A stage box is an interface device used in sound reinforcement and recording studios to connect equipment to a mixing console. It provides a central location to connect microphones, instruments, and speakers to a multicore cable (snake), which allows the sound desk to be further from the stage and simplifies setup.
Stage boxes typically consist of a rugged metal enclosure, with XLR connectors on the front whose signals are routed through a snake. In the traditional sense, a stage box is effectively a simple termination box at the end of an analog multicore cable. However, many modern stage boxes convert between analog and digital, using a single twisted pair cable instead of an analog multicore.
Stage boxes typically house 16–32 female XLR connectors and 4–8 male connectors, but occasionally 1⁄4 inch (6.35 mm) phone connectors are used instead. These connections to the mixer are often called sends (inputs) and returns (outputs). The connector configuration depends on the number of conductors in the multicore cable (for analog signals), or the bandwidth (for digital signals). Some stage boxes are rack-mountable which allows them to be mounted in either a road case or equipment rack. Smaller stage boxes use compact metal cases which may sit on a stage inconspicuously. Labels on the stage box make it easier to identify cables for troubleshooting and setup.
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