Monday, January 12th, 2009...5:39 pm

Tracks 101 – Connectors: Audio and Computer

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As i have been extremely busy lately, this post is not only a little later then i would like it to be, but it also has less words, more pictures! Below is a little audio connector cheat sheet, this should help you identify some cables that are common and not so common in the studio. This should also help you learn some other uses for them that you might have not already known.


Male Connector Female Connector Name(s) Typical Uses Wikipedia Link
TRS connector (tip, ring, sleeve) A.K.A. audio jack, phone plug, jack plug, stereo plug, mini-jack, or mini-stereo Audio, Video, low-voltage circuits TRS connector
XLR Analog and Digital Audio, AES/EBU, Microphones, high voltage signals (for speakers and PA systems), 2x XLR for AES/EBU XLR connector


RCA, Compenent, phono connector, cinch connector, S/P DIF Analog Audio and Video, Digital Audio, S/PDif, phono, tape, speakers, antenna connector, and mroe RCA connector


BNC or Bayonet Neill Concelman connector Radio /Antennas, midi word clock and other audio time control, computer networking, audio, video, MADI and more BNC connector


binding post eletrical test equipment, speakers, audio Binding post
d-sub, DB-(pin number) some examples are DB-25 (parallel port and ADAT), DB-15 (game port), HD-DB-15 (computer VGA video, also pictured left), DB-9 (computer serial) 2x DB-25 for AES/EBU and TASCAM DI computers, multiple pinout connectors, audio, data cable, video, joysticks, midi, and tons more D-subminiature



TASCAM Digital Interface


Serial port

Parallel port

VGA port

DVI port

banana connector (banana plug for the male, banana jack for the female) Electronic test equipment and Hi-Fi audio Banana connector
Speakon Amplifiers and Speaker systems Speakon connector

Ipod Dock connector connecting the apple ipod to computers or digital audio devices Dock connector

Din Connector / Mini-Din Connector video from consoles and computers, digital audio, midi, and low voltage electronics, computer keyboard and mouse before usb DIN connector

Mini-DIN connector


RJ-45 (registered jack type 45), Ethernet, Cobranet, Ethersound, 8 Position 8 Contact (8P8C) Computer and Audio Networking, phone systems 8P8C

Registered jack



toslink, Fiber, Optics,RC-5720, EIAJ optical, “TOShiba-LINK”, TOSlink, TosLink, and Tos-link are all acceptable, Lightpipe, ADAT-Lightpipe S/P DIF, Digital Audio and Data, ADAT TOSLINK



IEEE-1394, 1394, firewire, mLan, Audiowire, Computers and Data transfer, Digital Audio, Computer Networking IEEE1394


Mark of the Unicorn (used firewire, but swapped some pins on the jack, and then renamed it audio wire)

HDMI , High-Definition Multimedia Interface Analog and Digital / Audio and Video HDMI

male micro USB / male mini USB B-type / male B-type / female A-type / male A-type

USB, Universal Serial Bus, Computer Interface for audio, data, networking, and more. it is also an interface on many electronics these days to access computer file systems/storage USB

IEC- c13 and IEC -c14, power connectors,( c13 female & c14 male) Power Supply IEC connector

Now that the fun is over, I gotta get back to my job search…

I hope everyone had a good holiday season and great new years!



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