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In the process of mastering music and audio tracks, there are times when the things you see are as important as the things you hear. That's not to say you can see music, of course, but with powerful metering software incorporated into your virtual studio, you can have an in-depth visual guide to what your sound is up to. Although most DAWs and plug-ins feature some sort of built-in meters, you can use dedicated metering software to make your analysis even sharper - and since it tends to offer more customization options, this purpose-built software is perfect for personalizing the look and feel of your digital workspace to your heart's content.
One of the highlights of the lineup is iZotope Insight Essential Metering Suite. Designed for post-production and broadcast applications, it's packed with a wide variety of tools to give you a detailed visual impression of how the track changes with every tweak. Specialized meters are included to make tons of studio tasks a cinch - for instance, they'll help you find the ideal balance between loudness and clipping so your mix will comply with the CALM Act without being hamstrung by the limitations of analog broadcasting. METRIC HALO SpectraFoo is another flagship-level option to consider, available in Standard or Complete editions so you can tailor it to your needs and budget. Looking for something even more affordable? In that case, check out Blue Cat Audio DP Meter Pro - it manages to stay simple and straightforward with a modest price tag while delivering excellent metering performance.
Like any other pro audio applications, there's no right or wrong option when it comes to metering software. All you need to do is find the best fit for your existing software and the type of music or audio you work with, and all the pieces will fall into place from there. With a quick check that the format is right for your operating system and DAW plug-in support, and that you're getting the metering features you need, you'll be ready to make the right call.