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Re: What is the best mic cable for nature recordings

Subject: Re: What is the best mic cable for nature recordings
From: "Michael Oates" msohooates
Date: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:20 am ((PDT))

Wow! what a reply, many thanks, gives me something to think about.

My concern of the use of starquad for stereo use was the possibility of 
crosstalk between
the channels, looks like it's not a problem after all.



>Posted by: "Michael Oates"
>> What is the best mic cable for nature recordings, ideal qualities being:
>> - flexible even in low temperatures
>no problem with canare cables, at least down below freezing. We don't 
>get below zero F around here so I've not really tested it in super cold 
>conditions. Like any plastic I'm sure it has limits.
>Canare's covering is also a matte finish which is not that slippery even 
>when wet. Very nice to handle.
>> - lightweight (got to carry it!)
>The smaller diameter canare star quad is lightweight. And still fairly 
>reasonable to handle.
>> - hard wearing, (rocks and trees can take their toll)
>I've yet to wear out canare star quad cables in many years use. They all 
>still look new. I use, but don't abuse the cables. I don't drag them 
>around on the ground.
>It is not immune to Beaver bites, however, ask Lang Elliott.
>> - capable of stereo transmission (prefrable to two seperate cables)
>Canare starquad in either diameter works fine for stereo nature 
>recording for myself, Lang Elliott, and others. And we, at times, use 
>long lengths. I've run out more than 400' a few times and it worked fine.
>> - good RF rejection ? I don't know how important it is to use starquad
>>   when used outside. Any starquad is going be less flexable and greater
>>   weight, so is this needed?
>For nature recording you are usually far away from strong EMF fields. 
>Except if you record under high tension power lines. And under those the 
>mics and recorder will generally not have enough shielding either. Note 
>I don't think I'd recommend doing stereo with the star quad in other 
>types of recording where much more EMF is around. There you'd need to 
>either go to snake or two conductors.
>I don't think you will do much better than the high quality starquad. At 
>least the Canare is very flexible. Either diameter is not all that 
>heavy, the smaller diameter is particularly lightweight. This is well 
>designed cable for the job it's doing. The Canare starquad is also not 
>very likely to produce noise when bent, at least if you do not go to 
>extremes. Some less well built cable will creak when bent. Be sure 
>whatever you get it has a full braid shield instead of foil shield. Foil 
>shield is intended only for permanent installations where it won't be 
>moved, though you will find it in cheaper cables where it does not belong.
>> Canare starquad L-4E6S was mentioned in recent posts, but the spec doesn't
>> seem anything special. And to be honest using it for stereo seems rather
>> dodgy as each channel is not twisted together.
>Actually the 4 conductors of the star quad are twisted together. So when 
>you use 2 opposite conductors for one channel and the other two opposite 
>for the other they are still twisted together. In other words use the 
>two blue conductors for one channel, the two white ones for the other. 
>You do have to use a meter when making them up to ID the hot and cold 
>wires for each channel.
>I used to worry about crosstalk between the channels, but have never had 
>that problem.
>> So what do you recommend?
>I use and recommend Canare star quad in either diameter. I also use some 
>of the even finer diameter star quad stripped out of Canare star quad 
>two channel snake for the short Y breakouts.
>BTW, if you want to completely preserve the full capabilities of Canare 
>star quad while avoiding two cables you could use the two conductor 
>snake. But it is big and heavy. Still surprisingly flexible and 
>reasonably easy to handle.
>If you are unsure, order in a small length and make up a cable and try 
>it. That's what I did when I first started. I order much more at a time 
>now to get cheaper per foot rates.

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