We’ve had loads of readers clue us into some great industry jargon across music, movies, TV and more, which we’ll share in due course. But by far the story we’ve been told the most about is the legendary DFA Knob. If you are unaware of the DFA Knob, it stands for ‘Does Fuck All’ and is a dial or fader on a sound engineer’s desk that gives them something to fiddle with whenever they need to be seen to be doing something (but is never actually plugged in).
According to old roadie tales, Lemmy’s bass was the most DFA’d instrument of all time, with Motorhead’s sound techs constantly fiddling with the useless knob to make sure he was completely happy with his DFA levels.
There’s a slightly more family-friendly version used in the pop world too: the “Tone” fader.
Sinitta always had a lot to say to the techies in the recording studio and was constantly pleading for more “tone”. Nothing the engineers tried satisfied her, until one of them got a big label, marked it “TONE”, and put it next to one of the faders on the mixing desk. Whenever Sinitta started requesting “more tone”, they’d let her come up to the desk herself and fiddle about with the dummy knob – knowing it wasn’t connected to anything – until she was happy she’d found exactly the right level.