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Author Topic: Dmx cable as an audio cable.  (Read 41872 times)

Nate Armstrong

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Dmx cable as an audio cable.
« on: June 18, 2012, 02:29:01 PM »

First off I am a firm believer in using DMX cable for lighting. That being said
I do a lot of lighting and some audio. I thought that a I read a post on this forum saying its ok to use DMX cable as a mic/ audio cable but not the other way around. I have searched for it and could not find the post.

As a lighting guy I tend to have a lot more dmx cable than mic cable, I have never had to resort to using a DMX cable as an audio cable but have been curious if it would be acceptable to do if I had no other option.



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Mac Kerr

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Re: Dmx cable as an audio cable.
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 02:39:58 PM »

First off I am a firm believer in using DMX cable for lighting. That being said
I do a lot of lighting and some audio. I thought that a I read a post on this forum saying its ok to use DMX cable as a mic/ audio cable but not the other way around. I have searched for it and could not find the post.

As a lighting guy I tend to have a lot more dmx cable than mic cable, I have never had to resort to using a DMX cable as an audio cable but have been curious if it would be acceptable to do if I had no other option.

Yes. DMX cable is fine as audio cable, even digital audio cable, audio cable is not necessarily fine as DMX. DMX and digital audio care what the characteristic impedance of the cable is, audio does not.

Mac
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Dmx cable as an audio cable.
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 03:07:14 PM »

The only thing I don't like about some DMX cable is that it's stiff and doesn't lay/coil nicely.  If you've got the "good" stuff, and especially if you use it a lot, you should be fine.
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Dennis Wiggins

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Re: Dmx cable as an audio cable.
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2012, 06:38:27 AM »

The only thing I don't like about some DMX cable is that it's stiff and doesn't lay/coil nicely.  If you've got the "good" stuff, and especially if you use it a lot, you should be fine.

From what I have read, DMX is data cable and has a fully braided shield.  That is what may cause the stiffness.

Also, I have read in many "entry-level" DMX controller manuals the the shield lead is NOT to be connected connected to the body of the XLR connector.  This may be a problem if you try to use it as a MIC cable.

-Dennis

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Dmx cable as an audio cable.
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2012, 09:19:39 AM »

From what I have read, DMX is data cable and has a fully braided shield.  That is what may cause the stiffness.

Also, I have read in many "entry-level" DMX controller manuals the the shield lead is NOT to be connected connected to the body of the XLR connector.  This may be a problem if you try to use it as a MIC cable.

-Dennis

No... the drain/ground wire should be connected to Pin 1, but NEVER to the XLR shell.
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Chris Carpenter

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Re: Dmx cable as an audio cable.
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2012, 09:40:00 AM »

Only time I ever tried DMX cable as a mic cable, I got mariachi music through the system. And that's not a euphemism; I think I was picking up a Mexican AM station or something. It was loud and clear.
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James Feenstra

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Re: Dmx cable as an audio cable.
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2012, 11:31:03 AM »

Only time I ever tried DMX cable as a mic cable, I got mariachi music through the system. And that's not a euphemism; I think I was picking up a Mexican AM station or something. It was loud and clear.
there was a problem with the cable then

in terms of characteristic impedance of a cable, audio (at least analog audio) rarely cares as long as the cable is wired correctly.
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: Dmx cable as an audio cable.
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2012, 04:42:30 AM »

FWIW, I have a small 8-light DMX rig and I use Road Hog mic cable for it all the time. Don't own any DMX cables.  I'm fairly sure I've run DMX through a 100 foot Whirlwind snake, up to 100 feet.  Never had a problem and I don't even terminate the DMX chain (lost the terminators),...  My cheap controller (DMX Operator 192) and cheap lights don't seem to care...

I rarely take out the lights anymore, no room in the truck....
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Nate Armstrong

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Re: Dmx cable as an audio cable.
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2012, 12:58:01 PM »

Mark, this has been discussed a lot in other threads.  I too have done this, but have learned my lesson.   I find once you start getting 30 + fixtures and or 250 ft or more one may see some ghosting.   I use to use all mic cables. but then I got tired of trouble shooting my rig every show and wasting valuable time.  I know use all DMX cables that I have made my self. 

I have also moved over to wireless dmx.  This makes it easier to trouble shoot because the chains are broken up into 3 sections ( 3 wifi dongles ) instead of one huge daisy chain. 

I hardly ever have any problems now.   ( I probably should not of said that since I have a show tonight )
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Bill Hornibrook

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Re: Dmx cable as an audio cable.
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2012, 01:12:40 PM »

Mark, this has been discussed a lot in other threads.  I too have done this, but have learned my lesson.
Yeah me too. When I used mic cables, most of the time fixtures would master-slave (I'm really basic with my lights) but wouldn't you know - when I'd be most pressed for time the slaves wouldn't recognize the master.

It was always a crap shoot. Once I used DMX cables the problem was solved.

But if you have no problem to begin with, you don't have one to solve I guess. Maybe certain fixtures and layouts are more sensitive to this than others.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Dmx cable as an audio cable.
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2012, 01:12:40 PM »


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