When connecting audio equipment together one needs to be aware that besidesthe connector flavor, there are two main levels (or amounts -- really voltages)of audio inputs and outputs.
Line Level outputs and inputs are common to all stereo equipment. The tapeinput into your receiver, the CD input into your receiver are all line levelinputs. Line level is an amplified signal, you can feed it down cables withlittle worry of interference from spurious RF due to the fact that the signalis so much hotter than the local RF.
Mike level inputs and outputs are common to all CamCorders. A microphoneproduces a low level of voltage change which goes down the wire. The inputamplifies that change and produces the resulting audio. Obviouslly RF signalshave a far better chance of interfering with this low level signal. Thusmicrophone cables for CamCorders should be short (unless one uses balancedmikes with cable with XLR connectors).
Balanced vs. UnBalanced Audio Lines
One remaining bit of audio knowledge is understanding the difference between
Balanced lines use three wires with the outside wire being a shield aroundthe inside two. The inside two wires are thus shielded from external RF.The common connectors for balanced audio is the XLR connector.
Unbalanced audio lines use just two wires, there is no shield. The signalpasses down the two wires unshielded from outside RF.
Home stereo connection cables are unbalanced line audio. The typical professionalquality microphones use balanced line audio.
Balanced line connectors are XLR,
unbalanced line connectors are common to CamCorders and to stereo equipmentas shown.