In the video above DivKidVideo explains the features of our twinOUT-module - Thanks! But why are modules like the twinOUT or the TAI-4 necessary. Why not just using a suitable cable to connect the modular system to the outside world?
unbalanced vs. balanced
Inside an unbalanced cable there are two wires: a signal wire and a ground wire. Typically, the signal wire in the center of the cable is surrounded by the ground wire. The latter serves as shield against noise but also carries part of the audio signal and therefore the audio signal is not completely protected against outside interferences.
A balanced cable uses three wires: two signal wires and a separate ground wire. The ground wire again is the protection against interferences and both signal wires carry the audio signal in the following way:
- the so-called hot wire carries the „normal“ audio signal
- the so-called cold wire carries a 180 degree out-of-phase-copy of the same signal.
Possible interferences affect both audio signal wires with at the same time in phase.
The receiving device with balanced input brings the two signals back in phase and sums them up. As a result the interferences were canceled out and you’ll get a clean signal
twinOut and TAI-4
twinOUT and TAI-4 convert unbalanced signals into balanced signals. The most obvious difference between both modules is the fact that twinOUT is „just“ an output module and the TAI-4 has additional input channels.
But there is another difference. twinOUT converts the signal with active electronic parts whereas the TAI-4 uses special audio transformers. Beside converting the signal, transformers separates the ground signal which prevents ground loops.
How important are balanced inputs respectively outputs in a modular system?
That very much depends on the rest of your equipment. It doesn’t make any sense to use modules with balanced in- or outputs if you only have devices that cannot handle balanced signals. But, if your following equipment i.e. is a mixing console or audio interface with balanced inputs you should think about getting a twinOUT.
Also in live situation, where long cable distances are common and where you may find many sources for interferences, such as stage lights, the TAI-4 can be your hero against hum.