Have you ever been in charge of the school or band’s sound system before? Surely, you have seen an audio splitter. Unlike in the past, electronic sound equipment have become complex and sophisticated in terms of technology.
Nowadays, if you want to have a separate mix for either broadcasting or recording live performances, you may split the mic signals by feeding into more than a single mixing console. In this way, the person performing may be isolated from the confusing noise that the audience hears. Therefore, allowing better monitor mix.
However, before you settle which audio mix to use, make sure that you are familiar with sound team jargons like low impedance, balanced, crossover, direct box, and a lot more. By knowing these and other important facts, you will be equipped in choosing the right audio splitter for any given live performance.
How is impedance important in matching audio applications?
To begin with this matter, know the difference of both low impedance output and high impedance inputs. The former pertain to microphones, while the latter pertain to mixers. When a mic feed signals to a mixer, the signal is split and sent into more than one mixing console. Thus, the input impedances allow additional paths for electrical current.
Typically, some microphones can split into two, three, or four destinations without the aid of electronics. This is accomplished through the number of splits, length of the cable wires, impedances in the system, and the quality of electrical components used. This technique is called passive splitting since no power is required.
However, when you need to split microphones to more than four consoles, active electronic splitters may be required.
What is the difference between a parallel split and a transformer isolated split?
Basically, passive splitters come in two types: the transformer isolated and the parallel.
- Transformer isolated – the microphone is directly wired through a “Direct Out” and to a splitting transformer input. This digital audio splitter will allow AC audio signals to pass but will block DC voltage in either direction. Hence, impedances are still apparent.
However, this is good as it increases the ability of each leg to reject signal interference. Furthermore, high quality transformers are great for providing high frequency response and proper protection for the mic signal.
- Parallel – the mic cable is connected to different mixing consoles through “Y” connecting the minus, plus, and ground wires to other consoles as well. This type is simpler compared to the transformer. However, what is lacking in the parallel split is the DC isolation feature. This makes the system susceptible to buzzes and hums caused by outer signal interference.
If used in places with a lot of noise or connected to a variety of systems for mobile recording, the problems with interference can be lessened with the use of an optical audio splitter.
The aforementioned are just some of the things that beginners must know regarding sound equipment and hardware such as the audio splitter. As a matter of fact, there are dozens of varieties with different purposes and features. The difference in design and application to complex types of sound systems may not be covered in this article. However, you may always contact audio and video equipment shops such as 3DHD Gear.