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Small mobile rig for recording live

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Re: Small mobile rig for recording live

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:27 am

manwilde wrote:@Mike: Thank you for your advice. Taking a look at mic splitters that won´t break the bank, and following suggestions on this thread, I´ve found that the Studiospares RED800 (https://www.studiospares.com/8-channel-mic-splitter---studiospares-red800_458950.htm) sells for 110€, while the ART S8 (https://www.studiospares.com/art-s8-8-way-passive-mic-splitter_325480.htm) is 285€. I guess the difference in price is due to quality construction?. Is the Studiospares reliable enough?.

Thanks all.

Some of my work was for BBC Local Radio and I never found the need to invest in the 'expensive' splitters. I was at the Studiospares end of the spectrum... :) I have several of their RED boxes for various utility tasks; they're well-built and have always performed more than satisfactorily for me.

The more expensive splitters are probably using 'better' transformers. They can handle a wider dynamic range without distorting. But it was never an issue for me.

and :thumbup: :thumbup: for Orchid...

And while I'm here... part of the 'splitters protocol' needs to be to determine pre-gig who will be providing phantom power to any capacitor mics in use. It needs to be agreed if it will be 'live' or 'recorded' - not both (or neither :o :oops: ! )
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Re: Small mobile rig for recording live

Postby manwilde » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:42 am

Thanks all for your suggestions!. I think I´ll go for the Studiospares then.
Mike, regarding "splitters protocol", what are the pros and cons of doing it one way vs. the other?. It´s not that I´m doing lots of live gigs, and when I do I will probably be taking care of both recording and live sound, but I´d like to be aware of potential pitfalls should the case arrive.
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Re: Small mobile rig for recording live

Postby James Perrett » Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:26 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:And while I'm here... part of the 'splitters protocol' needs to be to determine pre-gig who will be providing phantom power to any capacitor mics in use. It needs to be agreed if it will be 'live' or 'recorded' - not both (or neither :o :oops: ! )

Can I put in a suggestion that it is the person with phantom power controlled by old fashioned switches rather than software. On one live recording I lost a few channels because the audio interface had to be rebooted and 'someone' :oops: forgot to switch the phantom power on after the reboot.
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Re: Small mobile rig for recording live

Postby MarkPAman » Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:10 pm

Saxum esse et non provolvere wrote:http://orchid-electronics.co.uk/micsplit.htm
As with all Orchid product I've used, this one works well with no fuss.
I've just double checked on one we have here at college, joining a studio to a small performance/video recording space.
The second set of outputs has an earth lift. As well as helping prevent each loops, this also effectively blocks phantom from the desk on that side.
I our case, the performance space desk only has the one universal phantom button, so we run with the studio preamps supplying the 48V when needed.

In my live work, I've a loom of 24 XLRs with pin 1 disconnected at one end for running splitters for much the same reason .... Though now I've started dipping my toe into the world of Dante, that may not be needed again.
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Re: Small mobile rig for recording live

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:03 pm

MarkPAman wrote:The second set of outputs has an earth lift. As well as helping prevent each loops, this also effectively blocks phantom from the desk on that side.

It's the transformer that blocks phantom. Just relying on the ground lift wouldn't work because the phantom supply's ground reference would find it's way back to the other console via the mains and so the mic lines would still be biased to somewhere around 48V regardless of a lift in the audio cable screen ground.

Most passive mic splitters are wired with direct connections between the mic input socket, the direct or main output, and the transformer primary winding.

Thus the direct or main output is the only one that can pass phantom to the mic.

The second output (and third/fourth if present) come from secondary windings on the transformer, and so are completely electrically isolated and cannot pass phantom, regardless of whether the output grounds are linked or lifted.

Here's a diagram of a typical passive splitter borrowed from a GS post:

Image

As for who provides the phantom power... the usual convention in professional circles is for the FOH system to provide phantom power to split mics since it is their gig to control...

But if they aren't using any phantom mics, or you want to substitute capacitor mics for the recording in place of some of their normal dynamic choices, then it may be negotiated that the recording rig provides phantom...

it will always come down to a discussion... but personally, if I was running the PA I'd want to provide phantom power to ensure I was in control. The last thing you need in a room full of punters is to lose key mics mid gig just because the recording rig is having a bad day! :-)
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Re: Small mobile rig for recording live

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:07 pm

manwilde wrote:Thanks all for your suggestions!. I think I´ll go for the Studiospares then.
Mike, regarding "splitters protocol", what are the pros and cons of doing it one way vs. the other?. It´s not that I´m doing lots of live gigs, and when I do I will probably be taking care of both recording and live sound, but I´d like to be aware of potential pitfalls should the case arrive.

Hugh's covered it I think.

The key thing is consistency and planning:

- Be sure that it's mutually agreed who will provide phantom;
- Make sure one system is using ALL buffered or ALL direct - no mix 'n' match;
- When working in new/occasional venues who have a sound-system, contact them ahead of time so that any queries or concerns are dealt with well before the gig-day and you're expected - and welcomed - when you arrive.
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Re: Small mobile rig for recording live

Postby manwilde » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:25 am

Well, perfectly clear for me now, makes a lot of sense. As usual here.
Thank you very much!
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Re: Small mobile rig for recording live

Postby MarkPAman » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:42 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:It's the transformer that blocks phantom. Just relying on the ground lift wouldn't work because the phantom supply's ground reference would find it's way back to the other console via the mains and so the mic lines would still be biased to somewhere around 48V regardless of a lift in the audio cable screen ground.

Ahh - really don't know why I didn't work that out :blush:


As for who provides the phantom power... the usual convention in professional circles is for the FOH system to provide phantom power to split mics since it is their gig to control...

But remembering that (especially in these days of IEMs) there are sometimes mics on stage to pick up audience, or something playing click a track, which may well still use the stage splitter box, but not be patched at FOH at all to avoid accidentally turning them on. The same could apply to mics intended only for recording.
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Re: Small mobile rig for recording live

Postby Aptorian » Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:01 am

I do this in different ways depending on my role.

Most commonly I will be doing both live sound and recording, In this case I will take a USB feed from my mixer and take multi tracks from that. I feel this is safe because the only point of failure here is the mixer and if the mixer fails it's a show stop anyway. I will occasionally be doing this at work in which case there will be a dante network that I'll tie into.

If I'm recording and not mixing live I would probably try to go down the splitter route if it was possible. However if the gig at hand is running over a dante network I'll probably try and tap into that if possible and there's the space for any extra mics I need.

When I'm running the live sound but not the recording I'll work with what the recording engineer needs but the last time I did this it was using my SQ6. I used the tie line feature to give the recording engineer an exact copy of whatever came into the desk.
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