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The electrics of Live Sound
Old 6th September 2011
Gear Nut
GMK's Avatar

The electrics of Live Sound

Hey folks, thanks in advance for the time, I've been mixing bands and setting up small to medium largeish PA's for about 4 years now. I rarely need to deal with 3 phase stuff my self, but if I have to, I'm always pissing off whoever's above me with questions like "will I get blown up?" It has been increasingly apparent that my electrical knowledge could do with a bit of dusting off. Does anyone know any good literature/resources that could help along with some electrical (and electronic actually) issues especially as insofar as it pertains to live sound....or studio sound I suppose!
Thanks again,
Old 8th September 2011
Lives for gear

220 V = works just like the balanced signal from a microphone cable, it's just WAY more power. 2 out of phase signals down separate wires, with a ground in case one signal manages to power up something it shouldn't.

110V = Wire up an XLR to unbalanced 1/4". You'll have to tie one of the signal leads from the mic to the shield on the 1/4" make it work. So, in the mic cable, one wire is signal, the other two are ground.

So is the power in your walls. The hot wire is a signal created from 1/2 of a 220 feed, and the other two are really ground. (Wise people and sparkys will call one "cold" and the other "ground" though. They DO make a difference when it comes to playing with GFI's, and one wire is heavily insulated & designed to return from the hot side, the other is for safety purposes.)

3 phase= 3 identitcal 60hz sine wavs, on 3 different tracks playing 333ms apart....make an electrician figure it out, getting it wrong makes cool fireworks, but a really nasty smell. heh

As far as books, I have no idea. My dad worked for the power company...

Old 8th September 2011
Gear Nut
GMK's Avatar

cheers for that insight! that makes a bit more sense now!
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