Free Metering Plugins For Measuring Level, Loudness, Correlation
I’ve made a list of free 64 bit metering plugins for measuring level, loudness and correlation that could very well replace the metering tools that Logic Pro currently offers. This article was last updated on May 1st, 2016.
Free Metering Plugins
Loudness meter plugins allow you to visually analyze your audio signal. When your mix is overcompressed and too loud, your ears will get used to that squashed sound, especially after a very long mixing session. Looking at a meter that measures loudness will help you stay objective, and can help you retain proper dynamics in your mix. Loudness meters also assist you in the process of loudness normalization, so you can deliver professional mixes and masters that are ready to be played on DAB radio, television, and on modern music streaming services such as iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Youtube, and Soundcloud.
Loudness Meter Plugin Buyer’s Guide
The free loudness meter plugins you’ll find below can get you far.
I must say that once technical terms like “loudness,” “loudness standards,” and “loudness normalization” become recurring terms in your daily line of audio work, buying a professional loudness meter plugin is one of the smartest investments you can make if you care about making informed decisions about your audio.
As a guide for those who are new to dealing with loudness perception, these are the companies that develop some of the best loudness measurement software out there:
MeterPlugs is a company that was founded in 2009, around the time the loudness war was at its peak. The company develops high-quality and affordable loudness meter and analysis plug-ins that are suitable for both mixing and mastering engineers. MeterPlugs is best known for their Dynameter, Perception, K-Meter, and LCAST line of products.
NUGEN Audio makes professional audio tools for music producers, (post-production) mixing engineers and professional broadcasters. Their line of products has a focus on mixing, mastering, and stereo width enhancement tools. Their most popular plugins are Halo Downmix, Mastercheck, Monofilter, and Stereoizer.
Mastering the Mix
Mastering the Mix is the new kid on the block, offering both affordable loudness meter plugins and online mixing and mastering services. The company started as an audio post-production studio in 2014. Their first plugin, Levels, was released in July 2016. About a year later, their second plugin, Reference, was released.
So what’s been happening on the free metering plugin front lately?
Youlean Loudness Meter
The Youlean Loudness Meter is probably the best free loudness meter plugin currently available online. With a resizable graphical user interface, the plugin is capable of recording and displaying the loudness history of your audio over time.
One of the most useful features of this loudness meter plugin is that it can overdub discreet sections of your audio, allowing recalculation of the overall integrated loudness without having to replay the entire audio material through the meter.
Loudness data will be saved with each DAW session so it can be recalled when the project is re-opened.
Loudness standards include EBU R128, EBU R128 S1, ITU-R BS.1770-4, ATSC A/85, OP-59, ARIB TR-B32, and AGCOM 219/09/CSP.
You can download the plugin here:
Sonalksis FreeG Fader Plug-in
The Sonalksis FreeG is a master fader plugin that provides a large-format style fader with accurate metering, along with enhanced control of amplitude, phase and pan. It features Peak and RMS readouts, Pre and Post metering options, a selectable Pan-Law, and a ‘Fine’ mode for more precise calibration of the master fader.
(thanks for the tip, ApathyNihilism!)
Free Metering Plugins By HOFA
HOFA 4U Meter, Fader & MS-Pan
Auf wiedersehen Direction Mixer, guten Tag HOFA 4U Meter!
Have a look at the specs of the HOFA plugin and check out how it handles metering, panning and Mid/Side levels…
- inter-sample peak meter, plus an EBU loudness meter.
- metering: peak, hold, EBU, LRA.
- EBU scales: LU 9, LU 18, LUFS 9, LUFS 18.
- EBU modes: Momentary, Short Term, Integral.
- MS decoder. Balance Mid/Side levels in steps of 0.1 Db.
- trims, fades and mutes.
- stereo-mono switch.
- innovative panorama function (see below).
- changeable plugin window size.
- mouse-over tooltips.
- manual included.
- latency-free, and supports all common sample rates.
- parameters are automatable.
About that ‘innovative panorama’ function:
- dragging the panning triangles you see in the picture pans the signal like Logic Pro’s Direction Mixer would. Keep in mind that this is something different than merely panning a (stereo) signal with the panpot on a Logic Pro channel strip.
- Holding down ⌥ while dragging enables panning beyond L/R.
- Holding down ctrl or shift while dragging, enables Mid/Side panning: “Shift” enables panning width only, “ctrl” is for panning mid only.
HOFA 4U Goniometer & Korrelator
While you’re turning spatialization into your new specialization, you may need the Goniometer & Korrelator plugin too…
- switchable between goniometer and correlation meter
- new type of goniometer with peak, hold and energy indicator
- changeable plugin window size
- manual included
- latency-free, and supports all common sample rates.
Both HOFA plugins are for Mac and PC, 32 and 64 Bit DAWs. Audio Unit, VST, VST3, RTAS and AAX.
Registration via email is required. Installation of the plugins can be done via the handy HOFA-Plugins Manager application.
Free Loudness Metering Plugins
MELDA Production MLoudnessAnalyzer
MLoudnessAnalyzer is an ITU-R BS.1770-1 and EBU 3341 compliant loudness metering plugin.
- peak meter.
- momentary, short-term and integrated loudness meters.
- loudness range meter.
- Supports the EBU+9, EBU+18 and EBU+27 scales.
- features a visualisation engine with meters and time graphs.
- Mid/Side, single channel, and up to 8 channels surround.
This plugin is for Mac and PC, 32 and 64 Bit DAWs. Audio Unit, VST, VST3, AAX.
TBProAudio dpMeter II
dpMeter II is a multi channel meter including RMS, EBU R 128 and TruePeak (intersample) measurement.
- 64-bit processing
- Loudness measurement modes: RMS/EBU R 128
- Works with 2 to 6 RMS channels: 2.0 stereo, 4.0, 4.1 and 5.1 Surround
- RMS: integrated, momentary, peak and true peak
- EBU R 128: integrated, momentary, short term, true pack and loudness range
- true peak measurement based on ITU 1770
- continuous/synced measurement
- metering results can be recorded as automation data
- Adjustable pre-gain
LUFSMeter is a free loudness metering plugin developed by audio engineer Samuel Gähwiler that enables you to deliver loudness calibrated content.
- Multi-Platform, Multi-Channel.
- Simple and flexible user interface.
- Ready to be compiled on Linux if desired
- Supports any sample rate.
- Processes up to 24 channels.
- Compliant to the ITU-R BS.1770-1/2/3 and EBU R128 specifications
LUFSMeter’s source code is freely available, should you feel the need to verify the correctness of the plugin’s loudness measurement… It requires at least Mac OS X 10.4.4, and is available as VST- and Audio Unit plugin, both 32 and 64 bit.
For more info on loudness measurement, the different loudness values the plugin displays, and how to calibrate your audio with the LUFS Meter, visit Klangfreund’s website:
Have you found any free metering plugins yourself? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comment section!