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How do you store your leads?


Woodinblack

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Here is my lead bag after a gig:

177413885_IMG_1090(2).thumb.jpeg.a6a454a82b1e61997733922e8648a146.jpeg

 

Before a gig it is very neat and organised, but afterwards everything just gets rammed in so I can leave, and it is also the one time when other people touch the leads.

Bit of a mess really and that bag is starting to break now, with all the extra leads I have, especially since getting all the 10M red leads. 

How do you get your leads to gigs?

 

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1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

Before a gig it is very neat and organised, but afterwards everything just gets rammed in so I can leave, and it is also the one time when other people touch the leads.

[Soap box enabled] Every lead is always coiled after a gig. Every lead. Always.

A coiled lead takes up less space, doesn't knot, doesn't become entangled with other leads.

With a little practice, any lead (yes, including 10m ones) can be successfully coiled in about the same time as it takes to stuff a rat's nest into a bag.

I only let bandmates touch my leads once I know that they know how to coil them properly. If they don't know how, then I show them. [/Soap box]

 

 

If you want your cables bag to last a long time, don't waste your time with normal luggage or nylon sports bags, buy a tool bag.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=tool+bag+large&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Better still, search for Stanley FatMax 1-93-935 Waterproof Toolbox 28inch

That will give you cable storage that can also be used as a step-up when you need to route cables or lighting (or whatever) near the ceiling of the venue, can be used to put a combo or lights on to get them off the ground at gigs, and can keep vulnerable pedals safe when travelling to/from gigs.

 

 

 

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I have a Wenger rucksack and laptop case for my leads & pedals. Not cheap but they have plenty of compartments so instead of all lumped in together I can put amp leads in one section, instrument leads/pedals in another, and in the laptop case, amp in another. Really tough durable material so provides good protection.

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2 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

There was a long discussion in this thread recently. :)

Oh yes, forgot about that one.

 

1 hour ago, Happy Jack said:

If you want your cables bag to last a long time, don't waste your time with normal luggage or nylon sports bags, buy a tool bag.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=tool+bag+large&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Better still, search for Stanley FatMax 1-93-935 Waterproof Toolbox 28inch

Good idea. I don't want to step up to more leads, I already do all the leads including spares for when the guitarists fender leads fail again, don't want more but the bag is a good plan.

Having said that, I didn't have much more room until recently when I changed car, so probably a good time to look at what I carry now. Assuming we get back to gigs at some point.

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my leads are coiled carefully, secured with a velcro tie (which is rivetted onto the cable so i don't lose them) then they go into the case that my amp and pedalboard live in (a thon accessory case)

the cables for the PA get exactly the same treatment but go into a sports holdall (actually 2 smaller ones to keep the weights down) 

Discovering the Velcro double sided tape on a roll was a revelation, I use a jeans rivet to attach them to the cable and hey presto no lost ties, i think i have bought at least 60 of the pre-made non-attached type and could probably find about 10 of them left if i searched hard enough, they either go missing on dark stages gigs or get pinched. and some of the cheaper loop-on type have started to come apart and ended up smearing the sticky adhesive everywhere.

https://shop.velcro.co.uk/collections/velcro-brand-cable-ties/products/velcro-brand-one-wrap-reusable-ties-10-mm-x-5-m-black 

https://www.prym.com/en/rivets-9mm-silver-coloured/old-iron-403101

Matt

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A number of years ago I bought a pack of reusable cable ties. Probably one of the best cheap investments I've ever made for music stuff.

I have two gig bags. One is an old leather laptop bag which contains a tuner pedal, in ears, my class D head, and any essential cables. This one comes to every gig and practice. The other is a hard carry on luggage sized case. This contains things for more involved gigs like my talkback mic, XLR cables, extension cables, USBs, phone chargers, etc.

Every cable is always tied with a cable tie when going back in the bag. Whilst the cables are in use I either put them in my gig bag or attach them to my cab handle. Any cable that comes in and out of my setup (XLRs to and from the desk) are labelled at both ends as to what they are which means for easy setup and helps with sound techs. Pretty much all of my gear is labelled with my initials too so things don't get mixed up at quick pack downs.

After the gig I'll coil every cable, tie it, and return it to the correct bag. Cables are either over undered or over overed depending on how they're used and I'm pretty speedy at coiling. Takes a bit of practice but saves loads of time overall.

Most of my setup is designed around ease and speed of setting up and packing down. It sounds boring but it means I can be set up really quickly so people aren't waiting on me. It also means my cables are all well looked after. I can't remember when I last had one break.

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I coil my cables properly with the twist, and then use these Planet Waves elastic ties to keep them tidy. All my cables live either in a Markbass cable bag (courtesy of @MoJoKe) in the back of my amp rack case, or in the front pocket of the carry case for my Pod XT Live. Coiling the cable snake takes a bit of care as there are three cables in it and the twists tend to fight each other a bit.

image.png.a74a052ff72e3473c39572834140c5c3.png

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2 hours ago, Rich said:

I coil my cables properly with the twist, and then use these Planet Waves elastic ties to keep them tidy. All my cables live either in a Markbass cable bag (courtesy of @MoJoKe) in the back of my amp rack case, or in the front pocket of the carry case for my Pod XT Live. Coiling the cable snake takes a bit of care as there are three cables in it and the twists tend to fight each other a bit.

image.png.a74a052ff72e3473c39572834140c5c3.png

Yes, I like those cables. I have a planet waves cable with one, and I like the connector (not the cable). So I just ordered a pack of 10 of those

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Leads? Lead. I only have one lead I take to rehearsals. Bass --> lead --> combo amp.

I carry spare leads in a "gig bag" which is kept in the car permanently, alongside other things I don't use such as pedals, wireless, batteries etc The leads are coiled up in a somewhat random way, which makes retrieving them fun, but because I play bass I don't have a ton of extra stuff or effects. One of the advantages of bass vs guitar.

In theory if I ever returned to a rehearsal or actual gigging even, with a guitar, then I might have to investigate further how to actually plug in and use things like effects or whatever extra stuff other people have and plug into and spend money on etc.

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Here's my cable case before a gig:20200911_093820.thumb.jpg.a13f06d1435f1c8179863258f5f0202c.jpg

And here's what it looks like after a gig:

20200911_093802.thumb.jpg.c317239e12f4c67ced1326ade1cd15e1.jpg

All in a Peli (iecs and Speakons live elsewhere), all twist wrapped and with those elastic ties (MUCH better than velcro!). I have always done this, I usually put away all band cables at the end of each gig (there are about 24 XLRs in there, it takes me no more than 10 minutes, I don't trust anyone else to do them properly), and I have several 40 year old cables in my collection which are still perfectly serviceable.

Look ofter your equipment and it wont let you down....  And carry spares of anything you reasonably can.

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Loosely coiled as we were taught in t'Army, with a velcro strap to hold it in position.

Years ago I had to go on a rope course for work, and was given all new Petzl ropes and rigging.  The moment I got home I emptied out the very nice bag the kit came in and my cables go in there.

Edited by Bassfinger
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  • 6 months later...

We use the plastic storage boxes from 'Really Useful Box' company, for anything up to nine of us in a function band at big events we will take five large boxes with all the music cables (XLRs and instruments) for musicians , power cables,  the PA and all the lighting. For an individual performer maybe try the 18 litre size (currently doing them for £9 in Tescos). They are waterproof, you can stack them. You can keep your mic in it, spare bits and pieces and strings, tools, torch etc. Drape a bit of black cloth over it and put your amp on it when playing and put all your valuables in it and they will be safe too.

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On 17/09/2020 at 09:21, Bassfinger said:

Loosely coiled as we were taught in t'Army, with a velcro strap to hold it in position.

Years ago I had to go on a rope course for work, and was given all new Petzl ropes and rigging.  The moment I got home I emptied out the very nice bag the kit came in and my cables go in there.

This is a bit OT but... ropes are interesting, and a lot of people (me included) never coil them. A lead climber shouldn't ever climb with a rope straight from a coil, you have to pay it out into a pile. It's not like that thing with sailing where you see the coil pay out neatly, because the coil of rope has been chucked in a car, tied to a backpack etc so the loops get chance to move relative to each other. Once I discovered them I switched to using a rope bag, which is just like a small tarp that you can squish up into a bag, or even just a carrier bag will do (some people use a cloth "bucket"). When you've finished a route, you tie the "bottom" end to the bag, then pay the rope into the bag as messily as you like (called "flaking" it in by some people) and tie the "top" end to something as well so you know which is which. When you need it next, tie in to the "top" end and climb away, and the rope will always pay out smoothly.

In a coil, the loops of rope are parallel and can move past each other. If you flake the rope out into a pile the flakes of rope will go across each other and so can't change order, and will always come back out in the reverse order. If you use the wrong end you're stuffed but rope bags come with loops to tie the ends to so you know which is which. I'm guessing @Leonard Smalls among others will know what I mean.

I used coils for years - coils are a neat way to carry your rope if you don't have a rope bag - and then rope bags for years. With a coil, once or twice I was lazy and didn't flake into a losoe pile before climbing, and I soon learnt that that's the best way to get knots. Rope bag, I just flipped it open, tied on and climbed.

Coils are not all they are cracked up to be. Having said all that, rope bends a lot better than cable does and I coil all my cables, but only to save them kinking, I don't expect the coil to pay out nicely.

I did say it was a bit off topic.

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On 06/09/2020 at 13:56, chris_b said:

I roll mine with the "twist",  as per electricians and PA hire company practise. I never have leads break or fail. My main instrument lead has been with me for 30 years.

I've played with quite a few guys who work for PA companies. There is a few of us (who have all played in the same circles) that all say that we actually feel vaguely uncomfortable seeing people not coiling leads up correctly! 

Edited by peteb
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5 hours ago, peteb said:

. . . . . . we actually feel vaguely uncomfortable seeing people not coiling leads up correctly! 

I know 2 band leaders who won't let anyone else touch their leads. One told me that if I coiled up his leads he'd uncoil them and do it again!!  I know how he feels.

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22 minutes ago, chris_b said:

I know 2 band leaders who won't let anyone else touch their leads. One told me that if I coiled up his leads he'd uncoil them and do it again!!  I know how he feels.

When I joined the band I was best known for in the 80s, the guitar player / band leader literally stood over me and taught me how to coil cables correctly (as he did to everybody he played with). He now runs one of the biggest pro audio / PA companies around! 

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