An easier way to run a multi cable setup

by Brad on May 20, 2021

Setting up a band, AV corporate event or studio session doesn’t have to be hard.  There’s nothing worse than having to run multiple cables (or a big heavy stage box) across the stage or through a building to achieve a multi cable set up for audio and visual productions.

Enter the Titan AV cat cable, cat tails and cat boxes.  With their powers combined you’re looking at a tidy 4 channel analogue cable loom...a cat loom if you will

In this ever changing world of technology, it's nice to know that analogue still matters.  When you think of RJ45, CAT5e/Cat6 cables you think digital….well a cat cable is just copper wire!

Our Titan AV etherCON Multicore Loom Cable Network Stage Snake Cat Breakout or as we affectionately call them, our Titan AV cat tails & cat boxes are a perfect lightweight alternative to the traditional audio stage box or DMX loom.  With the ability to send balanced audio signal up to 50m and AES/EBU/DMX signal up to 100m.

What exactly is a cat cable loom?

Essentially 4 cables in 1.  Our cat tails and cat boxes utilize the 4 twisted pairs in a standard cat cable to send 4 channels of signal through one cable.

Why use cat cable?

A cat cable is made up of 4 twisted pairs of copper wire.  What does that mean? Think of a twisted pair as 1 channel, with 4 twisted pairs you’ll be able to send 4 channels through the one cat cable.  This is great for saving space when running multiple signals.  Essentially it's a 4 channel stage box.  You can use any type of cat5e, cat6a or cat7 cable however if you want a good quality signal and to run phantom power through these looms you’ll have to have a good quality fully shielded cat cable such as our Titan AV cat6a range of etherCON cable.  Check out our in depth blog on our CAT6 cables here.

 

Interesting fact: Twisting the wire was started in 1881 by Alexander Graham Bell during the telephone days to prevent something called crosstalk (unwanted transfer of signals between different wires)

Where would you use them?

Studio - Space is a premium in your recording studio or creative studio space.  Old school looms and snakes might just be too big or you might not have the ability to run cables through your walls.  The cat cable is perfect for going under doors and through tight spaces.

Live sound - Audio stage boxes are heavy, hard to transport and take up a big chunk of space in your road cases.  Cat cables are light and easy to roll which makes them perfect for life out on the road.  Whether you’re running a 50m cat6a cable for your front of out speakers or using a 3m cable for your personal loom onstage (great for all you gigging musicians).

AV & corporate events - Because of the previous benefits mentioned (small size and ease of use), the cat loom system is perfect for corporate AV events.  Maybe you need a discreet way to run a lead to your delay speakers at the back of the room, or run a few microphone inputs to the stage.  The cat cables are less intrusive than a bunch of XLR cables.

Do these work with phantom power?

Our cat tails, boxes and cat6a cables all work with phantom power.  Due to our grounding shield connected right to the connectors and the RJ45 connector you can run 48 volt power through our cat looms.

Our range

One of the big benefits of using a cat loom is you can swap out your connection types and lengths.  Let's say one gig you need XLR male to XLR female and next gig you need XLR male to TRS...just swap out your connections with your existing cat cable.  It's also great if you need to change the length of your loom, one venue you might want to use a 5m XLR to XLR loom and the next venue you need a 10m XLR to XLR, just swap out the cable for a longer one!  Our Titan AV Cat6a cables come in lengths of 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 and 50 metres.  We have 3pin XLR male & female, 5pin DMX male & female and TRS connection types available in cat tails and our cat boxes come in male and female 3pin XLR.

PROS & CONS

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to transport
  • Clean and tidy presentation
  • Modular setup

Cons

  • More expensive per channel
  • Less channels per cable

On a Personal Note...

As a full time gigging musician I use a cat loom every weekend for a quick and easy (one cable roll at the end of the night) setup that runs my microphone, guitar and stomp box and in ears with a gender bender on one channel.  

I’ve been using this setup for a while now with great success.  There have been a couple of times I’ve had a bit of noise but to be honest I’m pretty messy with my setups most times and my 5m cat cable sits on top of power boards a lot of the time so I’m surprised at how well the shielding actually works.

Now the benefits of cat cable can also be a limitation.  Only being able to send 4 channels were as your traditional audio stage box is anywhere from 8 channels up to 24 channels with usually 4 return channels for your foldback or front of house sends.  So if you have lots of channels you would have to invest in a fair few of these looms but as a small to medium set up its perfect.  I often run production for pub gigs and singer songwriter shows and having these looms to be able to run 4 microphones across the front of the stage, small drum looms or to be able to run my FOH, subs and foldback through one cable across a stage has been great!

I’m not much of a lighting guy so I can’t comment too much on that but we sell the DMX cat tails to bigger production companies all the time who are running multiple universes on bigger stages.

These cat looms might not replace your entire loom setup but you’ll always find a use to incorporate them into your set up saving you setup and pack down time and make your load a lot lighter.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published


BACK TO TOP