Musicians and producers will probably have heard the term 'Balanced' & 'Unbalanced' used in reference to cables. Most likely those cables were XLR cables. But, do you know what the difference is?  

The Anatomy of Balanced vs. Unbalanced Cords 

Unbalanced braided-copper shielding
Unbalanced positive wire shielding
Balanced chord braid foil
Balanced chord exposed foil
Balanced positive negative braid foil

When to use Balanced vs. Unbalanced Cables 

How do Balanced Cables Work, and Why They’re Awesome! 

Balanced cable explained
Learn important audio concepts for studio musicians and producers in the AskAudio Academy here

Joshua Casper is an accomplished live performer, DJ, producer, and music educator. His specialties are centered in and around Ableton Live and Native Instruments. His educational material has been featured on and as well as a myriad of large music production websites. His music has been featured on Read More


The article refers to "chords" but I doubt the cables are in E Minor or any other key. :-)
The correct spelling is "cords" as in "power cords".
Joshua Casper
wow... great catch. not too sure what happened there.
Hey Colin, good spot! We've corrected the article. I especially loved the reference to "power chords" lol... and this is one reason why I prefer using the term "cables" ;-)
At the end, when the negative signal is inverted again, I understand the noise will be cancelled, but wouldn't the original signal be now doubled since it is inverted back on the negative signal?
Joshua Casper
No. Think of it like this. 100% goes in and is split 50/50... just one is an inverted signal. When they are combined again it goes back to 100%.. actually a little less depending on the distance traveled. Does that make sense?
Hi, kind of :) From the original post: "Then you take that exact waveform and duplicate it onto channel two. The output signal would be doubled." and "The two identical out-of-phase signals are traveling over the wire."
So as I understood, they are not really split into 50/50. they are really 100%/100%, doubled if not inverted / totally cancelled if inverted. So, in the end, inverting back one of the channels and adding one to another, by logic, will make the result doubled. Or am I missing something? :)
See this image with my idea:

Want to join the discussion?

Create an account or login to get started!