It might seem like overkill writing an article about how to wrap XLR cable and how to tape cable correctly, but these are essential skills that all techs and soon-to-be techs need to know.
Quick Answer: The correct way to wrap cable is to alternate making a loop of cable with a twisted loop until the cable is fully coiled. This helps it unravel straight and flat when you next need to use it.
Speaker Stands & Cable
- Plug in the cable and tuck it behind one of the adjuster knobs on the stand
- Tape the cable to the stand in one place near the base of the speaker
- Wrap the cable around the speaker stand multiple times
This makes it super hard to move the speaker, especially if the same has been done with the XLR and power cables running to the speaker.
We always put a black skirt around the bottom of the speaker’s tripod stand as this creates a place to hide excess cable and makes the whole unit look cleaner and nicer. We make ours out of banjo drapes.
We don’t recommend the high-top skirts that ride up all the way to the base of the speaker. These look pretty ugly and distracting, in our opinion.
How To Correctly Tape Cable
We always tape cable where people might walk, especially where the cable crosses doorways and pathways. Use 3” gaff tape; anything smaller doesn’t work as well. You can use Purpose-built cable ramps to cover a run of multiple cables.
- Lay the cable out
- Place a short piece of tape at each end of the cable
- Run a long piece of tape down the whole line of cable
How To Wrap Cable Correctly
When recruiting new techs at Kettner Creative, we ask them to include a video of them wrapping cable in with their resume. Only 5% get it right.
- Hold the end of the cable in one hand with the end of the cable and your fingers pointing out
- Make one coil of cable in your hand
There should be no stress or energy in the cable.
- Put a turn in the cable as you pick it up to make a second loop
- Alternate between these two techniques for every loop until the cable is coiled
- Tie the cable off with a velcro strap
Why do it like that? The cable will unravel flat from either side of the coil. This is useful as you’ll sometimes have to leave the bulk of the cable in an unusual spot and uncoil it from both ends.
One way to test you’ve done it correctly is to throw one end of the cable. It should unravel easily and cleanly.
XLR Cable and Tape Pricing
- Yamaha DXR 12 Powered Speaker: https://currentprice.io/yamaha_dxr8
- ProGaff 3″: https://geni.us/fwpn
- XLR Cable: https://currentprice.io/xlr_cable