When to use Full-Normals and Half-Normals

For analog signals, mic level connections are usually full-normaled. If you need to "mult" a mic signal, it's better to bring it up to line level first through a quality mic preamplifier, then use an audio distribution amp, rather than try to mult it at mic level at the jackfield.

For analog line level signals, however, half-normals are very convenient for troubleshooting while on the air. Just connect a patchcord from a signal source on the top row into a monitoring device, either directly or through another jack. The source signal will still remain connected to its normal destination.

Remember to use a monitoring device with a high impedance (bridging) balanced input, so as not to unduly load the source and reduce its level or add noise.

For AES3 or AES3id digital audio, use full-normals. It's not a good idea to mult AES signals because the resulting impedance mismatch can cause distortion in the AES waveform, which could prevent an AES receiver from properly decoding the signal.

If you need to have multiple copies of an AES signal it's better to use a distribution amplifier.