1. Cable Tester
About 80% of the time, audio problems come from a bad cable in the signal flow. It can be quite time consuming to switch out every cable in a signal run with a new cable, and that might not eliminate the issue, as one of your replacement cables could be bad as well. This is where a cable tester becomes your best friend. The Hosa CBT-500 can test the signal flow of XLR 3P/5P, Speakon-2P/4P/8P, RCA, ¼ TRS, Banana, Ethernet, and even USB! Having this tool in your arsenal will save you hours of trouble shooting.
2. Soldering Iron
Once you find the bad cables, you have to fix them! Getting a Weller Soldering Iron, wired or butane, gives you the ability to reuse your broken cables, fix speakers with broken leads and completely change connectors.
3. Isolation Transformer
Say goodbye to hums and buzzing! An isolation transformer separates your signal wires from your ground. This removes 60 cycle hums that are often found in older electrical systems, leaving you with a noise free system. There are many isolation transformers out there, but we highly recommend the Radial Ice Cube or the Horizon ISO-BLOX.
There apps for everything these days, and the audio world is no exception. Having a smart phone will give you access to an unlimited amount of resources to help you make whatever you are doing better and easier. One app I highly suggest is AV Tools. It includes diagrams of connector pinouts, voltage calculators, pink and white noise generators, and an RTA analyzer to discover where those problem frequencies occur in the PA. It also provides instant access to music, notes, or a walkie-talkie with other smart phone users.
These tools have been life savers to many sound techs around the world, and now it’s time for you to join the ranks! Come over to Gattis Pro Audio to get set up with your problem saving tool box, and enjoy the many problem free events to come!
Also, mention this article and get 10% off any isolation transformer or cable tester in the store!