Audio Interconnections: XLR, TRS and More

*Singing* The quarter inch tip is connected to the…positive! The sleeve is connected to the…ground wire!

Okay, we at the Science of Music are nerdy but we’re not quite that nerdy, we swear. But understanding cables and interconnections will help every musician who has to deal with gear. From XLR to RCA to the immortal midi cable (which has two unused pins…seriously, check it out), having an understanding of gear, mic, line, and insert cables will make your life infinitely easier.

Credits:

  • Written and Directed by Nick Dooley and Travis Kaufman
  • Produced with support from The National Science Foundation
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Mixers Explained

Okay, we’ll admit it: the first time we saw a mixer were were a little freaked out by all the knobs. And then we kind of wanted to turn all of them all the time for no reason. Now using mixers are almost second nature. And while each company makes their mixers slightly differently, the basics are the same. This video explains one of the most important pieces of equipment in a recording studio or live sound reinforcement system.

Credits:

  • Written and Directed by Nick Dooley and Travis Kaufman
  • Produced with support from The National Science Foundation

Introduction to Transduction

Simply put, transduction is the process of converting one type of energy to another. For audio-specific purposes, if you’ve ever used a microphone or a speaker to record or amplify a sound, you’ve seen transduction in action.

A microphone works as a transducer by changing acoustic waves to electrical waves.  And a loudspeaker is also a transducer, even though it does the opposite: by changing electrical waves to acoustic waves.

Check out the video below for more:

Credits: