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Old 10th March 2004, 12:17 PM   #1
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Default microphone splitter box

I want to get into recording live bands. The only bit I don't have is a mic splitter box. I need 16 way, 1 in, 2 out. I can't afford to hire a splitter. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

(P.S. I don't want to spend 2 weeks soldering op-amps to veroboard if possible.)

thanks, from Steve
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Old 10th March 2004, 12:24 PM   #2
sangram is offline sangram  India
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Default Re: microphone splitter box

OK, you don't want to hire, and you don't want to build.

So go out and buy one.

btw, what is a mic splitter box, and what does it do?

If you want to route a single mic to multiple output channels, you need a mixer/router. Phonic make some decent ones for not too much money, and over at Prosoundweb they seem to be good for live work (not studio).

If you want to take many mics and be able to control them for one or more stereo fields, again you need a mixer/router. Again, look above. Building one of these as a DIY attempt is neither easy nor something that will be done in 2 weeks, you're looking at two months if you don't sleep or eat or visit the facilities.

If you've just seen a nifty gadget that someone said was a mic splitter box, please let us know what it looked like and what it was supposed to be doing. May be a little more help.

Sangram

Edit, OK, now I see you need 16-way 1 in-two out. You are describing what I think is called a patchbay, which has jacks for input and output. You can build one using a lot of jacks and some creative use of wire, but you will have to set it up for balanced connections. All you really need is a frontplate, all the jacks, some wire and basic soldering skills. It will degrade mic signals seriously, but it will still work. And if it's only live, you might be able to get awy with it. I would still think a mixer is your meal ticket. What is the config you're going for?

Quote:
Originally posted by loonatron
I want to get into recording live bands. The only bit I don't have is a mic splitter box. I need 16 way, 1 in, 2 out. I can't afford to hire a splitter. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

(P.S. I don't want to spend 2 weeks soldering op-amps to veroboard if possible.)

thanks, from Steve
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Old 10th March 2004, 12:55 PM   #3
moamps is offline moamps  Croatia
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Default Re: Re: microphone splitter box

Quote:
Originally posted by loonatron
I want to get into recording live bands. The only bit I don't have is a mic splitter box. I need 16 way, 1 in, 2 out. I can't afford to hire a splitter. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Hi,
I use transformer splitter box. Some transformers you can find at
http://www.jensen-transformers.com/mic_sp.html
(JT-MB-C...)
Quote:
Originally posted by sangram
btw, what is a mic splitter box, and what does it do?
..splitting mics signals to few destinations; monitor mix, main mix recording mix etc....
Quote:
You are describing what I think is called a patchbay
No.
Quote:
which has jacks for input and output.
Jacks aren't good for mics interconnections. XLR's are standard.
(for example BSS MSR-604)

Regards
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Old 11th March 2004, 07:11 AM   #4
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BTW, I am talking about multitrack recording. "1 in, 2 out" means for each of the 16 channels. To hire such a unit is over Oz$200 a night around here, and seeing as the recordings will only make me money if the bands decide to use them, you can see that I would be poor very quickly.

Quote:
OK, you don't want to hire, and you don't want to build.

So go out and buy one.

btw, what is a mic splitter box, and what does it do?
"mic splitter box" is a generic term used in the live sound industry, and the TV/Radio OB industry. (like Moamps said) Most people who have set up a medium sized gig would have seen/used one. The reason that I said I wouldn't want to spend weeks soldering op-amps is because transformers would be a much easier solution. OK, I admit it would have been better if I had said "I would prefer a transformer solution, unless someone knows a simple solid state solution"

thanks for both those replies, sangram and Moamps. I will check out that link to jenson, as soon as the connection starts to work (internet over here is very shaky today!)

The reason I don't want to use a mixer is mainly due to the fact that a live sound engineer dosen't want me messing with his signals, and vice-versa. (a lot of mixers only let you have post fader/post mute direct line outs from each channel, which is pretty useless. Better to use a splitter, with as little interference in each other's signal paths as possible. If the FOH engineer sees a box with XLR jacks, they understand what it is straight away. If they see a mixer, you already have hundreds of adjustments for a confused individual to mess up, as well as having to set up unity gain on each channel.)
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Old 11th March 2004, 07:23 AM   #5
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OK I didn't realise how expensive they would be! Maybe Ebay will be my solution Or spending 2 weeks soldering op-amps
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Old 11th March 2004, 07:34 AM   #6
moamps is offline moamps  Croatia
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Quote:
Originally posted by loonatron
OK I didn't realise how expensive they would be!
Hi,
be careful with OPamps. Ten years ago I was maided 36 ch active splitter, and bigest problems was noise and ground loops (mics signal goes to two or more distant places). Best and simplest solution is (for me) passive splitting with transformer. Price (ca 50$) pro channel isn't so high.

regards
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Old 11th March 2004, 08:37 AM   #7
AuroraB is offline AuroraB  Norway
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HM...
either way you put it, it will be somewhat expensive..........
You can't use opamps for splitting at mic level, - you will have make it a full blown mic pre-amp and split at line level output, evt. attenuate down to mic level again. Probably somewhat cheaper than a split trafo, but a lot more work.

OTOH, most mixers I have used, above typical low cost units, have an insert point after pre-amp and before fader, than can be used....
( if not already used for single line effect units.) This can also be a useful point for inset of a simple opamp splitter.
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Old 11th March 2004, 09:39 AM   #8
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QUOTE]OTOH, most mixers I have used, above typical low cost units, have an insert point after pre-amp and before fader, than can be used....[/QUOTE]

I appreciate the suggestion, but this is going to make your average FOH engineer nervous. And I'm not exactly working with world class FOH engineers who aren't going to be scared off by ingenuity, unfortunately.

Looks like I'll just have to take it on a case by case basis, of checking the specs of the FOH desk on each job, and checking I have access to direct line outputs, that are pre fader, pre mute. BTW, If I was to Aurora's option, how do I know that I will not be disturbing the signal in the mixer... I mean, how do I know the impedance of the input of the recording mixer will not attenuate the channel strip of the first mixer? If that dosen't make sense, then don't worry, I guess I'll learn in time anyway! (Will sit down and read up on OP-amp theory, one day, when I get the time!)
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Old 11th March 2004, 10:36 AM   #9
moamps is offline moamps  Croatia
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Quote:
Originally posted by AuroraB
OTOH, most mixers I have used, above typical low cost units, have an insert point after pre-amp and before fader, than can be used....( if not already used for single line effect units.) This can also be a useful point for inset of a simple opamp splitter.
Hi,
this isn't good idea. Insert in/out is usually unbalanced and placed always after mic gain pot and sometimes after tone control witch means that some action on gain or tone setup on "master console" will affect on level and/or frequency response of particular channel on second console. Consoles must be fully independent.

Regards
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Old 11th March 2004, 08:53 PM   #10
AuroraB is offline AuroraB  Norway
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MoAmp-I agree with you completely,- however using the insert points is the cheapskate way to go, - and the price to pay for it.

His only solution is to pay the price for 16 splitting trafos, - or do it electronically, which will probably cost almost as much, maybe even a lot more, if quality is of any concern.

Loonatron
as moamp also indicates, the insert points are usually post preamp and eq, but before fader.
They are also unbalanced, so that long cable between your mix and the main mix is not preferrable, - a couple of meters should be ok though. It should not interfere with the main mix either, provided your input impedance is a couple of k-ohms or more. (In my experience, sound quality isn't exactly a major point in average venues either....)

In case you don't know- the inserts are usually switched jack points, with send on tip and return on ring. In case you use this, use stereo jacks and connect your + wire to both tip and ring, - ground as usual. Best of luck.....
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