This Guide is written to help you understand what a Snake Cable
Does and how to Choose the appropriate Snake Cable for your application.
The Snake Cable Situation
The snake cable is the audio navigation needed to make larger PA systems work correctly and more efficiently. Once you have decided that it is time to purchase a snake cable, the next question is which snake you will need. At
first glance snake cables can seem confusing. Depending on the brand
you purchase, they can be very expensive. You have many points to
think about before purchasing your new snake. Snakes allow the
musician to combine several balanced cables (mic cables) into one
smaller diameter multi-pair cable. This makes for much faster setup
and tear down.
Choosing a Snake Cable
Before Buying a Snake Cable, Ask Yourself These Questions.
How many microphone signals do I need to send to the Front of House mixing board?
How many instrument signals do I need to send to the Front of House mixing board?
Will I need more channels in the future?
is cheaper to buy a snake with more channels now than it is to buy a
smaller channel snake today and then another larger channel snake in
Also think about the fact that you may have to add
an additional sub mixer or buy a new mixer to accommodate all the
How many returns do I need to send back to the stage as drive lines to get the signal back from the front of house mixer?
Drive lines are the line level signals returned to the stage to "drive" a signal to the power amplifiers from the mixers.
How long do I need my Snake Cable to be?
portable snakes average 100' in length or less. Currently, Seismic
Audio Speakers does not offer snake cables over 100' long. We have
designed our snakes to be road ready, as well as suitable for
installations and studios. We have found the 100' snakes are usually
the longest one would need when traveling from gig to gig.
Is the snake cable I am considering buying very flexible?
Seismic Audio Snake Cables are flexible. For those who will be rolling
and uncoiling your snake every weekend at the gigs, Seismic Audio Snake
Cables will allow the flexibility you need, as well as the sturdiness
needed to last for years.
Snake cable Solutions and Facts You Should Know.
Mixer input connectors are XLR females.
Mixer left and right stereo outputs are XLR males or 1/4" phone jacks. These are usually balanced.
The panel connectors on your mixer need to be set in order to match the "fan" of the snake cable.
On stage, XLR females are used for the microphone inputs in the stage box.
from the snake cable to the onstage amps (or electronic crossovers) are
going to be XLR males or 1/4" phone jacks (most likely balanced.)
You will need the correct patch cables to convert from the snake's outputs to the power amplifiers inputs.
goal should be to get your pa speakers and your power amplifiers as
close to one another as possible, using the shortest pa speaker cables
that you can. By achieving this goal you will have great sound, less
strain on the power amplifiers, and be less likely to trip over all the
cables on stage.