Is there a 'standard' way to depict analog signal pathways / chains that's simple, concise, and not too mathematical?

I've been searching online, but can't seem to figure out what such a diagram is called or any tools to make them. The diagrams I see are either full schematics or very high level block diagrams.

I'm thinking about, I think, the kind of diagrams used to depict control systems. What I'd like to do is draw similar diagrams to provide a quick reference to what the overall circuit does. I don't need it to contain electrical information as such, in that it isn't important that it should be compatible with Spice / similar.

An example set of symbols I'd need would be :

  • A representation for inputs (single ended and differential)
  • A representation for gain stages, showing gain information.
  • Nicer if I can show the signal level before and after the gain stage, as well
  • A representation for filters, showing cutoff frequencies
  • A representation of simple feedback loops (say adders or subtractors)
  • Perhaps a representation of instrumentation amplifiers (with transfer function Vref + G * (In+ - In-), as opposed to G * In for a simple gain stage)

Any clues about how to go about drawing these would be nice. Specifically, the following are questions that I think would help :

  • What would such a diagram be called? Bonus if the name is something that is Google-able.
  • Are there any tools (preferably free, open source, but I'll take something commercial as a reasonable starting point) available that can help quickly draw these things.
  • Else, how is such information (number of gain / filter stages, expected signal amplitudes through the signal chain, signal shapes / frequencies / amplitudes, etc) effectively communicated.
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can put as much detail into a block diagram as you want. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Feb 28 '15 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThePhoton True. I could draw each stage manually with, say, Dia. However, this doesn't make use of 'standard' recognizable symbols and representations - and consequently, making it readable for a sufficiently complex signal chain would be tough. Secondly, maintenance will be a nightmare. Something along the lines of what UML is for software would be preferable to a page full of text-filled boxes. \$\endgroup\$ – Chintalagiri Shashank Feb 28 '15 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ You don't consider the relevant xkcd to be an adequate model for such diagrams? \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Mar 1 '15 at 2:40

Make your own (readable) style, using well hand draw schematics, and embed some usefull information. Below is one of the best templates that I use.

enter image description here

...if I understand well.


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