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A converter that changes an unbalanced, high impedance signal into a balanced, low impedance signal. The most common use is so that a keyboard or tape deck can be plugged into a balanced microphone input.

There are two different types of direct boxes--the active and the passive. An active direct box requires power to operate (battery, AC power supply, or phantom power), while a passive direct box does not.

Source: Church Audio & Acoustics Glossary

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