This post is a part of the series on audio amplifier feedback. The contents of the series can be found here.

To make sure everyone is on the same page, here is a super simplified feedback loop that can be found in an audio amplifier:

In the diagram:

- $A$ is the gain of the amplifier with no feedback applied (its
*open loop gain*) - $B$ is the gain of the feedback network (typically, the feedback network attenuates the signal, so $|B|<1$)
- $x$ is the input signal
- $\epsilon$ is the error (noise, distortion) that the amplifier adds to the signal
- $y$ is the resulting output signal

That is, the amplifier receives the input signal $x$, amplifies it by $A$, adds some noise and distortion $\epsilon$, resulting in the output signal $y$. A portion $B$ of the output signal $y$ is fed back to the input by adding it to the input signal (hence 'feedback').

Working from the right side of the diagram to the left, we can write:

$$y=\epsilon+A(x+y*B)$$

Solving for $y$:

$$y={A \over (1-A*B)}*x+{1 \over (1-A*B)}*\epsilon$$

The output signal $y$ has two components:

- Input signal $x$ amplified by ${A \over (1-A*B)}$
- Distortion $\epsilon$ amplified by ${1 \over (1-A*B)}$

Let us call the input signal amplification factor ${A \over (1-A*B)}$ the Signal Transfer Function, or $STF$, and distortion amplification factor ${1 \over (1-A*B)}$, the Error Transfer Function, or $ETF$:

$$STF={A \over (1-A*B)}$$ $$ETF={1 \over (1-A*B)}$$

The promise of feedback is that, as the open loop gain $A$ increases, the $ETF$ approaches zero, while the $STF$ approaches $-{1 \over B}$. In other words, the contribution of noise and distortion in the output signal becomes small, and the *closed loop gain* of the amplifier becomes independent of the amplifier's open loop gain $A$.

The sum of the input signal $x$ and the feedback $y*B$ that the amplifier sees at its input is normally small and gets smaller as $A$ increases: $$x+y*B={1 \over (1-A*B)}*x+{B \over (1-A*B)}*\epsilon$$

The quantity $A*B$ is called **loop gain**, and is the correct term for the "amount of feedback". We can rewrite $STF$ and $ETF$ with the loop gain *$LG$*:

$$STF={LG \over (1-LG)}*{1 \over B}$$ $$ETF={1 \over (1-LG)}$$

In

the next post, I will show how the above math applies to an opamp.