To monitor the amplitude of incoming and outgoing signals during recording and playback, you use level meters. The Waveform Editor provides these meters only in the Levels panel. The Multitrack Editor provides them in both the Levels panel, which shows the amplitude of the Master output, and track meters, which show the amplitude of individual tracks.
You can dock the Levels panel horizontally or vertically. When the panel is docked horizontally, the upper meter represents the left channel, and the lower meter represents the right channel.
To show or hide the panel, choose Window > Level Meters.
The meters show signal levels in dBFS (decibels below full scale), where a level of 0 dB is the maximum amplitude possible before clipping occurs. Yellow peak indicators remain for 1.5 seconds so you can easily determine peak amplitude.
If amplitude is too low, sound quality is reduced; if amplitude is too high, clipping occurs and produces distortion. The red clip‑indicator to the right of the meters lights up when levels exceed the maximum of 0 dB.
To clear clip indicators, either click them individually, or right-click the meters and choose Reset Indicators.
In the Effects Rack, the two level meters display the signal level of the Input (the clips and tracks being routed through those effects) and the Output (the signal level leaving the effects chain).
Many effect will have some impact on the overall level of the signal, either amplifying it or reducing it. By seeing the levels, you can adjust the knobs next to each to fine-tune the amount of signal going into the effects (which can have impact on how the sounds are processed) or exiting the effect (making sure the effects aren't clipping or are loud enough to be audible).
Meter Input Signal
In the Waveform Editor, displays the level of the default hardware input. (See Configure audio inputs and outputs.) To quickly enable or disable this option, double‑click the meters.
Shows valley indicators at low-amplitude points.
Tip: If valley indicators are close to peak indicators, dynamic range (the difference between the quietest and loudest sounds) is low. If the indicators are spread far apart, dynamic range is high.
Show Color Gradient
Gradually transitions the meters from green, to yellow, to red. Deselect this option to display abrupt color shifts to yellow at -18 dBFS, and red at -6.
Dynamic or Static Peaks
Change the mode of peak indicators. Dynamic Peaks resets the yellow peak level indicators to a new peak level after 1.5 seconds, letting you easily see recent peak amplitude. As the audio gets quieter, the peak indicators recede. Static Peaks retains peak indicators, letting you determine the maximum amplitude of the signal since monitoring, playback, or recording began. However, you can manually reset peak indicators by clicking clip indicators.
Tip: To find out how loud audio will get before you record it, choose Static Peaks. Then monitor input levels; the peak indicators show the level of the loudest part.
Adjust levels if recordings are too quiet (causing unwanted noise) or too loud (causing distortion). To get the best sounding results, record audio as loud as possible without clipping. When setting recording levels, watch the meters, and try to keep the loudest peaks in the yellow range below ‑3 dB
Adobe Audition doesn’t directly control a sound card’s recording levels. For a professional sound card, you adjust these levels with the mixer application provided with the card (see the card’s documentation for instructions). For a standard sound card, you use the mixer provided by Windows or Mac OS.