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Studio Wiring Questions!

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by evhwanabe, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. evhwanabe

    evhwanabe Guest

    I always think that its funny to see a picture of a pro studio and not see any wires what so ever, when I can't even get to my bed in my room because I have everything wired to everything emaginable and its all just laying on the floor. Well I decided that this is just not good enough and I am going to turn my basement into a studio. I am just wondering how these guys (pro's) get there wires from say the drum room or vocal booth to the console in the Control Room. Do they buy a couple of snakes and put them in the walls or do they lay it all out on the floor like me (but then pick it all back up when they are done). It doesnt seem like it would be a good idea if wires were running out of the control room thru the door and not letting the door even shut. This would get even more complicated say when you are recording all the instruments in a band all at once, talk about a wiring nightmare, and we are not even talking about all the other outboard processors and stuff. How do the keep it all straight?
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Most studios have the cables running in "cable bays" in the floors and or walls. These are not usually snakes but rather custom fabricated cable bundles hooked up to custom fabricated panels.. Fats
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
  3. evhwanabe

    evhwanabe Guest

    well since I probably can't make these custom bundled cables or afford to buy them, would a snake be the way to go, or would it be kind of overkill. I can't really build a trench into my existing floor slab (not easily), so would something in the wall be the way to go or maybe even and exposed electrical raceway
  4. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    If your not experianced with a soldering iron...maybe now is the time to learn. It is cheaper to amke your own once you learn how to. Most important points on that are:
    1. Get a good soldering Iron that can get really hot so as not to have "cold" soldered joints.
    2. A continuity tester, so that you can test each connecter after it's done.
    3. Buy Canare QuadStar cable for your mic cables, and Nuetrick (spelling) connectors...these are very easy to assemble.
    Mogami, Canare, etc also make multipair cable (for a snake). Don't forget when you buy these things assembled your paying for labor.
    Of course if you got the money you save yourself a bunch of labor. But if you build it, you'll save money, and have taught yourself the skills to make more cables (mic, guitar, etc) and repair ones when they go bad.

    It's a skill that really helps...and making your own cables is cheaper (especially if were taking about alot of cables.
  5. evhwanabe

    evhwanabe Guest

    cool thanks for the info guys!
  6. ironsheik

    ironsheik Guest

    I bought a used Rapco stage box/snake with 100' of shielded cable for about $100 and I run that from my control room through a hole in the wall into the band room. Then I bought Neutrik XLR and 1/4" panel connectors, panels from Midatlantic, and Canare install wire (hard and thin) to make inter-connects between the room. That allows me to sit in the control room, plug a guitar into my 1/4" panel jack, plug a cable into the corresponding jack on the band room side and into an amp. It's nice to be able to play in front of monitors sometimes.
  7. byacey

    byacey Active Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    It is indeed cheaper to make your own "permanent install" mic cables, although I would not use starquad for this purpose. Starquad is pretty labour intensive, not to mention bulky in bundles. Most studios are wired with a 22 guage shielded cable (22-2) usually with a foil shield. 1000 ft. of this cable is about $60- $75 USD . Of course there are other premium cables that you could use, but for all intents I doubt you would hear any sonic difference when used for balanced low impedance lines. This is a touchy subject that many "audiophile types" will argue over, but I consider my ears to be my judge of quality. Some tout other esoteric cables as having more "air" or "detail". It all comes down to low capacitance between the conductors, low wire resistance, and a good 100% shield. No Voodoo or mystical arts here.

    Soldering is very easy, and after some practice you won't even have to think about what you are doing. Don't get too hot an iron otherwise you will be melting insulation and connectors.
    A good 35watt 700 degree F temperature regulated iron is ideal. Weller makes some good irons like this that are reasonably priced and will last for years.

    Disclaimer: All of the above is based on my opinions and experience. I am in no way trying to start an online war as what occured on another posting. I am a peaceful technical type

    Happy Soldering Day!!
    Bill Y.
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I agree with Bill Y. on this subject! Belden makes a studio wire that works very well. If some say they can hear the difference then I say great! It must be nice to hear that good. But I hear good enough to get done what I need to and I have been told by clients and others that I have good ears indeed. There is a lot of "audio voodoo" and "black arts" regarding high end interconnect but I can't afford much less hear any difference/ Check out http://www.markertek.com There is lots of wire and other things you need to get you started on this journey. They have cable bay runs that can be installed in lieu of cable bays in the floor. .... Fats
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
  9. cjenrick

    cjenrick Active Member

    Nov 15, 2002
    Reminds me of a Stevie Ray Vaughn story. He used to use the cheapest Radio Shack guitar cords he could get. When his amp technician asked him "What the Hell!" he told him that those expensive chords "pass to much sound, man"! I guess the cheaper chord had a little high end rolloff that he liked. Pretty good ears for a guy who liked to kick out the jams every night. Then there's Hendrix and his preference for thos long coil chords, which you can still buy at the Shack, buy the way, I love mine for the 2 weeks that they work. Great antenas also!
  10. sjoko

    sjoko Guest

    you can get the stuff direct from one of the key manufacturers,Gepco http://www.gepco.com
    They also make wiring and patchcords for other "well known brands". Also, they will do any assembly and plate work at high quality and reasonable cost
  11. themidiroom

    themidiroom Active Member

    Apr 20, 2002
    St Louis
    Something else to consider if your room arrangement allows: You can install an inside and outside set in XLR connectors. When you have a session, simply "patch" only the number of cables and only to the rooms you need. It's not the neatest setup, but it saves some money over having permanent wiring that you may not use.
  12. bopmachine

    bopmachine Active Member

    Jan 17, 2003
    Here's where I learned to wire my studio stuff:

    How-to build an audio snake

    basically built one snake then felt confident enough to wire my live room and studio to a 96-point patchbay. All works great!
  13. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Mar 31, 2002
    Call the guys at REDCO http://www.redco.com.

    They carry everything you need, they can also coach you on what you need. . Making your own is far cheaper than buying a snake.

    Also make sure you practice soldering and making up your cables on soemthing other than your snake. It sucks to screw up a permanent install. One suggestion for practice would be to repair some of your alread broken cables, and replacing some molded connectors with nice Neurtiks.

  14. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Guest

    I agree with Steve, the guys at Redco are great and their prices are as well. I deal with Dave Berliner there 800-572-7280.

    Instead of compromising the floor I've chosen to run the wire in the walls of my studio. You can get something called Greenfield at an electrical supply house. You run this stuff in the wall as your constructing and leave access points so that once the walls are completed you can run additional wire through it in the future. You'll also need to get yourself an electrical snake. You can't really run cable without it.

    You're better off doing your own wiring for several reasons:

    1. You can mix and match connectors within the multipair snake.

    2. You can change connectors at any time.

    3. You can't really run cable through Greenfield with connectors attached.

    4. It's cheaper.
  15. Good Texan

    Good Texan Guest

    Hey all,
    I'm a new member here so I figured I'd break the ice.
    I would agree with pulling wire through the wall. Much easier for future work. As far as wire goes, I pulled about 1/2 mile of Beldin 9451 through the walls of our home studio. Nice stuff to work with. About $60-$70 per 1000 ft.
    Get yourself a box, fire up the iron and get to it. You won't regret it.
  16. kavi

    kavi Guest

    great text! let me give a chance to share my problems and querries.... i am constructing my studio and these dayz with cabling work... i have routed my cabling by using cable duct in floor and wall both..... i have done ducting in floor of my control room so it cant' be seen too bad and made a box or way that can open under my console table..... i have run pvc 3" pipe majorly in the walls ..... i wanna know how much deep should be the depth of panel mount box ?
  17. Bassmannie

    Bassmannie Guest

    Now that I'm also convinced that I need to do my own wiring when the time comes...

    If relatively standard cable is used for the snake wiring, will it be pointless to use high-end cables between the panel and the microphones? I was thinking about using high-end mic cable, but it seems like any benefit would be compromised as soon as it hit the more "generic" cabling.

    Am I right?

    Also, is it generally a rule to keep as few terminations as possible in the signal path, or are multiple connections not really an issue? For instance, if I had a mic plugged into a panel in the live room, which traveled to a panel in the control room, which was connected to a patch bay, then connected to preamp, then finally went to the recorder, would there be significant signal degradation? Would it be better to leave out the control room panel and have the snake go straight to the patch bay?

    It kinda scares me to think that a really important signal would potentially travel through 6 terminations that I personally soldered! :roll:

    Thanks for any advice,
  18. ironsheik

    ironsheik Guest

    If you're worried about your work, get a bunch of regular unbalanced cable and connectors and start making guitar cables. You'll get the hang of what a good solder job is after about ten hopefully. The number of terminations in your scenario is hardly a problem as long as you use good connectors and like you said, good solder joints.

    When people are talking about snake cable, it's cheap because it's very thin and not robust. That's because it's in a fixed installation and not trampled on/tugged every day like a mic/instrument cable. It doesn't have anything to do with sound quality. And just so everyone knows (there was a comment above) Canare makes shielded, balanced cable that isn't star-quad. I am using the star-quad stuff for all my mic cables now though. It's my definately my favorite.

  19. Bassmannie

    Bassmannie Guest

    Thanks, Josh.

    I just ordered a good bit of cheaper cable and connectors and a book about cabling. That way I'll be ready when the time comes! :D

    By the way, please make sure your foot is aimed at the proper ass. (Hint: it won't be attached to a person unless it's yours.) ;)
  20. ironsheik

    ironsheik Guest

    Woops, I posted again. Sorry.


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