Cable Care

Did You Know That Cables Need Care?

There is nothing quite as frustrating as a “rat’s next” of cables when the beginning of an event is impending and set up is going slowly.

One of the most valuable sills you can develop is the ability to wind cables so that they are easily separated from the other cables. Some of the most valuable tools are those that help organize, store and compact cables.

Plastic storage bins are commonly used to store cables. This method works well as long as the cables are neatly wound and securely tied.

Loose, unwound cables in a bin are certain to create a messy, irritating problem during set-up. Keep all mic cables of the same length and functionality together in separate bins.

When labeling the cables, it is convenient to color-code them according to their lengths so they are instantly recognized for what they are. For example, a simple band of yellow heat-shrink tubing might indicate 20-foot cables, blue might indicate 30-foot cables, and so on.

Tools such as the snake reel can dramatically decrease striking and set up time, while guaranteeing that the snake is always safely stored and ready to go.

Also, if your set up uses several mic cables of the same length, try storing them on a cable reel. Simply spool the first cable onto the reel, plug the next cable to the loose XLR connector, and continue connecting a continuous strong of mic cables until the reel is full or the cables are gone. During setup, just pull the cables off the reel as you need them.

-Bill Gibson


  • Alex

    Several glaring typo’s in this article.  Otherwise good information.

  • hufe

    I use a couple of velcro ties with each cable when I store them, and on gigs I use the same velcro ties to hold together all instrument, mic and other cables coming from the P.A.