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Old December 15th, 2014, 11:48 AM   #1
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Y-split on phantom powered mic

Hi, I'm clueless about all things audio.

I was wondering if anyone could comment on the two arrangements below and whether they're good/bad/dangerous/crazy/stupid/etc.

1. Phantom powered mic. Y-split XLR cable, female to two males. Female plugs into mic; males plug into separate recorders. One recorder has phantom power switched on, the other doesn't. Would that work?

2. This is more of a "What would happen if...?" / "Would anything explode?" question... Male into two females. Male plugs into a recorder supplying phantom power. One female plugs into a phantom-powered mic. The other female plugs into a second recorder with phantom power turned off. (I don't know why you'd want to do this; maybe to combine two signals into one.)

What do you think?

Last edited by Adrian Tan; December 15th, 2014 at 12:51 PM. Reason: typo
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Old December 15th, 2014, 12:25 PM   #2
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Re: Y-split on phantom powered mic

Some devices don't object to this, while others do. Feeding a phantom powered connection into a Soundcraft mixer can do very odd things - perfect audio, but all the LEDs on the mixer light up, or strange warbles, or sound that fades in and out on a Yamaha - just a few observations from my own productions. As I said in the other topic - the biggest snag is unbalancing the audio - by shorting one of the two audio legs to ground. This stuff the phantom power system, so to make the splitter idea work, you'd need a small mixer to plug the mic balanced audio into, then the output, suitably padded to match the camera needs would be the solution.
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Old December 15th, 2014, 12:30 PM   #3
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Re: Y-split on phantom powered mic

The main question is whether the non-powered device will tolerate the phantom voltage from the other device. The worst case is that the powered device puts out the full 48V, but the non-powered device only does 24V or 18V or 12V, in which case it may not be able to handle the 48V coming in.

This is dangerous as a generic question. It can only be answered correctly for a SPECIFIC combination of gear. Without knowing exactly what gear you are talking about, we can only say "Maybe. Be Careful."

Plus, as Mr. Johnson has observed, there may be additional anomalies from feeding phantom power into inputs that aren't expecting it.
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Old December 15th, 2014, 01:17 PM   #4
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Re: Y-split on phantom powered mic

disregard, html link was goobered. Repeating below.
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Old December 15th, 2014, 01:19 PM   #5
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Re: Y-split on phantom powered mic

You might find this device useful:
Rolls MS20C Splitter/Combiner/Isolator MS20C B&H Photo Video
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Old December 15th, 2014, 02:19 PM   #6
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Re: Y-split on phantom powered mic

Multing a mic to two inputs via a Y-cable is not a good idea.. especially when PP is present, which 'could' cause damage to the input devices or the mic
That said, Sescom makes an in-line PP blocker.
Sescom SES-IL-PPB XLR Inline Phantom Power Blocker
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Old December 21st, 2014, 10:18 AM   #7
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Re: Y-split on phantom powered mic

If you could find a phantom power supply that works by itself you could split the output from that to your separate recorders. Y cables are useful but not good in all cases of sending signals to different places. A mic splitter may solve your issue more consistently.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...l/prm/alsVwDtl

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Old December 21st, 2014, 02:52 PM   #8
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Re: Y-split on phantom powered mic

Phantom power is a problem when uncontrolled, but Y-splits are in use in pro audio gear for live audio and are very common - subject to the care with phantom. For those of a delicate nature, a couple of capacitors will keep the DC at bay. In fact, it's not uncommon to have three way splits, where recording, monitor and FOH mixer all need the same signal source. It is getting less common now that we can do digital splits via CAT5.
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Old December 21st, 2014, 08:34 PM   #9
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Re: Y-split on phantom powered mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
1. Phantom powered mic. Y-split XLR cable, female to two males. Female plugs into mic; males plug into separate recorders. One recorder has phantom power switched on, the other doesn't. Would that work?
Phantom Power with Mic Splitter
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