AES San Francisco 2012
Broadcast & Streaming Track Event T8

Sunday, October 28, 11:00 am — 1:00 pm (Room 132)


Tutorial: T8 - An Overview of Audio System Grounding and Interfacing

William E. Whitlock, Jensen Transformers, Inc. - Chatsworth, CA, USA; Whitlock Consulting - Oxnard, CA, USA

Equipment makers like to pretend the problems don’t exist, but this tutorial replaces hype and myth with insight and knowledge, revealing the true causes of system noise and ground loops. Unbalanced interfaces are exquisitely vulnerable to noise due to an intrinsic problem. Although balanced interfaces are theoretically noise-free, they’re widely misunderstood by equipment designers, which often results in inadequate noise rejection in real-world systems. Because of a widespread design error, some equipment has a built-in noise problem. Simple, no-test-equipment, troubleshooting methods can pinpoint the location and cause of system noise. Ground isolators in the signal path solve the fundamental noise coupling problems. Also discussed are unbalanced to balanced connections, RF interference, and power line treatments. Some widely used “cures” are both illegal and deadly.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society