Questions covered this week:

  • How do I deal with “combo jacks” on my USB audio interface?
  • What’s the best way to import samples into my high-sample-rate session?
  • Can I use a high-pass filter on a bus to process all my tracks except kick and bass
  • How do I use the VU meter on my preamp?
  • How do I get a full “in your face” distorted guitar tone?

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6 Responses to “Ask Joe #56 – Using a VU Meter”

  1. Adam Webb

    I do believe that 0 VU measure the ‘average volume’ of a signal which = -18dBFS RMS and the reality is most analog emulation type plugins (or the analog hardware) still have a sweet spot of around -18dBFS RMS so pushing them too far beyond this point may make you feel like a rebel , your sound may suffer As always if you push it hard and it’s sounds good, then it is good! 🙂

  2. noahcopeland

    And to further give some advice to the person who asked about in-your-face distorted guitars, Metallica used a 3 guitar technique on the Black Album. They record one guitar in the left, one in the right, and an extra one in the middle called “the thickener.” (listen to the breakdown of “holier than thou” and you can hear each one come in individually). Each guitar plays the exact same part, the timing is super tight.Those tones are “scooped” tones, (meaning a chunk of mid range is scooped out leaving mostly lows and highs) so I don’t know if you would need scooped tones to get the three guitars working together or not, but its worth a try!

    • Joe Gilder

      More fun facts. Nice! I’ve heard some of their tracks where they put guitar parts on the vocal track when the vocal wasn’t singing.

  3. noahcopeland

    On the last question, you are right AC/DC’s tones are definitely cleaner than most. As an AC/DC freak, I can give you a little tidbit. The guitar in the left is Malcolm the rhythm guitar and it is always cleaner than Angus on the right. (Infact, Angus acutally dials back the volume knob on his guitar when playing rhythm and then boosts it back up to get more gain for solos). You often find that in two guitars mixes, one is cleaner than other. (GNR is another example)


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