“Explain Like I’m 5″: Audio Levels December 11, 2014 20:22 8 Comments

What's the difference between "pro" and "consumer" line levels?

Is it ok to plug an instrument into a line level input?

What's the difference between peak and RMS levels?

In the long-awaited return of our "Explain Like I'm 5" podcast series, Peterson and new DIYRE team member, Chris, explain the basics of audio levels.

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Topics discussed:
  • Can you damage equipment by plugging the wrong thing in?
  • In analog audio Volume = Voltage
  • The difference between peak and RMS volume
  • RMS is a way of measuring AC as if it were DC
  • The most common levels you'll encounter in the studio:
    • +4dBu, pro line level (1.22V)
    • -10dBV, consumer line level (.316V)
    • Mic level
    • Instrument level
  • Tangent: why are microphone output levels so low?
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