Skip to main content

Digital Snakes

So what is the general opinion of these. Live concert only or do they have validity for studios and high quality acoustic (classical whatever) concerts? Several large name players have versions-Whirlwind, Pro-Co, Aphex etc and obviously they wouldn't build them if there was no demand. Cat6 sure weighs less than multicore.



pmolsonmus Wed, 04/14/2010 - 09:53

Hi Jack,

I was thinking the same thing. My concern is that (I think) you're stuck with the pres in the digital snake. I almost think for remote recording that some type of A/D balun to a rack via Cat6 would be the way to go and then color or not color as the situation demanded.

Don't know if there is such an animal, but....


RemyRAD Wed, 04/14/2010 - 23:13

The problem with all of these digital snakes is the microphone preamps. Sure, they are probably all "state-of-the-art". That doesn't mean they sound good. That means they have good specifications. It also means that their gain adjustments are handled remotely. If I could adjust the gain on my Neve preamps remotely, without adding anything else in the signal path, it would be cool. Same with my APIs. But they can't so we don't. I still want that sound not those modern things. So the question is, can you live with being -.5 DB down at 15 kHz with 250 feet of microphone snake? Works fine for me. I really just hate those big thick heavy cables. But some of us will suffer for the beauty and the glory.

Remember most of these advancements are simply to lower costs of manufacturing. It's not necessarily a real sonic improvement. It can however eliminate slipped discs.

Mx. Remy Ann David

TheJackAttack Thu, 04/15/2010 - 07:59

Thanks Remy. I don't have your preamps but I certainly know and like my own just as fervently (and probably Phil too) and that whole end of it has been my problem with the digital snakes.

I've been looking at remote controlled preamps like the Millennia and Grace lately so of course a possible logical next step is digital snake. I just can't seem to completely make the jump from remote controlled to digital snake and I guess I'm not the only one. The weight issue sure makes it look good. Too good to be true I suppose.

dvdhawk Thu, 04/15/2010 - 09:27

There's a [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.lightvip…"]fiber optic model[/]="http://www.lightvip…"]fiber optic model[/] that's been out for years that seems to be accepted by some high-end live users. "A total of 256 bi-directional audio channels at speeds up to 192k can be achieved "

I think it goes without saying, fiber optic snakes are aimed at production companies & venues with deep pockets / fat wallets. Does the quality correlate with the cost? (shrugs?)

The 16-channel, 24-bit@48kHz, cat5 model I've used for a few live situations was more than adequate for live-use. Whether or not you'd be happy with it in a high-end recording signal chain I can't honestly say. (but color me skeptical) Those of you with perfect hearing would have to listen / judge / let me know.

TheJackAttack Thu, 04/15/2010 - 10:12

Thanks for the info Hawk. Similar to what you are describing, I've found a product where I can extend firewire 800 to about 500m. For the few times I need to be remote the cost effectiveness doesn't add up unless I really want to work it into my business model. I guess I'll just buck it up and keep rolling out the snake. At least for me it's only a 12 pair these days!!!



Your recently read content