moving up from XR18 with splitters to X32 and digital snakes

  1. #11 by John Bloom on 3 Weeks Ago
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    So before I pull the trigger on going the analog route with 4 XLR splitters, couldn't I instead just go with 4 SD8 snakes? They have 8 ins and 8 outs. So with 4 of them I'd have 32 ins, and 32 outs. I'd have 22 channels of output for sending pre fader/eq signals to the house, and 10 channels (5 pairs) to feed our stereo IEMs. Would cost about the same as the s32 and 2 more ART splitters, but I wouldn't have to buy an extra analog snake and everything would be digital.

    And here's another quesiton, though I feel kind of dumb asking it. In the above scenario I'm using 22 ins, and 32 outs. If I have more musicians join us, I could have them input to the additional 10 ins, but I wouldn't have any more discreet outs to use as pass throughs. I could always mix those signals down to a bus and send out combined with other outputs, but that's not ideal for the FOH engineer. So could I potentially add another SD8 to get 8 more outs?

    Thoughts?
  2. #12 by Steve Schow on 3 Weeks Ago
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    The sd8ís are still handy to have. And especially if you need more then 16 inputs to your x32. Yes if you buy enough of them you will eventually have enough outputs that you can feed everything out to FOH that way. A downside is that you will have to configure your x32 routing scene at every show to send out the right stuff to FOH. You also introduce a stage of a/d d/a between your mics and foh. Using the analog boxes just keeps your x32 configuration much more simple and you wonít have the FOH guy breathing down your neck blaming some problem on the way you have it routed through your x32 before it gets to him/her. You may end up getting sd8ís anyway just to have shorter cables on stage and still use the analog splitters just because it simplifies the setup and gives foh person more sense of control. But either approach will work.

    i want to say that just because the x32 universe has all kinds of cool networking features doesnít always mean you should use it. In a situation where you will be playing man different venues with unknown technology I personally think itís best to avoid complications that will require you and the foh to agree on anything or coordinate technology. I donít like even depending on random foh guys for my monitor mix, so thatís why itís nice to have your own stage mixer for that. Likewise he wonít like depending on you to properly configure your stage x32 to send him all the mic feeds. With the splitter boxes, everyone gets the feeds, no questions asked
  3. #13 by John Bloom on 3 Weeks Ago
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    Thanks Steve! Good feedback.

    So when you say I'd have shorter cable runs with the SD8s, I suppose you mean for the input cables. I think I'd still need to run an 8 channel snake (lume) from each SD8 back to the splitter inputs. That could still help clean up the stage a bit. But you mentioned I have to configure the SD8s each time? I wasn't aware of this. So if I show up at a gig and plug in an SD8 that we used in practice for the guitarist and bass player, and we had previously assigned all the channels and it's all physically labeled so we know which SD8 goes to which musician and all the right inputs - I have to program the X32 again to correctly assign all of that? Wouldn't that be saved in a scene or similar?
  4. #14 by Craig Fowler on 3 Weeks Ago
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    So before I pull the trigger on going the analog route with 4 XLR splitters, couldn't I instead just go with 4 SD8 snakes? They have 8 ins and 8 outs.
    The problem with this is that the SD series of stageboxes' XLR outs only have access to signals 1-24 in the AES50 stream. They don't have "modes" like the S\DL16s to get their preamps straight onto their outputs without going via the console first. This means that you'll only be able to get 24 discrete signals onto their XLR outputs if they're daisy-chained. The workaround is to do a max of 3 SD8s daisy-chained on one of the console's AES50 sockets, and the other SD8 (or you can split 2-2) on the console's other AES50 socket (because all the X32s have 2x AES50 sockets.) The downside to this is that you've now run out of AES50 sockets if the venue does have an X32 and you want to interface with it over AES50. In addition to the extra conversions and associated latency (<2ms, FOH will cope) they'll be subject to your preamp gain adjustments, which they might not like. You'll also have to ask them nicely to not send +48V back down from their preamps to your SD8s'\X32Rack's XLR outputs.

    I'd get 4x Art S8s (I get the impression you already have a couple.) The Art S8s will give you your 32x32 split, and will allow for 0 latency (all analogue,) no preamp gain adjustment issues (as it's split before the preamps, not after, as would be the case with the stagebox\ADA8200 XLR outs,) and no +48V issues (transformer isolated.) Then get whatever combination of SD8\16\S16\DL16 stageboxes (consider the SD series for their powered (no wallwart\P16D) ultranet sockets if you want to stick with the P16Ms) + X32Core\X32Rack to get (at least) 32 preamps to spread over the stage (and also lets you spread ultranet and IEMs over the stage, so less spaghetti from that perspective) and rack them with the Art S8s accordingly.

    You just have to consider that having 4x stageboxes (even if one of them is an X32Rack, and whether or not they have Art S8s, or they just use their own outputs) means that although there are shorter runs for ultranet\IEMs, that means 4 separate spots for your FOH split. It might be better to only use 2 stageboxes, in which case maybe look at an SD16+an X32 Rack (still with 4x Art S8s.) The less spaghetti you have for your split, the more you'll have for your IEMs, and vice versa, so you'll have to find a balance. Either way, the Art S8s will do the split, so any XLR outs on the stageboxes\console can be used to feed IEM TXs\Headphone amps if you decide not to use the P16Ms exclusively. As the number and complexity of monitor mixes increases with the increased # of inputs, I'd be selling off the P16Ms (their 16 channel limitation will become increasingly annoying, especially when you want to include some reverb\ambience mics so people don't feel so isolated) to help offset the cost of everything else. People can use tablets\phones to mix their own IEMs.

    PS, Spence, I'll send you an email later explaining my reasoning for my previous comments. It's my wife's wedding anniversary in a matter of hours and I need to get some sleep.
  5. #15 by Steve Schow on 3 Weeks Ago
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    - John Bloom wrote View Post
    Thanks Steve! Good feedback.

    So when you say I'd have shorter cable runs with the SD8s, I suppose you mean for the input cables. I think I'd still need to run an 8 channel snake (lume) from each SD8 back to the splitter inputs. That could still help clean up the stage a bit. But you mentioned I have to configure the SD8s each time? I wasn't aware of this. So if I show up at a gig and plug in an SD8 that we used in practice for the guitarist and bass player, and we had previously assigned all the channels and it's all physically labeled so we know which SD8 goes to which musician and all the right inputs - I have to program the X32 again to correctly assign all of that? Wouldn't that be saved in a scene or similar?
    my impression about the SD8, and I could be wrong cause I donít own any yet, the outputs on the SD8 are not splitted from the inputs, they are outputs that you can route audio to from your x32. So basically youíd have the mics going into preís, into a/d, processed and routed in the x32 and directed to the sd8ís outputs and d/a again. So youíre adding gain staging and digital conversion and routing complexity and all kinds of reasons for the foh person to complain, not to mention added complexity that could get mis configured or need to be reconfigured at a show because you have more players or less mics or whatever. Yes you could probably set up a scene that would work but it still adds complexity and from the foh perspective you have taken control away from him or her to control the mic preís the audience will hear
  6. #16 by Steve Schow on 3 Weeks Ago
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    - Craig Fowler wrote View Post
    I'd get 4x Art S8s (I get the impression you already have a couple.) The Art S8s will give you your 32x32 split, and will allow for 0 latency (all analogue,) no preamp gain adjustment issues (as it's split before the preamps, not after, as would be the case with the stagebox\ADA8200 XLR outs,) and no +48V issues (transformer isolated.)
    Craig those look like great splitters and I like they are transformered. One question for you, do you know what would be the procedure in this case if you have a mic that actually does need phantom power, would the S8 block phantom power from reaching the mic from either FOH or the stage mixer?
  7. #17 by Craig Fowler on 2 Weeks Ago
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    From the S8's product page:

    Each channel of the S8 provides one direct output and one transformer isolated output from a single microphone.... The direct outputs pass phantom power from the "main" mixer to the microphones for use with condenser microphones.
    So whichever mixer (yours or the venue's) is connected to the "direct" outputs (as opposed to the transformer-isolated outputs) of the S8s is in charge of +48V. These days given most mixers have a per-channel +48V switch, you could mix and match if you wanted. However, it's probably easiest if whoever is supplying the mics takes care of +48V, as they should know whether they need +48V or not. If you want consistent mixes gig-to-gig, rehearsal-to-rehersal, then you should supply the mics, as if you change mics venue-to-venue then your mix will sound different.
  8. #18 by Steve Schow on 2 Weeks Ago
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    I missed that, thank you and makes perfect sense. I dare say if I end up thinking bout buying T8's, I'd rather buy S8's just to have the split possibility, looks like a great unit and pretty affordable for what it is.
  9. #19 by Jeff Sloan on 2 Weeks Ago
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    I just want to chime in about the ADA8200.
    I recently got one myself, and want to let you know that the outputs do not come straight from the inputs up front.
    The outputs are only accessible from the ADAT path, so from a DAW or the X32 via routing, but not like a splitter.
  10. #20 by Gary Higgins on 2 Weeks Ago
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    - Jeff Sloan wrote View Post
    I just want to chime in about the ADA8200.
    I recently got one myself, and want to let you know that the outputs do not come straight from the inputs up front.
    The outputs are only accessible from the ADAT path, so from a DAW or the X32 via routing, but not like a splitter.

    Yes that's true and controlled by the aes50 17-32 portion of aes50 in the routing menu, only 8 outs per each ada8200 too (choice of 1-8 or 9-16 from stagebox) However maybe more of an issue is that the SD stagebox series do not have adat out so they wont help if the SD8 is the box of choice and expecting to connect them to an ada8200. Just the S/DL16/32 have adat out. Not sure if that has been clear here or not.