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Mic Splitter box, any recommendations

Member for

21 years
Mic Splitter box, any recommendations? I want it for comparing various pre-amps. Would this work: pro/ cons?

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The Pro Co Sound MS3 3-Way Microphone Splitter Box is a portable utility used to split the low impedance signal of a microphone into 3 outputs. The result allows 3 microphone preamplifiers or mixer channels to be fed from one source. The MS3 features a single XLR female input, a single XLR male direct output, and 2 XLR male isolated outputs. The isolated outputs feature a ground lift switch which eliminates hum and electrostatic noise. Transformerless components feature additional electrostatic shielding for even further protection against noise.

Ground Lift Switch
The MS-3 features 2 isolated outputs with a ground lift switch that eliminate noise, plus a single direct output
Transformer Isolation
Transformer isolated circuitry eliminates hum and noise due to ground and radio frequency interference

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Member for

21 years

audiokid Thu, 12/25/2014 - 10:11
Thanks Kurt, that's what I'm looking for!! but won't the Jensen get in the way for critical comparisons?


JS2/JS3™ Passive Microphone Splitter
Part no. R800 1022 ~ JS2 single isolated output Part no. R800 1023 ~ JS3 dual isolated outputs
  • Jensen transformer-equipped for optimal signal transfer
  • Choice of 2-way or 3-way designs for extra flexibility
  • Compact design , up to 8 may be rack mounted in J-Rak
  • Ultra rugged 14-gauge steel construction for added durability
class="xf-ul"> The Radial JS2 and JS3 are high performance balanced mic level splitters that let you split a signal and feed multiple destinations at the same time. Typical applications include splitting a signal in the studio to feed more than one preamp, feeding a stage mic to more than one mixing console, or even splitting the signal to a live PA during a broadcast event.

Two units are offered: The JS2 is equipped with one isolated output while the JS3 has two. The engine inside both units is a premium Jensen transformer. It features a nickel laminated core for exceptionally low harmonic distortion without the usual phase shift and limited bandwidth typically introduced by lesser designs. The JS2 and JS3 deliver better than 90dB of noise rejection, eliminating troublesome noise caused by stray DC voltage and hum & buzz caused by ground loops. The signal path is 100% discrete and incorporates RF filtering for even greater noise suppression. These 'problem-solvers' offer a simple yet highly effective interface for microphones or direct boxes, and by engaging the built-in -30dB pad, consumer and line level devices may also be connected without distortion or fear of overload due to saturation.

As with all Radial products, both mic splitters feature rugged 14-gauge steel construction for maximum durability. A unique book-end design creates a protective zone for switches and connectors against the harsh environment of concert touring while the internal I-beam frame makes it virtually impossible to torque the PC board which could otherwise compromise the sensitive solder joints. The innovative design also has the unique advantage of allowing up to 8 units to be rack-mounted using the Radial J-Rak.

The Radial JS2 and JS3... split the mic signal without compromising your sound.

Member for

21 years

audiokid Thu, 12/25/2014 - 10:41
Exactly what I'm talking about. Either for comparisons or stacking . JS3 might even be better.




Using the JS2 to compare two mic preamps
In the studio, it is often advantageous to compare the sound of two mic preamps on a particular voice. The JS2 is ideally suited for this as it will not color the sound of the mic or add distortion. The plug & play simplicity makes set up quick.

Member for

11 years

pan60 Thu, 12/25/2014 - 13:38
I would look for an older radial withe the Jensen in it, they are pretty nice transformer in those. I do not believe the new ones are still using Jensen?
Also if your are using an active unit I believe you are also adding color ( the IC sound and for the record not something I am against ), to the signal as well.
Not sure I would do a y cable set up?
I would just buy a Jensen transformer ( have a friend wire it up for you or do it yourself ), and be done.

Member for

21 years

audiokid Thu, 12/25/2014 - 14:00

Thanks Pan,

Through research, Apparently a simple Y could do it too, and regardless of what route I take, to expect a slight drop the level. Its an easy makeup gain on the pre's so I'm not overly anal about a slight change but I will be using Transformerless Pre's too, so it would be choice to have the straightest wire.
The better transformers are going to be less coloured. Radial claims to be using silver winding yielding a transparent path. Perhaps transparency could mean opinion or fact.

Using our search, there is plenty of discussions here too:
http://recording.org/inde…

Member for

21 years

audiokid Thu, 12/25/2014 - 14:06

A good one about using a Y for a Mic Splitter, when Remy was at her best I must say.
http://recording.org/inde…

 

RemyRAD, post: 246293, member: 26269 wrote: I love this thread/question.

Microphone splitting is a passionate conversation piece.

We must first discuss the type of program content involved. Why does that matter? Because we typically listen to approximately 10% distortion coming from PA systems. Nobody complains about that much. You probably won't hear it in your rock-and-roll recordings either. So for rock-and-roll, rock-and-roll gospel, contemporary jazz, etc., you might find the deleterious effects of splitting to be minimal, even for your recording. If you can hear it at all.

If you are recording operatic, orchestral, fine arts material, which also has to be amplified, a few more factors may determine your decision-making?

Most microphones want to see a 1500 ohm load or higher. Yes, I know the microphones are rated at 50/150/250/600 ohms. But 1500 ohms actually happens to be the typical load for most microphone preamps since there is a physical resistor placed across the microphone preamp input. If you use a "Y" cable, to plug into a second mixer, the microphone will see a 750 ohm load. Slap a third 1500 ohm load across that for the recording mixer and you're looking at about 500 ohms. What happens to the microphone? It won't hurt the nice microphone. Well that largely depends on the microphone technology utilized. Your typical SM57 PA microphone and equivalents, output along with frequency response will be somewhat diminished. But a condenser microphone is generally less affected since it has an active lower impedance output. Don't even think about it with a ribbon microphone. You'll have virtually no output level and a mangled frequency response, if not a destroyed microphone. So forget ribbons unless active splitters are employed.

When dealing with phantom powered microphones, there should only be a single preamp supplying that power. This also largely depends on whether a passive "Y" split is utilized in comparison to a ground lifted "Y" split, transformered or active splitter. Phantom power can actually be canceled out if 2 supplies are utilized simultaneously. Generally, phantom power cannot be provided through a splitter transformer or a ground lifted split as only the AC components are inductively coupled not the DC components. I.e., it doesn't pass DC phantom power at all. Active splitters have their own microphone preamps and with that, with phantom power supplies included within the splitter. So that's really not a splitter but a "multed" (many multiplied) output microphone preamp, whose output level has been knocked down so as to be able to plug into another microphone input. I've been plugged into those and really don't care for those. DON'T TRY THEM AT HOME KIDS.

The term "Transformer splitters" can be deceptive. How can they be deceptive? Because a transformer splitter generally includes a direct passthrough of the microphone while slinging a transformer across that microphone line. The output of the transformer is referred to as the secondary split. The direct passthrough of the microphone is called the first split. Generally, us recording guys love to have the direct "first split" since it really isn't a split at all. (but the primary first split must also provide phantom power, which has other ramifications) All other outputs come from the secondary output side of the transformer, with its inherent distortions & shortcomings. But on large venue jobs, this is rarely the case. You get the secondary side of the transformer or active split. I'd rather have a transformer it split than the output of an active splitter as I'll still get all of the benefits of my vintage Neve and/or API preamps (with an extra of free transformer thrown in) as opposed to some other so & so's crappy microphone preamp, with the gain improperly set.

So having recorded all three ways, four ways (forth as ground lifted as opposed to non ground lifted "Y" XLR cables). So basically, I'll take whatever I can get and still deliver a beautiful product regardless of method of splitting. I really don't care.

In fact, some folks are so anal about this, they'll only accept Jensen microphone transformer splitters and no others. I utilize Sescom 3-way line level splitters for my microphone splitters. This is against the recommendation from not only the company that made them but from all others. Why? Because distortion in the low frequency spectrum goes up at levels lower than line level blah blah, etc.. That would be applicable if my microphones were in fact outputting -50 DB levels. But they're not. At least not on rock-and-roll jobs. They're on screaming loud guitar amplifiers. Inside and on top of concussive drums. Not to be outdone by the lead singers trying to cough their vocal cords out. So certainly not -50 DB.

Now I wouldn't use this particular contraption while trying to amplify and record the Washington Opera Company or the National Symphony Orchestra because of the lower-level nature of that kind of acquisition. Yeah, right, where you need 80 DB of gain for that low output level ribbon microphone during the oboe solo. But generally you probably won't have to worry about that scenario much?

So it really all comes down to your mixing & engineering chops. Are you feeling lucky today, punk?

Dirty Ms. Remy Ann David not Hairy

Member for

19 years 2 months

Kurt Foster Thu, 12/25/2014 - 20:36
pan60, post: 422733, member: 40762 wrote: I would look for an older radial withe the Jensen in it, they are pretty nice transformer in those. I do not believe the new ones are still using Jensen?
Also if your are using an active unit I believe you are also adding color ( the IC sound and for the record not something I am against ), to the signal as well.
Not sure I would do a y cable set up?
I would just buy a Jensen transformer ( have a friend wire it up for you or do it yourself ), and be done.

don't hold my feet to the fire on this but i think Radial bought Jensen.

Member for

7 years 7 months

paulears Fri, 12/26/2014 - 05:42
I read Remy's piece and think she got it spot on. We have a company in the UK (Sowter) who make respected transformers for audio applications - and for the electrical isolation, they're useful to have in line - but the reality seems to be that passive splits or tranformer ones seem to me to be indistinguishable from each other, after you have spent a few seconds inserting them. They work, they appear to do the job, and as long as they work - I'm happy. Both Jensen and Sowter talk about the changes in sound that happen when audio passes through a transformer, so I guess we should add them to the list of devices that 'colour' the sound that people now very strangely seem to like?

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7 years 4 months

Reverend Lucas Fri, 12/26/2014 - 07:05
Kurt Foster, post: 422738, member: 7836 wrote: don't hold my feet to the fire on this but i think Radial bought Jensen.

Radial purchased Jensen in July. I know they were using Jensens before, at least in their higher end boxes. I'd be surprised if they didn't move completely toward Jensens, if they're not already.

Member for

21 years

audiokid Fri, 12/26/2014 - 11:04
paulears, post: 422742, member: 47782 wrote: so I guess we should add them to the list of devices that 'colour' the sound that people now very strangely seem to like?


I like this comment! I feel like I just got a new friend. Paul, I've been pretty vocal about my "appreciation" towards a more "transformerless" approach . Care to expand why you put it this way?

Member for

7 years 7 months

paulears Fri, 12/26/2014 - 13:07
For years, I subscribed to the notion that we should record with the best fidelity we can manage on our budget, not record with any eq, or treatment of any kind, because this is destructive to the original, and should be applied as necessary as a post-recording process. However, now we seem to like microphones, processors, pre-amps and other devices that add something of themselves to the signal passing through. Colouration was a bad thing, we wanted transparency, truth, even if this did reveal problems with our sound source. We'd be happy to tweak, enhance and even disguise afterwards. Now we buy equipment that is deliberately coloured, as in NOT transparent. This, to me, is a complete reversal to what I was taught, and is to use a rather nice word, in humble opinion humbug!

(PS - all the really expensive devices are by design, destructive to what I call reality) Colour is really distortion, nice distortion maybe to some, but it's less than the original and surely this is bad?

Member for

21 years

audiokid Fri, 12/26/2014 - 13:40
Here is a most interesting observation.

When looking for "character/ colour" I have not been able to get a better vocal chain without an LA2A /1176 combo going into a "transformerless preamp", preferably the M-2b
I do not get the expected results using the same UA gear through a transformer based mic-pre. The signal always sounds smaller and less interesting compared. Big rail, transformerless pre-amps are my choice.

Transformer preamps combined with tube mics, tube comps sound smaller with less interesting character.
Transformerless preamps combined with tube mics, tube comps sound huge and full of character.
Transformerless preamps sound closest to the real thing. Like using clean water for a pot of coffee. You can taste the bean, the roast, the cream better.

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 12/26/2014 - 15:04

    paulears, post: 422752, member: 47782 wrote: Now we buy equipment that is deliberately coloured, as in NOT transparent. This, to me, is a complete reversal to what I was taught, and is to use a rather nice word, in humble opinion humbug!

I don't know what you mean when you say "NOW we are buying..." We've been buying colored equipment for years... either in various consoles/pres, or gain reduction, both FET and Tube based, or through mics that use tubes and circuitry designed to deliver a particular character. How many hits have been tracked in music history using U47's, ELAM251's, Neumann Tube mics...? Well, more than I could ever count, to be sure.

    paulears, post: 422752, member: 47782 wrote: For years, I subscribed to the notion that we should record with the best fidelity we can manage on our budget, not record with any eq, or treatment of any kind, because this is destructive to the original, and should be applied as necessary as a post-recording process.

This may be your choice. I can't take exception to it. But thousands of albums have been recorded using tube mics, tube pres, console strips that were known for their "character", and plenty of EQ "on the way in".
Clearmountain to Lang, Alge to Emerick, Parsons to Rundgren, Nile Rodgers to Tom Dowd, Nichols to Swedien, have all used "character/colored" signal paths on the way to the multi track destination, in many different variations, over many years. I'm not gonna deny that their methods didn't play huge parts to the success of the albums/artists they recorded.

IMHO, to call it "humbug" is a bit of a stretch. Use what you use, and it if works for you, then that's all that counts. But, for you guys to say unequivocally that these methods are BS is pretty grandiose, and just because what you do works for you, doesn't mean that your way is the only "right" way to do things.

    audiokid, post: 422754, member: 1 wrote: When looking for "character/ colour" I have not been able to get a better vocal chain without an http://www.uaudio.com/hardw… LA2A /http://www.uaudio.com/hardw… 1176 combo going into a "transformerless preamp", preferably the http://www.mil-media.com/m-… M-2b

Except that if you are going through an LA2, you are going through transformers... maybe it's an A-10, maybe it's a UTC HA100x, but still transformers nonetheless...and, in addition to that you are also sending signal through tubes, too.

So I'm trying to figure out what you guys are saying when you say you like a transparent signal path the best, yet then say something like "I have not been able to get a better vocal chain without an http://www.uaudio.com/hardw… LA2A http://www.uaudio.com/hardw… 1176  combo..."

??

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19 years 2 months

Kurt Foster Fri, 12/26/2014 - 15:13

DonnyThompson, post: 422755, member: 46114 wrote: I have not been able to get a better vocal chain without an http://www.uaudio.com/hardw… LA2A http://www.uaudio.com/hardw… 1176 combo..." .... and to take it a step further, an LA2a even though it's a tube box, is much "cleaner" sounding than an 1176 which in spite of being solid state, has a particularly filthy sound.

.... and to take it a step further, an LA2a even though it's a tube box, is much "cleaner" sounding than an 1176 which in spite of being solid state, has a particularly filthy sound.

Member for

21 years

audiokid Fri, 12/26/2014 - 15:15

 DonnyThompson, post: 422755, member: 46114 wrote: Except that if you are going through an LA2, you are going through transformers... maybe it's an A-10, maybe it's a UTC HA100x, but still transformers nonetheless...and, in addition to that you are also sending signal through tubes, too.

    So I'm trying to figure out what you guys are saying when you say you like a transparent signal path the best, yet then say something like "I have not been able to get a better vocal chain without an http://www.uaudio.com/hardw… LA2A http://www.uaudio.com/hardw… 1176 combo..."??

You tell me? If you were here and we did the comparison through that beast, I'm pretty sure you would be typing the same thing too hehe.
;)

All I know is a transformerless mic-pre combined with tube gear sounds better vs the a transformer mic-pre with the same chain. I think Paul is somewhere along the same lines as me on this.

Personally, I don't really care about the past and all the testimonials. The present and future is where I look today. So much of what old school says is great, is dated in my world. We used to have all the old schoolers here and they all said Pro Tools would never take out the big studios. Those same guys all raved about Big Bens and 10M.

Look at me, only up until last year did I say analog and hybrid was better. Today I hear different. I need less of what I used last year because I'm learning how to implement today's technologies "better".And we all know better is subjective too.

Too much of one thing is mud so I am beginning to wonder (if you have this option), the capture sounds better if I put the colour into the mic, comps, and EQ, rather than on the pre. A purer Pre's is looking like the better choice when combining UA grit. That's what I'm saying.

That's what I think today.

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