Cable Calamity

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Basslice, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    Seeking Advice:
    I built my little home studio. I love it. However, I am having what I am calling a cable calamity. I have so many cables snaking back and forth around my floor that are making it difficult to move around and work.

    They are tangled up. They are under my chair. I trip over them. My headphone cables only add to the madness. In addition to instrument and midi cables, there are all the power cords. I have mic stands falling over (I recently got some weighted bags that seems to have stopped that.

    I look at pictures of other people's spaces and don't see the same rat's nest going on.

    What can I Do? Help!
    Studio Cables.jpg
     
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  2. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Use long enough cables to go around the perimeter of the space wherever possible.
     
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  3. Tosh

    Tosh

    Jul 12, 2020
    Salem, Oregon
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  4. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Use stage snakes and patch bays. As @QweziRider mentioned, use cables long enough to go around the perimeter and not in the middle of the floor.
     
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    0000_1.jpg

    cabling is just a part of it all, OP. good luck with your 'clean up'! :thumbsup:
     
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  6. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    How long of a non-shielded instrument cable or mic mic cable can I run without signal loss or interference? I just measured and the longest run around walls would be about 18-20' (6-7 meters).
     
  7. Tosh

    Tosh

    Jul 12, 2020
    Salem, Oregon
    keep them away from power cables and you can go pretty far - but RF can be an issue, so it varies. wire guage and connector quality are factors also.

    I'll go out on a limb and say you should be OK with 30'

    BTW mic cables are balanced by default (3 conductor), and you can daisy-chain them together
     
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  8. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Instrument cables when using a passive instrument and no pedals or buffers in between are always going to be a factor of capacitance and length. If it still sounds good, don’t sweat it. If you’ve lost too much top end, add a buffer.

    XLR cables are a non-issue.

    As I mentioned, use patchbays and stage snakes to simplify cabling and potentially shorten runs when possible.
     
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  9. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    It took me five years to wake up and stop running up to six annoying mic cables down the hall to record amps or my wife in another room. Duhhhhhh...snakes.
     
  10. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    They’re definitely useful. I have stage snake for my rehearsal PA and a patchbay for my studio rack. Makes life much easier.
     
  11. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Another vote for a snake or wiring harness or patch bay for your situation. And enough inputs that you never need to unplug a cable.

    I just went through this the other day when I wired in a new interface. I pulled the desk from the wall, pulled the cables out of everything and proceeded to hook everything back up using the cleanest routing I could manage. Fortunately it's not a complicated setup so hooking everything back up again wasn't difficult. That'll last for the next 2.78 weeks at most, I'm sure.

    There's another post of mine recently where I show the before and after picture of my desk. Some cables have since started creeping back into the after picture.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  12. It's easy. Become totally ocd like me, and the problem will go away. You should see my cutlery drawer.
     
  13. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    San Francisco
    how static is your setup? And how often do you record drums?
    Like do you track drums every day or a couple times a year ?

    When I went through this, I put all my outboard gear into a nice wooden rack I found on CL, then used a patchbay to connect all that for easy routing, and used a snake for all the I/O to the mixer/recorder.

    If you are tracking drums often, and like to leave it all setup, then maybe another snake just for drums, and make sure it has some TRS I/O for headphones.

    Another thing I did was instead of running cables on the floor, I went up the wall, across the ceiling, and then back down to the sources. Only thing was, when I wanted to move stuff around, (which I do often!) I had to move the ceiling hooks around. Wasn't difficult, just took some time.

    Good luck!
     
  14. Peteyboy

    Peteyboy

    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    I need you to design the liner notes for my new album.
     
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  15. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    Always ready. Got my fancy schmancy Wacom here.

    My students hate me.
     
  16. tchristian

    tchristian Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Missoula, MT
    I also went overhead as much as possible, including mic stands and monitors, and a snake for the drum kit. Perimeter works well too.

    The instrument cables from the organ and piano are 40'. I haven't noticed any signal loss but I haven't specifically tested for it either.
     
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  17. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    These are all great suggestions! Thanks. I will have to access my GAS Auxiliary Fund! I hate all the cables and it looks terrible!

    Also, I just purchased a custom-built Sound Seat. Review coming when it gets here.
     
  18. JKos

    JKos

    Oct 26, 2010
    Surprise, AZ
    The OPs diagram says MIDI drums. (;
     
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  19. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    It is a Roland TD-8 kit. As @Slough Feg Bass suggested, I don't track drums too much. Getting it in and out of there in a convenient way would be great.
     
  20. Get longer cords to replace the ones that stay in place, and some one wrap Velcro.
     
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