HoRNet VU Meter MK3 picture

HoRNet VU Meter MK3The HoRNet VU Meter MK3 is a digital VU meter plugin with automatic gain setting and grouping functions, the new GUI comes straight from the 24th century and hides an intelligent tool that will improve your mixing. Monitoring the signal level coming into your DAW is crucial for a correct mixing, VU meter helps you both in recording and mixing stage.

Know your levels before it’s too late!

When recording your tracks it’s useful to have a loudness indicator like the VU meter that with its 300ms of integration time gives you a helpful view of the perceived loudness of your signal. Used in conjunction with peak meters it can help you to improve your miking technique since it’s always desirable to have loudness and peak value as close as possibile. VU Meter MK3 has a calibration setting that will allow you to set the 0VU point to the best level for your A/D converters (by default is set to -18dBFS but you should read the spec of your A/D and set the calibration to the specified internal headroom). This is because every A/D converter has an analog front-end and if you record too hot (close to 0dBFS) you risk to overload that analog stage.

Auto gain for quick mixing preparation

In mixing VU Meter plugin is even more useful, used in conjunction with the peak meter of your DAW can help you identify critical tracks that have too much energy in the transients and not enough loudness, but the single most useful feature is the auto gain. Gain staging is a crucial part of every mix, especially if you use analog emulating plugins, hitting them too high means creating too much distortion that then adds up in the mix.

To avoid this you can simply engage the automatic gain function of VU Meter MK3 that will adjust the internal gain to make the signal peak at your desired level (between -3 and +3 VU). With transient heavy sounds it may happen that auto gain boosts too much your tracks and drive them into clipping, to avoid this we have provided a max. peak ceiling that will prevent your signal from going higher than the set value.

The big improvement over the previous version is the addition of the grouping function, with VU Meter MK3 you can group instances of vu meters and apply auto gain, reference and color settings to every instance belonging to the same group with just one click.

Video Overview


We decided to not provide a demo for VUMeter MK3 because we don’t want to to cripple our product too much and limiting the capability of this plugin for a demo would mean to provide a bad testing experience.

For this reason we offer an instantaneous full refund within 15 days of your purchase if you buy VU Meter MK3 and you don’t like it


  • VU Meter spec. conformity (300ms attack and release time)
  • VU Peak hold
  • RED Blink clipping indicator
  • reference level settable from -60 to 0 dBFS
  • input gain from -30dB to +15dB
  • bar color freely selectable
  • Stereo automatic gain adjustment with 6 different settings
  • Peak protection between (no peak can exceed the set limit)
  • Auto Gain and meter setting can be set to whole group at once
  • Eight different assignable groups
  • Stereo display
  • Mac OS X (10.7 and later) and Windows (Vista and later) support
  • 64bit compatibility both on Mac and Windows
  • Audio Units, VST, VST3 and AAX format

Copy protection

The HoRNet VU Meter MK3 has no copy protection, we don’t believe in copy protection, they are always cracked and they are annoying for the users, we all know you are not going to give away the plugin on the internet…

So simply download the plugin and enjoy your recordings!

29 thoughts on “HoRNet VU Meter MK3

Ulrich Koestner says:

(Nice GUI, good Price–performance ratio, easy to use)
Very nice plugin for an unbeatable price. I use this on almost every track e.g. in front of all sorts of digital analog plugins like tube saturation, tape emulation etc. in order to avoid loading to much input on such Vst’s. Since they are designed to emulate analog devices they have to be driven around 0 db to sound natural. For this I engage the Auto gain mode to 0 db or slightly higher with +2 db.
However VU-Meter it is also useful as a „normal“ VU Meter and my go to tool for all sorts of gain staging tasks.

Carl Eichman says:

The HoRNet VU Meter MK3 auto gain plugin is a great choice & works well when gain staging chores are needed. Perfect for using along with Nebula or any plugin where levels are critical for nominal operation. The auto gain & group features provide for an easy work-flow.
Use the group feature when working with multiple tracks routed to sub groups such as a drum bus. Added functionality when used along with it's Peak Protection feature.
Auto-Gain can also be for setting up a zero faders type mix. It also can be used between plugins in fx chains for checking levels or in use.
Light on cpu, I can easily use 24 instances average on my i7 5820k. Great value & handy tool for anyone's tool box.

Daniel Haglund says:

The Hornet VU meter is great at showing you levels! You can adjust the zero point to match your other plugins' input requirements (such as expecting a -18dBfs signal) and you can set the maximum peak allowed. This is good because the Hornet VU meter will adjust the gain for you to ensure there is no clipping! I use at least one instance on each track and sometimes two to control the input and the output! You can group them together as well so you can adjust multiple instances all at once.

Gregory A. Smith says:

HoRNet VU Meter MK3 – It’s on every channel of every session – no exceptions!
Hornet’s VU meter has worked wonders towards improving my gain staging. Gone are the days of ‘fuzzy, too hot" tracks. It’s quick to setup up and easy to use. A must have plugin!

martialcorbiere says:

very good, very practical , I use it in my entry on all DAW slices to monitor my headrom well as my voice in the mix, it monitors the gains has all levels

Jude says:

My first plugin that i always go to it's actually a part of my mix template.The auto-gain is such a time saver and very accurate and flexible,and now it's advanced even further with the group feature.All in all amazing product and a "mixing must have" you won't start a mix without.

Jake Beckett says:

This plugin is perfect for the job I have for it, which is making sure my levels into Acustica Nebula are just right. It automatically adjusts the gain of the audio to the settings you provide. Easy to control with instant results, I highly recommend this plugin for gain staging correctly.
The only trouble I have had so far is with the colour setting. It doesn't seem to work for me. But that's besides the pure function of this plugin so no marks deducted!

Alexandros Chrysidis says:

In my workflow I use a lot of analog modeled plugins because I just love the sound of tubes, analog consoles and tape machines .
Feeding those plugins with the right amount of volume is vital to get the best sound at the sweet spot of 0 VU.
The Hornet VU Meter MK3 makes the process of Gain Staging so much easier with the Auto Gain feature.
Just love it!

bassg / Johavova kalhota says:

This is a lovely plugin by both design and execution. Good looking, no-nonsense GUI with an extra feature – auto-gain. Preparing the levels of your tracks before mixing cannot be easier – insert the plugin, set your desired target levels and let the plugin adjust the gain for you. Or just use it as plain VU meter. If you like simple and effective tools then this is a great example. Count in the copy protection scheme (there's none! not even a serial number) and fair price and you have a winner. Recommended!

Eddie Lindsay says:

The HoRNet VU Meter mk 3 must be one of the best plugins I've ever bought. for 4.99 euros it's the best bang for buck purchase I've made, set it up and let it go to work, the difference that good gain staging makes to a mix really does hammer home just how good and convenient this little baby is, Well HoRNet.

Nick says:

One of my first serious issues in mixing was the fact that I didn't do the gain staging properly. Since I got the Hornet VU Meter I can easily auto gain all my tracks and I tell you it's the first thing you should do before any mixing duties; it instantly changes your mix in a good way.The new group function makes it a breeze to work with and for its price is a real bargain. The plugin is also great for recording at a proper level. Thanks a lot Hornet, best bucks spent, highly recommended!

Gary Regnier says:

What a great time saver this is at mix down as well as a useful level checker when tracking. Simple and clear to use, exceptional value for money

Dan Stanley says:

Brilliant timesaving tool. Just goes to show that often the simple tools has a big impact. Well done, good price for sure and nice simple interface. Keep it coming:-)

Sergey Shkatov says:

Great plugin! Saves a lot of time! Simple controls – very convenient grouping options, and most importantly a very affordable price! Guys – would recommend! Great idea and great plugin! Thanks Hornet Plugin!!!

Angel Ayala says:

Before this plugin I would gain stage manually and this was fun for a while, then it got tedious as I'm sure most get what I'm saying. Then this plugin came and made it fun again. Time saved gets me back to making music.

David Magro says:

Great reviews is what made me buy this plug in. Will sure check your product list and add them to my workflow.

Tacerto says:

This thing, as well as the LU meter, got my money when I nulled it's calculations with my own operation. The truth is I did not trust it, and thats why I did what I just mentioned on my last phrase. It really works accurately, and for this price, I actually feel guilty to purchase it. Life's been getting so easy these days it is not even a joke. Thank you so much Hornet. I really mean it.

simhaw says:

Must say, this plugin, apart from being useful, practical and affordable has a great looking GUI and is a stunner in every sense. Thanks!

Mikal Muhammad says:

I have to say A-f***ing-mazing! turns the chore of prep work before mixing into nothing, don't think i'll tell my staff about it, I got to make them earn their pay lol!! But seriously I've purchased so many other plugins from these because of how well this guy performs, and I will continue to do so I selfishly want Hornet to stay my little secret! Sure to become some of my go to's ..oh and did I mention support service are exceptional?!?

Nicolás says:

Very nice plugin! 😀

Emmett says:

If EVER there has been a no-brainer plugin purchase, this is it. Once you decide what parameters work best for you and set them (which is easier than falling out of bed), this little wonder does the grunt work for you setting proper incoming levels for each track. Uses practically no CPU juice.

Seriously, there is no reason gain staging should clog your bowels any longer. Get this and be happy.

Elle says:

HoRNet VU Meter is wonderful plugin at a great price! I always find myself recommending this handy and light weight tool to other artists. It really speeds up the gain staging process. Thank you!!

Michael Franqui says:

Original, & a very useful plugin!

Timothy Dutton says:

I love the meter! The look and feel is intuitive and useful. The gain setting is also very useful. Great tutorial on using the meter for help setting levels while tracking. The group settings to edit multiple channels in a group at the same time seems brilliant!
I would find the max peak very useful, but it seems to not be working for me. I set the reference to -24 and max peak to -8 for my broadcast mixing requirements, but I still got peaks over -8 after the Hornet VU meter. Is this a bug?

Karmoon says:

I honestly just wanted a VU meter and I liked the fact I could change the colour.

I ended up getting this monster plugin that makes gain staging an absolute breeze.

Absolutely superb job. This plugin is a no-brainer.

Thorsten Puttenat says:

It is a superb plugin, no doubt. I use it on every single channel. Though I can only give it four stars for just one reason: There should be a way to set "AUTO" on automatically when opening the plugin after inserting it. Because that´s the way probably most of us use it. They way it is I have to open up the plugin, hit "AUTO" and then I am set. I would really love to just insert the plugin without doing anything further more.

admin says:

Sorry for you not getting a reply, those ideas are already in our feature request list!

djfantisi says:

your plugins are awesome

Freek Roffel says:

Very useful plug-in, a timesaver and installed in my main templates at Freaky.Studio

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