Cable management

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Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 12744
How do you keep your instrument / mic / speaker leads tidy ?  I tend to coil them into a 12" dia coil, doing the 'half-twist' thing on each turn, then take the last couple of feet and feed it around and through the coil, effectively a very coarse wrap around the main coil, if you follow me.  I then dump everything into a large sports bag, pedals and all.

I'm looking for a more consistent and secure way of keeping my leads tidy.  What do you do ?
98% shouting at clouds and 2% laminate flooring
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  • PlectrumPlectrum Frets: 489
    I use those velcro cable ties to stop the coils coming undone.
    One day I'm going to make a guitar out of butter to experience just how well it actually plays.
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 11568
    Do exactly the same thing, but use those small velcro wraps to hold them together instead of wrapping the cable around itself.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3545
    There's a proper technique for cable coiling and rightly so but whether it's necessary depends on a few things like what kind of cable is it .... some kinds of mic cable need a lot of care. The stuff I buy has very little memory effect and is very tolerant of being quickly coiled round the arm and fed through it's self. Other stuff needs coiling correctly or it never sits right. Sometimes, like after a theatre show where they fine you if your not loaded out within a specific time it's a case of doing it quickly rather than properly.
    Temperature pays a part too. If I go into our stores today and drag a load of cables out they will be very cold and unwilling to lay right on the ground. When you pack cables away in winter that don't live in the house it's a good idea to coil them properly. 

    For my own guitar cables and bits of kit like IEM box and strings etc I use a laptop bag. Loads of room in a good one and loads of little handy pouches to put stuff like Ebow and iPod
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30913
    Emp_Fab said:
    How do you keep your instrument / mic / speaker leads tidy ?  I tend to coil them into a 12" dia coil, doing the 'half-twist' thing on each turn, then take the last couple of feet and feed it around and through the coil, effectively a very coarse wrap around the main coil, if you follow me.  I then dump everything into a large sports bag, pedals and all.

    I'm looking for a more consistent and secure way of keeping my leads tidy.  What do you do ?
    That, plus a wire-twist cable tie if necessary - usually it isn't except with some 'springy' cables that just don't want to stay coiled.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1683
    We aim for visibility and ease of access, which means not having everything in the same bag. As a band we have a couple of plastic storage boxes. Lighting cables, both mains and DMX, go in the lighting box. Other XLRs in the PA box. Kettle leads and mains distribution boards ditto. This stops us having to hunt through a mixed box of cables. We use Velcro ties for longer cables, and the shorter ones are just coiled.

    When we set up there is a snake connection and several mains distribution boards in front of the drums. We are each responsible for mains and XLR connections between these points and own gear. So we each carry our personal cables.

    For my personal gear I keep cables where they are used. Jack to jack in each guitar case, Mic XLR with my mic, Speaker and midi cables in the back of my rack box, and a spare of each in my toolbox.

    If any cable is suspect then it gets put aside. I check and repair, or trash and replace, when I unload and store the gear.
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2236
    I too do the wrap with a twist leaving all the coils nice and flat. They are then typically laid in a trunk/case etc. overlapping like the olympic rings so you can take them out one at a time. as long as you don't pull out a cable 7 layers down without removing those on top they remain absolutely tidy and ready to use. Velcro ties are a handy addition especially long ones on mains type extension leads. In a rehearsal bag there are just 2-3 leads so they don't tangle much and are manageable, the big pedal board remains connected with the output lead coiled on top with the long 4 bar mains lead. The top goes on the board as soon as possible after a gig to revent damage from big feet (including mine)!

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  • Over and under coil for each one then secured with a Velcro cable tie. Have had no issues with working cables for 7 years.
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  • We use white electric tape instead of Velcro, using one wrap round the cable no more. Problem with Velcro is it loses it’s sticky over time and is prone to picking up things like grass and mud. All cable fastenings are crap when it’s wet.

    As for where stuff goes xls in one trunk speaker cable in another power in a third, then have trunk/bag called problem solvers for all the bodge leads.
    No matter what the time constraints are always take the time to pack away your cables properly it saves an awful lot of time and heartbreak in the long run
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1528
    Coil properly and velcro.    
    I have bags with sections for the type of lead and have coded layers of electrical tape - one for 6m cables, two for 10m etc so pack up is quick and I’m ready for the next gig.   
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  • thomasw88thomasw88 Frets: 714
    use a  couple of cable reels for the xlr leads, so they just get wrapped around a little reel and joined to each other.     Store them in fishing bags (I use fishing bags for loads of music stuff as they're a) generally cheapish and b) usually durable/well padded.
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  • vizviz Frets: 4702
    edited February 20
    Right. Grab BOTH ends of the lead, and coil the double line as normal, holding on to the two free ends with your left hand. Make sure you leave about 6 inches of the trailing ends free.

    When you’ve got about 12 inches left to go, feed the bight (the loop end) through the coil a couple of times. 

    You can then chuck the coil into the bag and it will always come out perfectly. 

    To unwrap, obviously find the bight, push it back through the coil twice, and .... watch carefully .... hold the two free ends and drop the coil. There you go - perfectly unwound, and both ends are in your hand ready to be plugged in. 

    There is no better, quicker way that doesn’t use velcro etc. (The coiling takes half as long too) 

    With XLR cables, you can also plug the two ends together for extra security, but you really won’t need to. 
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  • AlnicoAlnico Frets: 4033
    I used to use and probably soon will again something like THIS.

    Leads coiled up properly, tied with velcro.
    If you fall seven times, you stand up eight.
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  • velcro velcro velcro velcro velcro 
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  • I use the planet waves cable ties and they have been excellent. They don't go missing like bits of velcro do.

    We use coloured cables with specific colours for specific things (dark blue for subs, etc) and it makes life a LOT easier, both when setting up and at the mixing desk.
    My band: Hedge Gods
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  • vizviz Frets: 4702
    I use the planet waves cable ties and they have been excellent. They don't go missing like bits of velcro do.

    We use coloured cables with specific colours for specific things (dark blue for subs, etc) and it makes life a LOT easier, both when setting up and at the mixing desk.
    All my cables have green cable-ties round them so everyone could you please avoid that colour. 
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  • bluechargeboybluechargeboy Frets: 1246
    edited February 20
    viz said:
    I use the planet waves cable ties and they have been excellent. They don't go missing like bits of velcro do.

    We use coloured cables with specific colours for specific things (dark blue for subs, etc) and it makes life a LOT easier, both when setting up and at the mixing desk.
    All my cables have green cable-ties round them so everyone could you please avoid that colour. 
    Hi-viz green I hope?
    My band: Hedge Gods
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  • Coiled up like you do @Emp_Fab, then use a velcro tie like everybody else. Apart from a couple of Planet Waves cables, which have their own tie.
    “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?' 'Supposing it didn't,' said Pooh after careful thought. Piglet was comforted by this.”
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  • vizviz Frets: 4702
    viz said:
    I use the planet waves cable ties and they have been excellent. They don't go missing like bits of velcro do.

    We use coloured cables with specific colours for specific things (dark blue for subs, etc) and it makes life a LOT easier, both when setting up and at the mixing desk.
    All my cables have green cable-ties round them so everyone could you please avoid that colour. 
    Hi-viz green I hope?
    Of course!
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  • before I got to using velcro (or even just those wire-in-plastic things that some interconnects or cables get sold with), I used to coil them properly and just dump them in the gig box. Next time I opened the gig box, they would always be ravelled up. I never understood why, especially when I was the only human living in the house and I could hardly accuse the cat of entangling everything for me, and I'm sure I didn't tangle them up while sleep-walking.

    woss craic?
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 877
    edited February 22
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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