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Author Topic: Recording using splitter snakes best practices  (Read 347 times)

Nathan Riddle

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Recording using splitter snakes best practices
« on: June 05, 2019, 09:13:31 am »

I am providing equipment for a live recording this weekend. I'm fairly invested so I am toying with the idea of having redundant recording devices.

I have my SQ6 with AR2412 and AB168 which will be in use for the live part and recording 32 inputs via USB.
I will have my dLive CDM32 with waves card also recording inputs.

A digital split would be great but is prohibitively expensive so I am considering an analog split instead.

I have two older Horizon transformer & Pro Conex splitter 75ft snakes, I haven't used or tested them so I want to test them out. I've been thinking of ways to do so and what to expect (I've never used a splitter snake). I am assuming a DC xlr tester wouldn't work because of the transformer isolation. So my thinking would be to rig up my SMAART rig and measure each channel and the split for anomalies. This probably won't find intermittent issues in the cable though. Thoughts?

As this is a recording I want to get as high quality of a signal into the system and while I know all the "preamp" talk is basically useless I'd still want to plan out the inputs so that the "important channels" hit the highest quality inputs first (dLive > SQ > AR/AB).

My questions are:
1) In a typical splitter snake, is it dual isolation or is the split only isolated?
2) Are the transformers good quality to record through?
3) Which side of the split should I send where? (dLive having higher quality inputs than SQ, etc).

Issues I forsee:
Hum/Buzz - circumvent by drawing from the same power source and using ground lifts [might not be possible as distro hookup is unlikely].
Bad Channel in snake - hopefully, diagnose during sound check or before via testing
I'm just a guy trying to do the next right thing.

This business is for people with too much energy for desk jobs and too much brain for labor jobs. - Scott Helmke

Keith Broughton

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Re: Recording using splitter snakes best practices
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2019, 09:42:55 am »

A "typical" splitter snake has one side in direct connection and then TX splits for each output.
Sometimes they can be 1 in and 3 out, each isolated.
As for TX quality, it can vary from cheep and cheerful to full on Jensen products.
My suggestion would be to use the direct to the primary recorder and the split to the secondary.
BTW...if you need phantom power, that has to be supplied from the direct side.
I don't care enough to be apathetic

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Re: Recording using splitter snakes best practices
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2019, 09:42:55 am »

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