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#2921323 - 04/13/18 06:41 PM Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz...
JimboK Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 379
Loc: California
I have a question about Mic Splitters. I have the need to run a separate monitor mixer at some upcoming shows and plan to use my A&H Qu-16. No direct outs on it. So I need some kind of mic splitter. From my understanding, there are two primary solutions: 1) Parallel Splitter Box or 2) Isolated (transformer based) boxes. Of course there are active solutions but that get's even pricier right?

Within the Isolated option you have: Jensen or other high quality (whirlwind) equipped gear and "budget" options (ART S8).

So after doing my due diligence (as much as can be done on the internet) and also talking with the head of the local sound company (who is the likely person I'd be splitting to) I have heard a couple divergent positions:

1) "Parallel isn't a big deal unless you run a lot of Phantom or if you are in crazy unreliable power/interference situations". Just get isolated single boxes for any phantom channels (my band uses 1). The guy who is going to have me plug into his 20k Midas Mixer said "just do that"! Go figure. Cost for 16 channels of this fix: $250-350.

2) "Budget isolation rigs are fine!" Not quite as nice at killing interference but would certainly work well enough for a non-recording rig where you put the direct run to FOH so any real weakness would go to monitors anyway. Not worth spending big $ unless a regularly used piece of gear. (we do most shows with our own sound) Cost for 16 channels of this fix: $500-600

3) Doing it right: Either a Whirlwind ISO box (proprietary transformers but clearly good) or radial OX8, or custom build a box/snake with Jensen's and ground lift switches. Clearly the professional way to go. Cost: $1200+/-

Prices above are estimates as cabling/mounting options may vary (snake vs. rack unit vs. ?)

If it were a power-tool and I was deciding between a Ryobi or a Dewalt, the frequency of use would play in. But sound stuff scares me especially when the gigs we'll be using this gear for will be of the higher profile nature.

Does anyone have any quality experience or input on this subject?

Oh, and in case you are wondering: We run the A&H to a bunch of Audio Technica M-3's and all have our own IEM mixes and we run iPads and iPhones to mix ourselves. Totally addicted to this, hence the desire to blow more money...
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#2921735 - 04/16/18 01:11 PM Re: Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz... [Re: JimboK]
Joe Muscara Offline
Triple Secret Banninated
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Registered: 02/21/05
Posts: 19706
Loc: Heaven, Hell, or Houston
Don't make him be a Slutz....
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#2921741 - 04/16/18 01:35 PM Re: Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz... [Re: Joe Muscara]
timwat Offline
Quite wealthy...spiritually
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/21/01
Posts: 5634
Loc: Concord,CA,UNITED STATES
My first thought:

What's your real goal?

It seems to me your real goal is to have individual IEM mix capability at a few shows...not secure for your band the permanent ability to split all your inputs to an FOH vendor. It also appears implied in your post that you won't be running FOH on these gigs. If that is so, you haven't mentioned whether FOH contractor might already be able to provide separate IEM mixes or something 'halfway' to you or your IEM system.

All to say what you've shared doesn't doesn't necessarily suggest to me that you have to purchase mic split capability yourself (which you may not use frequently enough in the future to make the purchase worthwhile).

Are you able to work with the FOH sound contractor to provide X number of input splits to your IEM system? Or otherwise provision / rent a suitable splitter from them for these gigs? If FOH is planning on using a digital mix solution, it seems to me options abound and you may be able to work out some kind of deal with them to provide the capability you need a la carte rather than sink a big investment into a splitter solution that you'll eventually end up selling on Craigslist for 50% discount.

You weren't specific on a) the total number of inputs, or 2) total number of discrete IEM mixes so I wasn't sure how complex a solution you're talking about.

But IEM is so common these days, it seems to me any larger FOH contractor would need to be familiar with artist preference / demand for this solution already.
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#2921748 - 04/16/18 01:54 PM Re: Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz... [Re: timwat]
JimboK Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 379
Loc: California
Thanks for the reply you two...

Good questions Tim, you may be on to something with the "might be selling on CL later" thought. That has crossed my mind.

The sound company we will be working with twice this summer is the biggest in town and when I reached out to them on the subject I got a response to the effect of: "we have 3 of them and as long as they aren't rented or used by us in some other capacity, we can provide". We aren't actually hiring the company, the venue is (one is a big city concert series, the other is a police association fundraiser). So we're not big clients to these guys. However, that same person said "hey, I have a parallel splitter you can use anytime". That just added to my confusion.

So it just got me thinking that investing in a piece of gear to allow complete independence going forward on IEM mixes may be good. We have played some venues where we bypass the house's desk and just plug into their mains to allow us to preserve our control. We could use a splitter in these contexts also.

As far as the specifics: 16 channels should suffice for us (5vox, bass, keys, 3guitar channels (lead uses 2), 6 drums (kick,snare,tom,tom,OH,OH). We run 5 monitor mixes. Each person using Phone or iPad for control.)

If I knew I could depend on a splitter from FOH guys everytime (or other input splits) then I wouldn't sweat this. I just operate in a smaller town with correspondingly smaller setups. Out of say 20 gigs a year, 12-15 will be "our sound", 1-3 with the big company, and the rest with "house sound" but without a split offering. So maybe 5 gigs a year...

One of the weird aspects of this is we have actually found ourselves NOT wanting house sound at a few gigs due to monitor mix issues, which is now complicated by playing to a click much more. A band owned splitter would allow us to bring our own monitor solution to any sized gig.

If it can be fixed for $500 or less, we'd pull the trigger on it and sleep better. But if we're going to be regretting our purchase (needing better quality), then maybe we push harder for rentals... Hence the initial question.
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Korg Kronos 61, Dave Smith Mopho x4, 1954 Hammond C2, Wurlitzer 200A, Yamaha Motif 6, Casio CDP-100, Alesis Vortex Wireless

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#2921749 - 04/16/18 02:05 PM Re: Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz... [Re: JimboK]
timwat Offline
Quite wealthy...spiritually
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/21/01
Posts: 5634
Loc: Concord,CA,UNITED STATES
Thinking of Craigslist in reverse, I just searched for mic splitters for sale.

There's someone on CL selling an ART S8 for $90.

Maybe for the amount of usage you're talking annually, it makes sense to just build a small rack with two S8's (used if you can find them) and all your IEM transmitters until you find yourselves needing a more pricey solution. Use your AH as dedicated monitor mixer as you already own that, and away you go.
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#2921754 - 04/16/18 02:22 PM Re: Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz... [Re: timwat]
JimboK Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 379
Loc: California
Yeah, that was my "budget" option above. Just wasn't sure if the super low price option (for a transformer) would be a regret...

I did just call the owner of the local company and his take was: Parallel is fine. He said that all the issues you hear about are surrounding much bigger productions (mobile power rigs, gigantic light) or older equipment (Older lighting ballasts, bad power) and that we won't encounter that here.

Thanks Tim, sometimes just hearing additional input helps vulcanize the confidence...
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Korg Kronos 61, Dave Smith Mopho x4, 1954 Hammond C2, Wurlitzer 200A, Yamaha Motif 6, Casio CDP-100, Alesis Vortex Wireless

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#2921755 - 04/16/18 02:25 PM Re: Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz... [Re: JimboK]
JimboK Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 379
Loc: California
And I just emailed that guy in Lake County on the ART...
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Korg Kronos 61, Dave Smith Mopho x4, 1954 Hammond C2, Wurlitzer 200A, Yamaha Motif 6, Casio CDP-100, Alesis Vortex Wireless

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#2923802 - 04/28/18 01:50 AM Re: Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz... [Re: JimboK]
JimboK Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 379
Loc: California
Update for those that may search this thread later (or care)

Ended up finding a Whirlwind 16 T1 (transformer) 1G (ground lift switch) with a 16 channel snake and another 12 channel snake (whirlwind stuff, nice cables) for $550 on Search Tempest.

Better quality then I was targeting with all I need for less then 2 ART S8's with a budget 16 channel breakout snake.

Gotta love the used market coupled with some patience!
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Korg Kronos 61, Dave Smith Mopho x4, 1954 Hammond C2, Wurlitzer 200A, Yamaha Motif 6, Casio CDP-100, Alesis Vortex Wireless

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#2923825 - 04/28/18 06:30 AM Re: Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz... [Re: JimboK]
RudyS Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 2294
Loc: Groningen, The netherlands
That sounds nice. We are looking for something similar so be able to send backing tracks on different tracks to the FOH.
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#2924611 - 05/01/18 03:55 PM Re: Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz... [Re: JimboK]
Barryjam Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 372
Loc: Auburn, Northern CA
Originally Posted By: JimboK
Update for those that may search this thread later (or care)

Ended up finding a Whirlwind 16 T1 (transformer) 1G (ground lift switch) with a 16 channel snake and another 12 channel snake (whirlwind stuff, nice cables) for $550 on Search Tempest.

Better quality then I was targeting with all I need for less then 2 ART S8's with a budget 16 channel breakout snake.

Gotta love the used market coupled with some patience!


You, my friend, got a fantastic deal!

I too wish I knew for sure if the transformer isolation and ground switches were necessary. I know what your sound provider said, but I still wonder?
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Barry

Home: Steinway L, Bob Schleicher A100 chop, 142 Leslie.

Gigs: Yamaha CP4, Crumar Mojo 61, Ventilator II. Lounsbury T&F. A&H QUsb mixer, Crown & QSC amps, JBL SRX-700 series speakers

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#2924626 - 05/01/18 06:23 PM Re: Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz... [Re: Barryjam]
Barryjam Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 372
Loc: Auburn, Northern CA
Just heard from another sound specialist that he hasn't seen a need for isolation transformers or ground switches in mic splitters during 20 years of experience.
_________________________
Barry

Home: Steinway L, Bob Schleicher A100 chop, 142 Leslie.

Gigs: Yamaha CP4, Crumar Mojo 61, Ventilator II. Lounsbury T&F. A&H QUsb mixer, Crown & QSC amps, JBL SRX-700 series speakers

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#2924644 - 05/01/18 08:02 PM Re: Because I trust you all more then Gearslutz... [Re: Barryjam]
WesG Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 3383
Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
Transformers are never necessary until they are.
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