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Hints On Wiring Up The Band
Tips and tricks for the busy engineer seeking ways to streamline efficiency in their stage setup.
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5) Multiple Copper Stranding

Look for multiple fine copper strands for the inner conductor.

These give you flexibility while keeping resistance low. Esoteric audio people may tell you the extra surface area created by fine stranding also helps high frequencies due to “skin effect”.

They’ll probably add that you should use oxygen free” copper for a better sound (actually, “oxygen free” really means “less oxygen”, with different OF cables giving you different amounts of Oxygen Freeness).

These intriguing possibilities aside, more fine strands for a given inner conductor gauge translates to more suppleness and greater life expectancy on stage.

Get It Together

Done right, a set change is as easy as giving the sound company a set of numbered XLR tails (even if you are the sound company).

At the sound board, prewiring of the effects rack(s) and a short insert snake or wire bundle are the path to a fast, predictable setup. If it will be the same board every night, you may have the luxury of using a multipin disconnect between your rack and the board.

If you are going to be hanging this rack off a different board every night, the most practical solution can be to have your insert snake’s console fanout be TRS stereo phone plugs and carry a bag full of TRS to dual-mono phone adapters for the boards that have separate in and out jacks.

Finally, every sound tech needs a bag of black box goodies to get you through emergency situations that are not usually of your making. A good cable tester, miscellaneous adapters, in-line phase reversers, ground lifters and pads are indispensable. A few emergency 9V batteries never hurt either.

Carl Cornell has been the chief engineer at Whirlwind for over 20 years. He has also mixed performance audio professionally since discovering (much to his dismay) in 1968 that he had no future in front of the mic.

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