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Music Collection

The RESERVOIR Sonomaster collection takes its inspiration from measuring instruments widely used in the world of sound or Hi-Fi.

Music

SONOMASTER

The RESERVOIR Sonomaster collection takes its inspiration from measuring instruments widely used in the world of sound or Hi-Fi. 

The two retrograde hands of the new RESERVOIR Sonomaster Chronograph faithfully reproduce the hands of power measurements or VU meters from analog stereo amplifiers. A tribute to the human quest for a ‘pure’ sound, a musical exploration full of audacity and intensity.

Fail or Prevail BUT

MAKE IT BOLD

passion for adventure

a radical way
to read time

Creation

Swiss made

A VU (Volume Unit) meter is an essential tool in audio recording and broadcasting, used to visually represent the level of audio signals. It helps in maintaining consistent audio levels, ensuring that the signal is neither too weak (leading to poor sound quality) nor too strong (causing distortion or clipping). VU meters display a relatively slow response to signal level changes, averaging out peaks and troughs to give a representation of perceived loudness. This characteristic makes them particularly useful for aligning levels in analog recording, radio broadcasting, and live sound reinforcement, aiding in achieving a balanced and clear audio output.

VU (Volume Unit) meters are still used, particularly in professional audio environments where their ability to display average signal levels provides valuable insight into perceived loudness. While digital technology has introduced more precise peak level meters, the VU meter remains favored in certain contexts for its analog warmth and aesthetic appeal. It’s especially prevalent in recording studios that value its slower response rate for smoothing out audio peaks, aiding in achieving a balanced mix. Additionally, many digital audio workstations and equipment emulate the VU meter’s classic design, blending its nostalgic appeal with modern audio technology’s precision.

The numbers on a VU (Volume Unit) meter represent the audio signal’s level relative to a reference level, which is often calibrated to a standard operating level in professional audio equipment. Typically, the scale is marked from -20 to +3, with 0 VU designated as the optimal level. Readings below 0 indicate that the signal is below the standard level, while readings above 0 show that the signal is louder. Consistently high readings, especially those in the +3 range or above, risk distortion. The goal is to maintain levels around 0 VU for a balanced, distortion-free audio output.

VU (Volume Unit) meters are designed to provide a reasonably accurate representation of perceived audio loudness, but they are not precise in measuring peak audio levels. Their accuracy lies in reflecting the average signal level, closely mirroring how the human ear perceives loudness. However, due to their slower response time, typically around 300 milliseconds, VU meters may not accurately capture transient peaks and fast-changing audio signals. This characteristic makes them less suitable for tasks requiring exact peak level monitoring, like in digital audio production, where avoiding clipping is critical. In their intended role of gauging overall loudness, VU meters are reliable and effective.

The primary difference between a VU (Volume Unit) meter and a peak meter lies in their response to audio signals and what they measure. A VU meter measures the average level of audio signals, providing a representation of perceived loudness, and has a slower response time, typically around 300 milliseconds. This makes it less sensitive to brief audio peaks. In contrast, a peak meter responds almost instantaneously to audio signals, accurately measuring the highest level of the audio signal’s amplitude. This fast response is crucial in digital audio environments to prevent clipping by ensuring the signal doesn’t exceed the system’s maximum capacity.

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