I'm piggy-backing off "Can I daisy chain two mixers together for more input channels". In that question, I read that I can do that, so long as the submixer is going into the powered mixer through RCA stereo inputs.

My situation is that because I only have a 12-channel snake, I don't have any more wires run to the front of house for more inputs, so putting the submixer back in the soundroom doesn't seem like an option (unless I more had 50' XLR cables). Is there a way to put a sub-mixer at front of house to create more channels? Am I looking at having to run a 50' long RCA from the sub-mixer to the soundroom? I was wondering if I could send it through one of the existing XLR snake cables?

Thanks for any help, as I'm new to sound systems.

6 Answers 6


The connection between sub-mixer and main mixer doesn't have to be RCA., it could be jack to jack, or XLR. With 50', you may need balanced leads, so it will depend where physically your snake is, or use a stereo or mono feed with shielded cable between sub and main. Or use a D.I. box to help the signal.


In the early days of live sound from Woodstock to much smaller places there has been a need for more channels. Back in those days mixers did not have that many channels. In the mid 70s I used a 10 channel Altec mixer with 3 Shure 4 channel movers subbed into the main mixer and that was able to do national acts in a fair grandstand with 7k people.

I had one for drums, one for guitars and and some other instruments. You took the output out of the small mixer and plugged it into the main mixer.

Now back in the old days many acts performed with no monitors at all. If I was told what mixers wanted to be interfaced I could be specific. It is not hard to do but you do need to be careful of the gain structure.


You can certainly put the submixer on stage in order to fit more in your snake. You certainly want to avoid running a 50' RCA connection if possible.

Check the outputs of the mixer you want to use as a submixer. It should have balanced main outputs on either XLR or 1/4". If there are balanced XLR outputs, connect them directly to the snake and then into XLR inputs on the main mixer at front of house (FOH).

If there are balanced 1/4" outputs, then I recommend 1/4" TRS to XLR adapters which would then be connected to the snake.

If there are neither of the above but there are 1/4" unbalanced outputs, then I would connect them to passive DIs and connect the DIs to the snakes.

If you really only have RCA then I recommend RCA to 1/4" TS adapters and then into passive DI, or DIs (active or passive) with RCA inputs.

Also, try to have the submixer as high off the ground as possible and off to the side, to prevent damage.


You might consider going for a remotely controlled mixer as sub mixer on stage. Or even moving over to that totally, not needing the snake at all. They have gone down in price quite a lot, so might be in your reach.


If the only problem is running out of channels on the snake, I'd add another snake rather than have a second mixer on stage where I'd have to run back and forth to get it all set up.


If you goal is to mix more than 12 inputs from sound room and the sound room mixer has more than 12 inputs then either and extra snake will need to be run or get one with more inputs.

If a second mixer is need in the sound room for more inputs then a second snake or snake with more inputs is needed.

A second mixer can be added but unless it has a snake run to the stage, it will have to be mixed at the stage and its outputs may be a problem depending on how you connect your speakers.

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