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Microphone Month 4

Conductor

The opposite of a resistor. A conductor passes (or conducts) electricity easily. All conductors do have some resistance to current flow, but the idea is that this resistance is relatively low. In electronics a conductor is something specifically put in place for the purpose of conducting electricity down a specific path. This may be to protect other assets, as is the case with something like a lightening rod, or simply to get a signal from point to point in the most efficient manner. In wire terminology conductors are specifically for carrying the desired signal. This may be an audio signal in your studio or an electrical “signal” in your household wiring. A ground wire or shield generally is not counted as a conductor because its purpose is not solely to carry a signal, but rather is for safety and/or rejection of interference. So even though a standard microphone cable has three electrical paths it is really two-conductor cable, or sometimes referred to as “two conductors and a shield.” In unbalanced cable this distinction gets blurred because the shield is also used as a conductor.

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