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Big Snake or 2 smaller?

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  • Big Snake or 2 smaller?

    I sometimes run a 16 channel mixer and other times a 24 @ 150ft. Should I get a 24x8 snake or a couple smaller like 2 16x4's or a 16x4 & 8x4. 

  • #2

    You need a 24 to get you to/from the stage, but it's a good idea to add a shorter stage-snake/drop-snake (or two) that you can plug into the main stage-box, so you can place the smaller stage boxes at strategic locations on, or around  the stage. It's common for example, to have 8-10 mics on a drum-kit, plus you might want to run a monitor or two to the drummer, and adjacent musicians. An 8/4,  or better yet, a 12/4 stage-snake is ideal for that scenario.

    How many monitor mixes does your 24ch board support?.You need enough returns for those monitors, and FOH. If you can do 8 monitor mixes, get a snake with 12 returns. The 4 extra returns will serve for FOH, and a few spares to give you different FOH options, or, extra channels for use with gender-benders, in case some of your sends go bad..

    Draw up a stage-plan, and think of where the main snakes' stage-box would be placed. Plan for your largest musician location scenario; for example, in the back row, you may have drums, keyboards, horns, back-up singers; and across the front edge of the stage, you might have bass, lead-guitar, lead-vocalist, rhythm guitar. Plan to have a "clean" floor, between the front and back rows, to avoid trip-hazards.


    If you've already got a 16/4, and you don't want to spend for a dedicated 24/12 snake, add a 16/8.. Better to have too many channels, than not enough. It's false economy to run right at the limit, with no back-up available.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro;

    (I came, I saw, I stuck around)


    • Unalaska
      Unalaska commented
      Editing a comment
      Large snake with enough sends and returns (24x8 100' works great). Then use a smaller 8 or 12 channel drop snake by the hi-hat for back line.
      If you're only doing you band you could drop the box end by the drums and wire from there, depends on the amp rack situation.