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Title: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: John Roll on November 23, 2011, 02:59:44 pm
The longest part of load out at the end of the night is winding mic cables. I work alone and this seems to be 80% it. I was thinking of winding in groups, i.e. front stage mics and monitors (jbl prx) and backstage mics and monitors (jbl prx ) Does anyone have other suggestions which could save me some time at the end of the night with that part of the tear down? It's not feasible right now to hire more RELIABLE help.

John
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 23, 2011, 03:30:13 pm
The longest part of load out at the end of the night is winding mic cables. I work alone and this seems to be 80% it. I was thinking of winding in groups, i.e. front stage mics and monitors (jbl prx) and backstage mics and monitors (jbl prx ) Does anyone have other suggestions which could save me some time at the end of the night with that part of the tear down? It's not feasible right now to hire more RELIABLE help.

John

My idea of luxury would be to have drop snakes for bi-directional stage feeds.  If my stages were all the same layout I could have nothing but a few 10' XLR's to coil, then a few drop snakes and done.  10 footers coil 10x as fast as 20 footers........
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Doug Fowler on November 23, 2011, 03:35:04 pm
The longest part of load out at the end of the night is winding mic cables. I work alone and this seems to be 80% it. I was thinking of winding in groups, i.e. front stage mics and monitors (jbl prx) and backstage mics and monitors (jbl prx ) Does anyone have other suggestions which could save me some time at the end of the night with that part of the tear down? It's not feasible right now to hire more RELIABLE help.

John

How long does it take you to wrap 20 cables?

Unpatch everything at the snake, unpatch at any subsnakes, disconnect the loudspeakers and start wrapping. 

Please post a video of your cable wrapping technique.

In fact, if anyone wishes to offer up videos on things like this, maybe we can find a place for them.

BTW, if your mics ride with the clips, look into Atlas LO-2 quick release devices.




Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on November 23, 2011, 03:36:37 pm
Not sure what you are asking about cables in groups. If you have the same or very similar set ups every night, you can lay out your cables and loom them together with e-tape or friction tape and coil them all at once. I.e. all the drum cables get loomed together, all the front line vocals get loomed together, all the bass and guitar cables get loomed together, etc...

Or, you could go all wireless and not have any cables to coil up.

I hope you aren't winding them on a cable reel or something.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: boburtz on November 23, 2011, 03:58:29 pm
BTW, if your mics ride with the clips, look into Atlas LO-2 quick release devices.

+1 for this. I find the "on-stage" brand to work equally well, and can sometimes be had on ebay in multiples for a good deal...They are a little expensive, but save so much time. Every mic, every stand, period.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Jay Barracato on November 23, 2011, 04:23:13 pm
Not sure what you are asking about cables in groups. If you have the same or very similar set ups every night, you can lay out your cables and loom them together with e-tape or friction tape and coil them all at once. I.e. all the drum cables get loomed together, all the front line vocals get loomed together, all the bass and guitar cables get loomed together, etc...

Or, you could go all wireless and not have any cables to coil up.

I hope you aren't winding them on a cable reel or something.

looming definately makes things quicker if you have consistant setups.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 23, 2011, 04:30:27 pm
The longest part of load out at the end of the night is winding mic cables. I work alone and this seems to be 80% it. I was thinking of winding in groups, i.e. front stage mics and monitors (jbl prx) and backstage mics and monitors (jbl prx ) Does anyone have other suggestions which could save me some time at the end of the night with that part of the tear down? It's not feasible right now to hire more RELIABLE help.

John
What I used to do was to use a garden hose reel for the mic cables.  The kind that you turn vertical rather than horizontally. Make sure it has a stable base.

At the end of the night-strike everything else except the mic cables.  I always grabbed my mics first-put them away-then moved the stands off to a side near the stand box.  This cleared the stage (except for monitors) for the band to strike their gear.

Hopefully by the time you have everything else taken care of (FOH-amps-speakers etc) the band will be off the stage.

Now you plop down next to the stage box with the reel and wind them up end to end.  Unplug just one at a time.  Grab a damp rag in one hand if want to clean them a little bit while winding them up.

Only take a couple of minutes, and is a lot easier than trying to get them from around the band gear while it is on stage.

When setting up, just place the reel near the snake head and grab the outermost female end (the male ends go on first) and just pull it to where it needs to go.  unwind as needed to plug into the stage box.

This works best if the mic cables are all pretty much the same length.  Yes you end up with slack, but you can usually put it around the mic end of the cable.

If you like to keep the cables seperated by length-this doesn't work well at all.

If you put a piece of colored tape around each end, you can quickly tell the length.  Just one piece and have the cables in multiples of 10'.  So brown is 10' red is 20' orange is 30' yellow 40' etc.

Anyway it worked well for me.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: John Roll on November 23, 2011, 04:44:07 pm
Not sure what you are asking about cables in groups. If you have the same or very similar set ups every night, you can lay out your cables and loom them together with e-tape or friction tape and coil them all at once. I.e. all the drum cables get loomed together, all the front line vocals get loomed together, all the bass and guitar cables get loomed together, etc...

Or, you could go all wireless and not have any cables to coil up.

I hope you aren't winding them on a cable reel or something.

Justice,
No cable reel. I guess what I meant by cabling in groups was in other words looming the way you described above.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Ray Aberle on November 23, 2011, 05:01:38 pm
What I used to do was to use a garden hose reel for the mic cables.  ...
If you like to keep the cables seperated by length-this doesn't work well at all.

If you put a piece of colored tape around each end, you can quickly tell the length.  Just one piece and have the cables in multiples of 10'.  So brown is 10' red is 20' orange is 30' yellow 40' etc.

Anyway it worked well for me.

I used to just dump back in the bin, and sort when I got home! (Yeah, added lots of extra time, but as a "weekend warrior" -- I made it work, I guess). I have been diligent in the use of velcro tie straps, though, as well as colour coding the lengths. I used to use electrical tape, but now I've been buying my XLRs from Audiopile (www.audiopile.net) they have the coloured rings for the cables, and I have been investing in those. I've kept the same colour coding scheme as I was using before, just they look way better now.

My last trip out there (I'm in Seattle, so I can just drive...) I got some extra drawers and built out a toolkit with 6sp empty (for sub snakes) and 3 drawers for varying lengths of cables/XLR/patches/DIs. This beat out the old method of all signal cable in one cube... You need an XLR to 1/4" and you would spend five minutes digging through all of the cables.

Now, I am discovering I need more XLR cables, now that they're organized so I know how many I actually have... *sighs*

Ray
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Bob Charest on November 23, 2011, 05:09:30 pm
What I used to do was to use a garden hose reel for the mic cables...  Grab a damp rag in one hand if want to clean them a little bit while winding them up.
We used to do exactly this before we went wireless. It worked well for us and didn't cost much. We still have the hose reel with a slew of XLR's on it! I especially liked cleaning the cables as they went on the reel - made it nice for the next gig. We got pretty fast at it.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: David Parker on November 23, 2011, 05:51:24 pm
I work mostly small stages. The drums get the majority of the mics, so I put the stage box next to the drums, actually, at times, under the cymbal stands. I have 6', 10', 12', 15', and 20' mic cables, all different colors. Takes about 10 minutes to neatly wrap all the mic cables. The 4-6' cables I use on the closest drums I roll up together. When I worked larger stages subsnakes were my friend. Anything you can do to use shorter cables helps.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Tim Weaver on November 23, 2011, 06:42:55 pm
Are you using any subsnakes? If not, look into it.

Also, is this for a particular band setup, or are you the PA provider here and looking to speed up your setup/teardown?
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Kirby Yarbrough on November 23, 2011, 06:57:34 pm
Wrap short cables in pairs.  I do mostly smaller stages with a DSC subsnake and 3x or 4x powered wedges across the front, so I'll use color taped 10' cables for the inner wedges and 20' for the outer wedges.  At the end of the show, pick up the mics, shut down the wedges, unpatch the subsnake and wrap the cables in pairs by length.  Same thing with the USC subsnake, since most of the drum and backline mic cables are either 10' or 20', sometimes 25'.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Don Gspann on November 23, 2011, 08:34:04 pm
I hope you aren't winding them on a cable reel or something.
[/quote]

Why do you say that? When you have a stage full of cables, I don't have all night to coil cables. I've been using cable reels for over 30 years with no problems. I have reels that hold close to 1000' of cable and small reels that old just a dozen or so. I still use most of the cables I made 30 years ago! I don't have any more breakage other that what occurs on a gig. So what's the issue. No twists, and I'll be home while you're still hand coiling cables.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: John Roll on November 24, 2011, 03:22:36 am
What I used to do was to use a garden hose reel for the mic cables.  The kind that you turn vertical rather than horizontally. Make sure it has a stable base.

At the end of the night-strike everything else except the mic cables.  I always grabbed my mics first-put them away-then moved the stands off to a side near the stand box.  This cleared the stage (except for monitors) for the band to strike their gear.

Hopefully by the time you have everything else taken care of (FOH-amps-speakers etc) the band will be off the stage.

Now you plop down next to the stage box with the reel and wind them up end to end.  Unplug just one at a time.  Grab a damp rag in one hand if want to clean them a little bit while winding them up.

Only take a couple of minutes, and is a lot easier than trying to get them from around the band gear while it is on stage.

When setting up, just place the reel near the snake head and grab the outermost female end (the male ends go on first) and just pull it to where it needs to go.  unwind as needed to plug into the stage box.

This works best if the mic cables are all pretty much the same length.  Yes you end up with slack, but you can usually put it around the mic end of the cable.

If you like to keep the cables seperated by length-this doesn't work well at all.

If you put a piece of colored tape around each end, you can quickly tell the length.  Just one piece and have the cables in multiples of 10'.  So brown is 10' red is 20' orange is 30' yellow 40' etc.

Anyway it worked well for me.

Ivan,
Where are you located? My cousin told me about someone he saw when he lived in Texas, who did a similar thing to what you do...
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Frederik Rosenkjśr on November 24, 2011, 05:23:25 am
I have the following mic cables in my house box:

12 x 1.5m (~4.5ft)
8 x 3m (~9ft)
15 x 5m (~15ft)
10 x 10m (~30ft)

All 1.5m cables are wrapped up together in one bunch (over-under), as are all 3m cables.

The rest are wrapped infidually.

I'm a big believer in snakes and remote boxes - speeds things up tremendously. With these in place, I'm having trouble seeing how mic cable wrapping could take up 80% of tear-down time, if you're also carrying the entire PA, console, monitors etc...(?)


Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: David Parker on November 24, 2011, 08:22:37 am
I have the following mic cables in my house box:

12 x 1.5m (~4.5ft)
8 x 3m (~9ft)
15 x 5m (~15ft)
10 x 10m (~30ft)

All 1.5m cables are wrapped up together in one bunch (over-under), as are all 3m cables.

The rest are wrapped infidually.

I'm a big believer in snakes and remote boxes - speeds things up tremendously. With these in place, I'm having trouble seeing how mic cable wrapping could take up 80% of tear-down time, if you're also carrying the entire PA, console, monitors etc...(?)

this sounds a lot like my current mic inventory. I formerly spent 80% (more or less) of my time rolling mic cables too. 8 or 10 25' mic cables on drums, and several cables doubled to make the reach across the stage, that all adds up. I formerly hired help, and put the help on the stage rolling mic cables while I tidied up the rest of the system. We usually finished about the same time.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 24, 2011, 08:54:36 am
Ivan,
Where are you located? My cousin told me about someone he saw when he lived in Texas, who did a similar thing to what you do...
I am in Atlanta.  However I also did this when I was in the Wash DC area and a couple guys that worked for me moved to TX, so who know.

I don't think it is all that unique.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: David Parker on November 24, 2011, 09:00:40 am
I am in Atlanta.  However I also did this when I was in the Wash DC area and a couple guys that worked for me moved to TX, so who know.

I don't think it is all that unique.

not at all unique, I've had several people in the Houston area suggest I use a reel. I tried it and didn't like it. Not to say it isn't a good way to do it, because a lot of people do like it, just didn't work for me.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Tom Young on November 24, 2011, 09:14:31 am
BTW, if your mics ride with the clips, look into Atlas LO-2 quick release devices.

++

Not sure if anyone has added this additional reason to use quick disconnects for mic's: they also protect the threads on the stands.

All-in-all ..... a very good idea and real time saver.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Bob Charest on November 24, 2011, 09:45:26 am
++

Not sure if anyone has added this additional reason to use quick disconnects for mic's: they also protect the threads on the stands.

All-in-all ..... a very good idea and real time saver.
And the same reasons for the shaft/base connection: the Atlas QR2
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Pete Erskine on November 25, 2011, 01:40:46 pm
Many of these ideas will work if you are a small band or audio shop and you expect to always be doing your own cable coiling.  In the professional world, the reality is that many people coil the cables after a show.  The standard world wide for coiling cable is called over-under.  It works for big bundles of cable as well as small 10 foot cables.  EVERY good production crew member knows how to do this.  It protects your cables, it's very fast and when the time comes to use the cable again, it uncoils without any kinks.

One slight danger in uncoiling a cable wrapped this way is - if you start to uncoil and have inadvertently pulled the cable through the coil from the wrong side it comes out with knots in it every 3 feet :P - Just pull the end back through the coil and all will be well.

Here is a you-tube video which explains and demonstrates the method. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j1Wdc-ymbI (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j1Wdc-ymbI)

Mine technique is similar but I never let go if the cable and once learned you can coil cables hundreds of feet in length at ease very quickly and almost without thinking.  When the coil gets too big to hold, slide it up your arm and grab the last few coils and continue.  With heavy cables the same thing can be done on the floor.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Tim Padrick on November 26, 2011, 05:58:30 am
Mine technique is similar but I never let go if the cable and once learned you can coil cables hundreds of feet in length at ease very quickly and almost without thinking.  When the coil gets too big to hold, slide it up your arm and grab the last few coils and continue.  With heavy cables the same thing can be done on the floor.

The secret to easy coiling of long cables is to start in the middle: Coil to one end, flip the cable around in your hand, and coil to the other end.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Dave Rickard on November 27, 2011, 01:07:42 am
I use small crews and rarely do the same show twice.  I have multiple reels for different lengths. Many 25' reels, some 50', a 100', and I coil the 10 footers.  Even volunteers can do this this quickly and correctly.  As Ivan said, male end goes on first.

I use these--  http://www.acetogo.com/product/cord-reel-wstand-150-or.html
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Dave Dermont on November 27, 2011, 05:04:07 pm
Yes, sub snakes are wonderful things.

I've worked with people who do the mic cable reel thing, and I just don't get it.

Yeah, it's a nice way to transport and store cables, but when it comes to setup and strike, it makes the job take longer.

Let's go over the cable reel procedure at the end of the gig, and all the cables are laid out on stage. You have to free every individual cable, then take it to a central location (the reel) to wind it.

By the time you have one cable free and walk over to the reel to wind it, I can have four cables wrapped and waiting to go into the cable trunk.

No, I am not some sort of stage crew wizard. (trust me on this) I am just a guy who knows how to wrap a cable.

C'mon people, just learn how to wrap cables! Take some home and practice if you have to. Heck, while you're at it, grab a hunk of rope and practice how to tie a bowline.

Hey, has anyone ever noticed that on big shows done by major sound companies you never ever see mic cables on a reel?

You do occasionally see a broadcaster with some really really long cables on reels, but they are usually skinny cables that have BNC connectors on them for those mysterious things that only broadcasters know about.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Justin Bartlett on November 27, 2011, 05:23:11 pm
Yes, sub snakes are wonderful things.

I've worked with people who do the mic cable reel thing, and I just don't get it.

Yeah, it's a nice way to transport and store cables, but when it comes to setup and strike, it makes the job take longer.

Let's go over the cable reel procedure at the end of the gig, and all the cables are laid out on stage. You have to free every individual cable, then take it to a central location (the reel) to wind it.

By the time you have one cable free and walk over to the reel to wind it, I can have four cables wrapped and waiting to go into the cable trunk.

No, I am not some sort of stage crew wizard. (trust me on this) I am just a guy who knows how to wrap a cable.

C'mon people, just learn how to wrap cables! Take some home and practice if you have to. Heck, while you're at it, grab a hunk of rope and practice how to tie a bowline.

Hey, has anyone ever noticed that on big shows done by major sound companies you never ever see mic cables on a reel?

You do occasionally see a broadcaster with some really really long cables on reels, but they are usually skinny cables that have BNC connectors on them for those mysterious things that only broadcasters know about.

I was recently on a small-ish (bus & trailer) tour where we used reels (http://www.acetogo.com/product/cord-reel-100orange.html) for our mic cables.  In our case, our load-out crew was mostly local volunteers, and they frequently knew nothing about wrapping cables.  It was quicker to show them how to use the reels than it was to try to teach them proper over-under technique.  These reels are handheld, so there was no need to walk them to any central location; we had about 6 of them.  Worked like a charm for our particular needs.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 27, 2011, 06:27:42 pm
I was recently on a small-ish (bus & trailer) tour where we used reels (http://www.acetogo.com/product/cord-reel-100orange.html) for our mic cables.  In our case, our load-out crew was mostly local volunteers, and they frequently knew nothing about wrapping cables.  It was quicker to show them how to use the reels than it was to try to teach them proper over-under technique.  These reels are handheld, so there was no need to walk them to any central location; we had about 6 of them.  Worked like a charm for our particular needs.
I tried that type once.  They took up way to much space and weren't exactly the fastest way to coil cables. 

They also put a strain on the XLR cables because the internal diameter is so small.  For a single extension cable they work OK, but I still prefer to just coil the cables over using those.

But as long as you don't have to many, they might could work.

Glad they worked for you.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Dave Dermont on November 27, 2011, 06:29:26 pm
I was recently on a small-ish (bus & trailer) tour where we used reels (http://www.acetogo.com/product/cord-reel-100orange.html) for our mic cables.  In our case, our load-out crew was mostly local volunteers, and they frequently knew nothing about wrapping cables.  It was quicker to show them how to use the reels than it was to try to teach them proper over-under technique.  These reels are handheld, so there was no need to walk them to any central location; we had about 6 of them.  Worked like a charm for our particular needs.

That's all fine, but the original post was made by a guy who wanted to find a way to strike and load out faster when working alone. That's different than trying to train a different group of monkeys every night.

If I was in a situation like what you describe above, I'd just say "That's OK, we'll wrap the cables", and then have someone direct the local load-out crew in the actual loading out.

A truck/trailer pack with the cable trunk near the back end will prepare you for this contingency.

Besides, everybody knows that some local crew people can destroy a cable just by being in the same room with it.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: John Roll on November 27, 2011, 07:52:51 pm
Besides, everybody knows that some local crew people can destroy a cable just by being in the same room with it.

That's priceless......
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 27, 2011, 09:13:29 pm

Besides, everybody knows that some local crew people can destroy a cable just by being in the same room with it.
I've run into those guys.

"WHY would you do THAT?"  "Not even close"  "Says who?" are some comments that come to mind.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Justin Bartlett on November 28, 2011, 05:18:50 pm
That's all fine, but the original post was made by a guy who wanted to find a way to strike and load out faster when working alone. That's different than trying to train a different group of monkeys every night.

If I was in a situation like what you describe above, I'd just say "That's OK, we'll wrap the cables", and then have someone direct the local load-out crew in the actual loading out.

A truck/trailer pack with the cable trunk near the back end will prepare you for this contingency.

Besides, everybody knows that some local crew people can destroy a cable just by being in the same room with it.

Fair point regarding the OP's request; ours is certainly *not* the best solution for his situation.

It works well for us though - our load-outs are in the 75-90 minute range from the last note to the trailer door closing, and we haven't had major trouble with dead mic cables.

If I was in a situation like what you describe above, I'd just say "That's OK, we'll wrap the cables", and then have someone direct the local load-out crew in the actual loading out.

Our crew consists of me and the LD, so we don't really have a "someone" to have direct the local crew right away after the show.  One of the bass players typically does exactly what you suggest once autograph time is over, but at that point we usually have enough local crew to keep some busy with cables.

I'm certainly not suggesting that our method is for everyone - and I'm still open to being convinced that it's not even the best solution for us - but it does work pretty well in our case.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Rob Spence on November 29, 2011, 12:26:13 am
One thing I did to speed up set up AND strike on my B rig was to use sub snakes and make all the cables be 20'. Now I don't spend time finding the "right" length cable. If it really turns out too short (which happens), just add 20'. At strike just pull all from the subsnakes and coil. With short cables like 20', they coil fast.

Ok, I lied -)  I have a few 10' right angle ones for around the drum kit...

When I can afford it I may get some of the Whirlwind Mini12 sub snakes. They will pack smaller than normal stage boxes.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Eric Eskam on November 29, 2011, 12:53:08 am
If you put a piece of colored tape around each end, you can quickly tell the length.  Just one piece and have the cables in multiples of 10'.  So brown is 10' red is 20' orange is 30' yellow 40' etc.

One tip I saw on another forum was to use resistor labeling.  Pro's - it's a standard, so if someone leaves, it's pretty easy to do a google search to find out what the values mean.  The con is it's a little weird at first.  But the pro tends to way over-ride the con.  It makes cable sorting a snap once you are used to it.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Jay Barracato on November 29, 2011, 12:19:57 pm
One tip I saw on another forum was to use resistor labeling.  Pro's - it's a standard, so if someone leaves, it's pretty easy to do a google search to find out what the values mean.  The con is it's a little weird at first.  But the pro tends to way over-ride the con.  It makes cable sorting a snap once you are used to it.

I have never really understood this fascination with the resistor code. I guess because they had to learn it in middle school shop class people feel inclined to use it.

I don't really think it is all that hard to look at a 10 foot coiled cable and a 20 foot coiled cable and tell which is longer.

Also , in practice, I don't want help coiling cables. Any time saved by the help is usually lost on the next show when I have to uncoil them.
Title: Cable label colors
Post by: Mac Kerr on November 29, 2011, 12:29:43 pm
I have never really understood this fascination with the resistor code. I guess because they had to learn it in middle school shop class people feel inclined to use it.

I think it is a good idea to have a color code because it is not always easy to see the difference in the dark when the cables are all piled together in a road case, I just don't think the resistor color code is any better than any arbitrary group of colors. I can pretty much guarantee that the local hands don't know the secret code, so what is the point? Pick a code, and put a label inside the lid of the cable box of with the code on it.

I grew up with a 4 color code, 10'-yellow, 25'-red, 50'-blue, 100'-white. Short jumpers get bundled in bundles of 10 cables so they are easy to identify. Either tape, or colored shrink works fine, although eventually etape liquifies.

Mac
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Rob Gow on November 29, 2011, 01:30:27 pm
My trick is to set up in a specific order.

FOH
monitors
Power
Frontline mics
Back line
Drums

Then I tear down in reverse order. While it looks like a big jumbled mess by the snake. Everything is in order and comes apart quickly. 

I over/under everything quickly, and they all fit into respective cases. 
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Tim Weaver on November 29, 2011, 04:37:48 pm
My trick is to set up in a specific order.

FOH
monitors
Power
Frontline mics
Back line
Drums

Then I tear down in reverse order. While it looks like a big jumbled mess by the snake. Everything is in order and comes apart quickly. 

I over/under everything quickly, and they all fit into respective cases.


I do something similar, but in a different order.

Loading in is;

Power cables or Distro (if there is one)
run snake
Stack speakers/set out monitors
amp racks
speaker cable
stage power and subsnakes (before the band takes the stage if possible)
FOH/Tune pa while band sets up (keeps me off the stage and out of their way)
set mics and stands
run mic cable

Strike is the reverse of this, EXCEPT the stage cabling. I tend to wait until the band is off the stage before rolling stage cable. Makes it much easier if you have a clear stage with no monitors and guitar amps. One other thing is, I try to line up my cable trunks in front of the stage while I'm rolling. I can then toss cables into their homes right as I am rolling.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Dave Dermont on November 29, 2011, 06:53:33 pm
I have never really understood this fascination with the resistor code. I guess because they had to learn it in middle school shop class people feel inclined to use it.

I don't really think it is all that hard to look at a 10 foot coiled cable and a 20 foot coiled cable and tell which is longer.

Also , in practice, I don't want help coiling cables. Any time saved by the help is usually lost on the next show when I have to uncoil them.

I know of more than one cable manufacturer that uses the resistor code for the jackets of the individual pairs inside their multi-pair snake cables.

Knowing the code means not having to seek out those teeny tiny numbers. That can really speeds things up.

Maybe that only helps us bifocal wearers.  ::)
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Tim Padrick on November 30, 2011, 01:22:20 am
I know of more than one cable manufacturer that uses the resistor code for the jackets of the individual pairs inside their multi-pair snake cables.

Who, please?  I'd like to get some of that cable for my next project.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Tim Weaver on November 30, 2011, 02:15:40 am
Who, please?  I'd like to get some of that cable for my next project.

I know belden makes multi with IJ pairs that are resistor color coded. I have some 3 pair.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Kurt Kesler on December 01, 2011, 08:54:28 am
Also , in practice, I don't want help coiling cables. Any time saved by the help is usually lost on the next show when I have to uncoil them.

I'm usually a one man operation as well but sometimes you get uninvited "help".  One night as I went to the trailer to get something during the load out a self appointed helper grabbed all the cables, wadded them up in a big ball and stuffed them in the box.  Most helpful.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Geoff Doane on December 01, 2011, 12:15:32 pm
I know belden makes multi with IJ pairs that are resistor color coded. I have some 3 pair.

Along with Belden, Gepco also has colour coded jackets on each pair.

Canare uses a slight variation on the same theme, with a black jacket and then a stripe running along the jacket.  From 10-19, the jacket is brown, and so on.  I think Mogami also has a similar scheme.

GTD
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Dave Dermont on December 05, 2011, 08:14:25 pm
Who, please?  I'd like to get some of that cable for my next project.

Wireworks (http://www.wireworks.com/) and Clark Wire & Cable (http://www.clarkwire.com/)
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Stu McDoniel on December 06, 2011, 04:12:50 pm
The longest part of load out at the end of the night is winding mic cables. I work alone and this seems to be 80% it. I was thinking of winding in groups, i.e. front stage mics and monitors (jbl prx) and backstage mics and monitors (jbl prx ) Does anyone have other suggestions which could save me some time at the end of the night with that part of the tear down? It's not feasible right now to hire more RELIABLE help.

John
You can get lots of 100
Use these to tie up your mic cables.. wind cable up in a nice round loop...put the ball bungie or two on the cable..your good to go

These work well...............
The link is an example...shop wisely for prices

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Ball-Bungies-Package-100/dp/B001BNS5P2

Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Charlie Zureki on December 12, 2011, 10:01:02 am
I have never really understood this fascination with the resistor code. I guess because they had to learn it in middle school shop class people feel inclined to use it.

I don't really think it is all that hard to look at a 10 foot coiled cable and a 20 foot coiled cable and tell which is longer.

Also , in practice, I don't want help coiling cables. Any time saved by the help is usually lost on the next show when I have to uncoil them.

  Hello Jay,

  No...the "fascination" with using the resistor color code for marking lengths of cable... got it's start back in the early days of Remote Television and Sound systems for hire.  Unlike today, much of the gear was "custom" gear, made by Radio,and early Television Techs.  The Techs having Electronic backgrounds, used the resistor color code, because it was easily understood by other experienced Technicians.

   BTW...the color code was also used by some Capacitor Manufacturers to designate their component's values....easily understood by Techs already knowing the color code.

   If a provider is a smaller company with limited gear, then, it may not make any difference whether they color code their lengths of Mic or Edison cables. But, if one were to be a large System Provider and have trunks full of cables...it really can save time when searching for an appropriate length cable, especially under a stage, in dim light....

  In my experience, the biggest reason to color code and lable cables is to help keep my cables from walking away...

  FWIW...I have found only three lengths appropriate... 15 ft,  35 ft and 100 ft (rarely used) mic cables and all Edison/powercons are 75' except the Foh run.

   Cheers,
   Hammer   
             

   

   
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Jay Barracato on December 12, 2011, 11:48:19 am
    FWIW...I have found only three lengths appropriate... 15 ft,  35 ft and 100 ft (rarely used) mic cables and all Edison/powercons are 75' except the Foh run.

   Cheers,
   Hammer   
             

Well I was being a little sarcastic, but this seems to reinforce my point.You really don't need a base ten color system if you only have three categories. I am sure most of the average stage workers weren't thinking about the value, all they need is "toss the red cables in that truck".

I have nothing against color codes, I find it funny how much of an emotional link many people seem to have for a very specific categorical system, applied to new situations.

I am half tempted to go through an label all mine using the resistor color code, but with some bizarre unit of length like fathoms.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 12, 2011, 12:03:39 pm
Well I was being a little sarcastic, but this seems to reinforce my point.You really don't need a base ten color system if you only have three categories. I am sure most of the average stage workers weren't thinking about the value, all they need is "toss the red cables in that truck".

I have nothing against color codes, I find it funny how much of an emotional link many people seem to have for a very specific categorical system, applied to new situations.

I am half tempted to go through an label all mine using the resistor color code, but with some bizarre unit of length like fathoms.

Go for big numbers, measure in angstroms.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Jay Barracato on December 12, 2011, 05:59:57 pm
Go for big numbers, measure in angstroms.

The entire length of the cable would end up looking like a zebra.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Charlie Zureki on December 13, 2011, 11:22:59 am
Well I was being a little sarcastic, but this seems to reinforce my point.You really don't need a base ten color system if you only have three categories. I am sure most of the average stage workers weren't thinking about the value, all they need is "toss the red cables in that truck".

I have nothing against color codes, I find it funny how much of an emotional link many people seem to have for a very specific categorical system, applied to new situations.

I am half tempted to go through an label all mine using the resistor color code, but with some bizarre unit of length like fathoms.

  Hello Jay,

   My previous post was an explanation of why/where the resistor color code was used. It was directed to you because you didn't seem to make the connection of why it became a standard for many Sound, Lighting and Video Providers, along with other Electrical/Electronic Industries.

  It's not a standard in the tradional sense, there are no IEC or NEC codes. It just became a practice in the Larger Touring Companies because of ease of implementation and a wide knowledge of the Resistor Color codes.

   A Sound, Video, or Lighting Company is free to use whatever colors, or none at all for length designation of any cables.  But, some feel it may make load ins/load outs easier if they ever have a need to cross-rent gear.

  My three lengths of cable are color marked for the reasons I described in my other post...low light conditions, packing/unpacking trunks and hands can visually understand the lengths by sight. I can tell a hand "grab 6 Yellows for the Guitars, 8 reds for Keyboards" etc...

   Since my Mic cable lengths come in only 3 sizes and are not made in even 10ft lengths....my cables are not faithful to the resistor color code...  Red (15ft), Yellow(35ft) & No color(100ft) .  I'm certain many Companies do not faithfully use the resistor color code.  It's not important..until it gets important...cross renting, multiple stages, multiple gigs the same day, extra hands...

   Hammer

   

   
   
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Patrick Campbell on February 25, 2012, 07:43:38 am
I have all 20 and 30 ft on this reel ..........

5 ft 'ers go into the mic case

This works well and saves time.......ya got to handle em gently but it works for me for years

Patrick
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: brian maddox on February 25, 2012, 10:07:45 am
I have never really understood this fascination with the resistor code. I guess because they had to learn it in middle school shop class people feel inclined to use it.

I don't really think it is all that hard to look at a 10 foot coiled cable and a 20 foot coiled cable and tell which is longer.

Also , in practice, I don't want help coiling cables. Any time saved by the help is usually lost on the next show when I have to uncoil them.

actually, resistor color code is just handy because a lot of people know it.  when i worked at a sound company i had no electronics background, so i just learned it as i went.  but in a larger rig, it's invaluable, because no matter what length cable you are trying to label, there is a way to color code it that anyone else in the shop can understand.  from a practical standpoint, nearly our entire inventory was one of 4 colors [20', 40', 60', 100'] but there were plenty of oddballs, and i could tell their length instantly by looking at the color code.

your point about telling the difference is true.  if you've got only 2 or 3 lengths and 2 or 3 types of cable.  but when your mic cable box pack takes 80 cables of various lengths, it's very handy to be able to look into the pile and grab what you need by color.  it's also nice to be able to tell a stage hand that 'all the red ones go in this box, all the yellow ones in that one'.  but that's all stuff that may or may not apply to a smaller operation...
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on February 26, 2012, 01:43:29 am
The original poster quoth:

The longest part of load out at the end of the night is winding mic cables. I work alone and this seems to be 80% it. I was thinking of winding in groups, i.e. front stage mics and monitors (jbl prx) and backstage mics and monitors (jbl prx ) Does anyone have other suggestions which could save me some time at the end of the night with that part of the tear down? It's not feasible right now to hire more RELIABLE help.

John

I just had this vision of a very large drum (as in winch, not as in bass) in the back of the truck, with a single lead to the FOH console. At the end of the night, you hit "go" (don't bother unplugging anything) and it just starts winding things up and five minutes later your truck is loaded.

You'd better hope your next gig is at the city landfill, as with such a system that's where all your gear is headed anyway.

Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Jordan Wolf on February 26, 2012, 02:55:25 am
I've worked with people who do the mic cable reel thing, and I just don't get it.
Same here.

Quote
C'mon people, just learn how to wrap cables! Take some home and practice if you have to. Heck, while you're at it, grab a hunk of rope and practice how to tie a bowline.
I think it's worthwhile to learn the clove hitch also...especially handy for attaching tie line to your cables (at the male end, please...unless you're making DMX), as compared to the velcro that I (and my corpy-work ties) hate so much.  It should also be stated that bare ends of tie line should be melted or knotted to prevent fraying.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: chris johnson on February 26, 2012, 05:21:43 am
i use wrapping up cable time as my ME time to reflect on the evening.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Charlie Zureki on February 26, 2012, 07:04:48 am
i use wrapping up cable time as my ME time to reflect on the evening.

  I use cable wrapping time to pass on the cable wrapping to people that need more practice wrapping cables. ;)

  Hammer
 
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Stu McDoniel on February 26, 2012, 10:11:23 am
actually, resistor color code is just handy because a lot of people know it.  when i worked at a sound company i had no electronics background, so i just learned it as i went.  but in a larger rig, it's invaluable, because no matter what length cable you are trying to label, there is a way to color code it that anyone else in the shop can understand.  from a practical standpoint, nearly our entire inventory was one of 4 colors [20', 40', 60', 100'] but there were plenty of oddballs, and i could tell their length instantly by looking at the color code.

your point about telling the difference is true.  if you've got only 2 or 3 lengths and 2 or 3 types of cable.  but when your mic cable box pack takes 80 cables of various lengths, it's very handy to be able to look into the pile and grab what you need by color.  it's also nice to be able to tell a stage hand that 'all the red ones go in this box, all the yellow ones in that one'.  but that's all stuff that may or may not apply to a smaller operation...
It is stamped on my brain from College and somehow I think I will never forget

Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well

Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Green, White
 
0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Lots of videos on wrapping mic cables online
However, I LOVE this little bungy Idea!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSyeRajAFXU

Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Mark G. Hinge on February 26, 2012, 04:01:19 pm
  I use cable wrapping time to pass on the cable wrapping to people that need more practice wrapping cables. ;)

  Hammer

 :)


Interesting thread, and lots of good ideas for me to think about.  I’m just a small-timer, and now-days just provide for my band, past, and newly-forming, but I’m going to have a new cable situation, so I’m looking for ideas. 

I do find wrapping cables somewhat therapeutic.  And I really don’t like others wrapping them, and I hate when I’m wrapping over/under and the cable doesn’t cooperate because someone did the hand-elbow thing. 

Tearing down, I’d also try to clear everything off the stage so there's little left but the cables, which makes it easier, and less tendency to yank on one when it’s caught on something. 

I use a BIC white-out pen (I love those things), like a ball-point thing to write the actual length on the cable end and on the black Velcro ties, which makes it easy to read in the dark. 

(I like those BIC white-out pens for marking things that are dark-colored; easy to read in the dark, sticks well and lasts long, but still removable if you want to without damaging the surface.)

I just used a big plastic tool box to store them in, and although not light, could be carried with one hand.  Electrical and speaker cables would be in different boxes, or course.

But long-story-short, I lost all my band PA gear, and the band broke up, so I’m starting all over with both.  I’m gonna need a lot of new cables, and I need to get real organized, because I’m going from all passive to all active mains and monitors (4), from FOH mixer/processing/snake to a StudioLive 16.4.2 on stage with me, and from acoustic drums to acoustic with Gen 16 cymbals and gonna add triggers to the drums, so everything is going to be very different for me. 

And with my EWI XLRs gone, I have to replace them and add for all the active speakers/monitors. 

As these new pieces are coming in, I’m replacing the music/rehearsal stuff with the new stuff so I can get used to them and figure out what I need.

Because of the powered speakers, I’m also having to figure out the power cables… I did order a couple Ninja 24-guage 25’ cables with an outlet every 5’… I hope that was the right thing to do.

Okay, I know I kinda went beyond the subject… just sharing, and don’t want to start a new thread about my needs.    :D

Marko

Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Chris Chambers on February 26, 2012, 05:35:29 pm
:)


Interesting thread, and lots of good ideas for me to think about.  Iím just a small-timer, and now-days just provide for my band, past, and newly-forming, but Iím going to have a new cable situation, so Iím looking for ideas. 

I do find wrapping cables somewhat therapeutic.  And I really donít like others wrapping them, and I hate when Iím wrapping over/under and the cable doesnít cooperate because someone did the hand-elbow thing. 

Tearing down, Iíd also try to clear everything off the stage so there's little left but the cables, which makes it easier, and less tendency to yank on one when itís caught on something. 

I use a BIC white-out pen (I love those things), like a ball-point thing to write the actual length on the cable end and on the black Velcro ties, which makes it easy to read in the dark. 

(I like those BIC white-out pens for marking things that are dark-colored; easy to read in the dark, sticks well and lasts long, but still removable if you want to without damaging the surface.)

I just used a big plastic tool box to store them in, and although not light, could be carried with one hand.  Electrical and speaker cables would be in different boxes, or course.

But long-story-short, I lost all my band PA gear, and the band broke up, so Iím starting all over with both.  Iím gonna need a lot of new cables, and I need to get real organized, because Iím going from all passive to all active mains and monitors (3), from FOH mixer/processing/snake to a StudioLive 16.4.2 on stage with me, and from acoustic drums to acoustic with Gen 16 cymbals and gonna add triggers to the drums, so everything is going to be very different for me. 

And with my EWI XLRs gone, I have to replace them and add for all the active speakers/monitors. 

As these new pieces are coming in, Iím replacing the music/rehearsal stuff with the new stuff so I can get used to them and figure out what I need.

Because of the powered speakers, Iím also having to figure out the power cablesÖ I did order a couple Ninja 24-guage 25í cables with an outlet every 5íÖ I hope that was the right thing to do.

Okay, I know I kinda went beyond the subjectÖ just sharing, and donít want to start a new thread about my needs.    :D

Marko
I like your idea for the white out - ill try it
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Kenny Deal on February 26, 2012, 10:35:35 pm
It is stamped on my brain from College and somehow I think I will never forget

Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well

Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Green, White
 
0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Lots of videos on wrapping mic cables online
However, I LOVE this little bungy Idea!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSyeRajAFXU
lol...
I was 10 yrs old when my father (TV repairman)taught it to me...
Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Give Willingly...
Nice...huh..
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Kenny Deal on February 26, 2012, 10:37:51 pm
I used to just roll them up on my arm and then wrap a little around itself and plug it into itself  like an extension cord until I found out that is not good for the cables. The guy showed me how to wrap them and coil them so they are in a perfect circle and plugged back into themselves but I was never able to do it again. I just use the velcro thingys now.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: brian maddox on February 26, 2012, 11:47:11 pm
I used to just roll them up on my arm and then wrap a little around itself and plug it into itself  like an extension cord until I found out that is not good for the cables. The guy showed me how to wrap them and coil them so they are in a perfect circle and plugged back into themselves but I was never able to do it again. I just use the velcro thingys now.

well, the good news is that you really shouldn't plug the ends together because you're creating a situation where you're inevitably going to pull the wrong end through the middle.  and then it's all about knots.

learn over under wrapping.  and use tie line or something to tie them.  and all will be well...
Title: Re: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Jay Barracato on February 27, 2012, 05:19:39 am
It is stamped on my brain from College and somehow I think I will never forget

Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well

Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Green, White
 
0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Lots of videos on wrapping mic cables online
However, I LOVE this little bungy Idea!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSyeRajAFXU

I believe the second g should be grey.
Title: Re: Load Out advice - Mic cable winding
Post by: Matt Tudor on February 27, 2012, 11:56:55 am
I know "the code" from back in my electronics class, but don't use it on stage because I color code everything, not just numerical values like cable lengths. I had the code I learned from the first shop I worked in ingrained into my head so that's kind of what I fall back on now. Blue, yellow, red, green. Patching amps to speakers? highs, mids, lows, subs. Patching FOH? left, right, mon 1, mon 2. Patching monitor world? Each rack was 4 mixes..... Mic, monitor, and AC cables, we carried 4 sizes; small (less than 10)', medium,(about 20'), large (bigger than 30'), and long runs for cross stage of FOH.

  Hello Jay,

  No...the "fascination" with using the resistor color code for marking lengths of cable... got it's start back in the early days of Remote Television and Sound systems for hire.  Unlike today, much of the gear was "custom" gear, made by Radio,and early Television Techs.  The Techs having Electronic backgrounds, used the resistor color code, because it was easily understood by other experienced Technicians.

   BTW...the color code was also used by some Capacitor Manufacturers to designate their component's values....easily understood by Techs already knowing the color code.

   If a provider is a smaller company with limited gear, then, it may not make any difference whether they color code their lengths of Mic or Edison cables. But, if one were to be a large System Provider and have trunks full of cables...it really can save time when searching for an appropriate length cable, especially under a stage, in dim light....

  In my experience, the biggest reason to color code and lable cables is to help keep my cables from walking away...

  FWIW...I have found only three lengths appropriate... 15 ft,  35 ft and 100 ft (rarely used) mic cables and all Edison/powercons are 75' except the Foh run.

   Cheers,
   Hammer