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Orban offers, for free, a neato app to do just that:

http://www.orban.com/meter/

Yes, you can see clearly how crunched most dynamics are.

The Orban app is set to monitor whatever is the "record buss" on your soundcard, so from the M-Audio 
driver, it monitors the mixer output on my computer.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Durenberger" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2009 9:22 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] What's the best Windows app for playing 24-bit FLAC files?


> Stacking the Peak Meter and VU Meter displays can provide a dramatic view of how much hard 
> limiting is used in a recording...
>
> Merry Christmas y'all!
>
>
> Mark Durenberger
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 7:22 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] What's the best Windows app for playing 24-bit FLAC files?
>
>
>> Hi Mark:
>>
>> Shoulda figured there was some Windows mischief afoot. Indeed, Windows had de-selected the 
>> M-Audio 2496 card as the default audio playback device. So Foobar was getting mangled garbage via 
>> TotalRecorder software (the only way I know of to "record" (capture) audio off Flash and Real 
>> streams). Since it's not a studio computer, I didn't even think to check until your post got me 
>> poking around in the Windows settings.
>>
>> Yep, Foobar works just fine.
>>
>> Thanks!
>>
>> And, Happy Merry to all ARSCList members. May your 2010 be healthy, happy and prosperous.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Mark Donahue" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 3:35 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] What's the best Windows app for playing 24-bit FLAC files?
>>
>>
>>> Tom,
>>> I'm wondering if your problem is a simple configuration thing with Foobar. I use Foobar here in 
>>> the studio to play back everything with the exception of DSD files.
>>> I'm wondering if your soundcard has an ASIO driver. If so, then there is an ASIO add on for 
>>> Foobar that will allow the application to control the sound card directly, bypassing the dreaded 
>>> Windows audio control panel.
>>> I have multichannel 88.2k, 96k and 192k files in my library in both Interleaved and Multi-Mono 
>>> source and the application even gets all the channels of the surround files in the right 
>>> outputs.
>>>
>>> All the best,
>>> Mark Donahue
>>> Soundmirror, Inc.
>>> Boston MA
>>>
>>
>