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Most consumer and lower-cost professional audio equipment use a signal level reference known as line level or –10dBV (decibel volts). The most common connectors are RCA (phono) or 3.5mm, although 1/4” is also used; the signal is “unbalanced” (it uses two wires: signal and ground). In the line level standard, a sine wave that varies between +/–0.447 volts is considered to be at –10dBV. By contrast, a typical oscillator signal in a modular synthesizer is +/–5 to +/–8 volts. As a result, you will need either an output module in your modular synth or one heckuva input attenuator on your mixer or recorder to plug your synth into equipment that runs at line level. Similarly, you will need to substantially boost a line level signal to get it up to modular standards to process in your modular synth.

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