Big Joe Daddy’s Big Multi-Pin Panel-Box Thingy
[This just in from Big Joe Daddy, PreSonus forum regular, guitarist, industrious cable-wrangler, and all-around great guy.]
Hey PreSonus, I finally got my multi-pin panel built and installed. The rack panel sits in a road case that serves as a stand for the StudioLive 24.4.2 mixer. The road case also has a power conditioner, a couple of drawers, wireless in-ear transmitter, etc, and the stage snakes are stored in the bottom of the case during transport.
The big cable on the left in the photo below feeds a fan-out to the mixer. The two smaller multi-pin cables feed 12×4 stage boxes. The XLRs are main outs, sub outs, and Auxes 9 and 10. (Auxes 1-8 are fed to the stage boxes. The mixer sits in a Gator case with the doghouse. Setup is a snap. The large multi-pin cable is stored in the doghouse for transport, so I never have to mess with plugging things in to the back of the mixer!
I play guitar in a band made up of weekend warriors like myself. We play small venues, mostly bar gigs and winery gigs, with an occasional barn party thrown in for good measure. In addition to my guitar playing duties, I’ve also fallen into the role of ‘sound guy’, audio engineer, roadie, booking agent, transportation coordinator, finance manager, and marriage counselor.
Since I’m not as energetic as I once was in my teens, I’m always looking for ways to simplify the transport and setup process of all our gear. We have a tandem-axle trailer with a ramp door, e-track, interior lighting, etc. It holds all our gear in road cases with casters. If it doesn’t have wheels, we burn it. We joke with folks telling them that we play for free, and that we only charge to move all the gear in and out!
Part of the burden of setting up our 5-piece band is to ensure that all the cabling is set up properly. We run with five wedges (or in-ears), a couple of mains, and a couple of subs, in addition to a full suite of drum mics, two Axe-FX II guitar rigs, keys, bass rig, etc, etc. Everything is run through the StudioLive 24.4.2.
Inevitably, especially when it’s dark, there are ‘gremlins’ that sneak their way into the setup process wreaking havoc at the last minute, typically from a cable getting plugged in incorrectly, or something of that sort. I often use gaff tape to cover any unused jacks on equipment to avoid mistakes. And of course everything is labeled.
My latest effort to help make our setup and breakdown process as easy as possible has been the introduction of a multi-pin snake system. Basically it’s made up of the following components:
- Multi-pin fan out snake that plugs in to the rear panel of the StudioLive, and the other end plugs into a large multi-pin connector on the rack panel.
- Two 12 x 4 stage boxes that connect to 35′ multi-pin snakes and also connect to the rack panel.
- A rack mount panel that houses all the multi-pin connectors and is mounted in a road case which serves double-duty as a rolling stand for the StudioLive mixer and case.
When we roll in to a gig, we merely open the doghouse of the mixer case where the fan out snake is stored and always stays connected to the StudioLive. We plug in the big multi-pin to the rack panel, and then roll out the two 35′ sub-snakes and stage boxes that are stored in the bottom of the road case for transport.
The stage boxes are positioned at the front of the stage and the back of the stage. This lets us run relatively short XLR cables to everything and keeps the stage clutter to a minimum. The stage boxes are clearly labeled so there’s a lot less chance of error when plugging things in.
We position the StudioLive 24.4.2 on the side of the stage next to me so I can access it if needed. I’ll do a quick virtual sound check with the iPad running a Capture recording created previously. If we’re lucky enough to have someone running sound for us, we’ll put them on an iPad. All of our monitor settings and Fat Channel settings are saved to a scene before we hit the venue, so most of the time, it’s turn it on and roll with very little tweaking.
I’ve got to give credit to Papa John of Papa Grows Funk
for the ideas and guidance in putting this multipin system together. He has a similar setup that he demonstrated during Presonusphere. He took the time to answer my questions and make suggestions prior to placing the order. All the boys in Papa Grows Funk are great guys. Many thanks.
When I got on board with PreSonus a few years ago, I started with the StudioLive 16.4.2. Instantly I was sold on the features, and ease of use, but most of all the improved sound quality over my old analogue board. Later I added the StudioLive 16.0.2 because the darn thing was so small and portable. It’s perfect for all sorts of venues when size and portability are important. Lastly, I added the StudioLive 24.4.2 to the quiver and I couldn’t be happier. The added features on the StudioLive 24.4.2, along with all the cool software PreSonus keeps releasing, makes me wonder what more I could ask for.
I’ve become extremely passionate about live sound, audio engineering, and pursuing the best possible sound quality for FOH. With the constant upgrades to the software and firmware, it’s like getting a new piece of equipment with each release. Kudos to all the folks at Presonus for such wonderful products and for listening to your customers. You’re providing incredible value to folks like me. You’ve earned my business.
Joe “Big Daddy” Hinkens