Lesson 76

Power Conditioning

Power conditioning is generally used in higher end studios, but if you want the best sound possible, not only in your studio, but home theatre as well, power conditioning is something to consider.

A power conditioner is a device, usually in a rack mount or cabinet form, that “cleans up” the ac power from the mains.

I’ll be honest, I was initially skeptical, before I understood what dirty power was, and how electricity worked.

So, ac current, theoretically it looks like a sine wave moving from positive to negative, 60 times per second. But realistically, in the complexity of an electrical grid, and in the creation process itself, it is not such a nice smooth sine wave. It is full of inconsistencies and random little spikes. 
Since audio devices operate on DC voltage, the AC current must be converted to DC. This conversion process is not perfect, and is done by the devices power supply. Some devices have better power supplies than others, meaning they filter out the ac current better. Any AC current that makes it past the power supply and into the audio circuit will go directly into the audio signal, so it’s important to filter out all the noise as good as possible. A power conditioner will clean up the sine wave, make it smoother, and remove the noise, giving the power supply a head start in removing all the noise. 

And does it make a difference? Yes, a good power conditioner will make a slight, but noticeable difference in the audio quality ( and picture quality of a tv screen)

In my studio, everything is plugged into my power conditioners. All my preamps, converters, interface, computer, computer monitor, and speakers, making a small difference in multiple areas