Cable Storage and Transit for Sanity

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by rolsen, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. rolsen

    rolsen Member

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    I feel my last frontier for fast, sane and easy setup and breakdown is with my cables. I've got (like most):

    Two power cables
    Two speaker cables
    One 20' TRS to dual TS (my own special FX send/return method)
    One 20' inst cable (pedalboard to amp input)
    One 10' inst cable (guitar to board)

    If I take my time I can squeeze these into the storage underlid space of my Pedal Pad board, but they become spaghetti in transit. Breakdown is tougher - you know the deal, 3 bands, 40 min sets. Go fast, stuff won't fit in this modest pedal board nook.

    Anyone use a seperate bag with dividers or other system to manage cables in transit? Ideally, I'd like something semi or fully rigid so I can stack or lean it with my other gear in whatever postage stamp area bands are allowed to store gear.
     
  2. dbagchee

    dbagchee Supporting Member

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    This is one of the reasons I dislike the 4 cable method - all those extra cables!

    I’d highly recommend using Velcro cable ties - I leave them attached to my cables and they do a good job of preventing spaghetti.

    The stage changeover stuff sucks. I always want to get out of the next bands way as soon as possible so I would quickly cool cables and just stack them on the board just to get it off stage and then pack it up properly off to the side/backstage somewhere.
     
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  3. IanEric.com

    IanEric.com Member

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    If you don’t know how already, learn to “roadie wrap” or ”over/under wrap” your cables. I also prefer Planet Waves cable ties (elastic) to the Velcro stuff.
     
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  4. rolsen

    rolsen Member

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    Wrapping is key, I agree, but 7 power and instrument cables, even nicely coiled are a pain once stuffed into the same void. Any thoughts on the type of 'container' to store and transport? I'm imagining an accordion-like opening with vertical dividers into which the power cables go into one sleeve, FX loop cables into another, guitar and board-to-amp cables into another. Square bottom, sits nicely when putting in and taking out... maybe I should invent this but I bet there's some art supply or other non music designed product that might work.

    Anyone stumble on the perfect cable carrier?
     
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  5. sonhenry

    sonhenry Member

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    Milk crate. Doubles as a low-rent amp stand.
     
  6. James

    James Member

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    Thrift store laptop case.
     
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  7. DonaldDemon

    DonaldDemon Member

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    I always bring a small duffle bag for my cables. One thing that really saves the breakdown time was making a loom with the board to amp + send + return + footswitch cable all in one. I have a large board and run a half stack and can be off the stage in under 5 minutes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  8. Viking999

    Viking999 Member

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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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  9. MoonshineMan

    MoonshineMan Member

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    Roadie wrap, with the last 1-2’ spiraled around the coil to turn it into a sort of wreath.
    I fit most of it in my ammo box, but if there’s extra cords/cables, I’ll just tuck them in the back of my combo amp.
    If you don’t have some sort of easily transportable box or bag, I highly recommend getting one. Then you can carry all sorts of stuff, plus extras of everything with no problems.
     
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  10. david57strat

    david57strat Member

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    When not in use, I like to store many of my cables in an under bed box. Pretty tight quarters, in this room, so I don't have the luxury of just hanging them on the wall, or I would, for convenience sake. It works - for now.

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    Everything else is always set up and ready to play, at home. For a gig, I'll grab what's needed, starting with what's already set up currently.

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    There are 20 plus cables, there (the last seven pedals are wired for stereo), but most of that will eventually be wired into the board, so I can just unplug one master power, first input and final output cables, and leave the rest as-is, ready to throw into a pedalboard case, on casters.

    A lot of my stuff (shorter cable lengths) is connecting most of what will become a large pedal board. Most of that won't need to be wound. I have yet to buy the pedalboard though, LOL. But, I'm not really done buying pedals, so I have yet to determine exactly the board that'll do what I need.

    If I need more cables, then, I'll carry briefcases for those cables. I have an old SKB and three Anvil cases, and will use how ever many are necessary, depending on how involved the gig, I’ll start with the deeper SKB, then the Anvils, and they fit the bill.

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    Over the years, I've spent I don't know how many thousands of dollars on cables, so I'm not comfortable using soft bags to transport them. I prefer hard cases, in spite of the inconvenience of the extra weight.

    I also do the over/under wrap method, and always use Velcro cable ties. It saves a lot of grief, when it comes time to use the cable next. I don't trust most other people, wrapping my cables. I end up with spaghetti.

    Now that I'm using pedals again (moving away from rack equipment), that will change, some.

    We'll see.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
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  11. JackfromAK

    JackfromAK Gold Supporting Member

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    Wrapping right and a loop of Velcro, and then straight in a smallish duffle, but I don't have a ton of gear to provide cables for.
     
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  12. david57strat

    david57strat Member

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    I like to use duffle bags too, but I only use them if I'm carrying 12 gauge electrical extensions, or something that would't get damaged by someone tripping over it, throwing it in the back of a trunk, or whatever.

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  13. david57strat

    david57strat Member

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    Agreed, wholeheartedly. I don't want people tripping over my cables, and I especially don't want to be in the way of the next act, trying to get their stuff set up, in a hurry, either.

    Velcro ties, along with good wrapping technique, make the difference between being able to use them quickly (without having to de-tangle them), and not being able to use them at all, without a headache, first.
     
  14. JackfromAK

    JackfromAK Gold Supporting Member

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    Fair point, my situation is pretty casual (bar band stuff) and I still tend to eyeball my stuff a lot instead of relaxing, so it's not an ideal solution.
     
  15. leonardrock

    leonardrock Supporting Member

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    Why not build your own 20’ 4 cable assembly, fed through Tech Flex, and shrink tube the ends? I built one about 10-12 years ago with Canare G6, Neutrik jacks with color coded boots, that cover my front of amp, send, return, and foot switch (check to see if yours requires TS or TRS though). I left about 18” on each end of the snake to allow for some flexibility when hooking up. Setup is quick, breakdown even quicker, and with care it will last for years. I’ve done probably close to 300 gigs with that snake in its lifetime and it hasn’t failed me yet. Super cost-effective too if you’ve got some soldering skills or a friend to help. This doesn’t solve all your cable needs but it would be a huge powerup for you!
     
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  16. david57strat

    david57strat Member

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    I can definitely vouch for quality of Canare cable and Neutrik conectors.

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    I bought a bunch of cables, through eBay, from a guy who made them and sold them at really reasonable prices. No regrets. Great cables, that work now, as well as the day I bought them.
     
  17. hedgehitch

    hedgehitch Member

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    I bought a used padded backpack from my friend. This thing has pockets, sleeves, and zippered compartments out the wazzoooo. One compartment holds my mini pedal board, with a sleeve for a OneSpot power supply. Another compartment holds my VOODOO power supply ( which is in a padded makeup case) and my Bose T1 mixer.. other compartments have extra instrument cables. There’s a large narrow compartment for songsheets or lists, even a notebook would slip in there. I had to color code the various zippers, so I know where everything is located. There’s even a hard sided compartment for sunglasses. She sold it to me because it holds too much stuff and she always packed it way too full of snacks and extra underwear to carry through an airport . Perfect for all the smallish items us musicians haul around!
     
  18. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    For 4/6 cable method, I'd put together a snake: either assembled from PedalSnake components or with some sort of loom/mesh binding individual signal cables together. That would make for easier load in as well as a tidier stage setup.

    Overkill for the OP's purpose but I discovered the Cable Wrangler at NAMM this year and it's great for my mic and power cables. Velcro and duffles are good but IME mixing cable types (e.g., XLR, TRS, TS) in a duffle is a recipe for frustration as you sort through them looking for the size/length you want.
     
  19. musekatcher

    musekatcher Member

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    I coil and stack in a single bag, for a single hand lift. No velcro or ties needed. Just make sure you remove in the same order. Also, its better to tote a bigger bag to allow free stacking, than to cram into a smaller bag or gig pouch, where they unfurl and get twisted up. Also, thicker insulation, or stiffer braid sheaths resist twisting better, yet coil and tether on stage easily.
     

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