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Passive, 8-channel two-way XLR splitter
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gravyface
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#1
28th October 2013
Old 28th October 2013
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Passive, 8-channel two-way XLR splitter

Looking around, seeing them for 400-600 bucks. Seems crazy to me: how much different is a two-way XLR splitter (8 channels) than a 48 TRS patchbay? And why is the latter close to 10 times cheaper?
gravyface
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28th October 2013
Old 28th October 2013
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Ah, transformers and ground lift. Ok. Art S8 3-way splitter looks to be well-reviewed on here. Thoughts?
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28th October 2013
Old 28th October 2013
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Whirlwind Split6? Might work for you, I'm not sure.
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28th October 2013
Old 28th October 2013
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I run a rack of those ART S8 3-ways to feed my mobile recording rig. I'm quite happy with them. Until you are running high end preamps and conversion, those splitters will be great.
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28th October 2013
Old 28th October 2013
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I've got three of the ART 8 channel 1x2 splitters (24 channels) and they work just fine.

I'm not doing live recording much anymore so going to be selling. PM me if interested.
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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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IMO, there is a huge difference between cheap transformers and the good ones. Cheap splitters have cheap transformers. Whirlwind is passable. Art is pretty low end as is ProCo. Radial is good. Anything with Jensens is good, etc...

Why do you need to split?

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gravyface
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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
IMO, there is a huge difference between cheap transformers and the good ones. Cheap splitters have cheap transformers. Whirlwind is passable. Art is pretty low end as is ProCo. Radial is good. Anything with Jensens is good, etc...

Why do you need to split?

-Ben
For live recording and running mics into analog/tape setup as well as DAW.

Question though: I have two phantom power standalone units I was planning on running in front of the splitter so that the mic signal running back to the splitter would be mic level and phantom-free. Shouldn't see an issue there, should I?
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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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Phantom will only pass on the direct side.

It depends on what kind of live recording you are doing, but most places I work won't take anything but the direct side. Means if my transformers aren't good, I'm shooting myself in the foot. The issue isn't phantom, but rather transformer distortion. Get the best stuff you can afford.

In the studio, I'd just go with y-cables. There really isn't a good reason to use transformers as everything is on the same ground (or I would hope it is) so the reasons for isolation don't necessarily apply.

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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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I've been using a Y split for live recording for years now and can't remember having a problem. I'm not saying one might not crop up, but it's been fine for me. I've also used my rig as an in ear monitor setup, and so it was doing probably close to 100 shows a year for a while, without issues.

I know that if I had the budget, Jensen transformer splits are the way to go, but I figure a Y split is much better than a cheap transformer.
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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
IMO, there is a huge difference between cheap transformers and the good ones. Cheap splitters have cheap transformers. Whirlwind is passable. Art is pretty low end as is ProCo. Radial is good. Anything with Jensens is good, etc...

Why do you need to split?

-Ben
Having used ART and Radial splits side by side, I can't say it's a "huge" difference. In a 48 channel setup, I can't say that Radial on 1-24 sounded markedly different than ART on 25-48. Radial is a better built unit, presumably has better components, and what I'd trust in a critical application. Not a huge sonic difference though.
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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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I was very pleased with passive splitters indeed.. (Jensen's are great!)..
I've had very good experiences with EMO splitters... of course not cheap.. but great.. they're 3 way though..
(I was never crazy with active ones, but I might have been unlucky).

EMO Systems - Microphone Splitters



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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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Thanks boys. Cancelled my order and will get Y cables. We are only talking 10 ft tops so makes sense.

So phantom power: one mixer has none, the other does. I'm assuming with the Y cable, phantom from the one mixer would put phantom voltage on all three "sides" of the Y cable or am I better off using the standalone phantom units on the condenser "side" of the Y cable?
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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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uh ... y-cables ... you might find that you are altering the gain of the Other side if you do NOt have a transformer ... why not just make your own 8 channel transformer split ?

just my .02
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29th October 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface View Post
Thanks boys. Cancelled my order and will get Y cables. We are only talking 10 ft tops so makes sense.

So phantom power: one mixer has none, the other does. I'm assuming with the Y cable, phantom from the one mixer would put phantom voltage on all three "sides" of the Y cable or am I better off using the standalone phantom units on the condenser "side" of the Y cable?
I wouldn't go this way either... get some good passive splitters.. only one output will pass the phantom for the mics. (which is the direct one, usually).

btw I was forced to use some cheap thomann splitters...I'd never do that again... they really sucked big time.. lots of phase issues and crap like that..very bad stuff!

good luck,



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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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Ok, wow, really confusing me here. Some are saying splitters, but don't go with cheap ones; others are saying go with Y-cables, last two are saying no way.

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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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Maybe what you should try to do is rent or borrow some different types of splitters and see what works for you. It shouldn't be too expensive and will be money well spent if it gives you an idea of what to go for.
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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwinhurwitz View Post
Maybe what you should try to do is rent or borrow some different types of splitters and see what works for you. It shouldn't be too expensive and will be money well spent if it gives you an idea of what to go for.
I'm going to buy a Y-cable and do some A/Bing, but I'm not going to be surprised if I find that there's no audible difference.

We're talking adding maybe 10 feet total length to the XLR cable, in a studio setting, so unless there's something inherently degrading in the Y-cable itself, I can't see a problem.
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29th October 2013
Old 29th October 2013
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I've used Y cord splits many times. But, I invested in 16 channels of the ART S8 two ways. I use these for recording and for setting up a monitor console. Bought two XLR snakes. I send the trans side to FOH and the clean to the recording. Doing a live album Friday actually. I typically bring XLR Y splits too. The ART are not great but they work. I checked the trans side out and it's fine too..
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30th October 2013
Old 30th October 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEL View Post
I've used Y cord splits many times. But, I invested in 16 channels of the ART S8 two ways. I use these for recording and for setting up a monitor console. Bought two XLR snakes. I send the trans side to FOH and the clean to the recording. Doing a live album Friday actually. I typically bring XLR Y splits too. The ART are not great but they work. I checked the trans side out and it's fine too..
Good to know. Going to try to Y splitters first, see how that goes (minimal investment), and then look into transformer-based splitters down the road for live use when it comes to that, but right now, I just want to record to a separate board/reel to reel at the same time as my Onyx 1640i/DAW. I have a DB25 snake going to the reel to reel off the Mackie, but I like the sound of the old Tascam board to tape, and want to use it's preamps, not the Mackie's.
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30th October 2013
Old 30th October 2013
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31st October 2013
Old 31st October 2013
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For the studio side, I'd just split the outputs of the tascam to the tape machine and the line inputs of the mackie, using a patchbay mult or a y cable rig (same ish). Actually, I'd just put the DAW on the outputs of the tape machine, but it depends on your workflow.

For live stuff a y-cable rig is going to be problematic - the phantom power thing has the potential to make life difficult (and possibly damage equipment), and ground issues may crop up. So you'd be best getting some kind of transformer-isolated splitter, be it snake or rackmount. DIY or used purchase they're really not that expensive.
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31st October 2013
Old 31st October 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcb4t2 View Post
For live stuff a y-cable rig is going to be problematic - the phantom power thing has the potential to make life difficult (and possibly damage equipment), and ground issues may crop up. So you'd be best getting some kind of transformer-isolated splitter, be it snake or rackmount. DIY or used purchase they're really not that expensive.

That's what they say. However, in practice it has not been a problem. The only noise issues I had was with early Mackie boards that the clubs all seemed to have in the 90s.

Phantom power can be tricky if you are using ribbon mics. Some consoles will turn phantom on in blocks of 8, so if you are using a Y splitter with one of those on the other side of the split, and even you are doing the phantom, the pp can go to the board and get distributed across the block of 8. Other than that, just coordinate with the house guy. I've never seen any equipment damaged from a Y split. Not saying it can't happen, but if it were a common occurrence, I would have done it.
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31st October 2013
Old 31st October 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwinhurwitz View Post
That's what they say. However, in practice it has not been a problem. The only noise issues I had was with early Mackie boards that the clubs all seemed to have in the 90s.

Phantom power can be tricky if you are using ribbon mics. Some consoles will turn phantom on in blocks of 8, so if you are using a Y splitter with one of those on the other side of the split, and even you are doing the phantom, the pp can go to the board and get distributed across the block of 8. Other than that, just coordinate with the house guy. I've never seen any equipment damaged from a Y split. Not saying it can't happen, but if it were a common occurrence, I would have done it.
What I'm thinking is actually just to buy two 8-channel XLR breakout box/snakes and have one permanently connected to the Tascam, the other to the Mackie, and just move the shorter mic cables for the amps, drums, DI, etc. between breakout boxes depending on where I'm going. Then there's no phantom issues, no degradation/noise introduced by Y-cable either.

I was hoping to track both concurrently, but there's no reason why I can't use the DB25 outputs direct to tape if that's the case.

I'm really just experimenting/farting around here, so a couple of decent breakout boxes will go to good use regardless, whether live, studio, or remote. Keep the floor tidier too.
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1st November 2013
Old 1st November 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwinhurwitz View Post
That's what they say. However, in practice it has not been a problem. The only noise issues I had was with early Mackie boards that the clubs all seemed to have in the 90s.

Phantom power can be tricky if you are using ribbon mics. Some consoles will turn phantom on in blocks of 8, so if you are using a Y splitter with one of those on the other side of the split, and even you are doing the phantom, the pp can go to the board and get distributed across the block of 8. Other than that, just coordinate with the house guy. I've never seen any equipment damaged from a Y split. Not saying it can't happen, but if it were a common occurrence, I would have done it.
Sure, cool, glad you're not having problems. But best practices exist for a reason.
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1st November 2013
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Originally Posted by rcb4t2 View Post
Sure, cool, glad you're not having problems. But best practices exist for a reason.
Absolutely and if my clients could afford best practices, I would be coming in with a $4,000 three way Jensen isolated split and all Mogami cable. I would loooooooooove to do that. You have no idea. But for what I charge, it's not going to happen and the audio quality I get is excellent. I put my cash into Metric Halo ULN-8s and nice microphones. My margins are slim enough as it is. The market will bear what the market will bear.
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1st November 2013
Old 1st November 2013
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Originally Posted by edwinhurwitz View Post
Absolutely and if my clients could afford best practices, I would be coming in with a $4,000 three way Jensen isolated split and all Mogami cable. I would loooooooooove to do that. You have no idea. But for what I charge, it's not going to happen and the audio quality I get is excellent. I put my cash into Metric Halo ULN-8s and nice microphones. My margins are slim enough as it is. The market will bear what the market will bear.
Hahaha well put and fair point.
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