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Snake with two boxes?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by PishPosh, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. PishPosh

    PishPosh Guest

    Hi, I engineer at a church that has a 50' wide stage and I was thinking of setting up a snake with two boxes. Channels 1-32 for one half of the stage and channels 1-32 for the other half.
    I figure this is possible because the studio i used to work at had multiple wallboxes with the same channels.

    Only problem is I'm not sure how I should go about splitting the signal path. Do i split the signal at the solder joints of the first box? or do i somehow splice the cable to make a "Y" setup? Please help!

    btw I'm new here, did some browsing, this is a great site!
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Welcome to this forum!
    You are not clear on your needs. Are you wanting a 32-channel snake to go to the FOH board and split that to a stage monitor mixer? Or were you wanting to have (2) snakes, 1 for each side of the stage, that both go back to the FOH?
    If you want to take 32 channels and split them to go to the FOH and then to the monitor mixer, then you should have a transformer-based mic splitter system. Transformers are VERY important in this application, as they minimize RFI problems due to their better CMR charateristics. Splitting a mic signal with a simple 'Y' (or even an active system) circuit is inviting a host of problems with noise pick-up. This is aggravated in a church situation because of the proximity of bad sources such as cell phones, wireless transmitters, and much more. Several companies manufacture splitting systems that are superior to what you can build on your own. These include:Whirlwind, ProCo, and Raapco, plus others.
    By the way, you might page down and check out posting in the "Live Sound" section.
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Not to mention the accidental frying of boards by sending 48v up the line to a condenser mic AND the FOH console.....ouch!!!

  4. PishPosh

    PishPosh Guest

    Thanks for replying!

    Our church actually does not have a seperate monitor mixer, I have to mix the monitors using aux sends on the FOH console.
    To clarify, I actually wanted to setup two snake boxes (one for each side of the stage) on one snake that would just go straight to the FOH board. All of the consumer snakes I have seen just have one box at the end of it. I don't even know if this is possible, but it would make my life so much better if it was.

    So I was planning to buy a 32 channel snake and two boxes, each with all 32 channels on it, so people would be able to plug into channel 3, for example, from either side of the stage which would be very convenient.
    My problem is connecting the two boxes to one snake. I have an idea that might work, but I wanted to know how the pro's would handle this and if this is even a good idea.

    Sorry the post is long, thanks for your advisement. I didn't reallize there was a live sound section here, that probably would have been the proper place for this.
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Perhaps I'm not understanding something, but I just don't see the advantage of being able to plug 2 mics into the same input but only being able to use one. You may as well get a large console (32 channels or more) and simply run 1 channel of a snake to each input on the console, then you don't have to worry about which mic is plugged in where.

    I can't imagine most churces superceding the need for 32 mics...

    I could be wrong or totally misunderstanding what you're asking for.

    In any case, I just don't think it sounds smart.

  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I understand what you are asking for. You want redundant input boxes. Both would have channels 1 through 32 inputs. Many companies offer custom snakes such as Conquest and Whirlwind along with companies like Markertek. You want a box with 32 inputs on one side of the stage and a similar box that would be connected to the first box with 32 inputs on the opposite side of the stage with an output cable leading back to your front of house system.

    Many studios have redundant input wall boxes. Of course the only problem with that is, people plugging into inputs that are already plugged into on the other side of the stage. That won't necessarily blow anything out but could make mixing a little more challenging (and drive you insane). Conversely, you could put a 16 input snake on one side of the stage, leading it over to a 32 master input snake at the other side of the stage and simply have 16 available inputs on either side of the stage which would prevent double inputs. That would not have to be custom manufactured as the other example I cited would have to be custom manufactured and you would probably also want to put multipin connectors on the one " Master" box so that you could connect/disconnect the other side of the stage easily. You would not need any splitter transformers for the above described installation. That would only be required if you put in a stage monitor mixer and wanted all of those inputs as well.

    I can see cables for miles and miles
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I'd simply get two 16 channel snakes - one for each side of the altar - and a patch bay that's normalled to all 32 inputs at your console.

    That way, your church performers can go into either snake - whatever's convenient, and if that's not good for you at the console's inputs, you can repatch 'em to route them to the channels you want.

    By no means would I want the headache of duplicate inputs where "civilians" are concerned. It's a given that people would be fighting over channel 1. :twisted: That would drive me nuts.

    Not to mention the thankless hassle of custom wiring 32 parallel inputs to 2 stage boxes. You'd be better off spending the time wiring the patch bay instead of the stage boxes.
  8. PishPosh

    PishPosh Guest

    Yes! Remy understands! Yeah i thought about the issue of two people plugging into the same channel as this sometimes happened at the studio, but i think the benefits outweigh the inconvenience (in our situation anyway) Besides i'll probably notice it during the soundcheck so it really isn't too big of a deal anyway.

    Also the patchbay idea is a really good idea. I think i will have to put that into consideration.

    I will also have to check out those companies.
    Thanks for the help!
    If i end up having to custom make one, I will probably serial connect the boxes on the snake.
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I don't recommend putting microphones onto patch bays. At NBC-TV, they had all of our studio microphones on patch bays. When they got dirty overtime (and they will get dirty) since phantom power was also being delivered through the patch bays, it made for some incredible explosive sounds if you were patching any of them at any time. They would even make noise when you weren't patching anything as connections would fail in the middle of productions and you would have to tweak the patch cords to get your microphones back in that caused explosive sounds on other microphone inputs as well. Whatever you do, try to avoid putting microphones on patch bays.

    I'm all patched out!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  10. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    When I worked for a large sound company we ran into problems such as the one you are discribing. We did what someone already suggested. a 32 input snake back to the console, two 16 input boxes one on each side of the stage. That way there is no double plugging and trust me you are not going to ever need 32 inputs on one side of the stage. The problem with open wires on a microphone terminated input (extra wires that go to the other side of the stage as you are suggesting) is that they act as radio antennas and pick up a lot of garbage that you do not want. We were working in a church yesterday with parelleled input jacks and we were picking up the local radio station along with the microphone. We un paralleded them and the radio station was history.

    Best of luck!
  11. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I guess I'm still missing something.

    I understand WHAT you're saying, but I don't understand the advantage of this. Why would you want redundant inputs? This simply doesn't make any sense. You WILL have problems of double patching.

    In the case of the studios that do this, it's often because they are limited on their console to how many inputs they can have, therefore, they put multiple boxes in multiple locations and have all the channels patched redundantly. The reason is, a 16 channel frame studio mixer is expensive. A 64 channel frame studio mixer is the price of most houses in this country.

    On the other hand, a church (PA or FOH) style mixer is rather affordable in 32 or higher channel frames.

    My point is, it doesn't make sense to do this. Unless there is some other reason which is not evidently clear at the moment. What would be the reason for doing this??


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