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Shielding XLRs from electrical cables


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I’m rigging mics into a practical overhead lighting fixture for a show - it’ll be semi-permanent as they’ll live this way for the 15 weeks we’re shooting.

 

Art wants to run the XLR cables with the electrical cables for the lights inside of a PVC tube for a clean look.  I’m concerned about running the XLRs right next to the electrical cables - is there anything I can use to shield the XLR cables to prevent interference and buzzing?

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Definitely use starquad cable (wired properly, of course).

 

Also some tests would be in order to see if there are any issues. If so, you may want to talk to them about matching PVC tubes separated far enough from the others.

 

Prepping an install for a fifteen week gig should include some paid days.

 

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One tactic could be to run the audio cables through metal conduit, either parallel to or inside of the PVC pipe (electrical code allowing). If the conduit is bonded to ground, it should form an effective shield against interference. Others with more experience may have more to say on how well this would (or wouldn't) work.

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They are asking you to commit to a dicey setup with no good escape path if there is a problem created by lighting during the shoot.  I like the idea of converting to either line level or Dante etc before the cables enter "the tube"....hopefully production can throw some money at this issue.

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Yes, digital audio lines are far less susceptible to interference like that. You could also try any of the digital mics available and install them. You could ask them to run your cables outside of the tube on the top, with the electrical cables inside at the bottom (hopefully). This may give you enough distance to not create a problem, especially with digital signals. 

I was in a similar situation a few years ago, but disbanded the idea of hanging mics there when I heard the noise the light rig was making. Totally pointless to mount mics there. You should check that out before going to any trouble. 
One mic to consider would be the Schoeps SuperCMIT. This would help with the noise from the lights, and since it’s digital, it will also help with the power lines

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