XLR Mic switch or what ?

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XLR Mic switch or what ?

Post by Fran3 » Tue May 02, 2017 8:22 am

We have a guest studio (Studio-A) with 4-6 xlr mics.
They are currently hardwired to a mixer in the control room (CR-1)
We are setting up a 2nd studio (CR-2) with another mixer
The goal is to be able to produce shows in Studio-A from either CR-1 or CR-2

The issues is switching the mic's to CR-1 or CR-2's mixer

We can put in a patch panel and manually unplug the mic's in Studio-1 from one CR to the other...
Or some sort of hardware XLR switch that would switch 4 to 6 mic's from CR-1 to CR-2 and back as needed.

What solution and/or products do you guys suggest?

Thanks for any help.

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Re: XLR Mic switch or what ?

Post by Shane » Tue May 02, 2017 10:00 am

I would suggest installing pre-amps (could be under the table) in studio A and bridge the outputs to both studios. No switching required and the other CR can put one or more mics in cue to monitor if needed.

RDL makes "Stick-on" preamps. It seems they get a bit noisy over time but they're easily replaced.

If you need compression on the mics you could skip the discrete pre-amps, install the compressors in the studio and bridge those outputs.

We do a similar thing in our studios, using the RDL pre-amps into compressors in one control room and the outputs are fed into a primary engine in our Logitek system and distributed among the studios over fiber optic cable which feeds a number of digitized paths besides the mics. Any studio can dial up those mics.

Muting and on-air lights can be tricky. Here you could just use a switch to put control of these items in the hands of one CR or the other. Ours is a bit more elaborate with lockouts and monitor and headphone switching.
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Re: XLR Mic switch or what ?

Post by KPJL FM » Tue May 02, 2017 10:05 am

What are you using for 'consoles' in each CR?
If you have a digital system (like Wheatstone, because I've used them), the mics could be in the 'system', and brought up on a console anywhere you allow.
At the very least, some sort of router that, after the mics are brought to line level, you can bring them up on a console or patch in any room that has access to the router.
On the cheap? Well, you could wire each mic in parallel to each room/small mixer. You'd have to make sure the unused mixer could be shut off or otherwise not interfere with the mics, nor could they interfere with whatever is happening in that other room. Power switch on the small mixers may be good enough for that.
Or you could just make up your mind which CR to use and be done with the other one :P :D
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Re: XLR Mic switch or what ?

Post by dbuckley » Tue May 02, 2017 4:18 pm

KPJL FM wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 10:05 am
On the cheap? Well, you could wire each mic in parallel to each room/small mixer.
My first thought too. If there are no reasons why you cant do this, it would certainly (in an analogue world) be the easiest and most cost-effective way.

Possible technical problems include mics that require phantom power, and electrical issues that prevent common grounding. In the latter case a mic split transformer would be my recommended solution.

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Re: XLR Mic switch or what ?

Post by Deep Thought » Wed May 03, 2017 9:44 am

dbuckley wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 4:18 pm
In the latter case a mic split transformer would be my recommended solution.
Back in the bad old days this was standard operating practice...a 1:2 150-ohm splitter transformer which kept the two consoles isolated and didn't load the mic beyond its spec. It'll depend on what you are using as mics though. If these are normal dynamic balanced output mics I would recommend it also *if* you can find proper transformers. That may be the hard part these days. :roll:
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Re: XLR Mic switch or what ?

Post by Fran3 » Wed May 03, 2017 11:26 am

We rent these facilities out for various uses.

Control Room #1 (CR-1)is rented to a broadcaster and they use it 24/7.

Studio A (including the mic's) is used by CR-1's folks a couple of hours a day to record or broadcast live shows and they pay an hourly rate for that usage.

Studio A is rented at other times to other folks for the production of Pod Cast and/or other programs. In these cases the mic's in Studio A are connected to the analog mixer in Control Room #2 (CR-2).

CR-2 can be rented alone for voice over or for other work or for use with Studio A.

So the reason for being able to switch the mic's between CR-1 & CR-2

We may just use a XLR Patch bay or build a multi-mic switch ourselves.

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Re: XLR Mic switch or what ?

Post by TPT » Wed May 03, 2017 4:17 pm

Given your dual usage--with several different users--I would look for a mike preamp that would allow the outputs to be sent to both consoles.

Depends on the consoles. Some consoles are flexible on muting, and will mute on channels with high level inputs--so you can feed a high level output from the mike preamp into that console. Some only mute on mike preamps--so if the mike preamp has a low level output you could feed that into the mike input. Ideal set-up would be the first type of console then just split the high-level output. Mixture of the two types of consoles also easy--low level output to one console, high level to the other.

In any event, being able to leave those mikes feeding both consoles avoids confusion when AS goes to do something and finds the mikes plugged into B's console.

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