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Author Topic: Digital Snake Design: Need some advice  (Read 1977 times)

Ross Harris

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Digital Snake Design: Need some advice
« on: September 19, 2011, 10:30:14 AM »

Hey Everyone, I need your help!

I'm currently working on redesigning an audio snake infrastructure at my church where I'm on staff as the Production Director.  At FOH we're running a standard M7CL-48 (non-ES model) with an analog snake system that was installed way before the addition of the M7CL.  Our last console was an A&H GL3300 40 channel, which the existing snake was designed around. 

All of that to say, our snake consists of 52 single pair cables pulled to FOH into a patch bay with only 32 outs and an 8 out sub-snake for RF with a combined channel count of 40. 

There's not enough room to pull large multipair snakes through our conduit (single pair was pulled through tons of 1" pipe) AND because of our FOH inputs in the booth, I'd still need some sort of patch bay installed and I'm trying to get rid of that. 

Here are my thoughts:

- Use the existing console slots and run 3 Yamaha SB168-ES stage boxes for a total of 48x24 on the platform
- Install a Whirlwind PXP-EA protocol box to allow Ethersound and A-Net to "talk" to our Aviom system
- Analog inputs on console will be used for 10 UHFR units, 5 stereo inputs, audience mics, etc. (Estimated 22 inputs)

The basic idea is to run digital to the stage and have a true stage box installation VS. stage pockets and a patchbay. The analog inputs on the console would be used as a FOH rack. Thus, allowing me to patch in and out of desired inputs/outputs in both locations.

Is there anything wrong with my thinking on this?
Does anyone out there have any better ideas?

...Our existing snake is needing to be fixed/replaced and I'd rather replace it and upgrade to something that fits our needs a little bit better! HELP ME!

Brad Weber

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Re: Digital Snake Design: Need some advice
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 12:20:54 PM »

It may work but you might want to reevaluate the actual I/O at the stage.  It sounds like you currently have 52 inputs available at the stage and that is the basis for your concept but that 52 current inputs seems to include some sources that you apparently plan on moving to FOH, such as the wireless mics and the audience microphones you noted.  So once you account for those the sources apparently being moved to FOH do you really need 48 inputs at the stage?

This could be important to consider as I believe the M7CL-48 is limited to 48 mono inputs and 4 stereo inputs.  If you have 10 wireless systems, 5 stereo inputs and 7 or so other inputs at FOH then that would seem to routinely tie up all 4 stereo inputs and 19 or so of the mono inputs on the M7CL, leaving you 29 mono inputs available for the stage.  Conversely, if you actually need all 48 mono inputs on stage then you'd have no mono inputs left for FOH.  So while three SB168-ES units at the stage may offer some benefit in terms of flexibility and physically distributing the inputs around the stage, it also appears that in terms of actual I/O you could possibly use just two SB168-ES units with one MY16-ES4 card and one MY16-EX card in the M7CL for a 32x32 EtherSound network (32x16 physical I/O) on stage and then use the third slot in the M7CL for an Aviom card.

I'm also not sure what you mean by "The basic idea is to run digital to the stage and have a true digital stage box installation VS. stage pockets and a patchbay. "  The SB168-ES will let you have 'digital' stage boxes and replace physical patching with digital patching but the ES would loop through the SB-168ES units so you can't just add and remove them at will as you would an analog stage box, at least not without addressing the ES loop.  I'm also not sure that many people would necessarily want to eliminate all stage pockets and/or wall plates and have to run everything direct to the SB168-ES units.

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Re: Digital Snake Design: Need some advice
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 12:20:54 PM »

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