Have you ever seen the inside of a radio studio? Most people have at one time or another. Maybe it was on a TV show, a movie or perhaps it was the setting for a news story. There is one sure-shot you can count on almost every time you see the inside of a radio studio and that’s the close-up shot of the Vu meters. These are the meters that measure the level of sound being generated by things like the announcer speaking, the music being played or the vumetercommercials enticing you to buy.

“Vu” stands for “volume unit.” If the needle on the meter regularly crosses a specific measure of decibels that signifies the audio level is too high and someone or something should lower it.

“So wazzup with all this? you ask.   Well, one of my life-long personal failures is my inability to control my Vu meter. When I am agitated or even in a mild state of being pissed off, my output levels shoot way past the recommended high.   I’m not the only one with this problem. There must be a gazillion people who suffer likewise. One irony about this annoying trait is that one who is prone to uncontrolled levels has no problem with raising his or her voice when it’s family involved in the discussion. Nope, there is no inhibition when angry mom or dad lays into defenseless child. But change the environment to non-family participants and the levels drop dramatically…usually.

So my comfort zone for yelling uninhibitedly at those I love the most and whom I should respect the most, has little restraint. Meanwhile, co-workers or simply co-people anywhere never become the subject of, nor witness, my true wrath. Odd, huh? And every time I fall into this trap I reget it. Isn’t it much better to argue a point or express your opinion in a calm, level manner. I suspect the communications is much more effective at the lower levels despite the intimidation that yelling at someone might cause.

How often do you “lose it?” Could we all use a little anger management in our lives? Wouldn’t our world be a lot better if all our Vu meters peaked at the same tolerable increment? What makes us think that raising our voice more effectively gets our point across?

Most radio station transmitters have what is called a “limiter” installed. Its function is to automatically bring down the audio output when levels exceed the recommended boundary. I think having a limiter installed at birth might be a good idea for us humans. I shall speak to God about this and see if it’s something that might be at least considered for future generations.



About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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