What is RMS?
RMS stands for Root Mean Square and is a statistical term commonly used in electrical engineering and signal processing. It's a way to calculate the mean or mean intensity of a signal.
In practice, one calculates the RMS value of a signal by taking the square of all signal points, averaging them, and then taking the square root of that average. This gives us a good estimate of the effective voltage or current of an AC signal.
RMS values are also used in acoustic engineering to assess speaker performance or measure sound levels.
What does RMS mean in audio production?
In audio production, RMS is often used to measure the average power of an audio signal. It helps to determine the average level of an audio recording and to understand how much headroom (room for future adjustments) there is in a recording.
The RMS value of an audio recording is often combined with a peak value (the highest peak value of a signal) to get a better understanding of the dynamics of a recording. If the RMS value of a recording is low, it means that the overall signal is quieter and has more headroom. A higher RMS value means the signal is louder overall and has less headroom.
In audio production it is important to control the RMS value of a recording to ensure constant volume and avoid distortion or clipping. Some audio engineers use RMS values to set the optimal input level for the recording preamp or to compress an audio recording to make it easy to hear on different platforms and devices.
What is the difference between RMS and LUFS?
RMS (Root Mean Square) and LUFS (Loudness Units relative to Full Scale) are both measures of the intensity of audio signals, but differ in their application and meaning.
RMS is a statistical term that describes the effective voltage or current of an AC signal. It is commonly used to calculate the average power of an audio signal.
LUFS is a unit of relative loudness used in the audio industry. It describes the average volume of an audio signal on a scale that takes into account the human hearing process and the sensitivity of human hearing. Unlike RMS values, which refer to the effective strength of a signal, LUFS values refer to the relative loudness of a signal compared to a reference value.
In practice, LUFS values are often used to control the loudness of audio recordings and broadcasts across different platforms and devices to ensure consistent audibility.