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Direct out or buy splitter snake???
Old 14th March 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Talking Direct out or buy splitter snake???

I'm in the process of putting together a rig that is capable of recording a full band live. I've got a macbookpro running protools m-powered. My interface is an 1814. My question is, what are the benefits and drawbacks of just going direct out of the board? Is it worth it to save money and do that, or should I just splurge and get a 16 channel isolated splitter snake?
Old 14th March 2007
  #2
Gear nut
 
RedEar's Avatar
 

are you recording live performances or is this a studio? If it is a studio, driect out is fine (I think) if it is a live show, split it. My $.02
Old 14th March 2007
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
I figured splitting would be best, and more proffessional. What kind of splitter would you recommend? I've heard good things about whirlwind. Also, where does the split typically happen? On stage or at the desk?
Old 14th March 2007
  #4
Runs with scissors
 
tnjazz's Avatar
 

I guess it all depends on how professional you want to seem. If you're doing it for money, direct outs are probably not the best way to go since you'll likely be at the mercy of FOH for gain changes, EQ and all that good stuff. Plus you never know what kind of board you'd be dealing with.

In one club we record in often, there aren't even any direct outputs on the console (and it's a 32 channel Yammy).

Splitter is definitely the "pro" way to go. Even a simple passive split will get you much farther down the road than relying on direct outs (while you save up money for your iso splitter, of course!) That's just my opinion though.

Just noticed you're local. Feel free to PM me and maybe we can get together sometime and chat. It's always nice to meet the local remotesters (there aren't very many of us, surprisingly enough!)

Dirk
Old 14th March 2007
  #5
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Yeah, I'd def be up for that. I'm very very new to the remote game (new as in, I'm searching for my first gig!!) So I'm soaking up a lot of info on this little corner of gearslutz. What did you use when you started out? Did you go ahead and go for iso splitters right out of the gate?
Old 14th March 2007
  #6
Runs with scissors
 
tnjazz's Avatar
 

I started out with a pair of Neumann mics and 2 DAT recorders. Two ambient mics in the house, and 2 lines off the board. Took them home and mixed them together. That gradually grew to 6 channels, then 12, then 16, then 24, etc. We added preamps, clocks and all that good stuff as we grew.

As for the splitter, we have a 32 channel passive split now (that I'm slowly working on putting transformers into). If we ever get a gig where iso split is a requirement, it's much easier for us to rent at the moment.

Remote recording is NOT a particularly lucrative business (unless of course your name is Steve Remote!) but damn it's fun. Some people like jumping ot of airplanes...I like to press the red button.
Old 14th March 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
have you had any problems thus far(noise, hum, etc.) due to the fact that you don't use iso splitters? I checked the website and I see you've got 3 rigs. Is that for redundance or do you use a different rig based on the type of gig?
Old 14th March 2007
  #8
Runs with scissors
 
tnjazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LivintheDream View Post
have you had any problems thus far(noise, hum, etc.) due to the fact that you don't use iso splitters? I checked the website and I see you've got 3 rigs. Is that for redundance or do you use a different rig based on the type of gig?
No problems thus far. We know it's not the ideal split setup though, which is why we check lines meticulously before each gig.

Sometimes the rigs are run in redundant fashion for safety, but mostly it's horses for courses. We did a video shoot last month that was all of 5 tracks, including time code. For something like that the HD24 rack would have been overkill so we went with the 2 computer based rigs (each running separately for redundancy though!)

We always run some sort of backup, even if it's just a 2 track feed to a DAT from the console.
Old 14th March 2007
  #9
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LivintheDream View Post
have you had any problems thus far(noise, hum, etc.) due to the fact that you don't use iso splitters?
I'm not tnjazz, but I can report excellent results with non-iso splitters if they are used with care. Without a doubt, I use an isolated split when I have one available. But in most of the clubs where I work, the club provides the split for me - and it is rarely transformer isolated.

So I make sure that all of the mixers (and other electronics) draw power from the same source, or at least share the same power system ground. I make sure that only one board supplies phantom to any particular channel. And I make sure that we choose microphones that won't have impedance issues with the relatively low input impedance that they may see when facing a set of two (or more) parallel mic inputs.

I've been doing this for 15+ years, and I've never had a problem (except in one unique situation) - but I'm always cautious. The potential for trouble is there in a non-iso situation, but you can avoid it with proper attention to detail.

The one time that I did run into a problem, I wasn't using a snake at all. I was recording a solo singer/songwriter in a small club that had some serious problems with their electrical system (they've since fixed it). I had just two channels to split, so I just brought a mic splitter and a DI (for her guitar). Well, the mic splitter was fine (it was isolated), but the DI caused some serious hum. I was about to simply give up on the gig, when it dawned on me that I could just run the output from the DI through another mic splitter and solve the problem.

Even though I figured this out quite literally at the last minute, the performer was gracious enough to let me put it in place. So I got the recording after all.
Old 15th March 2007
  #10
Gear addict
 

I dropped almost 2 grand on a 24 channel splitter w/ iso transformers and ground lift switches on every channel. One stage box w/ a 20 ft fan and a 100 ft fan. It was difficult to spend so much money on cables (not a sexy gear purchase by any means), but I've never looked back to the days of direct outs and insert piggybacking...

The new setup is much more pro, and the results are too. I don't like being tied into the house system any more than is absolutely necessary.
Old 16th March 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
I dropped almost 2 grand on a 24 channel splitter w/ iso transformers and ground lift switches on every channel. One stage box w/ a 20 ft fan and a 100 ft fan. It was difficult to spend so much money on cables (not a sexy gear purchase by any means), but I've never looked back to the days of direct outs and insert piggybacking...

The new setup is much more pro, and the results are too. I don't like being tied into the house system any more than is absolutely necessary.
That seems like a great price! Where did you get it? I don't about everyone here, but a nice splitter seems as sexy as anything else in the business!

Edwin
Old 16th March 2007
  #12
Gear Head
 

I found this thread while searching on splitter info a few weeks ago - lots of great links provided by Steve:

the splitter channel

Well worth a look...
Old 17th March 2007
  #13
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
all the links on that thread are dead... ?????
Old 17th March 2007
  #14
Gear Head
 

Old 17th March 2007
  #15
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SixAndChange's Avatar
 

I think a splitter box makes things much easier. And depending on where it is supposed to be necessary? Plus there is that whole cable consolidation deal.

Also, in my opinion, if you have room for it, you are never going to regret having extra useful gear for future pruposes. Providing you can get it for cheap hah.
Old 18th March 2007
  #16
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Barnabas's Avatar
 

You asked about where to put the split. It all depends on where your recording equipment will be. I usually take the first split on stage. My splitter splits to me and the sound company. They then typically split it again to the FOH and monitor desks.

One sound company I work with gives me an XLR split out of their monitor board. That means I need lots of short XLR cables to go into my snake stage box.

Once I took the split at the main sound board. This was in an old movie theater that was converted to a church. The church had their sound board at the back of the theater. I setup my recording equipment in the projection booth and ran my snake down to the FOH desk. At first, they were not too happy about me unplugging all of their mic cables and plugging mine in. After I got it all hooked up, they were relieved to see that it all still worked the same.

I always take the isolated split and let the sound reinforcement guys take the direct split. That way they control the phantom power, not me.

Sometimes I am the sound reinforcement guy as well. In those cases, I usually set up the recording equipment at the FOH mix position and split it there.
Old 18th March 2007
  #17
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LivintheDream View Post
all the links on that thread are dead... ?????
Yeah, it worked for a second then the link stop working...

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by -momo- View Post
I sent a PM to Ryan about this, but I feel you folks should also add a reply or three to that announcement, especially which threads are not linkable.
Ryan said, the links from this and the other thread are working perfectly for him.
I let him know many of us are having a problem with this.
He said, he was going to look into this via another computer.

Please let him know ASAP.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnabas View Post
You asked about where to put the split. It all depends on where your recording equipment will be. I usually take the first split on stage. My splitter splits to me and the sound company. They then typically split it again to the FOH and monitor desks.

One sound company I work with gives me an XLR split out of their monitor board. That means I need lots of short XLR cables to go into my snake stage box.

Once I took the split at the main sound board. This was in an old movie theater that was converted to a church. The church had their sound board at the back of the theater. I setup my recording equipment in the projection booth and ran my snake down to the FOH desk. At first, they were not too happy about me unplugging all of their mic cables and plugging mine in. After I got it all hooked up, they were relieved to see that it all still worked the same.

I always take the isolated split and let the sound reinforcement guys take the direct split. That way they control the phantom power, not me.

Sometimes I am the sound reinforcement guy as well. In those cases, I usually set up the recording equipment at the FOH mix position and split it there.
I'm with you on this one. This is exactly how we do it.
Most of the time we're splitting the mics and DIs on stage.
Sometimes we split at the FOH position right at the input of the FOH desk via our splitter (NO DIRECT OUTS FROM THE BOARD.)

We usually do the spit at FOH when we set up a portable rig next to the FOH position. We also bring a time delayed pair of near fields so we can solo or listen to the 2mix without the echo effect you get when you combine the PA sound with the direct feed you're monitoring at FOH.
Old 18th March 2007
  #18
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
is it really benefitial to have monitors for your live rig? I would think the mains would overpower them so much that you wouldn't be able to hear
Old 18th March 2007
  #19
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LivintheDream View Post
is it really benefitial to have monitors for your live rig? I would think the mains would overpower them so much that you wouldn't be able to hear
Yes, if you're positioned at FOH.
Matter of fact, I set the volume just under the PA system so I don't bother the audience seated around the FOH area.

A famous FOH engineer turned me onto this concept over a decade ago...
That's how he mixes his live shows. Delayed near fields off of the monitor buss of his desk.

I wouldn't consider using that set-up when I'm next to MON world or off stage. Now, that would overpower the NFMs. But, I would consider bringing one large-arse active speaker for confidence monitoring during breaks/pauses at the sound check and for brief periods during the performance (just like a MON engineer would do.)
Old 19th March 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Gerax's Avatar
 

I totally understand what you mean steve: during my last gig (32 track rock band) the club's FOH engineer had me set up beside the stage...no monitor would've been of any help there, nor did my ISO headphones...so during soundcheck I got my levels and recorded a few tracks just to check later. Luckily I had the opportunity to ask for a check with the P.A. turned down...it all went fine but I spent the 2 hrs gig guessing if my bass would've sounded right since I had the subs about 2m away from me...(though it all went fine, I'm mixing right now...)

L.G.
Old 19th March 2007
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
I sent a PM to Ryan about this, but I feel you folks should also add a reply or three to that announcement, especially which threads are not linkable
I think the announcement is a sticky and can't be replied to - at least I can't seem to reply to it. In any event I've PM'ed ryan as well.

I can't even open the "Splitter Channel" thread today, let alone the links in it... big 'ol -404 error.

cheers
Old 19th March 2007
  #22
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I noticed that you get a 404 message when you try to open any threads from TAG searches, but if you click on the last post you can get into the thread...

Front door is dead, but the back door is open.
Old 19th March 2007
  #23
Gear nut
 
RedEar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by -momo- View Post
I think the announcement is a sticky and can't be replied to - at least I can't seem to reply to it. In any event I've PM'ed ryan as well.

I can't even open the "Splitter Channel" thread today, let alone the links in it... big 'ol -404 error.

cheers
Same here. Should I also PM or let it ride? I hope it is fixed soon cose I want to read all those threads.
Old 19th March 2007
  #24
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Lets not completely jam him up, but I would PM him and explain the problem.

Those threads can be found by clicking on the Splitter TAG, BUT there's a problem getting to the thread by clicking on the thread title. Click on the last post link and you'll get in to those threads.

I'm sure Ryan will hook us up and figure out the various issues that need to be addressed.

Hang in there, I'm sure everything will be everything again real soon.

If you find new problems let Ryan and I know by PM or a new thread.

Thanks!
Old 20th March 2007
  #25
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwinhurwitz View Post
That seems like a great price! Where did you get it? I don't about everyone here, but a nice splitter seems as sexy as anything else in the business!

Edwin

Edwin,

I got mine through my dealer at the local Guitar Center. I believe they ordered it through CBI.
Old 3rd April 2007
  #26
Gear addict
 
nerogtr's Avatar
 

can anyone turn me on to a cheap 16 channel splitter (with transformers)? how much money would i save simply making my own, if any?
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