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XLR cable distance

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Anonymous
March 12, 2005 10:44:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hown long can I run an XLR cable before the signal suffers? Obvously this is
also going to depend on the quality of the cable. Is it safe running phantom
power from a source that is a long distance from the mic, or is there
another way of powering the mic locally? Should the pre amp be located with
the mic or the DAW/desk?

Reason I ask is that I'm moving into a house with a couple of producers in
October and we're planning on turning it into a recording facility, using
the living room as a recording room and doing the tracking upstairs.

Also had another idea to be able to share our synthesisers using Midi Quest,
alot of midi cable, and a way of delivering at least two channels between
rooms. This is also another potential problem as most of our synths only
have un balanced outputs (and so do our patchbays - i think....). Im
guessing standard practise would be to convert that to a balanced signal
before sending it long distance?

Is there a cheap way of doing that?

And yes, I do realise that the easier solutions would be a) just put all the
equipment in the same room or b) buy more equipment, but we're poor and
sometimes you just want to play Half Life instead.

TIA!

Beauchampy.

More about : xlr cable distance

Anonymous
March 12, 2005 10:44:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Beauchampy <paulbeauchampREMOVETHIS@f2s.com> wrote:
>Hown long can I run an XLR cable before the signal suffers? Obvously this is
>also going to depend on the quality of the cable. Is it safe running phantom
>power from a source that is a long distance from the mic, or is there
>another way of powering the mic locally? Should the pre amp be located with
>the mic or the DAW/desk?

It depends on what's on either end and what kind of cable you're using. I
regularly go a couple thousand feet of mike level with phantom, but I would
not want to do that with ribbon mikes on the end.

Running a long line-level cable is better than running a long mike-level
cable, but if you can't get to the mike preamp to change the gains it
doesn't do you much good, does it? If you're only running a few hundred
feet it probably isn't that huge a deal.

>Reason I ask is that I'm moving into a house with a couple of producers in
>October and we're planning on turning it into a recording facility, using
>the living room as a recording room and doing the tracking upstairs.

So, pull some nice installed-snake cable in the wall and go for it. You
worry too much.

>Also had another idea to be able to share our synthesisers using Midi Quest,
>alot of midi cable, and a way of delivering at least two channels between
>rooms. This is also another potential problem as most of our synths only
>have un balanced outputs (and so do our patchbays - i think....). Im
>guessing standard practise would be to convert that to a balanced signal
>before sending it long distance?

Yes, it would be best to use a DI on the synth to give you a balanced signal
before you ran it to the console. The IMP-2 is probably the cheapest DI that
I would recommend. Since they use transformers, you'll find that better ones
will improve things and cost more.

>And yes, I do realise that the easier solutions would be a) just put all the
>equipment in the same room or b) buy more equipment, but we're poor and
>sometimes you just want to play Half Life instead.

You worry too much.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 10:44:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Reason I ask is that I'm moving into a house with a couple of producers in
> October and we're planning on turning it into a recording facility, using
> the living room as a recording room and doing the tracking upstairs.

Live recording trucks can often be linked to a stage with well over 200'
long snakes bearing mic level signals.

> Also had another idea to be able to share our synthesisers using Midi
Quest,
> alot of midi cable, and a way of delivering at least two channels between
> rooms. This is also another potential problem as most of our synths only
> have un balanced outputs (and so do our patchbays - i think....). Im
> guessing standard practise would be to convert that to a balanced signal
> before sending it long distance?

Unbalanced cables shouldn't be trusted for more than maybe 12' for recording
purposes.

> Is there a cheap way of doing that?

At each synth station you should either have a small mixer or some DI boxes.
Less expensive passive DI's use transformers which work fine with synth,
some might disagree. Active DI's are necessary when there is the need for
ultra high impedance, like with acoustic guitar pickups. The line level
outputs of synths require no such impedance matching, and you've got better
things to spend your money on than good passive DI's, which IMO don't offer
synths as much as they do a rhodes or bass guitar.

For mixers, the Behringer MXB1002 can manage 5 stereo synths at only $99.

Something else you should consider is software synths, considerably less
patching.
Related resources
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 11:09:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Beauchampy wrote:
> Hown long can I run an XLR cable before the signal suffers? Obvously this is
> also going to depend on the quality of the cable. Is it safe running phantom
> power from a source that is a long distance from the mic

Ultimately depends on the mic too, but (a) hundreds of feet and (b)
phantom power no problem.

> Reason I ask is that I'm moving into a house with a couple of producers in
> October and we're planning on turning it into a recording facility, using
> the living room as a recording room and doing the tracking upstairs.

Unless "upstairs" is also several houses down the street or 10 floors up
the block, no problem.

--
Anahata
anahata@treewind.co.uk -+- http://www.treewind.co.uk
Home: 01638 720444 Mob: 07976 263827
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 11:27:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Beauchampy" <paulbeauchampREMOVETHIS@f2s.com> wrote in message
news:1110656651.33208.0@doris.uk.clara.net...
> Hown long can I run an XLR cable before the signal suffers? Obvously this
is
> also going to depend on the quality of the cable.

I run 100' of Belden snake from my tracking rooms to my control room with no
problem. I could quintuple this depending on the type of mics I was uysing.

Is it safe running phantom
> power from a source that is a long distance from the mic, or is there
> another way of powering the mic locally?

You should be fine.

Should the pre amp be located with
> the mic or the DAW/desk?

How are you going to adjust levels with the preamps in the tracking room and
you in the control room? Keep your pres in the control room.
>
> Reason I ask is that I'm moving into a house with a couple of producers in
> October and we're planning on turning it into a recording facility, using
> the living room as a recording room and doing the tracking upstairs.

I've done this before. Make sure you've got a good cue system so you can
communicate. A two way closed circuit video hookup is a good thing in this
situation.

>
> Also had another idea to be able to share our synthesisers using Midi
Quest,
> alot of midi cable, and a way of delivering at least two channels between
> rooms. This is also another potential problem as most of our synths only
> have un balanced outputs (and so do our patchbays - i think....). Im
> guessing standard practise would be to convert that to a balanced signal
> before sending it long distance?

Use a DI box to balance your signal. The better the DI box (think
transformer), the happer you're going to be, as a rule.
>
> Is there a cheap way of doing that?

Only if you use a cheap DI box. Still, you don't need to spend a fortune on
this.
>
> And yes, I do realise that the easier solutions would be a) just put all
the
> equipment in the same room

Why do you think this would be easier? You're going to need a decent
sounding room without a lot of mechanical noise if you're tracking with
microphones.

or b) buy more equipment, but we're poor and
> sometimes you just want to play Half Life instead.
>
> TIA!

You will always need more equipment. Get used to the idea.

:o )

DJ

>
> Beauchampy.
>
>
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 9:19:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Beauchampy" wrote ...
> Hown long can I run an XLR cable before the signal suffers?
> Obvously this is also going to depend on the quality of the cable.
> Is it safe running phantom power from a source that is a long
> distance from the mic, or is there another way of powering the
> mic locally? Should the pre amp be located with the mic or the
> DAW/desk?

Assuming you are talking about mic-level (unstated): Less than
500 feet I don't even give it a second thought. Assuming proper
balanced mics and balanced mic inputs. Phantom power included.
Ribbon mics are a different matter. Same assumptions do not
apply because of lower output levels, etc.

Remember that back before the days of satellites and readily-
available RF/microwave links, line-level 15K audio used to be
shipped from coast to coast (~2000 miles in the USA). Granted
not all in one (or two) hops, but few hops were less than several
MILES each for economic reasons.
March 13, 2005 5:59:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 3/12/05 4:22 PM, in article d0vmhq$96s$1@panix2.panix.com, "Scott Dorsey"
<kludge@panix.com> wrote:

> If you're only running a few hundred
> feet it probably isn't that huge a deal.
>
>> Reason I ask is that I'm moving into a house with a couple of producers in
>> October and we're planning on turning it into a recording facility, using
>> the living room as a recording room and doing the tracking upstairs.
>
> So, pull some nice installed-snake cable in the wall and go for it. You
> worry too much.

Indeed, and to be dead real about it, MANY have successfully just bought a
real nice Whirlwind snake of appropriate channels and length and run it
through the walls, screwed the Box to the drywall and plugged right in.
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 5:59:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

John <ssconmag1@verizon.net> wrote:
>On 3/12/05 4:22 PM, in article d0vmhq$96s$1@panix2.panix.com, "Scott Dorsey"
><kludge@panix.com> wrote:
>
>> If you're only running a few hundred
>> feet it probably isn't that huge a deal.
>>
>>> Reason I ask is that I'm moving into a house with a couple of producers in
>>> October and we're planning on turning it into a recording facility, using
>>> the living room as a recording room and doing the tracking upstairs.
>>
>> So, pull some nice installed-snake cable in the wall and go for it. You
>> worry too much.
>
>Indeed, and to be dead real about it, MANY have successfully just bought a
>real nice Whirlwind snake of appropriate channels and length and run it
>through the walls, screwed the Box to the drywall and plugged right in.

This is more expensive than doing it with installed foil-shielded cable,
since the Whirlwind cable is more expensive per foot as it's designed for
mobile applications where it can be moved without damaging the foil.

BUT, it's a hell of a lot less work. Nobody likes terminating fifty
XLRs on a panel. Nobody.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 5:59:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <d11l5a$svu$1@panix2.panix.com> kludge@panix.com writes:

> >MANY have successfully just bought a
> >real nice Whirlwind snake of appropriate channels and length and run it
> >through the walls, screwed the Box to the drywall and plugged right in.
>
> This is more expensive than doing it with installed foil-shielded cable,
> since the Whirlwind cable is more expensive per foot as it's designed for
> mobile applications where it can be moved without damaging the foil.

It depends on how good a scrounge or e-Bray searcher you are. We wired
up Harvey's studio pretty much like that, with snakes that he bought
from eBay sellers in sensible lengths for less than the cost of new
cable. For cables going between the console patchbay and racks, we
just cut off the connectors and stage box and had spare parts, and it
was still cheaper than the cable. Usually when a snake gets beat up
enough to sell cheap, it's because the stage box has been run over by
a forklift too many times, so if you need that end (as would be handy
for the original poster) it pays to ask about condition. Usually if a
channel doesn't work it's not a fault in the cable, just a broken
connection at one end or the other.

> BUT, it's a hell of a lot less work. Nobody likes terminating fifty
> XLRs on a panel. Nobody.

That's for sure.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
!