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Old July 17th, 2003, 09:39 AM   #1
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Soundboard connections?

I want to put together a cable kit for connecting to soundboards at plays, recitals, athletic events, and such. Connections would be to a Studio 1 box or to an AT U100 wireless transmitter.

What are the typical soundboard outputs, and what types of connectors and/or pads would I need to handle most situations? What would you experienced guys recommend including in my cable kit?

-- Allen
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Old July 17th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #2
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XLR will be on every professional board but u may also have to deal with quarter-inch. There is another thread about this same topic,

hope this helps

oh and as for the box I assume there are xlr connectors on it so if the soundboard has xlr u wont need to have any connectors, just a long cord. If it is a quarter-inch output u might need an impedinece changer, but i am not the right person to discuss that
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Old July 20th, 2003, 01:52 PM   #3
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Lots of good advice on the thread Brian mentioned above. Just a couple more things.

1. Someone said you are a low priority to the sound engineer, absolutely true. The best way to deal with this is get there early. The closer it is to show time the less he is going to cooperate with you – and rightfully so if you approach him moments before the opening.
2. Adapters are lifesavers, once you think you have everyone you need you will be in a situation where you need one you don’t have. Own a lot of them and use as few as possible.
3. What you want from the SE is a program feed (the PA signal). This is usually a clean signal that will lay down everything the audience hears but not much of what the audience does – laughter, applause etc. In post you can take the back-up track you recorded from – in your case the on-board mike – and carefully mix that track into the audio to include laughter and applause. Production recordings sound more natural with some ambient room noise mixed in.
4. At some performances it may be necessary for the technician to give you an Auxiliary feed (usually 1/4” balanced line level). This is a great way to record audio when done properly. It is also the most dangerous! You will be entirely dependent upon the skill of the SE. Auxiliary outputs require proper level and routing adjustments for each channel. If the audio guy is a SE you will be OK, quite often at small shows the guy on the board is a technician or just somebody that was taught to use that board. You may do your initial sound check and think everything is cool, and then two common major errors jump up. The show starts and all of a sudden you realize someone is talking and you can’t hear him or her in your headphones because he forgot to send you that channel, Pretest Everything! The other big one is you are cruising along all happy and proud of yourself when all hell breaks loose in your headphones and you think what was that! You realize the SE is over there cueing audio CDs and video tape – he forgot to configure his pre and post fade settings for you and he is now dumping his pre-roll signal down on top of that great program feed you were so happy about.

Well, I went off on another rant.

Steven Digges
Still learning twenty years later.
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Old July 20th, 2003, 02:22 PM   #4
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You will get technician or just someone who knows the board at most high school auditoriums. Being one myself I can tell u that I atleast check all my sends and pre/post faders before the show cause we usually have the professional video people pluging into our board. I am sure if you ask the person at the soundboard to double check he would, it only takes a second. And if you want to look yourself that might be good also.

About the adapter thing, Steven is right...own alot of them. Better yet own adapter cords. For awile I had a mini to quarter and quarter to xrl hanging off my vx-2k. I just got the adapther cords (slightly more expensive) but they put alot less strain on your inputs. I would get a few of the main adapters as cords, things like mini to xlr, 1/4 to xlr and mini to quarter. In most situtations these will be the ones you will most likley need to use.

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Old July 20th, 2003, 02:24 PM   #5
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Yeah, you just have to be careful when taking audio from the sound board operator at an event. I just filmed a show where I took a aux feed from the sound board, and the sound guy turned the mics off at some points in the show which meant I wasn't getting sound either. Luckily, my second camera served as a backup sound source.

As far as connectors go, I manage fine with XLR cables and a few XLR to 1/4 balanced connectors.
Scott Silverman
Shining Star Digital Video Productions
Bay Area, CA
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