sound cords, etc.

sparkfairy

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2003
Location
Salem, OR
OK, I read these posts telling about how to hook stuff up and such and I am royaly confuzzled. In my theatre, we just say, "hey, get me a 6 prong". The only cord we name is an XLR cable....so, what are the names and descriptions of the different cords? :?
 

seanb

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2003
okay I'll start with this.
Audio-
RCA: the little ones you see connecting consumer CD players and recievers. Round with a centre pin.
XLR: you know it :)
1/4" or TRS: sometimes used for hooking up speakers. Usually used out of a guitar into the amplifier or DI, or out of a keyboard into the DI.
Speakon: used for speakers and monitors (well, technically speaking a monitor is a speaker... but...)

Power-
Edison: your regular house plug
Twistlock: three prongs in a circle that you insert, twist, and they lock. Simple?
Two-fer: takes one make twistlock and makes two female outlets.

That's all the terminology I can think of off the top of my head. But my head is small and my neck weak this time of night... add add add everyone!
 

wolf825

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Location
Eastcoast USA
To add to seanb's list.....

Speakon is also called Neutrik connectors--after the manufacturer, or more commonly referred to as NL2, NL4 or NL8 (depending on the conductor number).

Then you have EP connectors for speakers, which are like jumbo sized XLRs--except they have 4, 6 or 8 pins. So they would be EP4, EP6, and EP8.

You can also have various L5 and L6 twistlock connectors which are 2 or 3 conductor or more for speaker feeds or power.

There is also Bantam jacks; Weco or 'NP3' or 'TB' ; and TT style jacks--a patch bay cable jack (each with differences tho) that are common in audio and studio use.

"Y" Cables and "Z" cables are used to split signals to different connectors or sexes of connectors in either a Y or Z fashion...

Mini, 3.5mm or 1/8 in plugs, mono or stereo--usually for headphones.

RCA is also called a "phono" jack.

TRS is a balanced 1/4" (Patch cable of sorts usually)

TS is an UNbalanced 1/4inch jack (also called an instrument cable cause its the typical cable that goes from a guitar to an amp or DI).

There are W connectors (Whirlwind style), and Ramlatch or Amp quick-latch connectors, and CPC or other Amp (Amphenol sometimes called) connectors which are common on large channel snakes and multi-core stuff.

For small barrell connectors--the usual XLR is 3 pin, then you have 4pin (scrollers and com), 5 pin(DMX) 6pin (specialty mics) and 7 pin(foggers usually).

MIDI Cables, also called DIN cables, and FYI they can come in 3 to 8pin versions.

Banana plugs & Binding posts--usually connect to amps or carry current.

Then you have TOSlink or Digital Optical Audio cables which look like little phone cords.

Finally, some of the audio studio and recording stuff uses multitrack ADAT or EDAC cable connectors.


Hope that helps...

-wolf
 

The_Terg

Active Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
Location
Yonkers, NY, USA
Back on topic:
The pointy thing is a male 1/4" or TRS plug. Id give it more credit, it is used a lot for monitors, Guitars, Patch cables for effects, aux sends, etc... The mini version of this is 1/8", or 'headphone' cable. Just look at the end of your favorite headphones, you will see a 1/8" plug.

This is a male RCA to male RCA cable, commonly used on home sound systems to connect components, and even speakers (on cheap sound systems.) These are most commonly used on the tape/recording send of a board (from the theatre viewpoint).

This is the Speakton or Neutrik Connection. it is most often used on monitor sends, because this cable has 4 pins inside the plug, and can be used for monitors with multiple input capibilities.

These are commonly called banana plugs. They are used for the connections between speaker and amp, and vice versa. They are of higher quality, often gold plated, and usually offer a higher voltage connection with good bandwith for high quality speakers and such.

This, is an optical cable, used for the transfer of digital audio. You will only see this on higher quality recording or playback devices, or surround sound systems. The data is sent through an optical signal, in the fiber optic cable, and is almost impervious to distortion or interfereance.

These are the twist lock connectors that wolf mentioned. ive only seen these used for power.


These are called Phoenix connectors, and are usually used for balanced or unbalanced between audio devices such as Amps, effects, automatic mixers, automaic EQ's, and most other digital rackmount equipment. You stick one of these into the back of the device, slide the wires into their respective holes, and lock them into place by using a screwdriver to tighten the locking screw.

These are the only sound cables I have ever used, so feel free to add to the list (with pictures_)
 

The_Terg

Active Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
Location
Yonkers, NY, USA
Google images is your friend ;)

That and, now i work for a company that sets up sound systems. I restock all this [email protected] all day...
 

Nephilim

Active Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2004
Location
Australia
The_Terg said:
Back on topic:
The pointy thing is a male 1/4" or TRS plug. Id give it more credit, it is used a lot for monitors, Guitars, Patch cables for effects, aux sends, etc... The mini version of this is 1/8", or 'headphone' cable. Just look at the end of your favorite headphones, you will see a 1/8" plug.
TO be exact that's a photo of a 1/4" TS not TRS with a female RCA on the back.

TS - Tip, Sleeve
TRS - Tip, Ring, Sleeve.

TS is simple unbalanced, TRS is either balanced mono, unbalanced stereo, or unbalanced insert. But those are a topic for another day :)

EDIT:
 

The_Terg

Active Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
Location
Yonkers, NY, USA
Nephilim said:
TS - Tip, Sleeve
TRS - Tip, Ring, Sleeve.

TS is simple unbalanced, TRS is either balanced mono, unbalanced stereo, or unbalanced insert. But those are a topic for another day :)

EDIT:
I was wondering what TS stands for.....
I know the difference between balanced and unbalanced signals, but I was too lazy to ramble about that as well... ;)
 

Nephilim

Active Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2004
Location
Australia
Hmm. He's got the names, but he doesn't mention balancing at all, which is the reason why you see TRS jacks in pro equipment nowadays, not because they're "stereo capable", but because they're "balanced audio capable".
 

anticowboyism

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2004
Isn't that funny how people do that? When I came to my current job, I noticed the lead engineer putting 1/4" cables into our Longframe patchbay! I called him immediately on it, and he thought it wouldn't cause any harm. I said, nooooo, your wrong, and I cut the ends off and put Longframe jacks on. To this day he remains my mentor in every other way though.
 

halojen

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2004
Location
new zealand
amen mixsa.

and its metric over in our country:
1/4 inch is 6.5mm
and the smaller one is 3.5mm.