Live sound, snake or individual XLR cables, or?

Ghostin one

Senior Member
What's more practical for running mic cables to the sound board, a snake with a box, individual cables, or a multiple conductor XLR like the Mogami 2931 (with four skinny XLR cables in one cable?

I have to get 20-35 feet to the board sometimes. I could use short (cheaper) xlr cables to a snake, or just use XLR cables for each mic ($$).

But I see there's another choice, Mogami 2931. Four cables in one.

Anyone use something like that? Is it too tricky to make the fan ends the right length for the drum set end? Are those skinny cables durable enough for live use?
Thanks for any suggestions.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
So the band isn't already running a snake to the kit? I have a couple of 8-channel snakes that are about 30 feet each. Plug your mics into the snake, and then run the snake to the board.
 

Ghostin one

Senior Member
No snake... I often don't use mics, but for the outdoor shows I mic the bass and snare, and now I'm going to sing some, too. It's likely that I'll end up using more mics in the future, so I'm looking at options.

I had no idea cables were so expensive. I'll probably buy the parts and make it myself.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Cables are expensive, but it's like anything else - you get what you pay for (especially where XLR's are concerned - don't believe the claims made about high-end 1/4 inch cables though). If you opt to make your own, as I used to, your cost ends up about being the same after you factor the amount of time you'll spend doing it, in addition to the better materials you'll be buying (like Switchcraft connectors as opposed to "no-name" connectors. So it's really six of one, and a half-dozen of the other. I just buy them these days, I have better things to do with my time. You don't necessarily need Mogami or Canare, a brand like ProLine produces good stuff, I avoid Hosa. I get that you don't want to use a snake, but lots of times that's the easier way to go, because then you're not carrying around individual cables that are 35-40 feet long. You carry one thick long cable, and use shorter 10-feet mic cables to connect to it. But it's up to you. I like a clean look.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
If your whole band and kit is always fully mic’d through the PA then I’d consider going with the snake.
If not you’d do as well to use individual XLRs, it makes switching round and bringing only what’s needed out of the bags easier to do.
We used to use a snake and the problems were that it was huge when rolled up, plus because the places we played in varied in size sometimes it was more trouble than it was worth and it could be sat coiled up taking up real estate on the “stage”. One of my bands only uses hired PA these days and two of the three guys who do our sound use XLRs for big systems.
Re broken XLR cables, when that happens a knot gets tied in them to identify them and they get thrown away. XLRs can be pricey but I liken them to drum keys, over the years you tend to accumulate them so once you’ve bought them they become a relatively small expense if you have t replace them from time to time.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The last snake I got last year...the entire diameter of the 8 wire bundle was about 1/2 inch. So light and thin! Compare that to the 70's when the diameter of the snake was like 3 inches. They may have to change the name to worm now.

A snake is the way to go IMO.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
We got a cheap 8way cable with loose XLR’s at each end. Neatens up the cable run. Does the job. Things on the floor like DI boxes can plug straight in to the plug without needing an extra mic cable. Easy to pack away, but the tails always get tangled. You have to fish around to find the correct input, as opposed to a stage box where no.1 is always in the top corner. But for a small number of channels it works well.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I have a HOSA LittleBro 50-foot 8-Channel sub snake. It's not built for the rigors of professional touring, but for local/regional gigging
it should hold up well. Running shorter XLR cables at the kit makes cable replacement costs much more bearable. HOSA also has an
8-Channel LittleBro 25-footer which might suit your needs better.
 

Ghostin one

Senior Member
Thanks for the replies and the ideas.

We used to use a snake and the problems were that it was huge when rolled up, plus because the places we played in varied in size sometimes it was more trouble than it was worth and it could be sat coiled up taking up real estate on the “stage”.
Yes, I can easily see how a snake could be in the way. Some places are TINY, some are not.

Our main singer moves around a lot and there's zero-tolerance for cables on the floor in her zone. (I don't blame her, and nobody wants to see someone tripping or hurt).
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Thanks for the replies and the ideas.



Yes, I can easily see how a snake could be in the way. Some places are TINY, some are not.

Our main singer moves around a lot and there's zero-tolerance for cables on the floor in her zone. (I don't blame her, and nobody wants to see someone tripping or hurt).
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SM0800FBM25--pro-co-smast-8-channel-xlr-drop-snake-25-foot

With something like this, the snake box could be located behind the drums, or under your floor tom, and the cables can run behind your kit, out of everyone's way. Your cables can be 10 feet (except for overheads). And, with a couple of XLR turnarounds, you can convert one of the channels on the snake to a return, and use it for your IEM mix, too.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I have a HOSA LittleBro 50-foot 8-Channel sub snake. It's not built for the rigors of professional touring, but for local/regional gigging
it should hold up well. Running shorter XLR cables at the kit makes cable replacement costs much more bearable. HOSA also has an
8-Channel LittleBro 25-footer which might suit your needs better.
I have one of those too - not sure if it's 50' or something less - I'll have to check. In any case, I got it for home recording. My drums are in one space, my computer/interface are in another, so the easiest way to mic that kit was to use the snake. It's also what I used for headphones. Then, I ran the softeware on the computer remotely using my iPad, which was hooked into the main DAW via another app that did basic stuff - I could set basic levels, and I could start and stop recording, and move the recording point to a specific place.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I think it all depends on the sizes of venues you are playing. For me, "stage" areas are so tight with my current gigs, a snake would be overkill. I play a lot of small-ish gigs in tight spaces these days.
 
Top