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Author Topic: Cables for soundboard patches  (Read 42417 times)

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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Cables for soundboard patches
« on: February 20, 2004, 10:24:20 AM »
When it comes to cables, there are three factors to consider when patching out of the soundboard:

<1>  plugging into the soundboard
There are only so many options for soundboard outputs.  These outputs are usually XLR-male, RCA-female, and 1/4" mono female (and occasionally 1/4" stereo female which I won't address here).  So we need to have cables or adapters that will allows us to plug into the outputs listed above.

<2>  running a length of cable to get out of the way
Since the soundboard outputs are, well, part of the soundboard, it's best to have a length of cable so we may run our gear out of the sound engineer's way.  Six feet should suffice.

<3>  plugging into the preamp/ADC/recorder
How to feed the signal to our preamp/ADC/recorder depends on the connectors on our preamp/ADC/connector.  The most common preamps/ADCs/recorders have the following connectors:  XLR-female, RCA-female, and stereo mini female.

Let's look at precisely what it would take to plug into the soundboard with a preamp/ADC/recorder having each of the connectors mentioned above.  All three options below addresses the three factors from above:  <1> supports the three most common soundboard connectors, <2> provides a length of cable to run your gear out of the sound engineer's way, and <3> includes the appropriate plug for the preamp/ADC/recorder.  In each case, there are multiple ways to configure your own cables/adapters, but hopefully this will give an idea of what's required for each.  If the preamp/ADC/recorder connector is:

<a> stereo mini female
David Klein took a pic of probably the easiest solution for those wanting to plug in their portable recorder that has a stereo mini female plug (also attached below).  The list of cables / adapters:
  • [2] XLR-female / RCA-female adapters (see DKlein pic)
  • [2] 1/4" mono male / RCA-female adapters (see DKlein pic)
  • length of cable with [2] RCA-male on one end and [1] stereo mini male on the other end (see DKlein pic)

<b> RCA-male
This scenario requires a minimal change to the one David shows above in his picture.  Instead of the stereo mini male adapter on one end of the cable run, simply replace it with a pair of RCA-male connectors.  The list of cables/adapters:
  • [2] XLR-female / RCA-female adapters (see DKlein pic)
  • [2] 1/4" mono male / RCA-female adapters (see DKlein pic)
  • length of cable with [2] RCA-male on both ends (not pictured)

<c> XLR-male
I would mix up the solution for this one a bit.  Since the preamp/ADC/recorder takes XLR-male connectors, I would use a pair of XLR-male / XLR-female cables for my run length.  That way, I could use the cables as interconnects, or even short mic cables, if necessary.  This would also require a change from the adapters listed above.  The list of cables / adapters (see attached for pics of the different adapters):
  • [2] RCA-male / XLR-male adapters (see attached pic)
  • [2] 1/4" mono male / XLR-male adapters (see attached pic)
  • length of cable with [2] XLR-male on one end and [2] XLR-female on the other end (not pictured)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2006, 09:23:36 PM by Brian Skalinder »
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Offline Cooker

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Re:Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2004, 01:45:45 PM »

[2] 1/4" female | RCA male adapter

shouldn't this be the other way around?

[2] 1/4" male | RCA female adapter

basically, two of these:




Offline nickgregory

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Re:Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2004, 01:48:04 PM »
I actually made a couple of 6' XLRF->1/4" (1/4" to go into my mixer), and I ordered a couple of 1/4"/XLRM and RCA/XLRM adapters....basically did this in agreement with Brian...makes it easier to haul around 2 SBD cables and adapters for all possible outputs...

Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re:Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2004, 02:14:12 PM »

[2] 1/4" female | RCA male adapter

shouldn't this be the other way around?

[2] 1/4" male | RCA female adapter

Good catch, Cooker.  I meant to have that one on there, too.  I'm not sure which is appropriate as I'm unsure if most 1/4" outputs are male or female.  I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have both handy (I do, but haven't used them yet as I rarely patch into the board).
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Re:Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2004, 03:48:50 PM »
boards typically have all female jacks on them - but that doesn't mean that the board patch the engineer gives you won't be a male cable...

many engineers will not have tapers plugging anything into their boards, and will hand you a shitty whirlwind cable when you ask for a patch.

one other important thing to mention, is that you will need 2 mono 1/4" to RCA adapters like pictured above, not one stereo RCA / stereo 1/4" adapter.


Offline Matt Quinn

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Re:Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2004, 03:55:43 PM »
For example, many folks will run the soundboard patch directly into a Sony portable DAT deck


I've always wondered about this- why not use your normal ADC before the deck? Anybody?
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re:Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2004, 04:02:43 PM »
For example, many folks will run the soundboard patch directly into a Sony portable DAT deck

I've always wondered about this- why not use your normal ADC before the deck? Anybody?

If I wasn't running audience at the same time, I personally would run a SBD patch through my V3 (or other outboard ADC).  Only reason I wouldn't is if the SBD signal was too hot (but if that was the case, I'd probably carry around a set of attenuators).
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Offline monochromic

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Re: Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2004, 06:25:21 PM »
Option 2 - input-specific adapters

2 x RCA female | 3.5mm stereo adapter
2 x XLR female | 3.5mm stereo adapter
2 x 1/4" female | 3.5mm stereo adapter

brian -- i may be lucky enough to gain access to a sbd patch this coming weekend for a number of shows and hence am looking to pick up a number of cables to do so. your option 2 sounds like it would be the best option for me, however i'm a little confused in regards to the 'female' plug type in the above quoted list, shouldn't these be 2 x RCA male -> 3.5mm stereo adapter? ie, plugging the male cable into the female adapter in the sbd?

any help most appreciated.
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2004, 07:02:00 PM »
shouldn't these be 2 x RCA male -> 3.5mm stereo adapter? ie, plugging the male cable into the female adapter in the sbd?

The adapters listed are just that - adapters.  The assumption is that you have a length of cable to run from the SBD to your recording location at which point you would use the appropriate adapter.

Quote
The problem with option 2 is if you want a cable run to support all three input-specific adapters, you'll have to carry around a separate cable run for RCA, XLR and 1/4" connectors - that's a lot of cable runs to schlep around, IMO.

So if you're expecting an RCA patch outta the board, you'd have, say, a 6' cable run of 2 x RCA male/male - plug one end into the board, the other into your 2 x RCA female > 3.5mm stereo adapter.

If you're getting an XLR patch, you'd have, say, a 6' cable run of 2 x XLRf/XLRm - plug the female end into the board, male end into your 2 x XLRf > 3.5mm stereo adapter.  Make sense?
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Re: Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2004, 07:34:33 PM »
Make sense?

does indeed. thanks for clearing that up for me.
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Re: Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2004, 03:08:56 PM »
Sorry I am a n00b, what exactly would I need to get a soundboard patch using a Sharp MD that has Line In, Mic In, and headphones out. What type of cables would I need? Thanks.


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Offline John Kelly

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Re: Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2004, 02:25:19 PM »
When I first started board patching, all I needed was one cable and 2 sets of adapters.  I bought a monster RCA > mini plug cable.  One end has two male RCA jacks, while the other end has an 1/8" stereo connector.  Then I bought two 1/4" male to RCA female (like pictured above) adapters and two XLR female to RCA female adapters.

That would cover you 99.9% of the time.
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Offline jasonrockhill

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Re: Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2005, 01:20:22 PM »
All of these cables can be bought at Rat Shack?  Think I will take a ride and make a purchase of RCAm>mini and all of the adaptors.  How much will this run?  Thanks!

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Offline jeromejello

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Re: Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2005, 07:51:17 PM »
When I first started board patching, all I needed was one cable and 2 sets of adapters.  I bought a monster RCA > mini plug cable.  One end has two male RCA jacks, while the other end has an 1/8" stereo connector.  Then I bought two 1/4" male to RCA female (like pictured above) adapters and two XLR female to RCA female adapters.

That would cover you 99.9% of the time.

this is what i schelp around for analog patching... plus a pair of rca couplings (female at both ends)
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Re: Cables for soundboard patches
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2005, 01:11:30 AM »
Thanks for the info guys.  Lets say I would be patching in the RCA inputs on my UA-5.  I think I know what I would need but please let me know if I am right here.

1 pair of stero RCA cables male to male 6'.

2 1/4" female to RCA male mono adapters.  For when I get a pair of mono 1/4" male cables from the board

2 RCA female couplers.  For when I get a male RCA stereo pair from the board

2 1/4" male to female 3 pin xlr cables.  When I get 2 male xlr from the board.  Then I would use the 1/4" female to RCA male adapters.

Obviously if I get a set of female RCAs from the board I would just connect to my RCA cable.

Is this right?  And would it cover me for all analog feeds?

Thanks,
Joe
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