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Splitter Snake...do they make this?!?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by stantonsound, May 1, 2007.

  1. stantonsound

    stantonsound Active Member

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    I am going to be purchasing a new splitter snake very soon. For those of you who do not know what this is, it is a snake where there are two output cables for each signal. One goes to the monitor console and the other goes to the FOH position.

    Lets face it, splitter snakes are really expensive. I am wondering if anything like this exists. It is like a patchbay of sorts, but with xlr. For each channel, there will be one female xlr that feeds into two male xlr, thus splitting the signal. You could take your short run snake (25-50 feet) and run it from the stage and plug it into this. The stage snake will plug into the female xlr's. Then, xlr cables will run from one of the outputs of each channel and connect to the monitor console. The other male xlr on each channel will be plugged into the long snake and run to the FOH position.

    This piece of equipment, as I envision it, would be rack mounted and allow the user to use snakes that they already own (or can purchase inexpensively) and make them into a splitter snake when necessary.

    I know that splitter snakes have some sort of circuitry in them. I think that there is a ground lift and a transformer isolation from what I have researched. If I were to make something like this, how would I go about doing so?



    (Math:

    24 channel 50' snake $385
    24 channel 100' snake $490


    24 channel splitter snake $1285

    As long as this xlr patchbay of sorts was less than $300 or so, it would be a better buy. If you already own a 100' snake, then you could upgrade to a splitter snake for just a few hundred dollars and not waste the perfectly good snake that you already own. (or, I might just be crazy)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2007
  2. stantonsound

    stantonsound Active Member

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  3. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    This is what you're looking for.

    [​IMG]

    It still costs way above your hoped for $ 300.00
     
  4. stantonsound

    stantonsound Active Member

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    What is the cost of that contraption?

    Honestly it would be worth up to $600 or so to me as it allows greater flexibility. For example, we have had to run monitors from FOH on a separate console, as well as various other weird configurations. The typical splitter snake just has that 50' (or less) breakoff to send to monitor world. To have the flexibility to use two 100' snakes, for example, could be a show saver. I have even seen scaffolding set up at the FOH position. The monitors were run on the lower level, the FOH sound on the middle level, and the lighting guy up on the top.

    Yes it is quite a bit more than $300 and it is only 16 channels, but it is the perfect size needed. For rock shows, there really are only a few channels that get fed into the monitors. Below is a sample set list for a rock show and what needs to get sent to the monitor board.

    Ch Instrument Monitor y/n
    1 Kick yes
    2 Snare yes
    3 Hat no
    4 Tom (R1) no
    5 Tom (R2) no
    6 Tom (Fl) no
    7 Over left no
    8 Over right no
    9 Bass yes
    10 Guitar 1 yes
    11 Guitar 2 yes
    12 Keys 1 Left yes
    13 Keys 1 Right no
    14 Keys 2 Left yes
    15 Keys 2 Right no
    16 Vocal 1 yes
    17 Vocal 2 yes
    18 Vocal 3 yes


    So, for a typical rock show, I would only need to send 10 to the monitors. If the band had a DJ or a horn section, it would only add 4-5 more channels at the most.


    The splitter snake is the easiest way of doing it, but I was just checking to see if there is any other way that it will work.
     
  5. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    They come in several flavors:
    One like you are looking at is a patch bay type where you plug into it. There are versions with isolation transformers and some with just straight split.
    While they are good as a patch system, Personally I don't prefer them because you wind up with a lot of cables plugged in and out, (mic cable to box and then two snakes plugged in so it can get messy trying to determine what is split and what is not split, and of course in theory more connectors means more failure points.

    The other version is with one box, and then two snakes coming out one for foh one for monitors. Here you have the option to have monitor feed on all inputs and IMO the setup is a bit more tidy.


    I generally prefer this method, and it is possible to simply add an additional snake to an existing stage box

    Just some points

    Sharyn
     
  6. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    If you want to do this, I would suggest placing this box on the stage and getting two male to female, fan to fan XLR snakes and run them both from the box on stage to wherever you are set up. This would alleviate a lot of the cables, but would still allow you to have the flexibility.
     
  7. fredthe

    fredthe Active Member

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  8. stantonsound

    stantonsound Active Member

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    I was really just looking for another option for a splitter snake, rather than shelling out the $1000. Since I have several snakes, in differing configurations, I wanted to find the box like is pictured above.

    The other option would be to buy the single line splitters. Whirlwind makes these for about $20 each. Just buy one for each signal that you want to send to the monitor board. The problem, there would be a nasty pile of cable all over the stage. The splitter snake is the cleanest and easiest (usually), but not always the best. It is also unlikely that many people bring extra splitter snakes as spares. With the splitting output box, it would be easy to just throw a spare $300 snake in the truck when going on the road.

    This just shows that there are lots of ways of accomplishing the same thing, depending on what works best for you.
     
  9. BenFranske

    BenFranske Member

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    Solutions certainly exist, the question is whether they're in your budget and I'm just guessing they're not. Before switching to a CobraNet digital snake (which is obviously quite easy to 'split') I used to need a three-way split (FOH, Mon & Record) which is a fairly common setup among professional rigs. This is probably more complicated (and expensive) than you want to get but maybe it'll give you an idea.

    The way these are usually setup is a rack on stage with female XLRs duplicated to some kind of multipin connector for smaller subsnakes (8 channel usually) which actually run out into the middle of the stage. Inside of the main stage rack are isolation transformers for the recording feed, FOH & Mon are usually a direct split. On some stage racks two (FOH & Mon) and on some racks all three outputs are mutipin connectors (Amp, Ram or Whirlwind) if the record output is not a multipin there are male XLRs to feed a jumper to a multipin for recording (the reason is to allow the record engineer to setup a different patch). Multipin snakes run from stage to FOH & Record, a multipin whip feeds Monitor world. At both FOH & Record multipin whips connect from the snake to the board (the whips stay in the doghouse and connected to the board so they can be setup quickly).
     
  10. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The Whilrwind unit above configured for 24 inputs with 48 parallel outputs can be had for as little as $ 585.00, if you add ground lifts you're looking at $ 765.00
     

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