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Tall tripod stands....nobody uses internal cabling ?
Old 9th August 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
Tall tripod stands....nobody uses internal cabling ?

I guess the title says it...many of us recording concerts on location can be somewhat pushed for setup time....yes ?

Taping or clipping your mic cable to the outside of your stand (multiply this significantly if you're using outrigger/flankers and spot mics) and ensuring that it lays flush alongside the stand all adds valuable time to the setup process.

Contrast this with the class of video/film boompole handlers who use internally cabled poles....usually with a short-tailed female xlr connector at the tip end and a recessed male xlr at the base end (either in the side or the butt end) Typically this is a coiled cable, like a headphone or old telephone type...although I believe some employ uncoiled cable too ?

If internally coiled boompoles were prone to failures or internal snarl-ups (see video link below) I'm sure the practice would have been abandoned long ago.

Boom poles should typically (?) lead a harder life than our tall stands...more frequent movement, handling, extending and retracting telescopic sections, twisting, getting bumped etc.

In addition, due to the variety of locations they get used in, no less susceptible to RF and phone tower signal intrusion than we might experience in concert settings ? I'm thus assuming that such internal cabling would be chosen for its ruggedness and RF screening ability, and the very nature of coiling probably assists in conferring this quality.

Given that the typical tall tripod will be supporting a main stereo mic pair, is screened twin pair coiled cable available ? Smart asses should now chime in with 'Hey, and what about my 4 mic main array'.....

So....why hasn't internal cabling been used in mic stands (esp tall ones) thus far ? Is it a good idea waiting for implementation...or are there compelling reasons for avoiding it ? Why should boom poles have all the fun ?

How to unsnarl an internal boom pole coiled cable: https://m.youtube.com/watch?ebc=ANyP...&v=BE1FB3u5WJE

What's at the other end: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rdK6QUCDFSo

A 'typical features overview' : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nMZ9VBjvrFQ

Photos of xlr terminations on a K-Tek graphite pole: https://ktekpro.com/product/k230ccr-...e/#description

Last edited by studer58; 9th August 2019 at 08:10 AM..
Old 9th August 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Maybe because of a) numbers and b) those recording with tall mic stands often re-purpose other stands, such as lighting stands.

And a lot of boom poles are still used with external cables, so any benefits are far from universally recognized, with regional differences evident (e.g. much more use of internal cables in the US than the UK). Convenience is the main driver for internal cabling.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 9th August 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 View Post
Maybe because of a) numbers and b) those recording with tall mic stands often re-purpose other stands, such as lighting stands.

And a lot of boom poles are still used with external cables, so any benefits are far from universally recognized, with regional differences evident (e.g. much more use of internal cables in the US than the UK). Convenience is the main driver for internal cabling.

Cheers,

Roland
Yes, there are few purpose made tall mic stands...Manfrotto makes a range of course, but aren't they marketed as 'lighting stands' ?

Even those catering to the studio and broadcast recording folk specifically....Latch Lake, Atlas et al have never fitted internal cable, but I guess in those operational contexts setup time is not of the essence ?

I'm thinking of retro-fitting some curly internal cable to my own 'repurposed lighting stands', as there's something attractive about the notion of running mic cables from my multi core to the base of a mic stand (and no further...)

There's a 19 foot internally cabled boom pole in the K-Tek inventory, as well as plenty of 10 and 12 footers, so they're clearly working in a similar length/height realm as a tall mic stand

Edit...Wouldn't running cable internally within a telescoping section steel stand give very effective 'Faraday-caging RF protection', as a bonus ?
Old 9th August 2019
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I'm thinking of retro-fitting some curly internal cable to my own 'repurposed lighting stands', as there's something attractive about the notion of running mic cables from my multi core to the base of a mic stand (and no further...)
Well do it and post pics/give feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Edit...Wouldn't running cable internally within a telescoping section steel stand give very effective 'Faraday-caging RF protection', as a bonus ?
Only if earthed (inc. all sections), I think. Seems much simpler to use starquad cable if you are really suffering RF issues from your cables: are you? If not, why the issue?

Incidentally, after 5,190 posts (!), it would be nice if we could have a first name that we could use to address you: call me old fashioned/conventional, but I find it hard to use 'studer58' as a salutation!!!

Cheers,

Roland
Old 9th August 2019
  #5
The boom pole we use for video shoots has external cabling and it works fine. On AMAZON they offer these clips https://www.amazon.com/Mic-Cable-Cli...s%2C198&sr=8-1 and these https://www.amazon.com/CC-1-Micropho...s%2C198&sr=8-8 Which makes setup go a lot faster. We have had some gigs where we only had 20 minutes to setup and have not had a problem with setups taking too long. Of course we use minimum miking so if you use multiple mics it may take you longer. FWIW
Old 9th August 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
I suspect a straight, thin diameter cable (star quad?) could be run through a tall mic stand while keeping the mic stand tube compact. The XLR connectors would be the more problematic. I could envision having to solder the XLRs to the cable after running it through the stand and leaving the cable enclosed in the stand with the cable ends sticking out for transport. You could probably take an existing stand to a machinist to have a cable slot opening machined in the tubing for the cable to exit the top of the stand and perhaps run the base end directly out of the base depending on how the stand base is constructed. Depending on how long a snake typically used, I could see running the end of a custom 25-50' two channel snake through a mic stand this way.
Old 9th August 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
I suspect a straight, thin diameter cable (star quad?) could be run through a tall mic stand while keeping the mic stand tube compact. The XLR connectors would be the more problematic. I could envision having to solder the XLRs to the cable after running it through the stand and leaving the cable enclosed in the stand with the cable ends sticking out for transport. You could probably take an existing stand to a machinist to have a cable slot opening machined in the tubing for the cable to exit the top of the stand and perhaps run the base end directly out of the base depending on how the stand base is constructed. Depending on how long a snake typically used, I could see running the end of a custom 25-50' two channel snake through a mic stand this way.
Typically the top end of an 'internally cabled' boom pole has a short cable tail ending in an xlr, with enough cable to secure to the shock mount. Even a simple large drill bit could put a big enough hole in the top to feed the cable through, before soldering on the xlr.

There's no reason the bottom xlr would have to be integrally attached to the stand tubing...it could also exit via a similar short tail as the top. It's just more prone to damage during transport that way....rather than being safely tucked away inside the steel or aluminium/graphite tubing.

Thin star quad would be ideal, as you could configure it for 2 mic/main pair use
Old 9th August 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Could be a cool idea if your set up was kind of the same often, like maybe you were recording a tour etc. Otherwise I'd go for the flexibility of separate cables.
Old 9th August 2019
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 View Post
... it would be nice if we could have a first name that we could use to address you: call me old fashioned/conventional, but I find it hard to use 'studer58' as a salutation!!!
I always assumed his last name was "der58."
Old 9th August 2019
  #10
Clips work fine. It's a solution looking for a problem. Most stands will not clear an XLR connector internally anyway.
Old 9th August 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 

For main pair plus 2’ or 3’ spaced omni’s on one stand I use a 4 channel Canare Starquad snake with 18” tails. Much better/faster than individual
cables. I also have a 2-channel version when using just a main pair.
Old 9th August 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Clips work fine. It's a solution looking for a problem. Most stands will not clear an XLR connector internally anyway.
Only if it was located in the underside of the tube/barrel, at the very base of the stand. Plenty of boompole mfrs supply them located there, so it can't be physically impossible to do so (although more challenging as a retrofit DIY process for sure !)

Clips work fine, strips of gaffa work fine too...I'm just whittling away at all the 'sub-process minutes' which add up when you're under the pump to set up or tear down at either end of a show...maybe others here don't experience those pressures ?
Old 9th August 2019
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
PuebloAudio's Avatar
 

When video recording started to become a regular thing with recital and concert recording I put in some effort to make mic stands less conspicuous.

In one attempt I took a black, 9' carbon boom and attached a K&M stand base to it. I wired it for stereo specifically for DPA high voltage mics (4pin XLRs). I also made custom, low profile "stealth" stereo bars to hold the mics. This assembly looked extremely sleek and sharp. Great for piano recitals and such where the stand would be on stage and somewhat close to the subject. I liked this assembly but ultimately it did not get used very often due to its specificity.

Another attempt was installing stereo cables inside those tall Shure S15 stands. This was a mild visual improvement for close-in camera shots but not leaps-and-bounds better from an audience perspective. I also found that handling the stand was difficult. Trying to make nuanced mic height adjustments became hindered by the weight of the cable and its friction against the inside walls of the stand. Strike and storage of the stand became a struggle. Also, if you wanted to use a tube mic one night, then a phantom the other, then a 130V mic on another, well too bad. You're stuck with the captive cabling in place. It all just became a frustrating complication for little visual improvement (the stands where not black to begin with).

Hope that provides some insight.

Last edited by PuebloAudio; 9th August 2019 at 11:43 PM.. Reason: added info
Old 10th August 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PuebloAudio View Post
When video recording started to become a regular thing with recital and concert recording I put in some effort to make mic stands less conspicuous.

In one attempt I took a black, 9' carbon boom and attached a K&M stand base to it. I wired it for stereo specifically for DPA high voltage mics (4pin XLRs). I also made custom, low profile "stealth" stereo bars to hold the mics. This assembly looked extremely sleek and sharp. Great for piano recitals and such where the stand would be on stage and somewhat close to the subject. I liked this assembly but ultimately it did not get used very often due to its specificity.

Another attempt was installing stereo cables inside those tall Shure S15 stands. This was a mild visual improvement for close-in camera shots but not leaps-and-bounds better from an audience perspective. I also found that handling the stand was difficult. Trying to make nuanced mic height adjustments became hindered by the weight of the cable and its friction against the inside walls of the stand. Strike and storage of the stand became a struggle. Also, if you wanted to use a tube mic one night, then a phantom the other, then a 130V mic on another, well too bad. You're stuck with the captive cabling in place. It all just became a frustrating complication for little visual improvement (the stands where not black to begin with).

Hope that provides some insight.
And there is also the problem that the current version of the S15 is a piece of ****.
Old 10th August 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
Thanks Scott for your 'combat conditions' insights ! Your 9 foot carbon poles attached to K+M bases sounds like a great idea (telescoping/adjustable would be even better !), the main Achilles heel being how the pole gets attached to the base, as carbon fibre pole tubes tend to have fragile outer walls. Those mic interchangeability hassles are hard to overcome, and the inner cable friction issues too...

For typical spot mic duties, combined with cable invisibility and super-slim profile, it's nigh on impossible to beat the Schoeps and Sennheiser 'active tubes' stands....but the cost
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