How to Hook Up a Stage Snake

Written by charles judd | 13/05/2017
How to Hook Up a Stage Snake
A stage snake allows an audio team to better position themselves far away from the stage. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

A stage snake is a must for any live event, such as a concert or church service. It allows the connection of instruments or microphones to an audio board far away from the stage. The stage snake gets the name because cables are hundreds of feet long. Hooking up a stage snake is really simple with a little time and care.

Place the box end of the snake on stage. This end has the female XLR plugs into which microphones and instruments connect.

Place the mixing board where you want it to be. Ideally this will be near the back or centre of a venue for the best control over the audio.

Run the male ends of the snake back to the mixer board.

Plug each corresponding male XLR end of the snake into the mixer board. Each end of the snake is marked with a numerical value. Likewise, the mixer board inputs are marked with a numerical value. Match them up 1 to 1, 2 to 2 and so forth.

Find the outputs on the snake stage box labelled "Outputs" or "Mains". Connect a cable from these outputs to your main PA speakers. These use XLR cables or 1/4 inch audio cables depending on your particular snake.

Connect your instruments and microphones to the snake stage box. Each snake stage box input is numbered. These inputs now match the mixing board connections. A microphone or instrument plugged into jack number 1 on the stage is now controlled by mixing board slider number 1.

Mix each individual channel. Verify that everything is properly working and connected.

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