Microphone preamplifiers (or "preamps") are devices that boost a low-level signal from a microphone, allowing it to be recorded or processed at a higher level. Preamps are typically used in recording studios, sound reinforcement systems and broadcast applications. Preamps can provide gain, add coloration to a signal, or compensate for poor quality microphone capsules. They can also reduce background noise and improve the signal-to-noise ratio of a signal. Preamps are often used in conjunction with equalizers and compressors to further shape the sound of a signal.