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Author Topic: XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers  (Read 1243 times)

Sean Chen

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XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers
« on: April 04, 2019, 01:35:47 am »

A group I am working with remotely has been complaining about the audio quality of the mix of their house system. Their main board is A&H GLD. Each source goes into a XLR Y-splitter before splitting to 2 different destinations: 1) XLR input of digital snake hooked up to the GLD, and 2) the studio audio interface for DAW recording. Some are condenser mic that have phantom power on the preamp.

When I heard it, it didnít sound right to me: wouldn the 2 different preamps that are basically hard wired in parallel play nicely? But they assure me that the splitting is not the cause of audio quality degradation. They have recorded many years like this. They also claim that this was how the broadcast system was set up using splitter to send a mic signal to different consoles back in the days. I have not physically been there to check out the set up.

Does anyone have the technical explanation why this would or would not cause problem?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 01:38:48 am by Sean Chen »
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Steve M Smith

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Re: XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2019, 03:08:22 am »

Should be fine. It's very common to connect inputs to both a FOH and a monitor mixer.


Steve. 
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Brian Bolly

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Re: XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2019, 03:39:29 am »

To compound on what Steve said, every passive XLR split in existence (read: every FOH/MON split snake not using transformers) is a glorified Y-cable.

A passive split is not a problem.  Unless of course the cables are not wired properly.
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Bob Faulkner

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Re: XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2019, 06:57:25 am »

Unless there is something very wrong with the splitter, it is not the problem.  Also, you should only need phantom power on one console (either FOH or the DAW) if using a passive splitter.

Sounds like an issue with how the GLD is setup (gain...?  EQ...? channel phase activated on some channels...? etc...)
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Jain John

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Re: XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2019, 07:19:21 am »

As Bob said it might be the processing. Try bypassing Eq, Compression,Gate,phase even effects either on channels or main bus.
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Art Welter

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Re: XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2019, 10:26:19 am »

They have recorded many years like this. They also claim that this was how the broadcast system was set up using splitter to send a mic signal to different consoles back in the days. I have not physically been there to check out the set up.
"Back in the days", microphone splits often used transformers, some of which would degrade audio quality. If you have not actually checked out their split, don't rule out crappy transformers.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2019, 11:09:37 am »

It is *possible* that the 2 input devices have low input impedance and when driven parallel, the microphone "sees" a lower impedance that it was designed for..

That said, in modern devices that circumstance is unlikely.

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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2019, 12:21:07 pm »

A group I am working with remotely has been complaining about the audio quality of the mix of their house system. Their main board is A&H GLD. Each source goes into a XLR Y-splitter before splitting to 2 different destinations: 1) XLR input of digital snake hooked up to the GLD, and 2) the studio audio interface for DAW recording. Some are condenser mic that have phantom power on the preamp.

When I heard it, it didnít sound right to me: wouldn the 2 different preamps that are basically hard wired in parallel play nicely? But they assure me that the splitting is not the cause of audio quality degradation. They have recorded many years like this. They also claim that this was how the broadcast system was set up using splitter to send a mic signal to different consoles back in the days. I have not physically been there to check out the set up.

Does anyone have the technical explanation why this would or would not cause problem?

If you haven't seen the setup, does this mean that you've only heard the recordings and not the live setup?
If that's the case then it's hard to determine if there is an issue with their setup or with their recordings. 

Are they too far away for you to visit?
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Sean Chen

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Re: XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2019, 01:16:09 pm »

If you haven't seen the setup, does this mean that you've only heard the recordings and not the live setup?
If that's the case then it's hard to determine if there is an issue with their setup or with their recordings. 

Are they too far away for you to visit?

They are 3 time zones away, but I will have to be on site soon. Let me first find out if they are duplicating phantom power in parallel.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 01:32:44 pm by Sean Chen »
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John Sulek

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Re: XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2019, 01:39:39 pm »

They are 3 time zones away, but I will have to be on site soon. Let me first find out if they are duplicating phantom power in parallel.

Phantom power in parallel should not cause any issues. Still 48v.
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Re: XLR Splitter for 1 Microphone to 2 Different Mixers
¬ę Reply #9 on: April 04, 2019, 01:39:39 pm ¬Ľ


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