An audio multicore cable (often colloquially referred to in the US and Canada as a snake cable or just a snake) is a thick cable which contains from four to 64 individual audio cables inside a common, sturdy outer jacket. Audio multicore cables are widely used whenever multiple audio signals, for example from a number of microphones, need to be conveyed between common locations. Typical professional audio applications include audio recording, sound reinforcement, PA systems and broadcasting. The “snake” is ordinarily used to make it simpler to course many signs from the area of the mouthpieces or other info transducers, to the area of the sound support and sound recording, broadcasting and additionally stable fortification hardware is found.
Without a snake, a rock band performing onstage, for example, would have to have 20 or more individual mic cables running from the stage to the mixing console, which is typically located at the rear of a venue. It would be easy for the cables to become tangled, and it would be very hard for the audio engineers connecting the mic cables to the mixing board to determine which cable is for which mic (or other input). A typical Multicore cable is shown below:
When to use a Multicore?
A multicore is typically used to connect performers on stage to a mixing desk the side of stage for monitor mixing, or front of stage for FOH mixing. Microphones and DI boxes are plugged into the stage box and taken through the multicore cable to the fan end connectors. Returns channels enable signals to be taken from mixer back to performers on stage, useful for returning the main and aux channels back to the stage for connection with fold back monitors and main speakers.