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Crappy 100' stage snake, should I record with it?

Member for

21 years
Last fall I did a multitrack recording of my friends band playing live. So I went to order a 100' 16-channel stage snake. Unfortunately at time of purchase I was down to the wire with time and bought the only one I could get which was the horizon 100' 16/4 stage series. Did the recording and the snake seemed to work just fine.

So today I'm getting ready for my next big recording project, which will be setting up in a cabin in the woods to record an album with a singer/songwritter. Upon going through my gear I opened a male end housing of an xlr plug on both a channel on the snake and on one of my standard mic cables.

I couldn't help but be disturbed by the difference in the wires. The snake has like three little wires total for each channel. The mic cable has like 2 sets of two and then another for a total of like 5 wires running though the cable.

I know I bought the price point snake but is it common for snakes to have less wires than mic cables? Am I putting myself at a loss if I record through the snake? If so, would it be possible to daisy chain mic cables together for longer runs?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!


Member for

16 years 7 months

pr0gr4m Mon, 02/05/2007 - 13:27
Is it common? Sure.
Are you putting yourself at a risk? Not necessarily.

Only 3 wires are required for a balanced signal. Since a snake usually usually has lot of wires, using 3 rather than 5 saves, time, space and money for the manufacturer and they in turn pass the savings on to you. YIPEE! But your signals are still balanced.

Can you connect one mic cable to another? Yes. But how many are we talking about? Two? Fine. Three? Ok. Four, five or more? Just use the snake.

The question here is really, do you really need 100' of cable for this job? In a cabin in the woods?

As long as the snake is in good condition and things sound good to you, you should be fine using it. It worked for you before, no reason that it wouldn't work just fine for you again.

Member for

19 years 10 months

Kev Mon, 02/05/2007 - 13:37
pr0gr4m wrote: Only 3 wires are required for a balanced signal.
:? err
including the ground/shield ... yeah

fully floating differential
... twisted pair telephone (line level sure) has only two conductors
the word balanced has been added but can be a little mis-leading sometimes

the four conductor with the shield/drain (5 wires) as in Star Quad is all about added noise rejection and physical cable integrity ... an extention of the twisted pair idea ... they often have a double braid for added interference protection ... 805 braid vers 100% brain ... blah blah

but I get what you mean

sorry to hijack ... move along ... nothing to see here ... :?

Member for

21 years

Member Mon, 02/05/2007 - 13:56
>>>>The question here is really, do you really need 100' of cable for this job? In a cabin in the woods?

Well yes and no. Atleast for the first weekend we will be recording the whole band live and may want to use some of the rooms upstairs(two story cabin) for amp isolation rooms. Which we would probally use the snake to run the signals. But after that we will probally be doing 1 track at a time for the next week, so may not really need it then. And then that next weekend we will be doing a live recording at a club and will definetly be running everything through it.

It did work fine the first time, I just wondered if I have been losing signal or frequencies or something after I saw how cheap the cable looks compared to regular mic cables. Don't want to be jeopardizing the audio due to my ignorance. I appreciate the vote of confidance. I'll probally end up using it this time around but eventually when I upgrade to a 24channel setup I'll look into that star quad cable.


Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Mon, 02/05/2007 - 20:43
Well Mr. Turtle Terrapin, sounds like you're from the Maryland College Park area??

You won't find a microphone snake that is manufactured with Star Quad microphone cable, it's too big, too thick.

I use Conquest and Whirlwind snakes along with Horizon snakes. Most snakes utilize 24 gauge 2 conductor with a foil shield and drain wire. They are perfectly fine for up to and including 1000 feet! There is a high-frequency loss with any cable, when distances go beyond 100 feet but that high-frequency loss is really not that bad, something like 1 DB at 20kHz, at 500 feet. I've had to feed microphones through those same crappy Horizon style snakes, up to 500 feet, without problems. So there is no reason not to use them. Just don't try to feed microphones along with the output of a power amp up those 1/4" connectors. You don't want power amplifiers in that snake because it can inductively couple, just like a transformer, into the microphone lines causing feedback and other atrocious problems! All you need for extended speaker feeds is electrical extension cords. NOT SHIELDED! SHOULD NOT BE FOR AMPLIFIER FEEDS!

Snake lady who knows her hissssssssssssssstory
Ms. Remy Ann David