voltage controlled amplifier [VCA]

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(n.) An electronic circuit comprised of three terminals: input, output, and control. The output voltage is a function of the input voltage and the control port. The gain of the stage is determined by the control signal, which is usually a DC voltage, but could be a current signal or even a digital code. They are the main element in dynamic controllers, such as compressors, expanders, limiters, and noise gates.