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XLR Snakes Noise Modular Synthesizers
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Szorn's Avatar
XLR Snakes Noise

Yesterday in a session I was recording OHs with M160's with Audient pres on my desk through the XLR snake in my studio.

Needing a lot of clean gain as ribbons do, my audient pres were nearly maxed out. It was in this high gain setting that a heard a lot of noise coming from the left overhead channel. After diagnosing the issue it was apparent my snake was causing this noise.

This lead me to test each input inidivudally and I found some channels were noisier than others, some considerably so. I maxed out the gain on my pres to test this. At lower levels the signal to noise ratio wouldn't be an issue but this leads me to my question.

This snake is a Studiospares brand, not budget, not expensive but not cheap either. Is there a tolerance for noise that certain snakes are made to if their intention is for live use or in the studio? Or is my snake defective? It's still under warranty but since being cabled through the ceiling it hasn't been moved or damaged so techncailly shouldn't have noise isses.

Thankfully it's threaded through a drop ceiling so I can replace it if needs be but I wondering what to replace it with so I don't experience issues like these in the future.

Appreciate your insights as always. And yes, getting designated AEA Pres for my ribbons has crossed my gearslutz mind. Happy to post soundclips to help diagnose the noise, knowing it could be a ground issue on that cable.
Old 6 days ago
  #2
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frans's Avatar
Some cables crackle when you handle them, some even are a bit microphonic (very high gain, okay?). You could have had bad luck with your snake. Would it be possible to use a good dozend cables instead a snake? Less plugs involved, less trouble - higher cost. Maybe you could solder cables - if that, don't be cheap on connectors, Neutrik aren't cheap, but cheap plugs aren't worth the work involved.
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Szorn's Avatar
Thanks Frans, the noise is present irrespective of cable movement. All mic cables are Neutrik and Van Damme.

It's a one room studio so the snake keeps everything neat and tidy as one end of the room houses instruments opposite to the "control room" side. I used to run XLR's across the room when I first started but wanted a neater option without the trip hazards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
Some cables crackle when you handle them, some even are a bit microphonic (very high gain, okay?). You could have had bad luck with your snake. Would it be possible to use a good dozend cables instead a snake? Less plugs involved, less trouble - higher cost. Maybe you could solder cables - if that, don't be cheap on connectors, Neutrik aren't cheap, but cheap plugs aren't worth the work involved.
Old 6 days ago
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Szorn View Post
....
After diagnosing the issue it was apparent my snake was causing this noise.
...
This lead me to test each input inidivudally and I found some channels were noisier than others, some considerably so. ...
This caught my eye because I also use a snake into my Audient ASP800's, and a few months ago I had a weird noise problem that went away.

- Is there a pattern to the noisy-versus-quiet channels?
- Did you swap the cables (say, 1-4 swapped with 5-8) to affirm that the noise moves with specific snake channels?
Old 6 days ago
  #5
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frans's Avatar
I had access to a few snakes but went for cables instead and went with a few of these:
Kabelbrucken | Schlauch- & Kabelbrucken | Adam Hall Shop
so nobody would trip over / or step on my $$$-cables.
Old 6 days ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Szorn's Avatar
Audio Clips



Here's a recording off my audient desk with the snake connected, preamp maxed and no mic connected. First is channel 1, then channel 3.

Fair warning: these audio files have been compressed to better hear the artifacts in the noisefloor. The high pitched buzz artifact on channel 3 is what I'm interested in. I'm not getting this on any other snake channel although their noise floor levels do vary.

With hindsight given the soft dynamic nature of the drummer I recorded it may have been worth using Cloudlifters for the M160's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
This caught my eye because I also use a snake into my Audient ASP800's, and a few months ago I had a weird noise problem that went away.

- Is there a pattern to the noisy-versus-quiet channels?
- Did you swap the cables (say, 1-4 swapped with 5-8) to affirm that the noise moves with specific snake channels?
No pattern I can see (hear). I plugged a mic with an XLR straight into the console, then with the same XLR into the snake going into the same channel. Tried different XLR's, snake channels and pre amp channels. It's definitely that specific snake channel.

My one gripe with ASP pres is the sharp increase in gain towards the very top of the dial. Around about the time they get quite noisy. The ASP800 (I have one also) is a little better as the knobs aren't as small.

Does this sound like a grouding issue?

Last edited by Szorn; 6 days ago at 05:39 PM..
Old 6 days ago
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Szorn View Post
....
My one gripe with ASP pres is the sharp increase in gain towards the very top of the dial. Around about the time they get quite noisy. The ASP800 (I have one also) is a little better as the knobs aren't as small. ...
Yeah, getting the rotational taper just right on a 10-million-x voltage multiplier (70dB) has got to be a bear to design.
Old 6 days ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Szorn's Avatar
With that size of knob as well, given that's my only complaint about any of the Audient gear says a lot.
I've been spoilt using the stepped gain pot on 1073's :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
Yeah, getting the rotational taper just right on a 10-million-x voltage multiplier (70dB) has got to be a bear to design.
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