"Explain Like I'm 5": Balanced vs. Unbalanced Connections July 11, 2013 12:30 8 Comments

This podcast marks the first of a new series in which I attempt to explain complex audio subjects so that a 5-year-old could understand them.

In this first "Explain Like I'm 5" podcast, I tackle the important subject of balancing. What is the difference between balanced and unbalanced connections? How does balancing work? Why do we need balanced connections?

In less than 15 minutes, I answer these questions the way I wish someone had for me: assuming no electronics knowledge, sticking to the basics, and using only terminology that a musician would understand.

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In order, I discuss:

  • What are balanced and unbalanced connections?
  • How can I identify the difference?
  • Why are there these two types of connections in the studio?
  • How does balancing reduce noise?
  • What is Common Mode Rejection Ratio (CMRR)?
  • If balanced connections are so great, why isn't everything balanced?