balance control

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(n.) Found on professional and consumer stereo preamplifiers, a balance control is used to change the relative power between the left and right channels. One channel is apparently strengthened by attenuating the opposite channel. In analog designs, this is accomplished by the use of a dual potentiometer with an “M-N taper.” An M-N taper consists of a “shorted” output for the first 50% of travel and then a linear taper for the last 50% of travel, operating in reverse for each channel. With the control in the center detent position, there is no attenuation of either channel. Rotating it causes one channel to be attenuated, while having no effect on the other channel. Contrast with crossfader.