Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 1, last updated 6/25/2013
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RCA cable connector
RCA panel mount connector
Figure 1.31 RCA connectors
The DIN connector comes in many different configurations and is used for a variety of
applications. In the digital audio environment, the DIN connector is used in a 5-pin 180 degree
arrangement for MIDI connections, as shown in Figure 1.32. In this configuration, only three of
the pins are used so a five-conductor cable is not required. In fact, MIDI signals can use the same
kind of cable as balanced microphones. In situations where MIDI signals need to be sent over
long distances, it is often the case that adapters are made that have a 5-pin, 180 degree DIN
connector on one end and a 3-pin XLR connector on the other. This allows MIDI to be
transmitted on existing microphone lines that are run throughout most venues using professional
audio systems.
DIN 5-pin 180 degree male cable connector DIN 5-pin 180 degree female panel connector
Figure 1.32 DIN connectors
The BNC connector type shown in Figure 1.33 is commonly used in video systems but
can be quite effective when used for digital audio signals. Most professional digital audio
devices have a dedicated word clock connection that uses a BNC connector. (The word clock
synchronizes data transfers between digital devices.) The BNC connector is able to
accommodate a fairly low gauge (75 Ohm) coaxial cable such as RG59 or RG6. The advantage
of using this connector over other options is that it locks in place while still being able to be
disconnected quickly. Also, the center pin is typically crimped to the copper conductor in the
cable using crimping tools that are manufactured to very tight tolerances. This makes for a very
stable connection that allows for high-bandwidth digital signals traveling on low-impedance
cable to be transferred between equipment with minimal signal loss. BNC connectors can also
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