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Welcome to Sound On Sound's indispensible, regularly updated, explanations of technical terms from the fields of Recording, Audio Production, Music Technology, MIDI, Music Software, Audio Plug-ins, Mac and PC Computing, Live Sound, Acoustics, Electronics and more...

If we do not explain a particular term below, please email and we will add it to our next update.

Last updated: 30/03/21

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Jack Plug

A commonly used audio connector, usually ¼ inch in diameter and with either two terminals (tip and sleeve known as TS) or three (tip, ring, sleeve called TRS). The TS version can only carry unbalanced mono signals, and is often used for electric instruments (guitars, keyboards, etc). The TRS version is used for unbalanced stereo signals (eg for headphones) or balanced mono signals.


A system of panel-mounted connectors used to bring inputs and outputs to a central point from where they can be routed using plug-in patch cords. Also called a patchbay.


Specialised words associated with a specialist subject.

Jog Wheel

A hardware controller in the form of a rotary encoder which is often used to enable audio scrubbing in a DAW or audio editing platform.