April 20, 2021
A power conditioner is one of those pieces of equipment that’s not cool or sexy, but an absolute must for any studio or live audio set up. But what is a power conditioner, anyway, and why is it so important? We’ll go over the basics of power conditioners and why they’re a fundamental tool for your rig.
Simply put, a power conditioner regulates power. Power coming into the mains of a house, office, bar, or concert venue is often noisy, out of spec, or not quite consistent when it comes to voltage.
There are two main reasons this matters. One is that electromagnetic (EM) noise can get picked up in audio equipment, introducing noise in the audio signal. Add this noise and interference up over several stages of gain and various pieces of equipment, and the noise floor in your setup can be significantly higher.
The second is that sensitive and/or expensive equipment can be damaged by the unpredictable nature of incoming power. Surges, brown outs, spikes, and other odd phenomenon can play havoc with equipment. Voltage fluctuations especially can increase the wear and tear on equipment, shortening its lifespan.
So, a power conditioner simply takes in a power signal from the outside world, cleans it up and distributes a clean, noise free, and reliable signal to your equipment.
Some might claim a power conditioner is just a glorified, expensive surge protector. Others say that power conditioning isn’t usually necessary, because audio gear itself is usually equipped with power conditioning.
These statements have some truth to them. First of all, a power conditioner does indeed provide surge protection. But it also removes EM noise, “purifies” the alternating current wave form, and more. Second, it is true that some audio equipment includes a power conditioning component. Most, in fact. But space and cost limit the quality and utility that built in conditioning can provide.
If you’re lucky enough to have a decently clean power source, you may not notice an audible difference when you implement a power conditioner, but your gear will be better protected, and as you add equipment – especially vintage gear – a guarantee of clean power gets more essential.
In areas with particularly noisy power or that are prone to frequent brown outs, a power conditioner is absolutely necessary and can turn an otherwise untenable space into a quality, high functioning studio or venue.
Besides being the backbone of a well-built studio or venue, power conditioners like Carvin Audio’s AC120S can also provide a number of other features. Many conditioners are also light sources for handling rack equipment in dark settings, for example. Almost all power conditioners have multiple outputs, making it easy to centralize your gear’s power (a must for avoiding ground loops).
Perhaps most importantly, some power conditioners (like the AC120S), come with sequential power up/power down, allowing you to turn on gear in the proper order by flipping one switch. This is important, because audio equipment sends a spike when it’s powered up, which can damage gear down the chain. It’s important to power up gear in the direction of the signal chain and power down in the opposite direction to avoid this damage. Power conditioners with sequential power on/off do this for you, eliminating the trouble and the possibility for error. The AC120S also includes 10 outlets that can be switched on/off individually.There you have it. Power conditioners 101. Not the most glamorous equipment in the studio, but perhaps the most important workhorse you can invest in.
October 13, 2021
Let’s face it, feedback is a nightmare. No one likes a squealing mic stealing the show in the middle of an intimate ballad or a heart-felt anthem. When you first start out on stage, feedback can seem mysterious, but once you’ve got a handle on what causes it, it’s not rocket science to prevent it.
Here we’ll go over a few basic, common-sense mistakes that cause feedback on stage.
October 07, 2021
For some, which gear to power up first is common sense. Others couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to such trivial details. Some may know which gear to power up first but not why, and for some, this may be the first you’ve heard of this question.
Whatever the case, we’ll go over the proper power up sequence here and explain why it’s important.
September 29, 2021
The WM5 Wireless Microphone System will transform your existing wired microphone into a wireless microphone, giving you the freedom and the simplicity you are looking for. The 5GHz frequency band offers excellent range up to 200 ft and is less crowded than the 2GHz band, reducing your chances of interference from other wireless audio gear. The extremely low noise design and compact size coupled with an intuitive set up makes going wireless an easy process.
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