Can I convert an input channel from a snake into a send channel from the board?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by LowNloud1, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    I am not technically savvy but I heard from a sound guy that it can be done. I suspect a sound guy we use occasionally does not know.

    My problem is that this one sound guy uses 2 sends to feed a signal to his subwoofers.

    Because he uses 2 of the 4 sends, we are forced to set our wireless transmitters by the mix board so we can drop 4 monitor feeds to our IEM transmitters off the mixboard. The problem is that people get between us and the signal and we are getting signals drops.

    We'd really like to put the transmitters on stage with us and use the sends for our IEMs.

    Does anyone know if an input from the mixboard be made into a send? (We have XLR sex change adapters) We are using a PreSonus StudioLive 16.
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  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    sems silly, subs only need to be mono, one send should be enough.

    regardless, it's a trivial matter to use turnarounds ("sex changers", hee hee :)) to make a mic channel on a snake serve as a monitor send going the other direction. you'll just need one at both ends for each channel you use to send monitors back down the snake.
    HolmeBass, s0c9, LowNloud1 and 2 others like this.
  4. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    Thanks guys. I'll give it a try and see if I can show him how to do it.
  5. GunsandGuitars

    GunsandGuitars Commercial User

    Aug 1, 2017
    Like walterw said, if it's an anologue snake you can use two "turnarounds" (or sex changers as you say) to turn any input channel into a send. If it's a digital snake that connects to the board via cat-5, then it may not be possible. That would depend on the boards routing capabilities. I'm not familiar enough with the studiolive to say for sure.
    LowNloud1 likes this.
  6. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    To the OP:
    ABSOLUTELY YOU CAN !! Been doing for years..

    Yes, sex-change or gender-bender adaptors like these (they exist for 1/4" too) will allow you to convert input channels on an analog snake to "sends".
    You'll need to figure out which ones you need, but you'll need TWO - one for each end of the snake channel you are using.
    Basically, you put one on the end of the XLR of the input channel and hook it up to an AUX send. Put the other end on the snake box, and use standard mic (XLR) cable to hook up to your wireless xmitter. You will need 2 channels for each IEM mix if you are using stereo.

    PS: I ALWAYS CARRY a set in my gig bag (from my SR/FOH days)... one never knows when they might be needed.
    Ask @Geri O :)
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  7. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I call it a "toy bag"....:D

    I kinda skipped over this to read it closer when I had time. And as I thought, your your question appears to be "can I turn an input channel on the mixer into an output channel?". If this is the question, no you can't. At least not with the Presonus desk you are using now. Sounds like the 16-channel version with L, R, 4 groups, and 4 sends. It is correct, there's absolutely no need at all for 2 sends to be used for the subs. One is plenty.

    If you are referring to just using the audio snake input channels as returns, yes you can, using the gender-changer or turnarounds as described by the previous guys.

    (Warning: Venturing off into the weeds here. This section turned into a mini-rant. Feel free to stop here)...
    When I'm mixing (rare these days, but it happens) and I'm short on aux sends, I take a group bus for subs and assign to it only the input channels I want to go to the subs (kick and bass, obviously, and maybe floor toms, maybe synth bass, and playback). Then the question becomes "but how do I control the level of the bass going to the subs?". The answer is, like we used to do it on the old days. Adjust the output of the mains and subs to match (best done with measurements, but it can be roughly done with music). Then use the (wait for it) EQ control to dial up the tone of the instrument. Need more low end of the bass or kick? Use the parametric control to set a good frequency to adjust, then boost the LO EQ gain control.

    I have never liked the concept of using an aux send to simply raise or lower the amount of low-end of an instrument. Low end is NOT an effect.

    However, the lest several years I mixed, I started simply doinking an aux into the sub drive and using the the channels' aux sends like everyone else is doing. It's faster, takes less brain power and it pretty much works (unless it begins to be abused as we see so much these days).
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  8. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Likewise.. NEVER been a fan of AUX fed subs.
    fokof and Omega Monkey like this.
  9. domgonz


    Apr 23, 2016
    Channel high-pass filters are usually 6db/octave, vs the 24db or 48db filters in a crossover - it's the difference between turning down the useless rumble on other instruments and not reproducing it in the first place.

    It's not going to be as noticeable in venues under 300 cap or with under 16 channels, but once you start getting into higher channel counts and bigger PAs the difference is not subtle.

    Geri's post is excellent, but I do disagree with the premise that aux sends should not be used to tailor the low-end content of the channels. It's one more tool in the toolkit, and there's a definitely sonic difference between using an EQ and adjusting the aux, neither is inherently right or wrong.
  10. Or put your wireless transmitters up on a pole so that people will no longer intervene and block the signal. The sound crew we used this past weekend did that so that their tablets would remain in control even once a lot of people were there.
    LowNloud1 likes this.
  11. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS

    Years ago, I resisted the aux-driven subs at first, but I finally saw the light on a 62-channel orchestra gig. We had gotten a new processor with enough ins and outs to make it happen and this day, I thought why not. The difference in the tone and noise from the PA (inherent with orchs from wind noise, feet tapping on music stands, etc) was eye-opening! I've done it ever since.

    I'm not saying that aux-driven subs are bad. There's a more accurate way to do it by using a group or the mono bus (with the appropriate low-pass processing, of course) and again, assigning only those instruments intended for the subs (in addition to the usual left/right assignment). This is the same as using an aux, but without the variable send from the channel. My reasons why are in the "weeds" section of my post above. Right before the section where I said I'm doing subs from a variable aux like everyone else.

    There's lots of ways to get somewhere. And as I've learned in my old age, the more simple, the better...
    LowNloud1 likes this.
  12. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Guest

    Aug 2, 2017
    So the issue is not lack of physical sends on the board but sends on the snake (since you seem to have enough right at the board)? If so just turn an unused snake xlr line around with the adapters you are talking about and there you go. Super simple. .
  13. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Guest

    Aug 2, 2017
    He might need some xlr to 1/4 adapters too, depending on all the gear involved.
    s0c9 likes this.
  14. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Those would be "transformers" due to the nature of the swap.. not [technically] gender-bender adaptors - which do male/female swaps in each format (XLR, 1/4, RCA, etc.) :)
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  15. There are XLR to 1/4" that unfortunately do not have transformers, just straight wired.
    I say unfortunately, because the ones without can cause more problems than they fix, especially if you're not up on your balanced/unbalanced audio.
    LowNloud1 and s0c9 like this.
  16. I had a similar situation on a permanent install. I had gotten a steal on a 100' 16/4 snake to run with a 16 ch board so I didn't end-up with exactly the snake I needed. I wanted to locate the power amps near the stage and to run four monitor mixes in additon to stereo mains so I needed six sends. I didn't want to lose any mixer channels by doing the conversion the OP is proposing so I just zip-tied two 100' mic cables to the snake.
    Omega Monkey, LowNloud1 and Geri O like this.
  17. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    Yeah, I don't like aux subs either. Just seems so clumsy. If you don't want the vocal in the subs, that's what channel EQ and HPF is for. Having a whole other fader (usually on a different layer) that you have to think about and blend is just a pain in the ass. I use them basically every week at a venue I work at. I always feel like, well, if I could just bring up the kick and bass faders I'd be in business. Not a fan.

    Anyway, yeah you can either use adapters, or just use extra cables besides the snake itself. Personally, I think every 16/4 snake should have at least 4 combo jacks among the 16, so you really get a 12 or 16/8 or 4. Then you could do whatever you need to pretty much.
    sowilson and LowNloud1 like this.
  18. popgadget

    popgadget Commercial User

    Sep 4, 2005
    Eastern, PA USA
    Authorized Greenboy Designs Builder, Scabbey Road
    Adapters are fine when you are in a pinch, but I much prefer 36" long cables for gender changes and TRS to XLR adapters.
    If you must use an adapter it's better to use it on a short cable than plugging them directly into the stage box or board as they add too much leverage and you run the risk of physical damage if an "oops" happens.
    LowNloud1 likes this.
  19. Great info so far and a simple gender swap would be the easiest way to go.

    It's also worth noting that if your in ear transmitters are still using the stock 1/4 wave antennae you could upgrade to some 1/2 wave or paddles and even get them up higher for better performance.

    Also I'm seeing lots of snakes out there for sale on the used market. as people are moving to digital stage boxes. You find one that better fits your needs for a reasonable price.
    LowNloud1 likes this.
  20. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Here too ....

    But I can understand why when you face badly tuned PA night after night.

    Where I work , the PA has been tuned by the best guy in the business , so after the first listen , they don't mind the Sub on the L-R.
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