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WPI Technical Theatre Handbook: Signal Processing Equipment
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Signal Processing Equipment

There is a class of equipment which typically is used in between the sound sources (microphones, CD players, etc.) and the output section (amplifiers and speakers). This equipment is known as signal processing gear. Included in this category are equalizers, compressers, limiters, noise gates and effects processors.

Signal processing gear is typically used with the auxiliary sends mentioned above in the sound board section, or is inserted on each channel. Most sound boards allow for a special cable called an insert cable to be plugged in to an input or output channel. Plugging this cable in interrupts the signal and allows it to pass through an external piece of equipment before entering the rest of the sound board.

When using an aux send to run signal processors, the signal is passed to both the effect and the main outputs. This allows mixing of the dry (uneffected) and wet (effected) signals. Multiple input channels can send to the same aux send, and thus share an effect such as reverb or echo. When a piece of signal processing gear is inserted, the signal is completely wet, as it passes entirely out of the sound board, through the effect, and back in. Inserted gear only works on the individual channel it was inserted on, and thus can not be shared. Figure 6.7 shows a diagram of aux send and inserted signal paths.

Figure 6.7: The difference in signal path between using signal processing equipment with an aux send (top) and as an insert (bottom).

next up previous contents index
Next: Equalizers Up: Audio Previous: Mixing Boards   Contents   Index
Steve Richardson 2000-07-06

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