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Splitter Snake Question
Tone Laborer
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#1
19th April 2005
Old 19th April 2005
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Question Splitter Snake Question

hello,

I'm interested in building / buying an 8 channel splitter snake. Most of what I see available in 16-24 track. I want a small ,easy to transport splitter to facilitate live recording. NOt to long either, maybe 15 feet with 10 ft tail. I'm handy with the soldering gun and have built snakes before, though I don't know the details about the transformers etc. Any references you all could point me to? All advice appreciated.
Ed
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20th April 2005
Old 20th April 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer
hello,

I'm interested in building / buying an 8 channel splitter snake. Most of what I see available in 16-24 track. I want a small ,easy to transport splitter to facilitate live recording. NOt to long either, maybe 15 feet with 10 ft tail. I'm handy with the soldering gun and have built snakes before, though I don't know the details about the transformers etc. Any references you all could point me to? All advice appreciated.
Ed
good transformers are not cheap. but you do only need 8 tracks so why splurge on them (i like jensens but i would not consider them easy to transport) if a budget is an issue check Proco or whirlwind. proco has some that are 8ch in a 1u 19in rack via multipin to fan or xlr. whirlwind makes some that are in snake box configuration, with multipin outs to fan. all you do is specify the lengths of cables comming out of the box. and how cares if they use cheap transformers you should be taking the direct feed anyways. let the sound guy deal with them
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22nd April 2005
Old 22nd April 2005
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OH yeah, did I mention cheap. Thanks, good point about not splurging on transfromers. I actually enjoy building that sort of stuff in the spare time. Just need to find some decent diagrams and parts and and and...I sure it'll be at least $300.
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1st May 2005
Old 1st May 2005
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Hey Ed,

Here's my 2 cents...

We have built many splitters. We have also purchase new and used splitters, then modified them to suit our needs. One thing I also try to do is to kept the snake separate. I want flexibility, one day I may need 250' of snake, another day it might only be a 50' run. Why should I have a cable dangling from my splitter when situations change from day to day? Today, you may need a 15' snake with a 10' tail. How about three weeks from next Thursday?

With the proper details you shouldn't have a problem building your own splitter. Check online with all the manufactures... I've seen info online but, don't recall their links at the moment. I'll do some investigating. You do the same. Let's report back if we find anything.

For the money you may consider buying a new 8 channel splitter instead of building one. They are not too expensive but, they're not $300.00 either. We have sold quite a few of them. Most of them were sold stock. A few were modified before sale. Everyone was extremely happy with their purchases.

A sturdy chassis box, Good XFMRs, ground lift switches for the secondary outputs, XLRs or multipin connectors, et cetera, etc. makes for a great splitter. But, whatever you do, don't go with cheap XFMRs, you may have to use them someday.
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2nd May 2005
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Three weeks from next Thursday? No good, now 2 weeks from last Saturday, that's totally different.

Thanks, I really appreciate the input.


Keeping everything separate would have advantages. I'm not runnning a remote recording business, just something to allow me to use better pres to record with, from stage generally. On the length,I figured I could patch into the soundman's snake, if applicable. On second thought, probably about 60 ft of feed to the recorder would be good. Though most of the time it'll just be a few feet to the Daw on the side of stage. I sure do like the idea of NOT lugging hundreds of feet of snake.

There seems to be a difference of opinion about the xformers. So you think it would make a difference to the live board mix using a great xformer. Remember ,I'm talking about Mackies and Peavys and the like, not Meyer Sound and Harrison boards,or anything.

Many times, I am the live sound guy, and the recordist, and one of the performers as well, you get the picture. So screwing the soundguy becomes problematic.

And price, it seems everything to cheaper to buy than build these days.
So would your company have a 8 ch split box for sale? If so could you pm a quote?

A grand or so could probably get you few of these.

http://www.whirlwindusa.com/split.html
#6
2nd May 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness
But, whatever you do, don't go with cheap XFMRs, you may have to use them someday.

Steve, you have just provided me with my new sig line...


Hope all is well in the apple bro.
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3rd May 2005
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I'm a Noob looking for solutions in remote recording.

I'm intrigued by the discussion and looking for an eight channel splitting solution for a small scale mobile recording gig. Horizon/Whirlwind/ProCo offer 4 ch. rackmounts. Pro/co's eight channel requires some fancy additional connections it seems, so it is out of the pict. Whirlwind SB 8 channel passive version runs around $220.00. I need simple XLR in-- and 8 Bal. 1/4" and 8 XLR outs. If a custom build would provide such a setup I would consider it, however, I think that "custom build" translates into higher price (usually). If I have to, I suppose I can use a full XLR version and just do the conversions myself.

Like Tone Laborer I seek a less-than-expensive route. Any ideas or units on hand Remote? Will go new or (working)used.

Andrew
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4th May 2005
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Andrew,

All I can say is...

Read Waylon's new sig line!
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4th May 2005
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ok

thanks for the seriousness, Remote
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4th May 2005
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So Steve Remote,
Do any of those units on the whirlwind page look decent? What about passive vs. active? Which transformers did you all put in your splitter.
Ed
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5th May 2005
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We have sold a few Whirlwind splitters -- 8, 16 and 24 channel 2 ways to a few forum readers. I haven't received any complaints. A while back I had a friend of mine ring out Jensen and Whirlwind's "Jensen" spec'd XFMRs. They sounded very similar and rang out well on the chart. Needless to say, the Whirlwind XFMRs priced out better. IMO, Whirlwind has come a long way.

We have both Jensen and Whirlwind XFMRs.We also have UTC XFMRs available -- the multi-tapped versions. Very nice XFMRs.

We have active systems too but, I'm not sure which XFMR company provides the XFMRs for our XTA and BSS active splitters.

But, don't listen to us. You should listen to a mic through a XFMR (of your choice) and bare wire. Come up with your own conclusion. The decision should be up to your own ears. Rent a variety of splitters and listen for the difference between each XFMR and the bare wire. If you don't hear a (the) difference go with the less expensive one.
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13th May 2005
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Remote-

In your opinion, does Horizon use good XFMERs?

My apologies for being rude.

Andrew
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13th May 2005
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I've found this Pro Co unit at sweetwater. They're on SALE.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MS42A/

2 of these plus 2 -20ft xlr snakes-$675.38


I havn't found any info whether the pro co uses xformsr or which type.

I used to rent a splitter snake, a bohemoth 24 channel box with a few hundred feet of snake. It worked well, it was a pain in mine ass to lug around, I have no idea what xformers were used. The rental company is no longer in business.
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14th May 2005
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Smile

Thanks,

Andrew
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16th May 2005
Old 16th May 2005
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Over the past 30 years, I checked out many different companies. I ended up realizing something very special – You must listen and test the stuff out for yourself.

IMO, I looked at Horizon many years ago and I was not blown away by their craftsmanship. I don’t know where they’re at today. Have you tried to contact them? Ask them what they got in their boxes?
Tone Laborer
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16th May 2005
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That unit is a Pro Co, I don't know, are they made by Horizon?



Listening to everything is absolutely sound advice, but I can't even put my hand on one splitter, much less bring together several units for a shootout. Not in this town.

I'll keep web searching for answers about this proco.

Aura-Sonic looks like a fine company. Obviously, you're on another dimensional plane than a part timer like me, thanks for the replys and all the best with the mobile recording. I'm sure you capture some great performances in 1st class style.
Ed
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16th May 2005
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Hey bro,

Thanks for the kind words.

I was replying to Andrew (A27Hull) question about Horizon. Pro Co make good stuff. But, it will serve you no good if it doesn't have XFMRs inside. Make sure you get an isolated mic splitter. Jensens or "Jensen" spec is key. IMO, ground lift switches on the secondary side of the XFMRs is also very important.
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16th May 2005
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I bought the horizon 4 channel box. It's unusable! the transformers suck and it's very noisy. I have a couple whirlwind imps and they are much better IMHO.
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16th May 2005
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Thanks Don,

You said it in a way I couldn't...

I was not very happy with the quality of the product the last time I checked them out. Based on what you just wrote, they still have a long way to go.
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24th May 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S
I bought the horizon 4 channel box. It's unusable! the transformers suck and it's very noisy. I have a couple whirlwind imps and they are much better IMHO.
Hi everybody. I have a gig this fryday...and in a last minute rush I'm looking for Mic signal splitters. I'm about to buy a couple of this http://www.fullcompass.com/Products/...270/index.html
Can any one tell me about them? Thanks...................Joaquin.
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24th May 2005
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They're probadly pretty good splitters, more expensive than the pro co mentioned above. If you're doing more than 4 or so, I would think it'd be neater if they were all together. Last minute huh, best of luck.
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25th May 2005
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Hi. Thanks Tone.
...I did not get them, for the session is changing parameters and I'd also have to get them over night or something.......Any way. Thanks again and I'll probably look in to a better multiple solution like the one you were suggesting.
#23
27th May 2005
Old 27th May 2005
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Splitter Snake Questions

Tone,

I know you said you're on a budget, but as everyone said before, be careful what you purchase and make sure it has quality transformers and is well built, before you go and drop your hard-earned cash.

I had been in a similar situation for too long it seems...for years, always needing a splitter-snake or a splitter and some short snakes at the last minute before a gig that had suddenly come up. I never owned one for ages, and kept renting or borrowing each time, and it was always a mess and drove me crazy. Sometimes getting a 16-channel unit, sometimes two of the little 4-channel Pro-Co boxes, sometimes something I could not recognize at all...Including the one time I was rented a box that I was told had transformers in it, but it ended up *not* having them at all! Ugggh...boy, was that too much excitement for one evening. I was lucky to have survived - and I was steaming mad when I figured out what the story was.

I did some digging around and got some good feedback from the good folks on this forum about the various options to consider on a splitter and pluses and minuses of this wiring scheme or that one... check out these threads from a while back:

http://gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...light=splitter

http://gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...light=splitter


Anyhow, to make a long story longer, I kept renting and borrowing, since buying a nice spliter and snake just seemed like such a HUGE investment...until finally I just got fed up with the hassle and crappy condition of the gear I was renting or borrowing and came to the realization that although it is "only a splitter box" or "only a cable", it's an essential tool when working a job and it would no longer do to "wing it and hope it will be ok" with unreliable borrowed gear. I realized that having a reliable splitter and snake is just as important as having good quality microphones, good quality pre-amps, or a good quality recorder.

Anyhow, I took several folk's advice here and got a Whirlwind splitter with a seperate XLR fan <-> fan snake. It has worked out really really well for me. The pressure and hassle is off now when I have a gig that requires a splitter...no running around, no rental hassles...I now have enough splitter channels, all with good transformers and ground lift switches. Also, I really like having the snake seperate, as I can use my 100' snake for bigger halls, and use a smaller snake for much smaller gigs. It is far more flexible than hauling around a box that is tied to 100' of cable that I don't always need, but YMMV as always.

Also, and this may seem like a teeny-tiny little thing to some folks...I've never had a snake before with decent labels on the XLR connectors or wires...this fan-fan snake has the channel number freakin' engraved on the XLR connector in BIG TALL NUMBERS. No more fumbling with a flashlight and trying to read some crappy little writing on the cable itself or a piece of tape with scrawled writing...is it a '6' or a '9'??? Suddenly, life is easier...

Not trying to blow smoke anywhere, but I should give credit where it's due and let you know that after much searching and researching and pricing, I ended up buying my splitter and snake from Steve Remote, who was a pleasure to do business with and did me right.

Anyhow, here's a pic of the box I ended up with...it's a Whirlwind 24-channel box with one set of iso-outs and one set of direct-outs. You can see the seperate snake (with the different color wires for each group of 8 channels) connnected to the bottom-most row and then slinking off to the left in the big blue cable.


Good luck with your search for the right combo of gear,


-dave
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#24
27th May 2005
Old 27th May 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzbutcher
...Anyhow, I took several folk's advice here and got a Whirlwind splitter with a seperate XLR fan <-> fan snake. It has worked out really really well for me. The pressure and hassle is off now when I have a gig that requires a splitter...no running around, no rental hassles...I now have enough splitter channels, all with good transformers and ground lift switches. Also, I really like having the snake seperate, as I can use my 100' snake for bigger halls, and use a smaller snake for much smaller gigs. It is far more flexible than hauling around a box that is tied to 100' of cable that I don't always need, but YMMV as always.

Also, and this may seem like a teeny-tiny little thing to some folks...I've never had a snake before with decent labels on the XLR connectors or wires...this fan-fan snake has the channel number freakin' engraved on the XLR connector in BIG TALL NUMBERS. No more fumbling with a flashlight and trying to read some crappy little writing on the cable itself or a piece of tape with scrawled writing...is it a '6' or a '9'??? Suddenly, life is easier...
Dave,

That was a very insightful post and thank you for adding the other splitter thread links to the thread.

Your kind words mean a lot to me -- I'm glad I could help. Thanks again!
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27th May 2005
Old 27th May 2005
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Yep, that would get the job done. Thanks for the post. Unfortunately, the taxman taketh more than I expecthe; purchase plans officially on hold. Might have to revert back to the plan of taking the DAW feeds off the inserts of the Mackie live board, at least for now.

Any and all tales of splitter woes and triumphs welcome. Or at least, I'd read them.

And remoteness, what have you got, like 50 channels of 3124? Man, that is sick..... that's gotta be one freak of a good sound.
#26
27th May 2005
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We have 48 channels of API 3124 in two 24 channel mini racks. One is a custom API/ASL 3124 and the other is a stock API 3124M.

I know this doesn't help your situation but, here's some eye candy for you to look at...

These are pictures of some of our past and present active splitter systems.

We were the first remote recording operation to go with active BSS splitter system in the mid to late 80s. The BSS splitter setup (in the photos) has been rewired and reinstalled into a new rack and road case in early 2004. The new BSS system is packaged similar to the XTA splitters in these photos.
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#27
27th May 2005
Old 27th May 2005
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Here's an exposed view of one of our 24 channel XTA splitter's wiring harnesses and panels before we put it together...

One of the panels had to be modified to fix the tight package. Can you tell which panel was modified?
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Splitter Snake Question-xtasplitexposed.jpg  
#28
27th May 2005
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Here are some passive splitters...
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Splitter Snake Question-passivesplitters.jpg  
Tone Laborer
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#29
8th June 2005
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damn...now THAT would get the job done.

Yo Steve, you might want to get to the gig a half hour early, you know, so you can take your time setting up.
#30
8th June 2005
Old 8th June 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer
damn...now THAT would get the job done.

Yo Steve, you might want to get to the gig a half hour early, you know, so you can take your time setting up.
Yeah, half hour might make it for a playback session.

We usually like to get to our gigs about two to five hours before the start of the sound check. It all depends on how involved the setup and load in is. Once soundcheck and doors are scheduled we count back the proper amout of time for set up.

Four hours is usually a perfect amout of time to set up a 48 track recording with the truck.
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