The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
XLR cable lengths?
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

XLR cable lengths?

For Christmas, I want to get my boyfriend the Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone, Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface, Cloudlifter CL-1, and the Rode PSA1 boom arm.

This is our first venture into XLR microphones and all these extra gadgets. We've only ever used the Blue Yeti, but, a friend of mine let me play around on the Shure SM7B and I was so in love with it. I realize it has all these extra steps and I'm totally cool with buying extra things and making it work, but...

The thing I'm hung up on is freaking XLR cable lengths.

Please don't make fun of me, this is legitimately stressing me out.

I guess since it's my first time dealing with audio cables of this magnitude, all the Youtubers and Reddit users who recommend 15' kind of puzzle me because 15' seems huge.

We're just going to be using his small 120 square foot spare room and using a standard sized computer desk. His audio interface and the cloudlifter will all be on the same desk.

I'm assuming that since the boom arm takes up quite a bit of XLR cable length to wrap around, that 6' or 10' would be best. I'm aiming towards 6' but when I asked Reddit, they all told me to go for 10', 15', 20' which left me even more confused.

I'm assuming the second XLR cable that's going to go from my Focusrite Scarlett into the Cloudlifter CL-1 can be shorter because there's no giant arm to wrap itself around and the distance between the two doesn't have to be so vast, so, I was thinking a 2' or 3' XLR cable would do the trick for that, but, I have no idea how off base I am with my logic or lack thereof.

I do plan to get the Mogami gold cables because they're mentioned everywhere. 80% of Reddit users on my original post asking these same exact questions that I'm asking here didn't even answer me in the slightest, they just started fighting about which XLR cables were superior, inferior, or just expensive and a waste of money.

Granted, I could get cheap Amazon basics XLR cables in varying lengths for him to try out, and while I'm sure that's not a bad idea to do, I just wish I had a better understanding of what lengths would be 1) sufficient enough to connect to the boom arm to the Scarlett interface 2) connect from the Scarlett interface to the Cloud with minimum wire clutter.

One thing we're both a bit OCD about is having a crap ton of wires laying around that we have to coil and whatnot.

People suggested that I do measurements, but, whenever he's not at his place, he's with me. I rarely go over to his place and he has no idea I'm getting him this amazing audio set-up for Christmas, so, it's a surprise. Hence, why I'm doing a lot of guesswork.

Even if you don't know exactly what lengths will work because you obviously don't know or can't visualize the work space because you haven't seen it, I at least just want an estimate of what would get the job done comfortably without being too excessive. Once again, we're just working with a basic sized computer table that does not have any shelves, it's just a flat surface, so there's no high area for any XLR cables to reach.

In the Reddit post I made where I asked this, everyone was saying "I have no idea what size to suggest to you" which just stressed me out even more because there are literally tons and tons to choose from, and while I get that this is a vague gray area because no one has seen the set up, what I can say is that it's just a small home desk set-up and I just want some sort of ballpark to work with, even if it does have a level of margin of error in it.

Since Reddit was 0% helpful, I'm here to hopefully have some wisdom bestowed upon me. I've tried researching this topic about cable lengths and all that, but, there's surprisingly very little information out there. I even went on Youtube and had zero luck looking for answers. Maybe I'm overthinking it, but, I still would really appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Get 10 ft. Short enough to not be a pain and long enough in case he needs to mic something a bit further away or changes his desk/equipment layout.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thanks, 10' it is!
Should the second XLR cable also be 10'? The one that goes from the Scarlett to the Cloud.
I can't really see a reason for that being 10' because you can literally stack one on top of the other. Unless there is a good reason for getting two 10' cables.
But 10' for the arm definitely makes sense. I originally was going to get a Mogami 6' cable but started looking at videos/photos of them and thought (Wow, 6' isn't actually that long as far as cables go) so this confirmed my hunch about going with the 10'
Old 1 week ago
  #4
The second one could be shorter, but you could always get another 10 ft. and just coil it up neatly and use a cable tie...
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

You don't need Mogami cables.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 

I know I don't need them. I just want to see what all the fuss is about. If there is no fuss, then I ended up paying extra for a fancy cable.

Plan to get a $5-10 cable to compare to the Mogami at some point to see if all of the reviews that praise Mogami's glory are valid or not.

It's more of a personal experiment if nothing else.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

There is practically no signal loss when running a balanced low impedance signal so cable length is not a big issue.
You can use whatever is convenient and wont notice any signal losses till you get up in the 100' lengths or more where additional
booster amps are usually employed.

Given the fact you are using an in line preamp, signal gain of frequency loss isn't even going to be on the radar. I'd suggest using a standard 25' cable in a studio. it will allow you to move the mic to different parts of the room and find the sweet spot for recording, especially of you have a guest singer. 10' is really going to cramp you up for anything but maybe solo work.

If you were using a longer cable, I'd also suggest you use the short cord and Cloudlifter at the beginning of the chain at the mic end instead of at then end near the interface. The theory being you have less loss when a strong signal is passed through a longer cable vs boosting a weak signal and noise captured at the end of the cable. A Cloudlifter can add a good deal of hiss compared to simply using a high quality preamp recording. using the short cord near the mic then sending a preamplified signal through the longer cable helps reduce noise and hiss because the pure signal is boosted before noise accumulates.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
You can run balanced audio cable 1000' with only .1dB signal loss at 20kHz. Not really an issue. I have to deal with hundreds of feet on location. I always buy good cable though, Mogami or Canare. They won't sound any different than cheap cable most likely, but they are much more durable, wrap better, and lay flat on the ground without loops or kinks. More cost effective to buy in bulk and make yourself with some basic soldering skill. But a pre-made 10' cable won't break anyone's bank.
Old 4 days ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 

"You can run balanced audio cable 1000' with only .1dB signal loss at 20kHz. "

Doug Sax used 600-foot cable runs from the mic pres to the mixer when tracking the direct-to-disk Sheffield Harry James records. The remain, for me, some of the best sounding records of all time. (The CD and high-res digital copies are terrible, btw. You gotta hear the LPs.)

WW
Old 4 days ago
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lana90 View Post
Plan to get a $5-10 cable to compare to the Mogami at some point to see if all of the reviews that praise Mogami's glory are valid or not.
It's partly the audio characteristics of the cabling, partly the ruggedness vs flexibility of the cabling, partly the connector quality, partly how the connectors are attached to the cabling.

Take that $5 molded-end cable and roll your chair over it a few times.
Old 11 hours ago
  #11
Gear Addict
 

My advice would be to go with a 20' mic cable.
That way at some point if you ever wanted to move your mic away from the hard reflective surfaces of your desktop and computer monitor you could easily do so.
Just a thought.
Old 10 hours ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Quetz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
It's partly the audio characteristics of the cabling, partly the ruggedness vs flexibility of the cabling, partly the connector quality, partly how the connectors are attached to the cabling.

Take that $5 molded-end cable and roll your chair over it a few times.
Yeah but the choice on the market is not either Mogami or $5 moulded.
There is no such thing as a fancy cable, just fancy marketing designed to part fools from their money.
Nothing wrong with the OP wanting to buy different priced cables to compare the differences, but I would keep the receipts for the Mogami ones if I were you.

I wouldn't buy Mogami, but wouldn't buy $5 moulded either.
As Brent says, it essentially comes down to quality/gauge of wire, quality of connector and quality of assembly, but you don't need to buy overpriced cables to get that quality.

Depending on how practical your boyfriend is, consider in the future buying him a soldering iron, some nice cable and some neutrik connectors, then enjoy going out for nice meals on all the money you saved.

Unless he's completely allergic to DIY, he'll actually enjoy it and get a real feeling of satisfaction from being self sufficient in that area (as well as being able to wire up stuff that you can't buy off the shelf).
Old 9 hours ago
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetz View Post
Depending on how practical your boyfriend is, consider in the future buying him a soldering iron, some nice cable and some neutrik connectors, then enjoy going out for nice meals on all the money you saved.
Boyfriend? All the best cable-fabricators I know are women.
Old 8 hours ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Quetz's Avatar
She's buying these for her boyfriend.
Or are you suggesting she should make them for him as well

Edit: saying that, if someone gave me kick-arse handmade cables for Christmas, I'd be pretty stoked, let alone a mic!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump