Most VU meters these days are actually DC meters, so they need a rectifier. And if you're going to use them you typically want a buffer to prevent noise, too. The good news is you can get the meters dirt cheap, and scavenge them from battery testers, CB testers, and other old junk.
This PCB is a dead quiet, simple drop-in for any pedal, and should work with any DC meter.
It powers a decorative dancing needle for your audio projects, but understand this isn't an ideal way to take measurements if accuracy is your goal.
What you get:
This is either a PCB-only, or a kit that includes everything you need to build the driver board. It does NOT include a meter.
You can find these for cheap by searching "DC needle meter" or salvaging them from old equipment or cheap battery testers.
Build docs: https://mas-effects.com/vu.pdf
Schematic, modifications you can make, and more info is available on the github project page: https://github.com/mstratman/vu-meter-driver