Review: Low Cost Metering Options

You don't have to mortgage your home to buy good metering tool these days. Mike Watkinson rounds up some freebies and economical plug-ins that every producer needs in the studio.  

Although the standard meters in Logic Pro and Pro Tools are useful, I often find myself wishing for a few more options. But funds are tight in this post-holiday period, so what can I get for nothing or next to nothing? 

State of Flux

Those clever people at Flux make some truly awesome analysis and dynamic plug-ins, most of which cost'"and are no doubt worth'"hundreds of units of your local currency. But hidden away at the bottom of their products list is a plug-in called Stereo Tool, which is free! 

To be fair it doesn't offer an awful lot more in terms of metering than the standard meters in either Pro Tools or Logic Pro. But it does include a phase correlation meter, a vector scope display and the ability to control the stereo width and position of the stereo image (sometimes called balance), as well as the independent pan position of each channel. 

You can achieve all of these things in Logic Pro with built-in plug-ins (see below) but you would have to open multiple plug-ins to do so. The good news is mainly for ProTools users (Stereo Tool comes as an Audio Unit, VST and RTAS plug-in) who don't have many of these features in the plug-ins supplied with a basic installation. 

Stereo Tool by Flux

Stereo Tool by Flux

For a Few Dollars More'

Mike has been obsessed with music software since he first saw Fairlight's Page-R, and has tracked its development through his work as a performer, composer and producer. As a writer he has contributed articles to Sound On Sound since 1999, and currently writes their Apple Notes column. As well as being a certified Logic Pro and Pro Too... Read More


Christian L
Here's another one... my favorite :

And it's free! :)

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