In this free video tutorial, Pro Tools Expert Team Member Julian Rodgers looks at the bx_meter plugin from Plugin Alliance, a comprehensive metering plugin offering Peak, RMS, Balance, Correlation and most interestingly dynamic range metering (DR).
The DR value measures the “crest factor” of the music - the difference between the peak and RMS levels. This measurement is extremely useful because it gives an intuitive idea of how squashed the music is. The closer the RMS level gets to the peak level (usually close to 0 dBFS), the more compressed and limited the music is likely to be, and the smaller the DR measurement gets.
How To Read A Dynamic Range Meter
Peak level, loudness and Dynamic Range (DR) are all measured in dB . Very dynamic material will often read DR14 or more. Heavily compressed music will often read DR6 or lower.
Generally speaking, anything with an overall reading of DR12 or more will sound very dynamic. Louder material often has less dynamic range than this. DR readings of less than 8dB runs the risk of sounding squashed.