I have transferred the salient discussion points on "Alternative Metering Display"
to the talk page of the propsal - see:
You may wish to check that I have represented your thoughts accurately.
Peter Sampson
Tel: +44 (0)1625 524 780
Mob: +44 (0)7732 278 299
From: Gale Andrews <gale@audacityteam.org>
To: audacity-quality <audacity-quality@lists.sourceforge.net>
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 8:51 PM
Subject: Re: [Audacity-quality] Overloaded signals - YouTube examples

| From Bill Wharrie <billwh@golden.net>
| Mon, 12 Nov 2012 11:53:46 -0500
| Subject: [Audacity-quality] Overloaded signals - YouTube examples
> On 12/11/2012, at 8:16 AM, Richard Ash wrote:
> > On Thu, 8 Nov 2012 12:14:46 -0500
> > Bill Wharrie <billwh@golden.net> wrote:
> >> On 08/11/2012, at 11:01 AM, Peter Sampson wrote:
> >>
> >>> More extensive work
> >>> If we wanted to get really serious about improving this situation
> >>> then there is a proposal in the Wiki:
> >>> http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Proposal_Improvement_of_Meter_Toolbar_UI
> >>>
> >>> In particular the section on "Alternative Metering Display" has a
> >>> mockup of a GUI for revised meters that Bill Wharrie provided.
> >>>
> >>> The advantage of this is that it merges from green to yellow at
> >>> around -12 dB and then merges from yellow to red.  This should
> >>> alert the user that they are approaching clipping well before thay
> >>> get there.
> >>> The problem with the current meters in this respect is that they
> >>> only go red when the signal actually reaches 0 dB.  And folk who
> >>> come to us from a tape or MD background are tempted to push all the
> >>> way up to the red (that included me when I started out).
> >>
> >> +1
> >> This is what every other DAW does.
> > +1 to this also (either discrete or blended colours). The fact that the
> > default meters are red for record and green for playback just adds
> > confusion.
> Discrete (simulated LEDs) might be easier to read. What happens, though, when the meter size is changed?
> Agreed that green for playback and red for record adds to confusion.
> Also +1 to removing the peak/RMS distinction from the meters - just have them be peak reading.

As I "hate" regressions, I'd need convincing on removing the
Peak/RMS distinction. Was there a good reason it was added,
other than simply to match with the dark/light blue on the
waveform? Do people using Audacity for scientific purposes
find the Peak/RMS metering useful? I agree it is not a useful
indication for beginners.

Of course, keeping that distinction muddies the message of
differential colouring by level somewhat.

If we made the change, +1 for discrete, unless there is a simple
logic to the blending. To me:

is confusing. Why is the same or similar orange colour applied to
both -14 to -10 and -8 to -4?

> > I assume we would have the same colours on each meter bar
> > (until it can be themed)!
> Yes.

Even when it can be themed, if the point is consistency of colour
for both meters.

> > I'm not sure blending to red before clipping is a good idea, because
> > the audio isn't being distorted until 0dB is hit. I would favour
> > green-to-amber gradient, with the holding clip indicator (as at
> > present) being red and made significantly larger (it's currently very
> > small if you have a reasonable definition screen).
> Perhaps we could blend from yellow to orange up to 0 dB?
> +1 to making the clip indicator larger.


> > This could be extended to turn (instantaneously) the whole meter red
> > when the peak hits full scale, with the effect that an over-level
> > recording flashes a big red light at the user - which might get their
> > attention!
> Not so sure about that.

Me neither, considering many novices can hear clipping and know it's bad,
but don't realise that's because they have gone into the red.

Perhaps turn the "L" and/or "R" of the recording meter red, as well as a
wider clip indicator?


> > Some tape recorders backed up analogue (needle) meters with
> > LEDs doing this, the latter having proper peak response.
> >
> > In a similar vein, with Show Clipping enabled, many of my projects
> > have lots of red on the waveform when zoomed out, which then disappears
> > as I zoom in, and the waveform turns out to peak but not clip. Bug of
> > some sort?
> >
> > Richard

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