A snake is normally many cables all permanently bundled together in a tube or outer jacket. A snake gets used when you need to route many cables from one point ( stage / live room ) to another point ( mixing desk / control room ). Rather than running all the separate cables, you can run one snake cable, which saves time and often cable
If you are only familiar with regular snakes with several inputs, you should know that there are “return” plugins with male XLR on some snakes. You may be wondering what their purpose is. Return plugins on the snake serve for for anything you need to get from the mixing board to the stage, including aux returns to stage monitors or to a personal monitoring system.
Analogue snakes as discussed above has a multi core cable leading from the back to the front of the house with XLR connectors at both ends.
While analog physical cables are still recognized as a common solution, digital snakes can replace those long, messed up, knotted multi-core cables between a digital mixing console, pre-amps, bunch of microphones and instruments on stage.
Nowadays, instead of multi-core cables, audio systems have the possibility to use a digital signal transfer option. In digital snakes, the regular analog audio signal is encoded to digital with the assistance of converters. All the channels and its signals are packed and transferred with a single wire to the mixer and then reconverted to the analog signal again.
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