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Miscelaneous Audio Stuff

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by gafftaper, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Hey, I'm working on equipping a brand new college black box theater. I've got the main audio system under control as well as a full mic package. Now I'm trying to put together my shopping list for all the random stuff you have stored in that cabinet in the back of the booth. Most of the time the theater will be used for live theater, but there will be some guest lectures, Dance performances, there is the possibility of a small live band being used with a show, and who knows what else. So eventually I'm going to be facing a situation where someone needs to patch something weird into my system 20 minutes before show time and I want to have a collection of adapters and cable ready to go so that it's no problem. Here's what I've got so far for my shopping list. Please comment on what you would add or remove. Thanks!

    2- Direct boxes
    2- 15' Stereo 1/4" male to 1/4" Male cables
    2- 15' mono 1/4" male to 1/4" male cables
    2- dual line, 1/4" mono male to RCA Male cables
    3- dual line RCA to RCA cables
    1- 15' 1/4" male to 1/4" female cable
    1- 3.5mm stereo male to 2 1/4" mono male cable
    1- Stereo 1/4" male to two mono 1/4" male cable
    1- 1/4" stereo to two RCA cable
    1- 20' midi cables
    1- 2 RCA to female stereo 3/5mm cable
    2- Speakon to 1/4" female adapter
    2- 1/4" male mono to RCA female adapter
    2- Male RCA to 1/4" female mono adapter
    2- 1/4" female mono to 1/4" female mono adapter
    1- XLR male to XLR male adapter
    1- XLR female to XLR female adapter
    1- 1/4" stereo male to mini stereo female adapter
    1- mini stereo male to 1/4" stereo female adapter
    1- 1/4" male stereo to two mini female stereo adapter
    1- female midi to female midi adapter
    1- male stereo mini plug to two RCA female adapter
    2- dual RCA female to RCA female adapter

    Also I'm looking for a set of headphones. What's your favorite?
     
  2. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    Location:
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    Although I have never used them, I've hear the Stanton DJ Pro 300 are pretty good headphones and because they are only one ear-ed, it makes it easier to balance listening to the full mix from the house and trying to tweak a particular mic at the same time.

    http://www.stantondj.com/v2/prod_djpro300.asp
     
  3. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    Occupation:
    Radio Engineer
    Location:
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    Also add to your list:

    4 - RCA-F to XLR-M adaptor
    4 - TRS-F to XLR-M adaptor
    4 - RCA-F to XLR-F adaptor
    4 - TRS-F to XLR-F adaptor

    Get at least two XLR gender benders (you only spec'd one)

    In general, if you think you need x adaptors or cables, you really need 2x, and if you spec'd only one, you might need 3 or even 4x. Believe me, they'll walk, or you'll need a pair, or one will break. Buy them now while you have the money!
     
  4. Bob

    Bob Member

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    Location:
    chicago
    Whirlwind PC-DI boxes come in handy for all those business meetings with laptops, I-pods, and mp3 players, oh my...

    don't forget things like:
    RJ-11 phone cables and couplers
    RJ-11 to xlr adapters, so you can route that phone line around the building or around the stage thru audio lines. And be sure to have your digital camera ready when your IT professional realizes what your doing....

    RJ-45 ethernet cables and couplers
    Video patch cables and couplers
    Speakon to Speakon couplers

    Headphones I would go for Sennheiser HD280 or Sony MDR-7506. Both are about the same price thru discount retailers. The Senn's provide better isolation in noisy enviroments and are indestructible, the Sony's are lighter in weight and fold up smaller, if traveling around. Sound wise the Sony's have a bit more high end in them, the Senn's sound a bit more natural.

    -Bob
     
  5. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    If you want to save your self endless grief trying to find out where the hum is coming from DON'T use these type of converter cables( rca to xlr) for balanced/unbalanced conversion but get a transformer based solution.

    Sharyn
     
  6. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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  7. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I use Sennheiser HD-280.
    Cheap at amazon
    And I'd have to agree that using one of the PC-DI's is far better and worth the money over RCA - XLR cables.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2014
  8. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    Occupation:
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    I agree that the RCA to XLR adaptors are not the best solution, but they do work in a pinch. My feeling is that it's better to have them and never have to use them, then to not have them and suddenly need a slew of RCA to XLR conversions (and not enough pcDI's).

    FWIW, I've never had a problem with these adaptors and hum, but then again that's strictly a factor of the system installation and equipment in the system, and is no guarantee that they'll work for anyone else.
     
  9. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    The problem with the rca/xrl's typically is that you are using them in a pinch, with a "foreign" bit if equipment, and you run the risk of having a problem. Balanced to unbalanced converter boxes these days are cheap, and offer a much better level of "insurance". In my experience you are far better never plugging in any unbalanced device into your system, http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=245-868

    Sharyn
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Thanks everyone this is all great help. If you've got any other ideas please keep them coming. Although I've run my share of sound, I would call myself a lamp head or a carp before a noise boy. I set aside $500 in my budget for this stuff... looks like I'm going to blow through that real easy. I've got a nice 6 drawer chest that was on a shop rolling tool cabinet to keep all the small stuff in. Which should be really nice for keeping all the adapters organized.
     
  11. stantonsound

    stantonsound Active Member

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    Location:
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    Don't forget a good soldering iron. If you can use one of those, you can do without several of the other cables. The problem is, you will spend money on 2 of a certain adapter and store it for 3 years without using it.....and then, one day (usually at 2am on a Sunday morning when nothing is open), you will need 3 or 4 of them.
     
  12. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Get your self a soldering Iron with a stand like a weller, and also get a small vise and clips to hold little connectors and bits.
    Sharyn
     
  13. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Already got myself a real nice soldering Iron and stand. I do still need the little vice device. I have a really cool stand with flexible alligator clips on arms at home i got from Radio Shack about 15 years ago. I'm going to have to see if they still sell them.
     
  14. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Location:
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    For headphones I bought the cheap $20 Sony ones at Target, the kind where the earpiece will flip over so you can use them for DJ work. The sound is loud and clear, perfect for theater work doing mic checks and soloing the various channels, and I'm very happy with them. The best thing -- if someone steps on them you can just go out and buy another set for $20 ... pretty much cheaper than wireless batteries. (so if you have 100 bucks allocated for earphones I'd buy two of these to start).
     
  15. mixmaster

    mixmaster Active Member

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    Location:
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    I have a similar kit of adapters here. I have most of what you mentioned, and a bunch of 1/4 TRS to XLR connectors. Those are what I end up grabbing the most. You will find them useful for making last minute patching changes at the console, especially if someone shows up day-of-show with their own console. The best thing is, you can make them yourself and save $$$. Make a handfull of 1/4 TRS Male to XLR Male and a handfull of 1/4 TRS Male to XLR Female. You will be surprised how often you grab them.
    I would also suggest you consider a couple of stereo DI boxes. You spend a bit more money per box but you only need 1 box to cable up a stereo source like a keyboard. Whatever you do make sure that your DI boxes have ground lift switches. You might also consider active DIs if your budget can afford it.
    I also have a couple of matching transformers in my kit. I use them for "corporate" stuff when a won't work for some reason.
    I don't know that you would need a long Midi cable. Typically, Midi is between instruments or in equipment in racks and a short jumper (a foot or two) is plenty. Anyone who travels with long Midi cords (house to stage or something) typically also travels with spares. If it breaks then that's what soldering irons are for. If you want to have one on hand to be helpful, by all means get one, but there are more important things on your list.
     
  16. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Freelance Lighting Programmer/grandMA Trainer
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    also i will add my two cents on experiance i have had as a sound tech working at a school. i know in a school theatre envroment it is more important to do this but i am sure it will help. MARK ALL YOUR CABLES. in the venue i work we have two main offenders AV department and the music deparment we mark all our cables and mic stands so that when we go and borrow something from them like a extra DI box we can look and see what is actually ours and take it back. moral of the story mark everything in a spot it can be seen...it's also a theft deterent if you inscribe the male connectors of a XLR
     

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