert the Perception AB plugin before the processing chain you want to test and select “Pre”. Second, insert the plugin at the end of the chain and select “Post.” Click “Match Level” and you can toggle between the Pre and Post audio to compare your music before and after the processing chain with level-matching and full delay compensation.

Faster, More Flexible

Now optimized for mixing and mastering

The original award-winning Perception was ground-breaking – the first-ever plugin to offer easy, loudness-matched A/B comparisons in mastering, for any processing chain. Now Perception AB is the first to be fully optimized for mixing as well, enabling you to seamlessly bypass your entire mix (or any part of it) with a single click, without hearing a change in loudness.

Features

  • Bypass any processing chain
  • Fast A/B testing
  • Automatic loudness matching
  • Plugin delay compensation
  • Optimized for mixing – new Bypass All function
  • Multiple loudness matching modes
  • Easy bulk insertion

System Requirements

  • macOS 10.7 or later (64-bit only) (Intel & M1 Apple Silicon supported)
  • Windows XP SP3 or later (32 / 64-bit)

Formats 

  • Audio Unit, VST 2.4 and AAX

9. DRMeter MkII Upgrade from DRMeter

by: MAAT

 
DRMeter MkII Upgrade from DRMeter
 

Note: This is an Upgrade to DRMeter MkII from DRMeter.

DRMeter MkII

The One Meter For All Of Us

DRMeter MkII :: Cross-platform Plugin

The only comprehensive Loudness metering solution, from the guys who helped pave the way for Loudness normalization.

One Meter For All

DRMeter MkII is the first loudness meter designed for general use and specifically for music production. It’s the only loudness meter that displays channel-specific trends and events by augmenting the mandated mono measurement with classic L/R metering. DRMeter MkII is also the first plug–in to offer official DR dynamic range measurement!

With this product, MAAT premiers the Dynamic Deviation™ function, an intuitive presentation of current dynamic density compared to Target Loudness. DRM2 is also the first loudness meter to display both Relative and Absolute scales simultaneously.

Need More?

Current Loudness meters were designed to strictly conform to the R128 and A/85 Loudness measurements standards. While DRMeter MkII conforms 100% to all international standards, with higher accuracy than many competing products, we wanted more and we think you will too. Conceived by MAAT’s own Friedemann Tischmeyer, a member of the EBU’s ploud group that created R128, DRMeter MkII addresses the needs of modern audio pros, who jump from commercial work and CD prep and mastering to an industrial promo soundtrack or VO for a DOOH client.

Relax. Whatever job walks in the door, you know your measurement needs are met. Rest easy knowing no matter what genre or flavour of content you produce, DRMeter MkII will guide you toward the best possible master for your specific delivery platform or medium. DRMeter MkII, the Loudness Meter for all of us.

Unobtrusive Power

Hiding behind DRMeter MkII’s seemingly simple UI is a powerful premise. Eye candy is great for newbies, but can really get you down on a daily basis. DRMeter MkII packs every metric you may need into one resizable window that’s easy on the eyes. Not only does the UI “get out of the way,” so you can be more productive, but MAAT have also incorporated industry-first features that inform you of possible pitfalls without slapping you in the face.

Subtle Functionality

DRMeter MkII combines all mandated Loudness metrics with several new twists. We’ve added discrete left/right measurements so you can ID channel-specific trouble spots and track trends. We also measure all the time for all metrics, in the background, so you can jump from one measurement method to another and back, checking up on specific concerns without losing the overall picture. We’ve even added little details that make your day better, like digital black indicators; Play, Pause and automatic controls for integrated measurement; an R128 Gate Disable for downward compatibility; and a True Peak disable option for you broadcast folks that need SPPM as well. Did we mention user presets so you can blip between client or program-specific settings in an instant?

Better By Design

We’ve included a round trip AAC codec, the same one iTunes uses, into our measurement and monitoring options so your MfiT work will be spot on every time, while Dynamic Deviation allows you to navigate within the “gravitation field” between peak and loudness normalization. By setting your personal Target Loudness level and a True Peak Threshold, you get instant feedback on positive or negative differences relative to your defined “Dynamic Margin.”

Dynamic Margin equals Target Loudness minus TP Threshold and, BTW, the use of “deviation” is significant. Positive values indicate more dynamic content than your Dynamic Margin, while negative values indicate less dynamic content.

Features:

DRM2 combines mandated R128 and A/85 loudness measurements with an improved version of our DR dynamic range metering standard. DRM2 includes several industry firsts, all designed to help you be more productive.

Industry Firsts

  • The first loudness meter designed for general use and specifically for music production
  • The only loudness meter displaying channel-specific trends and events with classic L/R metering
  • DRMeter MkII is also the first plugin to offer official DRi dynamic range, just like our DROffline batch utility
  • Dynamic Deviation, an intuitive presentation of your current dynamic density compared to Target Loudness
  • DRM2 is also the first loudness meter with DualVu™. Displaying both Relative and Absolute scales simultaneously makes loudness metering more intuitive and easier to understand.

Measurement

  • D-MODE: DR – MAAT’s renowned DR dynamic range standard; PSR – Peak–to–Short–term Ratio; LRA – Loudness Range
  • L-MODE: RMS, Momentary Loudness, Short–term Loudness
  • Integrated: DRi, LUi (Program Loudness)

Additional Functions

With all the features and functionality of our original DRMeter, the thoroughly comprehensive DRMeter MkII makes Target Loudness tangible and easy to understand, while the round trip MFiT feature eases seamless leveling for iTunes delivery. In keeping with our emphasis on quality, DRMs increases your awareness of the limitations and requirements for other streaming and OTT music distribution channels. Plus, you get:

  • MFiT mode — measures and monitors signal through round trip iTunes AACplus codec
  • DRMeter MkII is highly configurable: set it up the way you need
  • Measurements always running; easy to switch standards on the fly
  • Adjustable, user-defined target loudness
  • Adjustable, user-defined maximum True Peak Threshold
  • Dynamic Deviation — difference in LU needed to match user-defined target loudness
  • LUFS/LU mode, LU mode with +9 and +18
  • LINK mode; links left and right channel Dynamic Display together to show an average of L+R
  • Play and Pause control for integrated measurement
  • 3 automatic modes for integrated measurement; AUTO ON, AUTO RESET OFF, AUTO OFF
  • Gate On/Off for downward compatibility
  • Gate indicator; indicates when the R/128 / A/85 Gate is active for LU integrated measurements
  • Global Reset Button
  • -∞ (㏈FS) input indicators
  • Adjustable colour thresholds for peak and loudness bar graphs
  • Factory & user presets
  • optional -30 dB zoom scale
  • 5 different UI sizes for any display size
  • TP disable option (= SPPM)

Essentials

DRMeter MkII lets you manage your Target Loudness and levelling demands for Spotify, YouTube, iTunes and TIDAL with ease!

  • Meter & monitor through MfiT up to 96k
  • All standard formats: AU, VST & AAX Mac/Win
  • Operates at all standard sample rates, from 44.1 to 384 kHz
  • Compatible with standard OSs; macOS, Windows
  • Low fatigue visual design
  • Compact layout in 5 sizes for every screen resolution

Loudness Metering Evolved

Since the invention of the initial TT Dynamic Range meter, things have improved in the global audio metering marketplace. We now have world standards for True Peak, Loudness and Dynamic metrics, defined in ITU BS 1770 and applied in practice thanks to the European Broadcasting Union’s R128 and the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s A/85 standards. Though designed for broadcast audio, this has had a huge impact on the whole world of production and distribution, not only broadcasting. Amazingly, we have reliable, predictable and globally interoperable algorithms and parameters, bringing “Loudness Normalization” into even the world of global music distribution.

Who Needs DR Metering?

We had to ask ourselves, “Does the world really need the DRMeter anymore?” The clear answer is, “Fer sure, dude!” Why? Because LRA or Loudness Range, as specified in BS.1770-4, aims to reflect the dynamics of broadband material being distributed by television broadcasters. The LRA algorithm excludes the top 5% of the dynamic band, which is uninteresting for broadcasters working with generous headroom. However, that same top 5% of the whole dynamic range capacity of a system, is essential for music as its content happens almost exclusively in this upper 5% region. DR is the only algorithm for measuring the dynamic integrity of music releases.

Metering For Normalization Targets

Spotify, YouTube and many other streaming music platforms are working with Program Loudness, along with TV broadcasters worldwide plus an increasing number of OTT (“Over–The–Top” streaming providers like Netflix and HBO Go) and even traditional radio broadcasters. iTunes Music and iTunes Match uses a proprietary algorithm that is pretty close to Integrated Loudness mentioned above. We really don’t need another player in the field of loudness normalization, but we do need a universal yardstick for dynamic density; the DR Dynamic Range algorithm.

DR is a tool not only for pro audio peeps but your audience as well, especially audiophiles since DR is used by music enthusiasts to judge and compare the provenance of music releases. Our DR database records the values of tens of thousands of songs and albums, so the public can compare different releases and remastered versions.

What About PLR?

Lately, there are plenty of meters showing PLR or Peak–to–Loudness Ratio, the difference between Peak and Loudness values. Wouldn’t this be a good alternative? Nope, because PLR has been defined by broadcasters to reflects the True Peak–to–integrated Loudness Ratio. This makes sense for broadcasters dealing with a minimum True Peak headroom of 1 dB (R128) or 2 dB (A/85). That said, using PLR for music makes no sense because many masters show True Peak overs of up to +3 dB, and information above 0 dBFS encodes latent distortion but not dynamics or loudness. A better alternative would be PSR or Sample Peak (SPPM)–to–Short–term Loudness Ratio. PSR has been defined in the AES Convention e-Brief 373. In order to deliver a complete metering solution, we have integrated the PSR algorithm into DRMeter MkII so that you can compare PSR with DR. The major shortcoming of PSR is the inability to consider macro-dynamics due to the absence of gating and the like, which leads to a higher misrepresentation of dynamic density. So, songs with high macrodynamic would be far louder. Also, interpretation of values is impossible unless you know the inherent macro-dynamics. As an example: Say you have a song with an acoustic guitar intro and a very dynamic interlude but a chorus crushed into “toothpaste,” the PSR would give us a moderately high value due to the dynamic intro and interlude. This is solved with DRM2, as you can actually measure the lack of dynamic range while you hear it.

The Measurements

1) The DR bar graph of DRMeter MkII is the same as the original TT DR Meter plugin and MAAT’s DRMeter. If you want to get a quick sense of the final integrated DR (DRi), you have now two options: Go to the loudest sustained part of a song, often the chorus, and read the numeric value above the bar graph. It will be quite close to an integrated DR measurement, which you’d get from our DROffline batch utility. The new option is to use DRM2’s exclusive DRi function. Run the chorus of your song to get a quick estimate of the official DRi. When you’re done with a track, run the whole song and stop playback. The official integer DRi value will be displayed at the bottom of the DR bar graph. This inclusion of DROffline’s functionality will make your workday go faster!

2) The emerging PSR measurement method displays the current Peak–to–Short–term Loudness Ratio for those who want to have a comparison or reference. For the sake of harmonization with existing standards, it makes sense to use Short–term for loudness measurement, and SPPM (Sample Peak Program Metering) for the PSR peak measurement. Be careful: With no standard, PLR measurements are not harmonized. So, different manufacturer’s meters may show varying results, with each showing its own values for the same audio source. Many use RMS instead of Short–term LU. The difference between PLR and DR is simple: PLR is the difference between peak and average, and is not standardized, while DR is always, repeatably DR. Also, DR ignores low amplitude information, so-called “background loudness,” for the sake of a more predictable measurement result. Plus, the DR algorithm also incorporates additional processing for meaningful measurement of the dynamic integrity and dynamic density of popular music.

3) LRA or Loudness Range was designed to reflect the deviation of loudness events primarily for broadcast applications. Unfortunately, LRA isn’t ideal for evaluating the loudness of pop and other styles of music since most recorded music happens in a range of amplitude which is ignored by the mandated LRA algorithm. So, for universality, we have included LRA for broadcast engineers and those of you who want to be more familiar with metering standards and their applications. The LRA meter allows you to compare results with both DR and PSR.

System Requirements

  • macOS 10.9 – 10.15 (Universal Binary 2) (64-bit only)
  • Windows 7 or newer (32 & 64-bit)
  • OpenGL 3.2 or newer

Supported Platforms:

  • AAX Native (Pro Tools 10.3.10 and newer)
  • AU, VST 2, VST 3
  • Sample rates from 44.1 to 384 kHz

10. BUTE Loudness Analyser 2 (Surround)

by: Signum Audio

 
BUTE Loudness Analyser 2 (Surround)
 

Smart loudness metering plugin at the heart of BUTE Loudness Suite 2

Loudness standards are usually part of a delivery specification and since this is the last step in post-production it’s a time-critical issue for most projects. Signum Audio tools help to meet specifications with ease. Even if you don’t need to hit specific specifications you might still want to loudness master for your target platform (e.g. Spotify, or youtube), Signum Audio’s tools help with that as well. The BUTE Loudness Analyser 2 is the backbone of Signum Audio’s range of loudness solutions, and an essential tool for those working in post-production for broadcast, music, gaming, podcasts, film, sound design and radio imaging. It offers high-end quality at great value.

Bute-ifully crafted for an improved workflow

The BUTE Loudness Analyser 2 has been beautifully designed to deliver unparalleled levels of insight into your audio files with accurate and customisable readings. Advanced features like automatic re-metering, customisable warnings, an interactive navigation overview and window, and reloadable session data. These workflow-driven features make it particularly useful for long-form content.

Master Smarter

With the high precision metering algorithms, you can rest assured that your audio will meet your clients delivery specifications and sound as it should. With its range of useful workflow features, configurable meter readings for short-term and momentary loudness, true peak and traditional RMS, and the latest broadcasting and streaming standards included as presets, Signum Audio’s loudness meter makes your mixing and mastering journey much simpler.

Applications

Mixing & Mastering

  • Produce consistent masters
  • Avoid ‘level shifting’ and clipping downstream
  • Ensure accurate representation of your audio/music
  • Measure and refine dynamic content

Post-Production & Broadcasting

  • Hit target levels easily with a wide range of implemented presets
  • Ensure and prove compliance with regulation
  • Balance dialogue, music and effects
  • Manage live broadcasting & streaming levels accurately and efficiently
  • Optimise dynamics for streaming content

Gaming Audio

  • Balance sound effects and dialogue
  • ASWG 5.1 and 7.1 Surround Sound support (Surround version)

Features

  • A smart loudness metering tool focused on pro-audio workflows
  • Smart history overview for completely interactive browsing of up to 10-hours of loudness data at a glance
  • Custom alert system flags up areas that need attention with severe (red) or warning (yellow) pointer on the history overview. User settings can be defined in the settings panel.
  • Smart auto re-metering feature which syncs on load-up, and auto-detects and reflects any adjustments you make in the DAW on the graphical display
  • Powerful compact read-out view which is completely resizable vertically and horizontally to optimise screen space while keeping readings visible
  • Display settings to switch between True Peak/Metering, Relative/Absolute scale, or Max/Live modes
  • Highly responsive and informative graphical interface 
  • Industry-standard (IEC 60268-18) meter bar fallback for natural, analogue feel
  • Auto-detects DAW channel configuration with dropdown menu to select mono, stereo or surround configurations (Surround version)
  • Wide array of built-in presets for the very latest loudness standards and recommendations
  • Highest quality linear phase upsampling
  • Clean and comprehensive read-outs for short-term & momentary loudness, True Peak, and traditional RMS
  • Reloadable session data
  • Save, Load and Export metering data
  • Available in Stereo or Surround version. The Surround version expands support for multi-channel configurations up to Atmos 7.1.2
  • Free future updates 

BUTE is fully compliant with up-to-date presets for the following loudness specifications:

  • ITU-R BS. 1770, EBU R128, ATSC A/85OP-59, ARIB TR-B32, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Check, Hulu, Netflix, TIDAL, Sony Gaming (ASWG), AES Streaming Recommendation, US Public Radio (PRSS), TIDAL and Pandora. You also have the ability to save multiple user-defined presets.

System Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.9 Lion or higher / Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only)
  • VST / VST3 / AU / AAX (including AudioSuite)

Note: The AAX version requires Pro Tools 12.6 or higher.


Write your review and rate this rating The Best 10 Metering VST Plugins

Top Metering VST Plugins
Top 10+ Metering VST Plugins 2022
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