Measure RMS

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Use the Measure RMS analyzer to measure the RMS (Root Mean Square) levels in a track.

The primary purpose of this plug-in is to serve as an example for Nyquist Plug-in writers, of how translations may be added to plug-ins. All other plug-ins that are shipped with Audacity have translations compiled into the main application, but this is not practical for additional plug-ins that are not shipped with Audacity.

The translation mechanism available for "third party" plug-ins is limited to translating messages only, and not the GUI. This plug-in includes translations for 5 languages, though any number of languages may be added. Documentation for adding translations to Nyquist plug-ins can be found in the Audacity wiki.

This Analyzer is not enabled by default. To enable it, use Analyze > Add / Remove Plug-ins...   to open the Plug-in Manager dialog. There you will find the file listed as "rms", but it will enable as Measure RMS.
Accessed by: Analyze > RMS
Measure RMS.png

This is a simple analyzer which measures the RMS level of the selected audio.

It is similar to Analyze Contrast, but without all the additional accessibility functionality.

The example above is the measurement of a typical stereo track where what is measured is:

  • left channel
  • right channel
  • the stereo signal

If you use this analyzer on a mono track you will just get a single figure shown.

RMS is often used as an abbreviation for Root Mean Square. It is method of calculating a numerical value for the average sound level of a waveform. The RMS level (colored lighter blue in Audacity waveforms) equates very approximately to how loud the audio sounds.