Author Topic: A plugin to be able to use foobar2000 / AIMP VU-meters  (Read 7567 times)

hiccup

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https://youtu.be/h5MmfvBx3dU
LMAO! That would be a good second choice if we can't have VU meters.
It gave me laugh too. (a couple of times, and probably again tomorrow…)

But, this IS a VU meter.

It shows the beauty that a possible plugin implementation only needs to handle image files.
Before I delved a bit deeper into this I assumed a plugin would need to 'understand' and handle metering, vectors, whatever, making it a complicated endeavour.
But it only needs to handle image files.

Besides this example being funny, I think it proves that.

Steven

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Interesting and if implemented then any existing .bin file could be used. I will look at it for v3.5

hiccup

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I have been playing around some more with VU meters and have also created one myself.
During this experimenting I have come to suspect that these bin files probably don't contain image files only.
But I can't be sure since these bin files are kind of a black box to me and I only know how to extract the image files from them.
So it might be a bigger challenge to create a VU plugin for MusicBee than I was guessing earlier.

Anyway, by now my VU meter is completed, and I thought to share it.
Maybe it is useful to other members who also use foobar2000.
(foobar2000's foo_vis_vumeter.dll component is needed for this to work)


Dejavu



download Dejavu



And a whimsical version,

Beejavu



download Beejavu

(the needles move smoother in reality, the gif doesn't do that justice)



To be clear to the accidental reader of this topic:
MusicBee does not have support for custom VU meters.
So these VU meters serve no purpose for MusicBee.
Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 09:00:14 PM by hiccup

sveakul

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hiccup, these meters ARE cool, I will try them in my Foobar--thanks!  +1 for Steven's plan to implement the bin concept in 3.5

hiccup

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Great!
If you like them enough to keep them, but the colouring is a little bit off for your foobar2000 skin (if you are using one), let me know.
While I am still in the spur of messing and experimenting with them I can create different coloured versions.

hiccup

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I will try them in my Foobar

Maybe you already know, but just to be sure:
You can change the meters response in foobar2000.
Under Preferences > Advanced > Display > VU meter you can set the rise time, and when you hover over the meter with your mouse you can use it's scroll wheel to set the pre-amp.

sveakul

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Did NOT know this, thanks!  Color is fine for now, traditional (which I prefer over "Steampunk" meters!), but I'll let you know if my whims change (as they often do).  Off-topically speaking, you should post these at the Foobar forum too.

hiccup

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Off-topically speaking, you should post these at the Foobar forum too.
Maybe I'll do that. (is that on hydrogenaudio?)
But I want to test them a little bit more to see if they need improvement.
(response curve, font-size, peak leds, whatever)
Let me know if you have any suggestions after you have kicked their tires?

hiccup

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@sveakul
(or anyone else interested in using this meter)

Now that the needle range and response are to my liking, I took a look at the dB values on the scale that I started out with.
And by now they are quite a bit off.

But…
- I think it looks nice the way it is.
- VU meters are not an analytical precision tool to begin with.
- We are talking about a consumer music playback application. Not a studio tool.

But, being kindofa 'tell it like it is' person, it still itches a bit.
Do you have any (strong) opinion on this?
Should I change the numbers and the scale?

(the green digits are correct values)

sveakul

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hiccup:  I wasn't familiar with the concept of VU units vs dB so I had to do some reading on that.  It's hard to  know what I'm really looking at as I'm so used to dB units, so I was eye-ballling the differences with the VU meter and "Enhanced Spectrum" Foobar plugin's peak readings and your Dejavu meter (2/4/2021 mod) and at -15db meter preamp it seemed to be around 3 units off from the dB peaks, but as those units apparently differ around 4 units (from what I was able to find out) that may be OK.  Now if you can get through THAT gobbly-gook explanation my hat is off to you, haha..

So, the green units on the pic are the actual dB units?  Is that what you prefer to see as opposed to the sort of mysterious (to me) VU units?  FWIW from the Wikipedia:

"0 VU is equal to +4 dBu, or 1.228 volts RMS, a power of about 2.5 milliwatts when applied across a 600-ohm load. 0 VU is often referred to as "0 dB". The meter was designed not to measure the signal, but to let users aim the signal level to a target level of 0 VU (sometimes labelled 100%), so it is not important that the device is non-linear and imprecise for low levels. In effect, the scale ranges from −20 VU to +3 VU, with −3 VU right in the middle. Purely electronic devices may emulate the response of the needle; they are VU-meters in as much as they respect the standard."

hiccup

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Thanks for the research ;-)
It's not that I am aiming for a meter that is scientifically correct. (makes no sense for this purpose)

My main objective is that the needle moves nicely for different sorts of music and volumes.
The experience should be nice.
It was a bit of a challenge to get smooth movements at the very bottom and the top, but I am almost there.

The reason for my question was that it is a bit misleading that where my meter says -50 dB, it is actually around -20 dB.
Or where it says 0 dB, it is actually around +3 dB.
Somebody recently told me there should be at least some truth in advertising…

But I think I found an acceptable solution. I will leave both the horizontal black and red scale, and the percentage indicators just as they are, and will only change the dB values.
It's probably going to be this:



It might prevent some complaints from people that are used to and/or trained to look at VU meters ;-)

hiccup

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I will leave both the horizontal black and red scale, and the percentage indicators just as they are, and will only change the dB values.
It's probably going to be this:




Updated:
Some minor improvements, and I added a version with a peak indicator, and a vertical version that takes up less horizontal space:


 
Last Edit: February 13, 2021, 03:50:07 PM by hiccup