Here are some tips on how to keep from dealing with cable spaghetti at gigs, and keep your sound rocking.
Tell me a story about badly run cables!
- Floor level stage area, a sloppily placed XLR cable, and a dancer who exited the dance floor…with my mic…and stand.
- Guitarist had run his cable straight from his instrument to amp
- Did one of those slide across the stage on his knees moves at the solo climax
- Guitar came unplugged and ruined the entire moment
Covering the stage area
- Have enough length to cover what you need to do on stage
- Idea: Use a guitar extender like Radial’s SGI unit if the stage is big
- Think about where people are going to be moving, traveling, etc.
- Balancing preparedness and overpacking – how many cables are too many?
How does your cable plug into your amp, and your bass?
- I use a shorter (12’) cable from my bass to the pedal board
- From the pedal board, cable goes around my “space” to the amp
- With power cord and sometimes XLR if possible
- I try to have just enough slack – not too much, not too little
- At the bass, I do two things: (1) use a right angle connector for less stress on the jack in case of an unforeseen yank; (2) loop the cable around my strap to provide stress relief and an early warning.
- At the amp, I route the cable with either a loop through a hardware handle, or use velcro tie on the amp to hold it in place on a cabinet
What about on the floor?
- I like to group together my lines
- Create personal space (4’x4’)
- Always have a roll of gaffer’s tape available… sticky enough to hold, but doesn’t leave residue on wood, tile, glass, or — most important! — cables
- Pick a couple places (not everywhere) to route things together
- Use tape to hold down cables to floor, a few feet apart
- Avoid spaces where it’s easy to slip a toe under and trip
- Try to stick to the perimeter of the stage
- Also be thinking about patrons in the venue, make sure they’re safe and can’t easily mess up your cable or sound
Photo by Callie Morgan on Unsplash