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Would you let someone run a split like this?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by tk2k, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. tk2k

    tk2k Active Member

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    So I was A2 for a show las night with rental gear, and the rental guy allowed the band to do something I never would never allow.

    Basically, the band had effected vocals on stage, and they did the processing themselves. But they don't have a proper mic split, instead they have XLR y cables that split the send of the mic.... This sets off alarm bells in my head about isolated groups, equipment shorts, and the rest. Then they tell me they're going to run a split from a condenser mic as well, and I proptly pull my AT350's and let the rental guy setup mics instead. When the rental guy applied phantom 48v, the mics worked, but the 48v plantom power light on the effects mixer on stage lit up even though his 48v was off.

    To me this sounds like one giant electrical disaster waiting to happen, but I'm not an electrical engineer. My gut is this is an unsafe practice, but I wanted your feedback.

    Thanks
     
  2. coldnorth57

    coldnorth57 Active Member

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    check out passive snake spilt, no differnt, if one broad phantom power is off the other will be the feed for power and the system will work just fine
     
  3. tk2k

    tk2k Active Member

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    I thought passive splits were isolated signals though?
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Nope. Passive snakes are just a dead split. Isolated splits have a direct out and have transformers on the other legs to stop bad stuff from happening.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
     
  5. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Semantics, but a transformer split is also a passive split. I'll steal Jim Brown's terminology from http://www.audiosystemsgroup.com/AESPaperSplittersASGWeb.pdf and call what is being discussed here a "hard wired" or "direct coupled" split.

    There should be no problems with such an approach with a couple of caveats. First, there will be no isolation so the chances of having to deal with ground loops, etc. when using direct coupled splits is greater. Second, the phantom power supplied from the other console should not affect a properly designed console, but that being said, some years ago I did see a console lose a number of inputs due to exactly this issue. It's one of those things where it shouldn't normally be an issue and many people use hard wired splits with no problems, but you can occassionally encounter the exception and may not know that to be the case until the damage is already done.
     
  6. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    There are times when a direct split is the most sensible and cost effective way to do things.
    Take for example a show using digital consoles with remote stage boxes say Digico anythings.
    The split distance is all of 5 metres on each tail and the grounding is the same and there really is very little room for things to go wrong.

    But don't forget the golden rule, ALWAYS transformer isolate broadcast. I don't care if you are splitting sctively or passively, they always get an iso because so often they are running alternative power sources and the distance is rarely short...
     
  7. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator Premium Member

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    Pick on the broadcast guys, will you?

    You're right though, typically broadcast will power the truck off generator, or may switch back and forth as necessary (e.g., mic check on shore power and show on genset, and vice versa). It's done that way for reliability and isolation--better the devil you know kind of deal.
     
  8. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    :p

    Broadcast aren't as bad as the terror of a press split...
     
  9. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    That is why we have one of the active Whirlwind boxes with the little blinky light... light blinks... audio is there... not our problem.

    pp2.jpg

    Now, when it comes to 8 networks just deciding they are going to send cameras to an event when the media contacts of the office say "Don't worry, no cameras will be here..." that gets fun...

    The only thing that is worse then that is when some "videographer" shows up to an event and has no clue how to get their camera to recognize their mic inputs instead of their built in mic.
     
  10. howlingwolf487

    howlingwolf487 Active Member

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    Kyle,

    All of those things are very frustrating, indeed. I've been on both sides, and now I know what makes my life easier from each side of the coin…

    Did I mention I love my Qbox for situations like you mention?
     

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